Company culture, what is it and why is it important?
When I initially started looking for my first full-time role in the business world, I was admittedly scared. I had no idea what to look for in a company, how to approach the search and what type of company culture (whatever that meant) might be interesting. As a full-time, professional athlete, I hadn’t given any of that much thought. When the time came, I faced a conundrum.
Fast forward a few months and I find myself sitting in a beautiful office, with stunning views of Amsterdam’s Westerkerk, surrounded by hard-working and committed colleagues. I’m working for PaymentGenes, a global payments & fintech consultancy and strategic resourcing firm. I decided to step back and explore why I ended up here when I had little or no payments or recruitment experience to speak of.
The first thing I could come up with was the challenge involved. As an athlete, I find myself drawn to situations that present a challenge. I like competition and I like to be better today than I was yesterday. By stepping into the unknown, I knew that there would be an abundance of struggling, but even more learning.
The second and most important factor, in my opinion, was the tangible culture that has brewed (insert Heineken joke here…) within PaymentGenes. I am still competing professionally and training full-time, which means that being available for normal office hours/days is unlikely. Training times change, team-trips come up and injuries can have an effect on how you do your work. These were concerns I presented to the partners during my interview process and I was immediately reassured that I would be afforded the space to pursue my sports career while being supported and developed by the company. We have bi-weekly business training and on top of that, we have a weekly team gym session. We are encouraged to use the gym in the building to maintain our work-life balance and also to challenge the business status-quo with fresh ideas and new ways of working.
“We collaborate and exchange ideas, we celebrate our victories and we are driven by our defeats.”
And so it began…
I was invited to my second interview with the company on a Friday evening during the warmer summer months and afterwards, I was encouraged to stay for drinks on the terrace with the whole team. I met all of my future colleagues and got a real sense of the camaraderie within the group. All of these small things have led to a pleasant and productive workspace, which naturally comes with its own ups and downs. Some months are better than others, but what I love is that we are continuously given the freedom to go about our business by being ourselves. We collaborate and exchange ideas, we celebrate our victories and we are driven by our defeats. Nobody tries to be or has to be, a different version of themselves during office hours.
How do you define company culture and which aspects of culture are important to you when starting a new job? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.
If a job in payments or fintech is something for you, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, or get in touch directly and let me find you something that fits: email@example.com / +31 640667555 / www.paymentgenes.com