Every organisation has a unique culture and a myriad of factors contribute to influencing what this looks and feels like.

There are a number of common factors that always influence culture, and you should consider each of them when determining what will be the best one to enhance your career and provide the environment for you to be successful.

Structure – the ownership of a company will often influence the mindsets and values of the people within the organisation.

  • Government
  • Private
  • Not For Profit
  • Publicly Listed Company

Performance – most organisations experience different business cycles at different times. Opportunities are often greatest with organisations that are in a period of growth and development. Assess whether an organisation is in a period of:

  • Growth
  • Plateau
  • Decline

Size – values and behaviours that drive culture can be influenced by the size of an organisation. Consider what size of organisation you are best suited to:

  • <30 staff
  • <100 staff
  • <500 staff
  • >1000 staff

Industry – participating in an industry that you are excited and passionate about can be very rewarding and fulfilling.

Vision – an organisations vision should provide guidance on the strategy, values and purpose of the company. To be effective, a vision must be “authentic” and accurately reflect the behaviours of the organisation and its people.

The actual personality of the Executive or lead team member that you will be supporting will greatly affect your output, satisfaction and enjoyment of your role.

Who is the right person to work for?
The relationship that exists between an Executive and Assistant is key. Choosing to work for a specific person or team within a business will certainly influence both your success and overall satisfaction gained from your life at work.

When assessing whether there will be a good cultural match with respect to this partnership, it is key to think through a few things.

What is their work style?
Is your future boss going to be a micro-manager, an absolute scatter brain or a trusting and methodical operator? The way in which they conduct themselves in the workplace on a day to day basis coupled with their expectations of you will create their style . You need to think about which type, best enables you to perform.

How senior are they?
Naturally the more senior an individual or team, the more time poor they will be. In addition to this they will likely operate in a more stressful, pressurised setting. Are you comfortable operating with minimal direction and/or full autonomy? Do you enjoy the pace that comes with an environment littered with multiple deadlines or prefer a more creative and relaxed vibe? Do you require a manager that has time to spend with you on a day to day basis?

What is the history of the seat?
If your future Executive or team has churned through 10 Assistant's in the past year, this will likely affect the attitude that they have towards you. Does your potential future boss have a track record of partnering effectively with Assistants? Does he or she value the importance of what you will complete on a day to day basis? The history here will influence the attitudes present, in turn creating a culture. This could enable or challenge your effectiveness on a daily basis.

The need for validation.
Being an Assistant can often be a thankless job, however it does not need to be. Do you need a 'Good morning' / 'Enjoy your evening', 'please', 'thank you' and 'Would you like a cup of tea?' - every day to ensure your happiness on the job? Or are you someone that prefers just to get on with it, all niceties aside.