Jennifer Zamora is a Team Lead, Coach & Career Partner at Korn Ferry. She has experience in coaching and advising business professionals at all levels from front-line employees to senior executives in various stages of their leadership and career development, across industries and functions.
According to Jennifer, this is how (and why) you should learn about a company’s culture when navigating your career journey:
First, do your research online. Research what a company says about its culture on its website, in media, and to its investors. Then try to find out what employees of the company have to say about their experiences (LinkedIn can be a good source). Second, supplement your online research with personal outreach and research. Attend a company’s information session or set up informational interviews with employees—these can take place in person or virtually—I love a virtual coffee connection! Make sure to bring a curious mindset and ask curious questions. I always love to ask people “what brought your here” and “what keeps you here” to get an idea of their company’s culture. There is so much to consider when evaluating your next professional opportunity. Here are a few key questions to keep in mind:
- What are the company’s values?
- What are the company’s strategic business priorities?
- How does the company support and embrace change and or new ideas?
- How does the company celebrate and reward success?
- How would the company support my growth and development?
- What are the company’s corporate social responsibility programs or initiatives?
As important as it is to ask the right questions to understand a company’s culture, be sure to compare the messaging you gather both offline and online to see if it’s consistent. No matter how great a company is you will only be able to add value and develop professionally if it is a good fit for you. The best way to determine if a company is a good fit for you is to know yourself. What environments do you thrive in versus survive in? What are your top five work values? When you know yourself, what you value, and what type of environments you thrive in, you can create your own personal scorecard to evaluate whether or not a particular company will be a good match for you.
Jennifer Zamora is a Team Lead, Coach & Career Partner at Korn Ferry. She has experience in coaching and advising business professionals at all levels from front-line employees to senior executives in various stages of their leadership and career development, across industries and functions. Prior to working at Korn Ferry, Jennifer served as a talent development leader at a global law firm and worked in a Fortune 100 media entertainment company and global professional services firm. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. In addition, Jennifer completed her Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Development at the University of Texas at Dallas this past summer.