Not just the most skilled

One misconception I come across continually in the world of job hunting, is that the "most skilled person gets the job". Though on the face of it, this seems a logical conclusion, the truth is that there are really two main hoops a candidate must jump through, before they receive their next job offer.

Skill AND Culture

Firstly, a successful job seeker must demonstrate the necessarily skill level required to complete the role professionally and efficiently (or at least show a disposition to promptly learn the key points quickly.)


However, secondly (and to some degree most importantly) they must demonstrate to the employer they match the organisation's internal "culture".

What is 'Company Culture'?

An internal culture is usually difficult to define. In some ways, it is the "personality" of an organisation, defined by a complex mix of the atmosphere, values, expectations, practices and beliefs shared by team members.

This is especially true with organisations in the Not For Profit sector. Their reason for being is not to make a profit, but to serve a specific group of stakeholders with a particular need. Therefore, it is especially important to ensure your personal beliefs and expectations are in line with the NFP and its specific goals.

Assessing a company's internal culture

It's almost impossible to truly get a sense of an organisational culture, prior to joining up. All businesses will reassure job seekers they have a "great environment", however in my experience, that is not always the truth. As well as this, a poor direct manager can wreck an otherwise positive culture.

So it's important to assess the company's culture and get a sense of who they are. A good way to determine your fit is to quiz anyone you know who works there. This usually gives you a good understanding of the people and feel of a business. Visit their website and see what resonates with you in terms of their visuals, text and overall presence. On some occasions, this can give you just the warning you need to stay away.

What do you stand for?


Most importantly, its vital to firstly understand what your own personal "culture" and values are. What are the things you stand for, won't compromise on, and are passionate about? Take some time to reflect on these questions and make a list of the key things that are important to you. By defining what you stand for in your work life, you will be clearer on what type of culture you are seeking when you go forward into the job market.

Contact Tom for a free Linkedin or CV review, or to be your personal career coach. Visit or to find out more.