Choosing the right employer can be tricky under the best of circumstances. Here’s what to look for.
Tech talent is one of the most sought after resources in the world. Top companies are competing and trying to outbid each other, laying out impressive salaries and mind-blowing perks, so that they can work with the best in the business.
For the talent in question, this poses some important questions. When you’ve got several people chomping at the bit to work with you, whom should you choose to work with? We believe that there are several qualities that distinguish great bosses from merely okay ones. If you’re torn between working with two leaders, take a look for these qualities.
Every bright graduate out there wants to learn how the best people in the business think — that’s why Steve Jobs biographies sell like hotcakes. But all the biographies and analyses in the world won’t help you to understand how a great leader really operates, unless you get the chance to work with one firsthand. When you’re looking for a new role, look for the opportunity to work with someone whose decision making impresses and inspires you. Doing hands-on work with that person will help you understand their thought process like nothing else, and help you build up your own resume as a leader.
The main reason that most people move from role to role in their career journey is that they seek to become greater versions of themselves. On some level, this can be a very simple search for a better salary, a more impressive title or more autonomy and responsibility. But most of us want something more than that: We want to learn, acquire new skills, and, finally, become truly great at what we do.
A challenging boss is a great gift. “Challenging” in this context isn’t a euphemism for “unpleasant” or “unreasonable.” A great boss will see potential in you that you haven’t seen in yourself, and will throw down challenges that help you to learn, unlock that potential and become that better, smarter version of yourself. Look for someone who not only demands the best from his or her team, but gives them the resources and education necessary to achieve it.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to this: Do the people who’ve worked with your potential boss recommend him or her?
Plenty of bosses in the tech world have “reputations” in the sense of press and name-brand recognition. That can be a good sign — if nothing else, it probably means that their work is striking and exceptional — but what you’re really looking for is the positive word-of-mouth that comes from people who’ve spent real time with your boss. The single best calling card a professional can have is a trail of peers who are glad to have done business with him or her.
Lean on your connections, ask questions and always, always, appreciate the value of a referral. As a top professional in the tech world, you have a tremendous amount to offer anyone who works with you. Your employer will be the guiding force for the next phase of your life and career; you could end up working with him or her for years. Look for someone who has a habit of making people happy and that they put in the time for.
Image Credit: CC by Flazingo.com.