Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Getting the right job

This blog post is about how to decide between job offers and choose the job you will still like two years from now.

I have a friend that was recently sacked. The guy worked in sales and in his new job he didn't live up to the expectations of the top management. Some of the reason was the recession but I believe much of it was a direct result of just choosing the best paid job without considering the things that really matter.

Most people have a very simple approach to deciding on a new job. If new job salary is significantly higher than the current salary then switch job. Others just go by gut instinct.

I myself will do a thorough analysis before starting a new job to make sure I am still at the same place in a few years. Changing job is not a task you should take lightly. Remember you are going to spend all your week there for 8 hours a day for perhaps 3 years. The process of going to job interviews is also usually quite daunting so make sure you decide with care before applying. Do not apply at a job just because the place sounded cool or the salary was good.

Think of all the noise and problems that can come from choosing the wrong job. So here's a To-Do list based on what I have done before.
  1. Write a list of all the things you look for in an employer.
  2. Prioritize what things are the most important for you. Remember to take into consideration both your short term and long term goals.
  3. Investigate, find and learn about possible employers.
  4. Try to get job offers from companies that seem to fit your list.
  5. Create a table and give scores to each company based on information from job interviews, information you get from others and what you can find on the web.
WeightCompany ACompany B
Aligned with future tech trends (avoid working with tech that will make you irrelevant for future employers)
Interesting co-workers with good personality
Salary, bonus
High spirit, positive environment, happy staff
Cool technology
Mixed workforce with diverse skills
Travel distance from home
Paid overtime
Possibility for travel
Not too much travel
Cantina with good food
Stable company economy
Good business model/vision/strategy
Competent and skilled co-workers
Long term career potentials
Short term ladder advancements possibilities
Managers are good role models
Ethical customer portfolio
Interesting projects and customers
Green environment
Nice premises/facilities
Other social benefits
Workout/health club
Possibilities to go on conferences and seminars

Possibilities to take expensive courses
Somewhere to relax in the office building
Not too much overtime
Flexibility (Don't have to be at work from 9 to 5)
Company style. Professional/informal

Fill in the table, replace the items with things that makes sense to you. Give points for each company and multiply with the weight column. At the bottom of the spreadsheet you'll see what company to choose.

And of course if you do not get any offers or know you are not going to get any offers. Go make yourself more valuable by learning new stuff, getting more relevant experience or getting a degree.