One of the least understood and most important audiences we engage is the creative, new talent entering the workforce each year. In this blog post, Jessica DeLuca helps us understand their perspective as our future colleagues and also consumers, through the lens of workplace culture.
Every year, thousands of college graduates leave the classroom and begin their search for the best match for them in a workplace. With tons of things to consider in choosing the right fit and workplace culture, young professionals’ search can become somewhat overwhelming. While salary is an obvious deciding factor when sifting through our choices and opportunities, prospective employees have a lot more to consider in the pursuit of finding the right fit. Students like myself consider and find comfort in the kind of experience we had in school when deciding where to try to get a job. This process is the intersection of balancing a professional life with a personal one, and it’s why workplace culture is often just as relevant in the decision process as the actual salary itself. Searching for a job out of college is a daunting task with a lot of moving parts, but, in my peers and my own personal experience, we value a few things in particular.
While everyone has preferences in what they look for most, a respectful workplace culture makes any company more attractive to prospective employees. Respect as a clear value can work to build camaraderie across a company and foster a comfortable environment for open communication and sharing opinions. Whether it’s in the classroom or in the workplace, sometimes it’s hard to be a young, less-experienced voice. Something as simple as feeling comfortable enough to speak up in a meeting, or being asked your opinion by older, more-experienced employees in a larger group can go a long way.
A diverse workplace creates an opportunity for employees to grow, learn, and develop professionally and personally. Having different perspectives come together to work for a common goal can encourage valuable insight from many different demographics. A workplace with the commitment to racial, gender, and age diversity benefits the experience of everyone involved. Younger employees can seek guidance and mentorship from older, more experienced employees, and more experienced employees can benefit from the viewpoint of a fresh perspective.
It’s no surprise that a pleasant, fun, comfortable workplace culture would be at the top of the list for many people searching for a job. Enjoying your time at work seems ideal, but is often overlooked as a priority. With the right company-wide values and focus, a productive workplace that also has a comfortable, positive environment is completely attainable. Companies with a special commitment to a fun and positive culture often do so by implementing team-building traditions, whether it be company-wide retreats, monthly birthday celebrations, or something as simple as a large break room encouraging group lunches. Friendly relationships across employees are definitely valued and promising for prospective employees.
In all important aspects of my life thus far, I’ve relied heavily on the mentorship from people around me. Whether it was an enthusiastic professor, a tough but well-meaning coach, or my parents’ guidance and advice, a little experience combined with the willingness to teach from the role models around me has only elevated the depth of my own experiences. My ideal work environment is one where voices are heard and respected, and personal and professional growth is possible and encouraged.
Jessica DeLuca is a rising junior and player on the varsity soccer team at Babson College. When she’s not managing her dog’s Instagram account, you can catch her spending time with friends or running at the beach.