Hacker Career Advice

You Can’t Negotiate Culture

You can fix broken code. You can fix a broken copy machine. You can even fix a broken process. But you just can’t fix a company’s culture by yourself.

Why? Because no one person controls it. Everybody you work with—the CEO, Directors, employees, interns, HR, managers, and your colleagues—is inherently part of it. Culture isn’t about parties, it’s the personality of the organization: what they value and how they operate.

As an employee, you can provide feedback & advocate for tactical improvements in the hiring process or a zero tolerance harassment policy, but these are mostly reactionary measures.

What does this mean for your job hunt? You have to learn everything you can about a company before you apply, during your interviews, and before accepting an offer.

Talk to current and past employees and construct a picture of the working environment. Ask employees open-ended questions about how they would describe the culture and how they think it could be improved.

It takes time, but finding a team and company culture that will support you is worth way more than a few extra bucks.