Tuesday, February 23, 2016

To the Engineers Everyone Wants: How to Find That Right Fit You’re Looking For

Not too long ago, you graduated at the top of your class. You entered an industry most people had never before heard of, and you made a name for yourself as someone who is innovative, hardworking, and passionate about what you do. Now, you’re looking for a new and exciting challenge, and the opportunities seem endless. As they should be; you’ve earned this spot as a coveted engineer.

But how do you weed through those offers and ensure you land in a position where you will be truly happy and fulfilled?

Know What You Want: The first step, and one that is vitally important, is knowing what you want from your career. That may sound simple enough, but the reality is, knowing what you want is about more than just money. Sure, we would all like a bigger bank account, but for most people, there are other factors at play. What are your priorities? Do you want to live in a certain area? Or do you need flexibility on the job? How much do you care about the freedom you’ll have in your position? Or about the team you’ll be working with? You can’t make a reasoned decision until you’ve taken the time to really explore what you want.

Ask to Tour the Facilities: When interviewing at a location that seems like it could be a good fit, ask for a tour if all seems to be going well. Not only will walking around the organization give you a chance to talk a little more informally with the hiring manager, it will also further express your interest in the job, and give you some insight into the work environment. Pay attention on that tour, both to how happy or disgruntled the employees you pass seem to be, and to whether you could picture yourself there.  

Talk to Your Network: The network you’ve built up over your years of engineering is probably your best opportunity to gauge what to expect from any organization you might be considering. Reach out to the people you know and find out what they think, either based on their personal experience or stories they’ve heard.

Trust Your Gut: Ultimately, just like falling in love, you’ll likely know when you’ve found “the one.” Once you interview for that job that has your heartbeat racing with excitement, trust that gut feeling and don’t look back.
One last word of advice: don’t just chase the shiny objects (the big name firms or extra dollar signs). Yes, those things have appeal, but they won’t necessarily equate into on-the-job happiness. Make sure a job has substance (room for growth, quality corporate culture, happy employees, etc.) before taking the plunge. Accepting is a long-term commitment, not a one-night stand.

ManUP today for success tomorrow...

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Taking Bets: The Team You Rooted for On Sunday

I don’t know about you, but my chili was perfected, the wings were ordered, and the beverages were cooled in the ice chest. We had a great time sitting down this weekend with friends and loved ones to cheer along our favored team…

Well, my second favorite team. Next to your team, that is.

No matter who you were rooting for last weekend, I want to implore you to pay attention to something: how the winning team functions as a singular entity, rather than a bunch of varied working pieces.

I want you to pay attention to what it takes to build a team that makes it to the Super Bowl. And then, I want you to contemplate how those same lessons can be applied to your hiring methods moving forward.

Involve Team Members In the Interview Process: It is so easy to look through a stack of applicants and arbitrarily pick the “best” of the bunch. The one with the strongest qualifications, the best recommendations, or the most experience. But the thing that fails to take into account is actual fit—will this person work with your current team, or against them? One of the best ways to figure that out is to include key team members in the interview process. Hiring is not just a one-man endeavor, and you can often find out a great deal through group interviews that invite your team to get involved.   

Consider Your Current Strengths and Weaknesses: A successful team is one where all your bases are covered. You have the strong runners, the aggressive defense, the QB with an arm—a team doesn’t make it to the Super Bowl without every piece in place, working together like a well-oiled machine. So knowing your current team’s strengths and weaknesses should be the first step in any hiring process. Your next step should be looking for someone who fills in the holes.

Value the Team Players as Much as the All Stars: Sure, we all want to get our hands on that top talent that everyone is vying for, but that should never happen at the expense of your team. After all, an all star can’t single-handedly carry your team to victory—and ego can absolutely get in the way of success. Pay attention to those top tiered applicants and watch for signs of hubris. An all star who knows he or she is an all star, and seems to demand that recognition from you, is far more likely to solicit competing offers from other teams mid-season, step on the toes of your team players, and ultimately, flame out in the end. Don’t let them take your team down in the process.

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