Organisational Fit in Your Job Change

Organisational Fit in Your Job Change

There is only 168 hours a week, and we have around 112 waking hours to spend in however we like, and most of us apply 40 of these hours in some type of organisation and employment. We need to enjoy the experience. The type of work we do is important as is the nature and style of the organisation we join. Organisational fit is the likelihood that someone will be able to adapt to the core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that make up an organization. People who fit well with their organization, coworkers, and management have greater job satisfaction, are more likely to remain with the organization and perform better in their job performance.Thinking this through before going for a role or accepting a new job is very important. Here are some tips on how to structure your thinking

Cultural fit

Cultural fit is the glue that holds an organization together. The culture of where we work and whether our chosen employer represents a fit for your needs is key to success, on both sides of the employer employee psychological contract. That’s why it’s key to look at it when changing career and choosing a new organisation to join. The result of a poor choice in your next organisation can cost heavily in morale stock as well as your confidence. So when thinking about Culture, ask yourself first what are your own values? Work ethic, Professionalism, Honesty, Fun, Creativity, Commercial drive, team work and so on. What are the organisations values and culture? Ask. Is there alignment? Does the organisation push to go the extra mile, push harder and do whatever is necessary to get the job done? Or is quality more important than speed? Is the environment supportive or challenging you to go it alone, get up-skilled and get the job done. Maybe you like the Autonomy.

What size of business are you suited to?

Think of turnover & employee numbers. Remember small to medium sized enterprises (SME's) which are locally controlled are fast and furious - and usually chaotic. With greater employee numbers come greater controls. In a smaller SME - if you want to buy a computer - it can be done within the hour. In a global multinational, there is a process. There is documentation. Change requests. Policy. Sign offs. It takes time. After all, you can't have everyone running around buying computers in an organisation of 1500 people. An organisations problems tend to change as it grows and problems of communication and coordination emerge as do new functions and levels in management hierarchy. Jobs and peoples roles become more interrelated and breaths of responsibility diminish. If all your experience is with smaller companies, do you have the patience and skills to navigate the politics and systems of a larger company? If you come from a larger company, are you ready for the lack of organisation and processes in the milieu of a smaller business? Are you ready to be pulled in all directions to do everything that comes at you due to a lack of resources around you? Coming from a big distributed team and thousands of people in the canteen to a smaller company where you are looking at the same 20 faces can be a shock to the system.

Do you succeed in a virtual environment or with everyone in the same space?

Are you used to being near the seat of control and talking to the MD or Directors of the business? This gives you a holistic overview of everything going on. It is a skill to work as part of a team across different time zones and different geographies if you have not done so before. Will you like this way of working? Will you be working for a manager overseas? Will there be time delays in making decisions resulting in a change of pace? Do you have the patience?

More comfortable with a hierarchical organization or can you thrive with a flat structure?

In a flat structure you have more responsibilities and are close to the seat of control. You need to ideas. Alternatively, are you used to performing your role in a silo as part of big organisation with definition on the parameters of your activities and responsibilities. Sometimes its nice to be handed your work and a deadline and told to go for it. Ever been told to write an essay on any topic you wanted and wishing you had some titles to choose from?

Organisational stage of evolution

a. The age and state of an organisation has a lot to do with your choice too. How old is the organisation? Organisations have common patterns to their development, much like people. Organisational practices change through their life span which means that management and leadership problems are rooted in time. Time also creates organisational institutionalization and these become rigid and can eventually become outdated. Are you prepared to not have all your good ideas listened to?

b. Challenger brand, Disruptor or top dog? Where is the organisation now? Are you joining a WHATSAPP - first in best dressed, startup? Well for the .001% of us that do - enjoy. Most companies don't become an overnight success - are you risk averse? If joining a market leading brand, the business has evolved and organisational practices are more rooted. Responsibility is diluted, and you specialize in your role. Sometimes you specialize so much that you are really suited to where you are and are not adaptable enough to move elsewhere with ease. In Evolution, the most evolved animals are often so tied to their environments, they go extinct. Are you becoming a Panda feeding on Bamboo all the time?

I do like Pandas all the same.



Brian McFaddenBrian Mc Fadden is a Director with 20 years experience in recruitment. He recruits in IT and also for senior positions at CEO and Director level. Get in touch at

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