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It is important that we establish a fact right now in the beginning of this article itself: this is not about dealing with the work environment. We are not talking about a positive culture at work to help promote productivity and job satisfaction. Here we are talking about an individual’s culture, where they come from, and how it could impact their professional life.

Few of us stop and think about the impact our culture has on our professional life. Many may even wonder if it has an effect at all. The answer is yes, it does, and overcoming some of those cultural issues can be vital to your success in your chosen profession. Understand that you don’t have to let go of who you are or ignore the values and beliefs that you were raised with. What you need is to find a way to separate some beliefs when you are at work. This is especially true if they result in professional conflict. Conflicts at work can be very disruptive and can lead to loss of productivity and morale.

Irrespective of our backgrounds and the kind of childhoods we have had, all of us ‘belong’ to a culture or a system of beliefs. Our culture guides our personal beliefs and values and affects our behavior and interaction with others as well. It may also influence the way we experience different life transitions. It is important to state here that culture does not only mean the race or ethnicity of a person, it also includes memberships we have in certain groups, such as religious, spiritual, athletics, academics, and even social circles. These memberships influence our thinking and behavior patterns as well.

Say, for example, you are coming from a culture where you were taught that you were better than others just because of the place you were born in, the color of your skin, or your family name, you will have problems with yourjob search unless you are prepared to let go of these beliefs at works.

It is not uncommon for people to have two different identities; one at work and the other outside their work circle. All of us have known such people at some point in our lives. However, what is important here is that people realize they cannot hold on to personal beliefs in a place where others are deeply involved as well. This works well for both, the people you interact with professionally and for you as an individual. For professionals in some position of leadership, making the distinction between life in office and outside is especially important because personal interaction and behavior can affect team morale and motivation.

If you are unwilling to compromise, you may need to consider the industry you are looking for a job in. It is not the responsibility of an employer to make your team or the company fit your beliefs and your values. It is your responsibility to decide whether or not you are a good fit for the company you are interviewing with.

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