How to pick your next employer? Square’s Gokul Rajaram shares his journey through four different IPOs in his career

Gokul Rajaram, Product Engineering Lead at Square, sat down with Shruti Gandhi, of Array Ventures and Laura Mandaro of USA Today to talk about his professional journey.

Gokul has been part of 4 IPOs Square (2015), Facebook (2012), Google (2004), Juno (1999) and shares his thoughts on picking the right company, identifying and setting company culture, framework on getting things done, and state of technology.

How to pick a company to work for?

When Gokul graduated from college, he had three career options. Join as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs, become a Management Consultant at BCG, or be a Software Engineer at Juno.

He chose to become a Software Engineer for one simple reason — it was his passion. This will be a recurring theme throughout Gokul’s professional life as he takes positions at Google, Facebook, co-founding ChaiLabs, and eventually leading the product engineering team at Square.

Through all Gokul’s different experiences, he realized the formula of how to pick a company to work for:

Find a company that is mission-driven or founder-driven
Make sure your own passions are aligned with the mission of the company

Gokul’s career has demonstrated that passion is the key driver for success. Followed by the same passion, Gokul leads the Caviar team to finding out how they can deliver food in 10 minutes rather than 45 minutes. They are quickly becoming a market leader in the space.

Gokul is also a firm believer in companies that maintain their culture regardless of size. According to his experience, company culture can define the success of a company

How do you identify / set company culture?

· Identify firms that make the teams small and mission driven
· Employer that retain employee individuality
· Allow workers to work autonomously
· Never forget the ‘Kombucha Rule’ — drop trivial tasks that are easy to agree on! See how far the company is with their decision making from the Kombucha Rule

For the full podcast, listen here where Gokul covers other variety of thoughts on how to survive in a tough market, raising capital in a tough market, and his famous blue shoes story!

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