Is this how you pick the right job?

I just completed the third year of my degree (double major in law and business), and up until this past May had worked at the same startup for the past two years. It was an incredible ride that gave me my first insights into entrepreneurship, and also a journey that enabled me to see first hand what you should not do if you want to be successful (unless your resources are endless). In any case, unfortunately/fortunately the startup shut its doors (for the time being) and suddenly I found myself looking for a job again.

After a week and a half of driving around more than I had driven in the past month, and wearing more collared shirts and slacks than what I’d ideally like to, I finished up the interview process. I came away from this process not only with a better feel for how to successfully get through interviews and how I would interview potential employees for my own startup, but also with a clear (and maybe obvious) understanding of how to pick the right place.

Aside from the pay check there are a few other factors that I took into account…maybe they’ll help you out as a job-seeker and maybe as an employer.

*Freedom to do

Almost every job offer on the web, or wherever published, will have a list of responsibilities that the hired employee will be responsible to oversee. That is natural and it gives a base to the position — I would add the same thing if I were hiring. However, even with this list, when you get to the interview you have to get an understand of whether you are being hired to do “maintanence” or are you being hired to go the distance?

For example, I was hired to do content and a plethora of other things. However in the interview we went on to disucuss how we could also add a bit of “customer success” to the position. Why? Because they thought outside of the box at how they could utilize the candidates upside to do what is in the interest of both their needs and the employee.

In regards to the marketing, with that too we were able to all agree that this is an open-ended position in which our only limit to what could not be done was what could not be thought of.

If you can think it — we can do it

That should be the header for every job offer.

*Will this help your portfolio?

No, I am not referring to a classic portfolio of images, links, or content. As an entrepreneur, I look forward to one day doing my own thing (sooner rather than later), however until that time I need to think both “short-term” (pay) and long-term. In my long-term thinking I asked myself “which place gives gives me a better portfolio?”. This question can be seen as an derivative of the first criteria taken into account above.

Investors invest in people, and so to sum this up, it’s all about where you think you can grow more as a person and as a professional in your niche.

*Involvement in decisions

Do you just want to be a marketer or a client success manager? There’s nothing wrong with that. I’d like to be a marketer and also a vital part of the micro/macro management.

How did you react to a disagreement in regards to a business decision at the previous place [of work]?

I did not have a concrete answer for the CTO. It got me thinking that even though I was directly involved in strategic decisions, I needed to be more “mature” in that part of work. The fact that I could not remember meant something, at least to me. Hence, it makes sense to me that when picking your next job, you might want to consider whether or not that place will enable you to get your hands dirty in some decision making.

I guess talking about transparency only makes sense now.

*Transparency

First of all, read this great post on transparency from First Round. Transparency is very vague, and I won’t even try to define it. What I considered was the layout of the office (open space offices versus cubicles versus private rooms, etc.), truth or bullshit — what is coming out of their mouth, and how do they manage or measure performance. Like the article, I did not think that knowing other people’s pay was of importance — I got what I asked for, and that seems fair, no?

*Flexibility

You have to work from the office. No remote work. This is a 9–5 job. There are no extra vacation days. We always have meetings in the morning.

I think you understand what I am getting at. Yes there are pros to having basic guidelines that are the “commandments of the work place”, however there also has to be flexibility. A flexible employer means that we, as employees also need to be flexible. That’s the only way to create a win-win relationship.

…I said to myself, by the weekend I will know where I am working. I was able to stay true to my word. As of next week I will begin taking on some major marketing responsibilities at StoreYa and I’m pumped.

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