Are you wondering if you are in the wrong corporate culture? For the clients I work with, there are some significant “tell tale” signs – and they aren’t pretty. Being in the wrong corporate culture for an extended period of time can cost us our health, sanity and in some cases our very soul. Here are four questions you can use to diagnose if you are indeed in the wrong corporate culture:

1. How are you sleeping? So, how is your sleep these days? Is your sleep not what it used to be? Look closely, this could be a sign that you are in the wrong culture. Whether it’s the inability to sleep soundly or troubled dreams, sleep is a great clue to something bigger at play. Here is an example of a dream a client of mine recently had:

“I am in the 50th story of a massive office building and I am at work with my colleagues. My boss’s boss calls me over, ‘we need to chat about your next role.’ As I walk over to him I feel the entire building slowly start to lean to my right and I get a horrible feeling in my stomach, but my boss’s boss does not look worried. I suddenly feel the building snap in half, the upper half falling quickly to the right toward another large building. I scramble as our building crashes at an angle against another building and catches on fire. Somehow, I jump down to the ground level and run as fast as I can from large, flaming chunks of building that seem to chase me and explode when they hit the pavement. I manage to get to safety with some colleagues, but then they say, ‘we need to have our 12:30 meeting back upstairs or we won’t have access to the intranet.’ The last thing I remember is looking at the broken, burning building, knowing it would be crazy to go back in.”

What is your sleep telling you?

2. How is your physical health? Has your health taken a turn for the worse recently? Are you suffering from chronic or mysterious symptoms? These could be a result of your work environment and not just your poor exercise regimen. A friend of mine had been suffering from debilitating stomach cramps for months. She went to every doctor imaginable with no diagnosis as to the cause. She changed her diet, tried various herbal remedies and had countless tests run – still nothing. She had given up. About the same time her health issues began, a new president of her division had taken over, resulting in a drastic change of the culture in the office. What had once been a peaceful, laissez-faire atmosphere was now a place of micromanagement and hostility. When she finally got up the nerve to confront her boss and to discuss the issues with Human Resources, her health issues mysteriously went away.

What is your body telling you?

3. How would others describe your recent mood? Are the people close to you commenting that you just aren’t acting like yourself these days? Are you snapping at the ones you care about on a more regular basis? Are your personal relationships on the rocks? Any of these could be a product of a bad corporate culture fit. Heather had that problem. She noticed that every one of her relationships always ended the same way: whoever she was dating would say that she just seemed moody and on edge to the point that they felt like they were walking on eggshells around her. Heather realized that the company she worked for was such a poor culture fit for who she was that it was costing her more than just discomfort at work. Heather left and found a company culture that fit her like a glove and a long-term relationship. She couldn’t be happier.

What are the people close to you telling you about you?

4. Are you losing who you are? Are you becoming a different person? If we are in the wrong corporate culture for too long, this is the heaviest cost we can pay – our very soul. Have you noticed that you are two different people – one person at work and one person at home? How much longer can you keep that up? And what is that soul-splitting costing you? If we go back to an earlier post on purpose, I would challenge you to ask yourself three questions:

o Do you like your customers?
o Do you like your co-workers?
o Are you proud of what the company stands for?

If you answered “no” to any of the above, you may be in the wrong corporate culture. The longer you stay and play the part, the further you could go from who you are.

What is your soul telling you?

Listen closely to your mind, body, heart and soul. They could be giving you an important message. And in my experience, they don’t stop complaining until one of two things happens: either you listen and leave or you are forcibly removed. I like the first option the best, don’t you? Start listening and get moving.