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What and why you should research about a company when preparing to join.

You should not wait until you are in the workstation to find out what you may have subscribed to.

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You should not wait until you are in the workstation to find out what you may have subscribed to.

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Up until today, everything was running smoothly for you. Your CV writing skills came in handy and the product was appealing, you aced in the interview, and have signed your offer letter. You are waiting for the main day and while at it, you have been polishing your skills.

But as the clock ticks and the starting date near, you realize that you are experiencing the extremities of contrasting emotions; excitement and anxiety. Like many others who might be in your position, you are delighted and grateful for the opportunity but also nervous because you don’t know what waits behind the corporate label. You have a vague idea of what you have signed up for, which causes more uneasiness.

A chain of questions linger at the back of your mind bombarding against each other in short intervals and causing a spin in your head. But you are careful not to voice them out loud: how can I overcome the crippling anxiety? How can I be my best on my first day and week? How can I make an impression? And most importantly, how can I fit in the quickest way possible?

To offer consolation, these questions are valid and necessary. They are the foundation of this article and will be covered in this compilation.

In simple terms, you should not wait until you are in the workstation to find out what you may have subscribed to. Instead, gather as much as you can about the company by reading the available content or sending queries. This may be a laborious undertaking but it brings along an array of benefits. Keep on reading to know what to focus on in your search. The ultimate goal is to help you to disburse your attention and resources in the worthy channels, avoid information overload and the confusion that comes with it, and prepare adequately for the transition. 

Why you should research about a company

The reasons for seeking the information have been drawn upon the ancient adage that information is power. This is incontestable because valuable information makes the recipient resourceful and indicative of appropriate choices and behaviour. As you will soon discover, the reasons are interconnected and almost indistinguishable.

First, knowing what to expect in a particular situation triggers survival tactics. You may not be in a position to physically craft a response for a particular situation, but there is power in knowing what has happened or can happen. Truthfully, we are bound to respond differently in different environments but the information can help you to easily cope with the changes.

Second, knowing paves the way for an easy transition in the workplace. Whether you are changing organizations or starting your journey in the corporate world, the first week(s) are crucial to both the recruiter and to you. For you, it will be a time to showcase your potential and for the recruiter, their conclusions for your suitability in the company will be tested. This is because professional excellence is governed by personal principles and ethics and professional skills. While a candidate may be the perfect fit for a role, a huge rift between personal and organizational values and principles may affect performance.

What you should research about a company

The following section is the heart of the article. You will find recommendations of some of the aspects that you can study about a company to ease the tension. The best thing about the compilation is that the tips provided are applicable in all corporate settings and career levels.

1. Size and geographic location

The size and geographical location have a profound influence on the management style. In companies that have a wide customer base, you may have many colleagues unlike in start-ups. Other times, you may have to interact with a number of managers before you can influence the top executive team. Additionally, organizations with footprints in different regions, either locally or internationally may encourage a different decision-making process from those which are located under the same roof.

2. Choice of candidates

Who are the ideal candidates for the company right now and in future?

Some recruiters are quite specific in the type of individuals they want in the team so it helps to know where your employer is inclined. If possible, seek information about individuals in the team. Gathering such information will help you to know what is expected of you and have an idea of how the engagements will be. Examined closely, it hints about the direction of the organization and possible routes of future-proofing your career while increasing the value.

3. Reputation

What does the public associate the company with?

The reputation of the company you work in is as crucial as personal. It has both immediate and delayed impact on how the public will view and respond to you. This is because humans are naturally wired to assign labels depending on what they see, experience, or hear. You may feel like an individual whose impact in a large corporation is almost negligible but in many cases, the personal-professional boundary is blurred and the public associates you with the dealings of the company. This can either be beneficial or disastrous regardless of the size of the organization.

4. Target clients

The popular phrase that a client is king cannot be contested. This is because target clients determine the approach of the organization to the market. For instance, an organization whose main clients are millennials may want to be tech savvy and hire individuals who can easily relate with the audience. On the other hand, a company that targets the wealthy will choose individuals who know can effortlessly bring the audience to action.

Whether you will be interacting with the audience directly or indirectly, understanding the demographics of the target audience and their general behaviours will help you to plan accordingly.

5. Unique value proposition

Chances are that there is an assortment of organizations offering similar products and/or services. However, since they all rely upon and thrive based on their unique value propositions, care to know how the company approaches the market.

  • What is the cause and reason of its existence?

  • How does it solve market needs?

  • Who are the main competitors?

  • How does it compare with its competitors?

  • How does it compete?

These aspects, while they may appear trivial, will help you to identify key areas and the skills to hone. The information may be available on the organization’s page, bronchures, from the employees, or responses to public questions.

6. Their main activities

Assuming that you now know how the collective needs that the organization is fulfilling, it is time for you to know how it works. For instance:

  • Does the company deliver the products and/or services directly its consumers or through intermediaries?

  • Does the company manufacture or distribute or both?

  • Does the company provide the means of excelling in a particular activity or act as the medium of excellence?

Depending on the role allocated, the information will give an idea of how your work day will look like.

7. Impact of the products and/or services

Having a unique value proposition and a product and/or service is not enough; the target audience should see and feel the value of the company in their lives.

What does the target audience say about the company? Are they getting value for their money?

More often than not, humans consciously and unconsciously associate their worth with their careers. If you are part of this statistic, you may have the need to invest your knowledge and skills in areas that are beneficial. You can find the information as testimonials or in discussion boards. 

8. Community engagement activities

Community engagement may be explored in two ways; how the organization interacts with consumers and the community in large. In the former, seeking information on how the company handles complaints would give you a rough estimate of its thought process.

Is the company courteous or disrespectful? Quick or slow to respond? Accommodating or discriminative?

In the latter, exteriorly, it may seem that the corporate world is all work and no play, which is not entirely true. Many organizations have a heart for community engagement and they openly exercise the muscle. You may search for information about the scholarships, sponsorships, offers, donations, and promotional activities.

9. Working policies

Needless to say, work policies vary among companies. A company that allows remote working will differ greatly from another in the same industry that exclusively relies on the in-person approach. Similarly, an organization that hires freelancers regularly will have different policies from another that hires on a permanent basis.

You may also go the extra mile to investigate how the work policies are implemented over time and the factors that influence.

10. Working experiences of other people

Experiences in a workplace vary. This implies that you should care to know how the organization handles the staff is crucial but also keep an open mind. In your hunt, you may discover valuable information such as past employee engagement activities, overall culture, complaints, workload, working hours, nature of communication, and compensation.

11. Features and publications

Both local and international media companies are alert to air corporate engagements that are making an impact in the community. This may help you to fully understand how different demographics view the company and its work. Depending on the mission of the platform, you may find information about the founders, managers, testimonials, challenges, inventions, growth prospects and rates, position in the market, engagements, and achievements.


The internet is quite resourceful when it comes to seeking information about a company. Here, you may find ready content on the organization’s website or other platforms. If the information desired is not available, you may pose a question to alumni or current employees. 

In summary, it is quite inarguable that excellence in a particular environment and role demands a certain set of skills and behavior. Therefore, it seems both right and crucial for you to seek information about the organization it greatly influences choices and behaviour; the building blocks of an individual.


About the author.

Catherine Wanjiru is a writer, author of Layers of a Human and a personal development enthusiast.

Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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