Posted on February 27, 2018
In Part I of this blog post, we talked about the booming tech industry in New York and what IT/tech candidates should look for when deciding if a company is going to be a good match for your skill set, interests, and career path. In this post, we’ll turn things around to examine the telltale signs that a company is not a good match. Here are 5 things to look for:
Technology is fast growing and ever changing. To keep your skills relevant for future opportunities, it’s important to keep up with the latest advancements in IT/tech. If IT is more of an afterthought because it’s a necessity for the business, but not seen as important to its growth, how can the role advance your career? Are there opportunities to attend tech conferences, workshops, or mentorship programs? Is the hiring manager asking questions about your long-term career goals? If a company is using outdated technology, or not showing any interest in IT growth and expansion, they’re limiting your ability to expand upon your skills and grow within a constantly changing industry.
If there’s a high turnover rate for the position you’re considering, there’s a reason. Low compensation one cited reason for employees to leave an organization, but other factors are less obvious at first glance. Perhaps the position isn’t challenging enough, causing people to leave for more engaging opportunities, or perhaps the responsibilities and expectations are too challenging, leaving employees burnt out. Either way, if you’re noticing a majority of new hires with only recent experience, then you’re missing out on working with more advanced professionals in a structured environment.
On the other hand, no turnover is also a problem. A lack of fresh faces could mean a workplace has grown stale, lacks innovation, and is more resistant to change, or a work environment with “too many chiefs,” resulting in less opportunities for your voice to be heard.
Taking your career seriously and working hard is important to your growth, but a good employer also recognizes that you’re a person, too. Just as it’s a sign of good faith to work overtime when deadlines are coming up and projects are underway, employers should also be considerate of your time and personal health. Being on the same page with your employer about expectations is key to giving your best work and getting the most out of your work experience.
In the same vein, your psychological thought process and work style should align with the company you’re with. Do you approach tasks with intentional attention - “seeing all lanes of the highway” and being fully prepared to capture external aspects outside of your work to find and contribute added value? Or do you work with a narrowed focus, looking inward and focusing deeply within the task at hand? While each method carries its own value, it’s important to know where the company culture is leaning in their expectations to give yourself an idea of whether or not you’ll be the best fit.
Too often candidates make the mistake of only looking at dollar signs. While you should have a minimum salary requirement consistent with your experience, if your goal is to have a meaningful career and grow within your field, then don’t make the mistake of letting a higher salary lure you away from better career opportunities. If you’re accepting the role with the highest pay, but overlooking factors like education, mentorship, and an environment that motivates you - then all your left with is a paycheck and nothing to show for it.
You’ve checked all the boxes, but something just doesn’t feel right. Maybe a company looks great on the surface, but for whatever reason, doesn’t inspire you. Maybe your job search has gone on too long and you’re simply tired of looking, so you’re ready to take the next offer that comes your way. Whatever the reason, don’t settle if you’re not excited to jump into the role. A lack of interest means less productivity, less passion for your work, and ultimately - boredom. Being bored inevitably means not putting 100% into your role, becoming a disadvantage to the employer, and to your career.
The takeaway: know your deal makers and your deal breakers. With a clear understanding of what is or is not a good match, you’re in the best position to find a company where you can make a real contribution and find career growth and development. For help with finding your best match, contact us today to get started with a technical screening and further discussion about your career ambitions.