A strong cultural fit drives motivation. This is essential to do a good job, even more than a required skill or previous related experience.
Some companies have a very hands-off approach when it comes to acknowledging and developing their corporate culture. Others, seem to be very keen on hitting a home run and “provide” many things, such as office parties, outdoor fitness activities, family events or thursday’s beer crawling.
Some people love those things, some people hate them. The worst thing that can happen is for you to be someone who hates them, stuck in a company that essentially requires them to get ahead.
I read a great article the other day on a step-by-step approach to getting to know a company’s culture, before stepping into it, by Alan Henry on Lifehacker. It is quite extensive, and carries many advices, but I would still add a very important point. Is that we, as individuals, have the power to create a culture. So it is also about doing what you believe in, rather than only trying to fit in. People might follow, if your convictions are strong and the environment is right. Great corporate cultures all started from one person’s dream.