We all want to love our jobs. It’s the dream – possibly the main wish you’ve had since you realized being a princess or a cowboy probably wasn’t going to pan out for you. But what makes you love a job? What makes you want to get up every morning and give it your all eight hours a day, even though you might be tired before you even get there? What makes the benefits outweigh the costs?
For a lot of people, it’s the money. But whoever said money isn’t everything clearly knew what they were talking about. Even the best paying jobs can make you miserable, and if every second at work feels like it goes on forever, is the money really worth it?
After money, people think of benefits – the time off you’ll get, the great insurance package, maybe even a merchandise discount or a set of football tickets. You can’t deny that having great insurance can provide much-needed peace of mind, and sure, everyone loves free stuff. But still, it comes back to the fact that all the perks in the world won’t make up for a work environment that makes you dread going in.
So, what’s the big secret? What is it that everyone needs to check out before they make the big commitment to a company?
The answer is company culture.
What Exactly Is Company Culture?
Let’s imagine two fictional companies.
Both of them sell wrenches, both of them have 10,000 employees, and both of them make the same amount of money. Now, what do you think it’s like to work for them? How do their employees describe the day-to-day experience of being there?
There are going to be some similarities, of course. The two companies have enough in common that it would be strange if there weren’t, but there will also be major differences. It’s the company culture that creates those differences.
Culture goes beyond the products a company sells or the services it provides. Really, culture isn’t about what work gets done but about how that work gets done. According to Danielle Finley, the Quicken Loans director of Talent Acquisition, “Company culture is a set of beliefs a group lives by so they can continue to march towards the same goal.” It’s the company guidebook – the moral compass – that directs the action of every single person, from a first-time intern right on up to the CEO. In fact, the president and CEO of Rock Connections, Victor You, says, “People love being a part of something greater than themselves, a cause, and nothing can be built without a strong core or foundation.”
OK, but Is It Actually Important?
Companies need a strong, productive culture. It’s not enough to have a two-line mission statement buried so deep in the website that no one can ever find it. That’s not doing anyone any favors. “We want to give the best service out there,” Molly Oberle, a Quicken Loans recruiting team leader says. “You can’t do that effectively unless the people who work for you have that culture.” A company that has a strong, positive culture is more cohesive and more capable of achieving its goals than a company with a weaker or more negative culture.
But What Does That Mean for Me?
Remember the earlier example with the two companies? Just because you like making wrenches doesn’t mean you’ll like the way every company operates. One company may be all about go-getters who don’t let red tape hold them back. Another may promote caution and doing things by the book. You have to ask yourself how you want to work. A company culture is like a person’s personality. If the two don’t line up, no one succeeds.
Sarissa Fish from the Quicken Loans Recruiting team sums it up well, saying, “When you’re looking for where you want to work, not every culture is going to match every person. And that’s OK. But finding what makes sense and what works for you is how you’re going to find success. If you don’t match your company’s culture, you might not feel valued or empowered.”
How Do I Find the Right Culture?
This is where you’ve got to do some homework. Ask yourself some basic questions: How do you want to work? What sort of attitudes and beliefs do you agree with? Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers right now – just make sure you’ve at least started thinking about it.
Once you have some idea of what you’re looking for, do your research. Go online, look for reviews and get info from friends about where they work. First-hand perspectives are always a great source of information. You get not only an idea of what the culture is like but also an idea of the types of people who work there. If your best friend loves her job and you both work in similar ways, that company culture might be a good fit for you.
You can even gather information at your interview. Few people have a better understanding of a company’s culture than the recruiter. And genuine interest demonstrated by well-thought-out questions really showcases your desire to obtain the position.
“As a candidate you have to ask a lot of questions in the interview. You have to really dig in on the culture and the belief system of the company to see if they’re in line with your beliefs,” Finley advises.
“Be yourself during an interview. Don’t try to prepare to the point where you’re answering the questions the way you think they want to hear it. If you are yourself, you can better understand if you’re aligning with the recruiter, the position, and the company itself,” Oberle adds.
What’s the Quicken Loans Culture Like?
At Quicken Loans, it’s easy to learn about the culture. It’s everywhere. You can’t walk down the hall without seeing the company culture played out in our team members’ actions.
“I used to work for another company, and now that I’m here, I see it’s a very different environment. At the other company, it wasn’t ‘we’re all in this together’ and ‘do what’s best for the client.’ It was ‘here are your numbers, do what you need to do to get them,’” Finley describes. “They weren’t concerned that everyone was aligned with the culture, so people were unsure where they fit in. Coming to Quicken Loans and seeing that we’re all growing in the same direction, that’s the difference between having a strong culture and not having one.”
Quicken Loans is a company of go-getters who truly want to help and encourage each other. Sure, everyone has their area of expertise, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t working together. A team effort is what Quicken Loans is all about.
“Empowerment is huge in our company,” says Fish. “If you have an idea, you can execute on it. If you want to learn about something else in the company, you can go learn about it. Whatever you have a passion for, you can run with it. That’s how a lot of our innovations started. Someone had an idea, and they were empowered enough to be able to see it through.”
You aren’t just hired for the specific work that you can provide. Quicken Loans hires the whole person. They want to know everything you’re capable of and encourage you to push the boundaries. It isn’t a world of closed cubicles and seeing your boss once every quarter. Quicken Loans is a team environment.
It’s so much more than just a great place to work. Quicken Loans truly believes that a culture that empowers team members will lead to empowered clients. “The Quicken culture is one that believes in doing the right thing, both by its team members and by its clients. Love our clients; love our team members. We are ‘out of the box’ thinkers who innovate and execute on making things radically simple for everyone,” says You. Clients love working with Quicken Loans because the team members love working with them. That’s the sort of power a company culture can have for everyone it touches.
So if you’re looking for a culture you can grow in, a culture that supports team effort and thinking outside the box, then Quicken Loans might be the perfect fit for you.
Find out more at QLCareers.com.
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