Career Link: The Culture Match Tony Sorenson, CEO, Versique August 30, 2013 At Thanksgiving dinner last year, someone casually asked one of my relatives when he planned to retire. He pulled out his iPad and had down to the hour, minute, and second how long it would be until that moment. It made me realize that my career philosophy was very different than his. I realized that I never wanted to be in a position of being so ready to be done with my career that I counted down the minutes. Rather, I’d prefer to be so driven by my work that the days fly by. Now don’t get me wrong, I love heading home on a Friday, but I also love the feeling of having a purpose I’m excited about when I go into work on a Monday!If you want to enjoy your career, and all the steps along the way, it’s important to have similar values as the company you work for. If the majority of my leadership team and employees had the same mindset as my relative, I likely wouldn’t feel the same satisfaction in my job as I currently do.Ask yourself: Does my leadership team look at this company, my role, and ultimately my work dramatically different than I do? Do they have the same vision and goals as you do? At times, the product or service you’re selling is less important than the cultural similarities (or differences) you have with your peers, your manager, and your company’s leadership team. Do they want you to succeed? Hopefully so. Do you have the same definition of success? If they award promotions based on tenure, and you expect promotions based on performance, it may not be the best fit…Culture Shapes EverythingFostering competition makes for an entertaining and productive workplace, which ultimately leads to performance and success. In other words, the importance of culture in our workplace is the key to organizational performance. Culture ultimately determines how problems are solved, and how businesses drive innovation. As an example, at Versique, we have embraced collaboration as one of our core values. With collaboration in mind, we are able to offer so much more to our clients. When all four core values (culture, collaboration, competition, and community) are supported and encouraged by our employees, we are able to create a crossover in services by working together, which ultimately brings added value to our clients.Working for a Company That Establishes Core ValuesInstilling core values helps to solidify a rewarding experience for employees, and ultimately, clients. It’s important to identify if the company you work for, or are considering working for, has values that align with yours. If everyone is on the same page, opportunities are endless. In our industry, whether it’s meeting a candidate for the first time, introducing the right candidate to a client, or coordinating volunteer opportunities, it’s vital we embrace our core values to the utmost potential.Setting Goals to Achieve Success Aside from making sure you are in alignment with your company’s values, it’s important to set goals for yourself, as they will result in a rewarding career. When sharp, clearly defined goals are set in place, you can continuously motivate yourself to achieve, because you’ll have a way to monitor success. By raising the bar and taking action, you will raise self-assurance and poise that will ultimately guide you down the road of a very rewarding career! You will notice positive trajectory, which would otherwise feel like a pointless and never-ending grind towards retirement.Do your values line up with your current employer? Do you have goals that will help drive you to be successful?Tony Sorensen is the CEO of Versique Executive Search and Consulting, and McKinley Consulting. He brings over 16 years of experience to the recruiting industry, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.