Monday, February 18, 2008

Job wish lists

A VP from my first development job gave me some great advice during my exit interview with her. She recommends that we keep lists when we start a job and when we end them of the things that we like and the things that we don't like. In keeping this list active we have a better idea of what aspects of a job are important to us.
I've tried to keep a list and as I feel I may be on my way towards shopping again I'm adding to the list. So without further ado, here are my lists of important things to me:
Good things:
  1. An environment that promotes creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Being free to be creative and productive is reward in and of itself.
  2. An organization that empowers and supports individuals to improve themselves. Training, making opportunities available, and promoting growth are ways to make people feel comfortable in a position. If I can see opportunity for growth and the position looks like something I might want to do that's a good thing.
  3. Valuing efficiency. This is something I'm really looking for in my next opportunity. Ironically, my current company as a whole wastes very little, however they often times get caught in the "penny wise pound foolish" situation. For me it comes down to an organization valuing my time, I prefer to spend my time adding value.
  4. A socially stimulating environment. Simply put I want to work with good people who are enjoyable to be around. On only one occasion have I worked with someone for whom the thought of him still makes me angry. I never want to repeat that experience.
  5. Competent and effective management. This should be higher on the list and it's a bit of a catch all. I'm not even sure what it entails entirely. There are a lot of things that a manager can do wrong, but a good manager is one that is trusted and respected. Everything else is secondary to those principles.
Things that I don't want:
  1. An unhealthy atmosphere--facilities, social, or otherwise. Life is too short to put up with the problems that any of those things can cause.
  2. Marginalization--there's nothing worse than having problems, being unable to fix them, and having an organization that is unwilling to correct them.
  3. Innovative inertia. Having an organization that is unwilling to try new things or encourage the current practices to be challenged.
  4. Not having a choice of hardware and software configuration--this is one of the worst places where a company tries to save money. Saving a few bucks on an extra monitor, or an ergonomic keyboard is a wasted opportunity. Some developers will bring their own hardware in. If they believe it's that important to them, think how grateful they would be if a company catered to their preferences.
That's a pretty good list. I'm open to more suggestions.

No comments: