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Question – How many jobs will I have before I’m fulfilled?

Our career coach breaks down how to approach job fulfilment and gives some guidance as to what’s realistic and what you should expect.

Question – How many businesses am I likely to work for before finding a company culture that I find fulfilling?

How many? One answer is that you are likely to be doing a lot of job hopping anyway!

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the median tenure of workers ages 25 to 34 is 2.8 years. And short-term jobs are here to stay: according to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study, Generation Z  employees plan to move on from their current employer in three years or less, and only one in four plan to work for an employer for five years or more.

However, I don’t think this diminishes the importance of finding a good work culture, but it does shift the emphasis to YOU: knowing what you want, and being able to assess culture before you join.

How do you know what you want?

Think over your past experiences and ask yourself ‘what have I learned about the kind of culture I find fulfilling?’

Because culture is such a broad topic, you can think widely and include experiences from your study, sports, hobbies, and volunteering as well as internships and work experience.

Interrogate your own answers. Don’t settle for, say, ‘a collaborative culture.’ When have you experienced that, what specifically did you like about it? What don’t you like? What consistent themes come up for you? Come up with a list of 4-5 must haves and 2-3 definitely nots…

How do you assess culture?

What would indicate that an organisation has or does not have the themes you identified?

Indicators might be the way the organisation talks about itself, the ways performance is measured, the ways information is shared or decisions get made. The org chart, the hiring process, the office layout…lots of things can give away the culture.

Speak to people who work at the organisation and enquire about those indicators. This is a way of approaching the topic obliquely, and it’s much more likely to give you genuine information than asking them ‘what is the culture like?’ outright.

Remember culture isn’t just down to the organisation. Different functions have their own culture. Sales, Operations and HR departments all have their own idiosyncratic cultures for example.

And the same is true for industries. Banking, Media, Tech, Manufacturing, Retail… all have their own culture. And what about the country, region, city? Or how fast the organisation is growing?

It’s a broad topic, with many variables – another reason to reflect on what you want, and develop the skill of assessing culture.


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