Monday, October 27, 2008

Don't work for jerks...

I tend to follow a few leaders outside the industry when I can. It keeps teaching me how to best bridge the technical community with the non-technical. One of those people is Seth Godin, a leading voice in the branding, marketing and communication field.

He recently put out a post about considering your choice of employment and how it affects you and your career. Here's an excerpt:
Work in a high stress place and you're likely to become a highly stressed person, and your interactions will display that. Work for a narcissist and you'll develop into someone who's good at shining a light on someone else, not into someone who can lead. Work for someone who plays the fads and you'll discover that instead of building a steadily improving brand, you're jumping from one thing to another, enduring layoffs in-between gold rushes. Work for a bully and be prepared to be bullied.

- Seth Godin
I got to thinking about this and reflected on my past jobs. I have to admit that whenever I work for a company where there is doom and gloom, I tend to get depressed. After surviving quite a few layoffs and bankrupt companies in the .com bust, I'm always keeping on top of the rumor-ville and pessimistic side of business so that I stay prepared. My experiences working with usability focused people after having a science degree make me very analytical, but yet creative. My time in the agile community has put extra power behind my feelings of integrity, respect, and the importance of team and transparency.

It is amazing to see how experiences wipe off on you and mold your personality.

If you are in the situation where you are considering future employment, you should be measuring the potential employer by this type of criteria. I dug up these notes from the Agile 2008 conference and think they are a good starting point for interviewing (full-time or contract) if you are looking for an agile-like environment:

  1. Integrity is No. 1 and I look for this in the people I enter into business with. (Want to enjoy my work!)
  2. I will not sacrifice/trade away building long-term relationships for short-term profits. (Want to build repeatable business!)
  3. I will not sacrifice/trade away enjoyment in my work over generating dramatic profit growth. (Want to not burn out!)
  4. I want to be intellectually and socially responsible to my customers, family, and community (Want to grow and learn!)
  5. I look to enter into engagements with strong sponsorship and clear authority for me to execute. (Want to be able to do what I promise!)
  6. I recognize individuals are the ultimate source of value and need environment where they can make a difference (I value people over process/tools)
  7. I look to attract and mentor talent and partnerships that shares my objectives and values. (Want to work with good people!)
  8. I look to engage customers through frequent interactions and process transparency – prefer customer collaborations vs. contract negotiations. (Want to earn and keep trust!)
  9. I look to deliver simple eloquent working solutions over complex and unsustainable solutions (I want to deliver results!)
  10. I look to enter engagements that leverage all my talents and grow my business reputation – innovate, solve the unsolved (SWAT), and deliver full-solutions where others won’t. (Want to build my niche!)
- Lynne Ralston

No comments:

Post a Comment