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I was recently looking out for jobs and was actively interviewing for organisations. I was able to rack up 4 job offers and I was facing a dilemma about which organisation to choose. Out of these 4 job offers, one of them was one of the biggest software companies, the other was growing e-commerce and the rest two were a mid-sized travel company and a startup.

All of these offers were very different in terms of brand name, compensation, perks etc. I evaluated all the companies on these points and decided on whats best for me. You can also use these criteria to check what do you want from your next stint?

Note:

  • These points are listed in the order of priority.
  • These points may be best suited for an engineer with experience ranging from 0 - 4 years. Senior folks may have different priorities.
  • These points are written by keeping individual’s growth in mind. The order might differ for you if you have some responsibilities on your shoulders.
  • There are 2 terms that I’ll be using throughout this blog:
    • Individual Leadership: This refers to your direct report or your manager
    • Organisation Leadership: This refers to the Leaders that are running the organisation

Without further ado, let’s dive into it.


Work Culture

The first and foremost is the work culture. We spend our greater part of the day in our jobs. It’s very important to enjoy that part of our life. Considering, the normal retiring age is 60 we should be spending a bigger chunk of our day by doing something we like instead of waiting for the day to end.

People don’t leave jobs, They leave toxic work cultures
– Brigette Hyacinth

Now, what according to me, constitutes a good working culture:

A place where employee’s growth and interests are considered.

For eg: Consider two ways of completing a task:

  • A senior engineer tells a junior engineer what to do and junior engineer does it. ETA: 2 days
  • A senior engineer asks junior engineer to come up with solutions and discuss what’s the best solution. ETA: 7 days

I would go to a company where the later is being followed.

A place where the organisation is not afraid to completely trust its employees

There could be different ways in which an organisation can show trust in its employees:

  • Less Micromanagement: Micromanagement is something that exists in best of the places. Micromanagement is a result of Hierarchical Expectations.

Tony Stark has committed a feature release to his manager Steve Rogers without consulting his subordinate Peter Parker. The committed deadline looks unrealistic but Tony Stark still tries to push the team to release within the promised deadline. Now Steve Rogers is expecting Tony Stark to meet the deadline because he has committed the deadline to his manager Nick Fury

Organisation Hierarchy

  • Less Employee Tracking Programs: A lot of companies want their employees to clock X hours. While I understand, this is very important for some companies as they charge on an hourly basis. I, personally would not like to work in an organisation where I’m tracked. I would rather choose an organisation where the quality of my work is given more preference than the hours I clocked in.

Work-Life Balance

In the start of one’s career, this might not be a very important point to consider. When I say work-life balance, I don’t mean that there should a fixed timing where you need to work. What I mean here is that the Individual Leadership should understand what employee needs.

Steve Rogers was not feeling productive at work. He decided to leave early today so that he can have some rest and energize himself for the next day. When he was leaving, his manager, Nick Fury saw him leaving early. He quickly went to him and asked what is the issue? Steve Rogers replied, “I’m not feeling very productive so I’m taking the day off”. After hearing this, Nick Fury didn’t understand this and asked Steve Rogers to complete the work that was due today before leaving.

It’s important to note, how much a company respects employee’s personal life. How many times does your Individual Leaderhsip wants you to work on weekends so that you could complete a task? I consider all these, red flags.

I’ve heard many people say that, a lot of your work life depends upon how is your Individual Leadership. Before considering any company, try to understand which team are you going to be a part of. Try to ask as many questions as possible to the hiring manager in the interview. Try to understand how you’re going to fit in the offered role.

Leadership & Vision

Some companies have already covered a significant market share and some companies are just starting out. It’s very important to know what are the foundations of leadership and work cuture that is being followed in the organisation. Understanding the thinking of Organisation leadership is the best way to do that. It would give you a better idea of what are the priorities for the Organisation Leadership.

If the company is already present in the market space. Try to understand what are the Organisation Leadership's goals and vision to take this company forward. This might give you the idea of the type of work you’re going to be getting there. Try to understand what kind of work are they focusing on and decide if its aligned with what you want to do.

If a company is starting out. Try to understand:

  • How are they planning to generate revenue?
  • What are the goals that they are trying to acheive?
  • Apart from being an engineer what do they expect from you?

This will help you get some idea around what your future could look like at this company.

Growth & Opportunities

As an individual, your main goal at working in an organisation (be it be small or big organisation) is growth on a personal and professional level. For freshers, just coming out of college an organisational environment could be very overwhelming. Choosing the wrong organisation could have a negative effect on their professional life.

Peter Parker got out of college. He had offers from different companies. He chose a company with the biggest brand name and compensation. Now, Peter Parker started working there. A lot of huge systems, a lot of tools he never heard. He doesn’t like the work he does here. It’s just writing APIs. He wants to work on some systems, he wants to learn how the infrastructure works in a huge organisation. Due to lack of experience, he thinks if such a big organisation is like this, then all the companies must be like this.

There might be some people who think this is not how it works. But this is actually a real story that I got to know when I talked to one of my friends.

First of all, try to understand what you want to do. When you’re in college sometimes you overlook the profile the company is hiring for because all you care about is a job. Try to get past that. Try to build up enough confidence that you can say No to something you don’t want instead of thinking, what if I say No to this now, and regret later.

After that, try to understand what kind of work do people get at the position that you’re hired for. Try to understand what kind of flexibility does the employees have if they want to learn something new or use some new tool.

The freedom to explore new things is something that expands one’s knowledge base exponentially, especially at the start of a professional career. – Prakhar :stuck_out_tongue:

Compensation & Stability

Let’s talk Money! As I said earlier if you have responsibilities on your shoulders like loans, EMIs etc. The priority of this could be higher for you and that makes sense.

No matter what people say, in the end, everybody works for money. In your professional career, some people will try to make you feel guilty about making money or asking for more money by saying things like:

This is not the time for you to focus on money. You should be focusing on your growth right now

But never shy away from asking your worth and never feel guilty about making money.

Compensation and Stability is something that, at an early stage, I don’t usually worry about. I’ve experienced this, that if you have the knowledge and experience, eventually, you’ll easily be able to end up with a good compensation and stability.

I generally tend to sacrifice money if I’m getting a better deal on above mentioned points. There is a concept of worth when it comes to compensation. I tend to follow that very much.

  • Expected Compensation: The compensation that you quoted when you started interviewing.
  • Offered Compensation: The compensation that the company offered you.
  • Your Worth for the Company: The difference between offered compensation and expected compensation (Offered Compensation - Expected Compensation) is your worth for the company

I generally asses this point by my worth for the company instead of absolute numbers. Needless to say, I do this when the compensation is comparable and there’s not a huge gap between the offered compensations.

Employee Perks & Benefits

This is something that is an added bonus. Every company doesn’t have these and a company’s offer should not be rejected or accepted solely on the basis of this point no matter how tempting this is. Employee perks and benefits usually help in keeping the employees motivated.

Positive Reinforcement is a term in Behavioral Psychology. Due to the possibility of rewards, the employee tends to perform better and remain consistent.

Positive Reinforcement

Different companies provide different perks based on what they think is important for an employee. You can try glassdoor or hiring pages. Perks are generally mentioned on these platforms. You can also arrange a call with an HR after you receive the offer to discuss these points.

While assessing this point, you should assess it on the basis of:

  • How selfless is the company?
  • Are they giving you all the available information regarding any benefits?
  • How much do they prioritise their employees?

After assessing the job offers on these points. I joined PushOwl(The startup. Surprising, I know!).

How PushOwl faired against these points? I’ll be writing another blog for that, very soon.

Till then. Stay Tuned. Subscribe to notifications by pressing the bell icon at the bottom left and never miss an update :sunglasses: .

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Prakhar Shrivastava


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