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Feeling Like a Square Peg in a Round Hole? Find the Right Culture


Publish Date: April 24, 2019

You accepted the perfect job and everything seemed right—position, location, pay, hours and employer. After enthusiastically accepting the position and starting to work, it only takes a short time for you to realize that things just “do not feel right.”

Most likely you have accepted a  job in an organization whose culture does not match your values and preferred working environment.

Identifying the work culture before you accept a position can be challenging, yet it’s necessary for you to effectively succeed in your new position.

Perioperative nursing openings are abundant and job seekers have many choices for employment. Let your experience and  intuition, along with research and meetings with Human Resources help you judge the organization’s work culture and professional environment. You can even ask for a tour of the OR where you can take the opportunity to evaluate the attitude of your potential colleagues.

Ask yourself, “will this work environment encourage, challenge and reward me? Will I be comfortable and able to work to my greatest potential in this organization?”

To determine the type of culture that will best fit your values and work style, consider these questions:

  • What are your values and do they align with the organization?
  • What work setting is most comfortable for you?
  • How do you like interacting with your co-workers?
  • What observations do you make when visiting the organization and interacting with different staff members?
  • What type of pace are you looking for in a position?
  • Does the organization have opportunities for advancement, if that is important to you?
  • Are you most comfortable in a setting with a small group of co-workers or do you prefer a larger employer (e.g., small ASC versus large university medical setting)?
  • Do you know anyone who currently works for the organization, through chapter meetings, events, your social connections, or previous employers?

This prep work can help you determine if the potential employer offers a culture that will elevate your professional career or stagnate you and make you feel like a square peg in a round hole.

It seems elusive sometimes to pinpoint an organization’s culture. Think of it as any other professional preference that will contribute to your job satisfaction and long-term career goals. You are valuable and a sought-after potential employee with expertise, education and experience that can open many employment doors for you. Find the right culture so you can shine.

Access career resources and search over 1200 open perioperative positions on the AORN Career Center.