Which is another reason why I’ve (almost) always picked up work based on factors that are outside of what define a company, necessarily.
— Does a company’s size, profitability, location, brand name or anything else along those lines matter at all? Not really (not for me, at least).
There’s no single right answer but if you are like me, here’s what I recommend you look for (before & after you pick up work):
- Did you enjoy the interview(s)?
That’s as good a time as any (and one might say, the best time) to assess what you are potentially signing up for, if you are up for it and if it’s worth it.
While it’s natural to be anxious, and more concerned about making an impression, remind yourself that you are very good at what you do, and any organization would be blessed to have you. So, you have choices. Even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
2. Do you feel a 100% at ease when it comes to your reporting manager?
While many things make or break a job, I’ve seen that there’s little else more important than your professional relationship with the person you are reporting to.
If you like them, and they like you, and you trust & respect each other, you are going to stay in that job a long time. Sometimes a little longer than you wish to. Trust me!
3. Flexibility ⏰.
Whether it relates to work schedule, time off, or just about anything else, flexibility (with reason) is key. While meeting deadlines is obviously imperative, the guarantee (& quality) of deliverables isn’t directly proportional to a rigid workplace.
On the contrary, the more the flexibility, the harder folks tend to work. It’s just the way it goes. Make sure your boss, and your team, both understand & support your flexibility needs & wants.
4. Work quality.
Do you ever have to think hard and long for a reason to get out of bed in the morning ☀️? Or, can you not wait to get started?
There’s other ways to assess work quality but this isn’t a bad way at all. If you enjoy your work, you’ll not have to look elsewhere for motivation. Does your team provide the opportunities for you to constantly test your intellect?
5. Are you the smartest 🧠 one in the team?
Luckily for me, this hasn’t been a problem. I have never, ever been the smartest one (not by a distance), and if I ever suspect that I might even come close to becoming one of the smarter ones, I will happily flee the place.
We live in a world of brilliant minds, and the only way to become a tiny bit smarter is by rubbing shoulders constantly with smarter people. And since there’s no dearth of such people, we are good.
6. Are you happy 😊 doing what you are doing?
As important as it is to pay bills, not doing what you enjoy doing to keep a job is the scariest of all slippery slopes. Do all you can is not get into that “responsibility” or comfort zone. And one way to do it by being real good at what you do, so you know you aren’t at anyone’s mercy.
Sure there’s a lot of super smart people out there, but who says you aren’t just as smart? It’s likely that it’s none else other than yourself.
7. Do you own what you do? If not, you need to do a bit more.
Last but not least, spend time every day of the week, and every week of your life building something you own, and will have sizable ownership to.
While you ought to enjoy your regular work, you also have to find ways to create your own empire. There’s nothing more satisfying than figuring out things by yourself, and not being limited by the scope of work assigned to you at your workplace 🏬.
If they don’t give you an opportunity to build a rocket, that’s fine. Build your own little rocket. Work relentlessly and it will take off, one day. And it will all be worth it. And it will be your own rocket 🚀. What can possibly beat it?
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