This time of year is full of graduation ceremonies, resume writing and job searches. It seems everyone is looking for good advice for those just starting a new career.
I recently asked Robert Dilenschneider for his advice for those just starting a professional career. Robert is the founder and Chairman of The Dilenschneider Group, a global public relations and communications consulting firm headquartered in New York City. He is the author of many books, including the best-selling Power and Influence and the newly-released The Critical First Years of Your Professional Life.
Find the Right Culture
Most job seekers think, “I just want to get a job anywhere” but you point out that finding the right cultural fit is important. Why is it important to know the culture of the organization you are potentially joining?
The cultural environment of a workplace can be critically important. If the core beliefs, value systems, and behavior patterns of many of the people one works alongside of differ perceptibly from yours, you will never feel at home, be able to perform at your highest level, and move upward in the organization. That is just a realistic fact of workplace life. Taking a job “anywhere” can upend one’s career track significantly.
Figuring out a firm’s culture from the outside may not be easy. Cultural climate and identity have to be experienced directly. But asking the right questions of a future employer, or of anyone you may know now working at a particular company, could be very helpful.
Let’s talk about the boss. You say, “Every day when you go into work, you want to determine — quickly — where the match is between your bosses’ goals, strengths, and weaknesses and yours.” What is a “match” and how do you find it? How do you create a good relationship and the right fit?
Again, verbal exchanges with your boss or manager are essential. But colleagues, who’ve been working at a specific job longer than you, can probably be a font of valuable information about the person or persons one reports to — their likes and dislikes and, most importantly, their on-the-job objectives.
Work the Grapevine
Working the grapevine is not something that most of us learn in school. Why is this so important?