When I joined Progressive, it was love at first sight. I quickly found myself wanting to venture out and learn more about the company and our people. When I saw a poster for an internal Career Expo, I was excited to attend. At the expo, I was introduced to our Diversity and Inclusion Corporate Council. After speaking with a few members, I expressed interest to the Council Chair about getting more involved and shared my passion for Diversity and Inclusion. It wasn’t long that I became a member of the corporate council and spent two years executing on our mission and goals.
I found tremendous value in serving on the council. Not only did it help me learn more about the company and culture, it prepared me for my next career move. Whether you’ve been with a company for 30 days or 30 years, there are always ways to engrain yourself in the culture and continue your professional development. Here are some tips to exploring your company’s culture that I’ve seen prove successful again and again.
Join an Employee Resource Group
At Progressive, Employee Resource Groups are employee-led groups that foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with an organization’s mission, values, and goals. They may be titled differently, but many companies offer groups like this. Getting involved in one—or all—is a great way to grow personally and professionally. Along the way, you’re sure to learn more about your company’s values, goals, and even business problems. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to network with coworkers you might not otherwise interact with. If you find yourself being able to relate to the cause or you can define a personal connection but you don’t have the time to commit, then simply consider attending upcoming activities or initiatives.
Participate in a development program
Some employees already have development goals in mind but aren’t quite sure how to get started. Do your research and see if your company has organized development opportunities you can participate in, such as a Leadership Development Program. These programs can give you the opportunity to increase your skill sets and obtain hands on experience to advance your career. Many are designed to give you exposure to various areas of the business. You may even find yourself rubbing elbows and getting candid with various levels of the company, including executives.
Network. Network. Network.
Establishing your own personal network with your career goals in mind should be a part of your day-to-day agenda. When it comes time for your next career move, tapping into your network can be beneficial whether it’s for advice or a recommendation. In addition, being an active networker can help ensure you're one of the first people to get the inside scoop on career related opportunities.
Get started by attending ERG-sponsored events, professional development workshops, a motivational speaker series, or panel discussions.
You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to exploring your company culture. Start by exploring the opportunities that are available to you. Whether your goal is to network or find a new position, the action you take to learn more about your company can lead to personal and professional growth.