3 min read

Rules for a new job

Rules for a new job
Photo by Ross Findon / Unsplash

This will be a short one. Often I end up discussing my approach when I'm looking for a new job. So I decided to share it and maybe improve on it.

Long ago, honestly can't even remember how I came to this, I established a certain set of rules when it comes to job hunting. I split this into 2 categories:

  • Research
  • Rule of 3

First comes research. Before even going forward with a first interview you should do some basic detective work. It will help you in the interview and naturally to do a preflight check if this is a place where you see yourself. I don't like wasting the time of others, if I find any red flags I stop it on time.

These days, this is getting a bit harder. With recruitment agencies, it is hard to get more information. So you need to ask the relevant questions through a middleman. Still worth asking. At least get some basics before going forward with the first interview. Project, stack, team, etc. You can define the list that works for you.

After I am done with research and the process starts, I keep track of certain metrics. Through each round of interviews. The same as the company does about you. I categorize the feedback into 3 rules. Or categories. I thought of a "catchy" name above while writing this. Rule of 3. Simply, it is the just following list of rules:

  • People
  • Knowledge
  • Package

Simple. So let me explain each rule.

People: Here I am looking for information about how're the people and company culture. Are they fitting what I'm looking for? Or what I consider a functional way of working. This can be part of the research. Also in the interview. There I pay attention to the questions being asked. And how they deal with being challenged on topic. Body language.

I like an environment where people can be relaxed. Have fun. Where you can learn from each other. And you can get that and much more from people that interview you. It requires practice and paying attention to a number of things. And asking the right questions.

Knowledge: How am I gonna improve as an engineer on this job? As a person? These are really important topics for me. I spend a lot of time learning new things. I do expect to be able to contribute with my knowledge. Or learn new things while working on the project. Here I do tend to ask a lot of questions about the current state of things and where my role would fit in. What are the plans and milestones?

As mentioned, knowledge sharing and learning are the things I enjoy the most in our industry. So many possibilities. Every new project brings some new challenges. Something new and shiny. It doesn't need to be the latest and greatest out there. Not every project that is interesting needs to follow every buzzword in the industry. Sometimes they shouldn't. Diverging, something for upcoming posts.

Package: This one is usually at the end. We all trade our time for money. Simple truth. It is important that the package (whatever that means for a certain company) does cover certain expectations. Does it need to be higher than my previous one? No. If I am gonna work on an awesome team with a great opportunity to learn, some things can be sacrificed.

I can't remember ever negotiating around the salary. I try to show my best and trust that people will recognize that. Otherwise, the first rule gets a lower score. I may be flexible, but I also don't wanna be played with.

Now that rules are out in open, what it means?

To accept a position, 2/3 of the rules mentioned above need to be near perfect match. 

Simple rule. Simple decision. A lot less stress and thinking over. If I mess up, it is on me. Can't blame anyone for not doing research about the company or position.

Till next time, do your research.