Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Considering Company Culture in Job Search

    Posted 04-12-2019 05:16 PM
    What impact does company culture have in your job search? What qualities do you look for when you choose to join a team or office?  Your feedback on this topic will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Jameelah Ingram P.E., M.ASCE
    Washington, DC

  • 2.  RE: Considering Company Culture in Job Search

    Posted 04-13-2019 12:06 PM
    Personally, I have found that company culture seems to be more elusive and one of the unknown unknowns. It is difficult to understand and compare company cultures until you have experienced it or multiple different cultures. I look for a company culture that will promote or at least have a space for team building and growth, developing professional relationships, and the ability to learn and/or fail. If I were looking for a position, the main culture element I would look for is what does the company do to promote culture. Be it sponsored activities, lunch and learns, office parties, and what level the company will invest into the personnel. Once I meet with the company, I ask the interviewers about the culture, how often the members are together outside of billable work, and what support is given to staff. I also hope for a diverse staff, which I can only experience during onsite interviews. The more diverse, often the better the culture.

    Zachary Gautsch M.ASCE
    Haley and Aldrich
    Woodland Hills CA

  • 3.  RE: Considering Company Culture in Job Search

    Posted 07-15-2019 03:54 PM

    Q. How to better understand the culture of an organization you are thinking of joining?

     One may operationally define the culture of an organization as "The way we do things around here." Generally, there are no less than two versions, the one written in brochures, and the actual experiences of the current employees. Ask to meet with them.

     Some suggestions follow as you prepare for your real-world site assessment of where, and with whom you will be investing your reputation, intellect, creativity, and time with for perhaps, at least, the next 2 to 5 years.

     First, understand that you may capture 98.9% of what this system of executive management offers into four major categories:

            People,  Process,  Technology, and  Leadership.

     Your professional success will reply about 85% on your ability to first seek to understand how their culture really works now in integrating relationships across multiple disciplines. Ask to meet with those who will be your colleagues once you are brought on-board.

     The response you are provided for this request will tell you more about their culture than any of their brochures and wall posters.

    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880

  • 4.  RE: Considering Company Culture in Job Search

    Posted 08-14-2019 02:08 PM
    Unfortunately, the real company culture is frequently not revealed until you have been at the new company for a short while. Do you adapt, stay in misery, or flee?The interview stage may be entirely different from the reality.

    James Worrell
    Mostly Retired
    PE, RLS (retired)
    Raleigh NC

  • 5.  RE: Considering Company Culture in Job Search

    Posted 10-22-2022 09:52 AM

    If the company is mainly an engineering organization, I suggest determining how they practice the public-safety-is-paramount-provision which is in essentially all of the many engineering codes of ethics.

    After the two Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes in 2018 and 2019 that caused 346 deaths, I studied and documented the Boeing culture.  Examples of that culture leading up to and immediately after that engineering disaster are summarized here:  http://www.helpingyouengineeryourfuture.com/boeing.htm

    In my view, if a prospective employer operates under state engineering licensure exemption laws, the prudent prospective employee does his or her culture research. Incidentally, about 80 percent of graduate engineers work for such companies. That's not to say that all such companies operate like Boeing did, but why not find out?

    Stu Walesh

    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author