FinTech Futures Jobs: Why you should think about culture for your next fintech job
Often bandied about, “culture” is one of those hazy and not-quite-understood terms that tech – and fintech – loves so much.
More than snazzy offices, free snacks and ping-pong tables, at its essence, a company culture is something that aligns a company’s values, beliefs and attitudes in a way that will (hopefully) shape the behaviours of everyone working there.
Culture isn’t always a positive force. At some point in your career, you’re likely to land in a company where things aren’t so hot: managers are remote and disengaged, asking for help is a no-no, you can only speak when spoken to and every interaction is a potential minefield – arcane rules of engagement you’re not privy to can trip you up time and time again.
But why does it matter? Because outside of a good remuneration package, a large part of why we want to work at the coolest companies is because of that special sauce that is the “cultural fit”. When a tech company gets its culture right, it’s like a magnet – the best people with the best skills are attracted to work there.
And while it can be hard to define in words what good company culture is, what is true is that you’ll absolutely know great culture when you experience it. Because you’re relaxed, happy and work just works.
Before you go looking for your next role, here are some things to consider to make sure you’re checking the culture boxes that work for you. And if you’re ready to start your search now, then your first port of call should be the Fintech Futures Job Board.
Check online reviews
Glassdoor is a great resource to see what other people have to say about a company you’re interested in working for. It’s worth checking out user submissions across a range of job roles as well as those that match your experience. If you can browse submissions across a couple of years too, do that, as it should give you a view on whether the company culture has changed.
It’s worth noting that taking a balanced view is wise – everyone has their own experiences of what work should and could be like. Some people will have different expectations and you can make your own final judgment based on a deep-dive.
Read all about it
The company’s website is a definite port of call. Check the ‘About’ and ‘FAQ’ pages at a minimum. What is the business saying about itself? Has the company showcased its own company culture with employee testimonials and real actionable examples?
Look also for information on diversity and inclusion initiatives, anything on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and any other progressive policies that speak to a workplace you’d like to be a part of. Additionally, what is the company’s stance on remote or hybrid working?
News at 10
Has the company been in the news recently? Layoffs, payoffs or worse? Or perhaps the news coverage is altogether more positive?
For example, if remote or hybrid working is of specific importance to you, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently made headlines after telling staff in a letter that the “vast majority” would be able to continue remote working from home – or anywhere else – for the foreseeable future. “Today’s start-ups have embraced remote work and flexibility, and I think this will become the predominant way that we all work 10 years from now. This is where the world is going,” he said.
Have a look on appropriate ratings-review websites to see what the company’s customers are saying about it. A business that’s consistently receiving poor reviews from its customers about either its products or its customer service has an issue – or several of them.
Problems could stem from several areas: lack of training, understaffing combined with overwork and poor management are just a few. But they all speak to a company where the culture isn’t prioritising customer or employee experience.
At the interview
Your research doesn’t have to stop there. Once you get an interview, you can ask some carefully crafted questions to help you ascertain whether this is a business in which you can grow and learn and where your contribution will be valued. Some questions might include:
“What does work/life balance look like here?”
“What is your management style?”
“What role did you come in at, and how have you been able to progress?”
The answers to these questions should give you a good idea of what sort of culture you’ll be dealing with.
About the author:
Kirstie works for our job board partner, Jobbio.
Based in Dublin, she has been a writer and editor across print and digital platforms for over 15 years.