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3 Ways to Learn if a Deaf Organization’s Work Culture is a Fit for You

Updated: Jul 15, 2018

Choosing the right deaf organization to work for is a big part of the job search regardless if it is a deaf agency, a deaf school, deaf business, or even a deaf center. You may have gone on several interviews and have now received a couple of offers. Perhaps, the offers are similar in the type of position and the salary is comparable. So at this point, it may come down to one thing, and it’s a major one. You need to ask yourself: “Do you fit within the organization?” Obviously, the organization has already determined that you’d be a fit for them, but have you decided if that particular deaf organization is a good fit for you?

You may have started your job search with a particular deaf organization based on a referral from a friend or through professional networking such as at conferences or social media. Perhaps your friend (or an acquaintance) works there and loves it. Or, your friend used to work there and hated it. Either way, you should consider the experience your friend had there, but that should not be THE deciding factor.

What Drives You?

Ask yourself, “What position did your friend have?” “Did your friend report to the same person you will?” “Has the business structure changed since your friend last worked there? More importantly, find out what drives you to apply for a position at that particular deaf organization. It is possible that you were recruited for the job you applied for, but you have to consider what really motivates you. If you’ve been working for a while, it may be easy to decide what motivates you. Do you work well under pressure? If so, ask yourself, “does this position have many deadline-driven projects for which you’d be responsible? Find out what activities your colleagues will be part of. You also need to decide if you want to work in a fast paced work environment with lots of interaction with others. Or, are you most productive working with minimal disruptions?

Do Your Homework

Some of this information you can get from your friend that worked or still works there. You also can find out a lot about an organization through sites like Glassdoor. This site offers reviews from former and current employees which may provide you with valuable insight into the culture.

Check out the social media pages of the organization. Most companies have a LinkedIn and Facebook page. LinkedIn will let you see who else you know that works there. This may be helpful to you particularly if you’re familiar with that person. If you’re connected with them, you could even reach out to them to get some additional information about the organization.

If you know who you will be interviewing with, it is a good idea to check out their social media profiles, if you can. Go beyond LinkedIn when you’re researching your potential employer or co-workers. Are they a big part of the Deaf Community in the state they are located in? Are you both members of the same deaf groups or associations? These are things that could be helpful in knowing the type of people that already work there.

Ask Questions in the Interview

Interviews often end with employers asking you if you have any questions. This is the best time to ask them! Ask them what the organization’s culture is like. Ask what it’s like to work for that organization. Ask how long the interviewer(s) has been there and if they’ve recognized any changes within the culture during their time there. What’s working? What could be improved? Does the organization encourage training for professional development? Ask how job performance is measured. How are promotions decided?

The interview should not only be an opportunity for the organization to learn more about you and your skills, but it’s also the chance for you to learn about your potential future place of employment and determine if it is the right place for you. After all, it will be a mutual decision. More importantly, you want to have a good work environment and enjoy working there. Good luck!

For employment opportunities at deaf organizations, deaf agencies, deaf businesses, or deaf centers, please visit


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