For University Graduates…
Find a job and prepare your job interview in Belgium.
Select the type of company which best suits your personality. Will that be a start-up, a small family owned company, a multinational, a small and medium sized corporation?
If the company doesn’t match with your values and personality, don’t apply. Why waste your time trying to convince yourself t you love a particular industry or company just to have any job? The truth is that the ‘mismatch’ will show up in the job interview.
Here are a few interesting tips about the differences in corporate cultures.
Start-Up’s – entrepreneurial attitudes, working on a vast array of tasks (can be some boring remedial things and also some more challenging…), innovation, fast, hardworking, not 9-5, HR and established processes for evaluations/growth not always clear, it’s up to you to manage your career evolution, initiative taking, thinking out of the box, pressure.
SME (small and medium enterprises) – clear definition of your roles and responsibilities (job description could be more narrow than start-up), stability and consistency, lack of internal mobility options, flat hierarchy, can use often your own methods/procedures, feeling of ‘family, everyone knows everyone. You may become an expert/specialist in your domain but there are less opportunities to move to different departments. Informal approach, communications are passed on verbally, less written policies.
Multinationals – hierarchy (communicate with your direct boss but rarely would you go beyond that level), be prepared for many meetings, processes and standards are important and you are expected to learn them and follow them, diplomacy, transversal communication, internal mobility and HR involvement, able to provide your opinion/ input but do not expect to get attached to the outcome or final decision. Environment is often political (not always transparent). Don’t rock the boat but feel free to challenge and influence, gently. Job description is clear. Ownership of responsibilities is not always identifiable. Professional attire, personality is calm, respectfulness, maturity. There is a long history of due diligence. Public (stock market) so goal is to not shock the market, results should be anticipated…risk is measured and not as high as a start-up structure. Division of labor. Documentation a must.
Family-Owned business – can easily know who the boss is….open door, lack of hierarchy. Usually the family is passionate and involved and personable but don’t always share the strategic aspects. You may be hearing some ‘disputes’. At least people are more authentic and genuine….Trust and delegation, sense of close knit team often arises, casual, job descriptions are defined but you may be asked to do several roles or cover for someone else. You can participate in many aspects of the business and feel like you understand each role/department.
Now, which of these places in your heart do you feel at ease? Apply their first and then explain in your job interview when the question comes, “why do you want to work in this company?” that you too identify with that culture because you too have a personality which is open, formal, political, innovative, consistent etc etc) Make sure you remain authentic. What you feel on the inside is often what is projected on the outside.