What Do I Look For In My Next Job?

I have a gap in my life. For four years I spent lets say thirty hours a week on Pluralsight courses. That might be a stretch, but the last year I did Pluralsight it was over that (I did 14 courses in a 12 month period, and it was nuts).

I managed my team at JibberJobber, too. During that time two things happened:

  1. I put into place some systems that would allow me to be “gone” more. I built my team to the point where I didn’t really have a full-time job anymore. This is eMyth meets Four Hour Workweek.  I didn’t work myself out of a job, but I didn’t need to be there 40 (or 60!) hours anymore.
  2. I found this out when I was done creating Pluralsight courses… I put my team and systems on autopilot, but I did a bad job of vision, future, and strategy. Work was done, but the right focus (UX) was neglected.  I won’t do that again… we’re becoming hyperfocused on the user experience, which means a lot of cleanup, and focusing on some very specific things.

Since my gig with Pluralsight ended I have found that I have an enormous amount of time… more time than I need to keep JibberJobber doing what it needs to do. My critical path relies heavily on my developers, and some projects they are working on are a month or two out… I also have a sizeable gap in my revenue/income.

So what does a guy with a lot of time and a need for money do?  Maybe look for a job!

Of course, JibberJobber is still moving foward, and the development team is plenty busy… and I’m still very involved with what is going on. But I have a lot of free time on my hands. The market is supposedly pretty hot right now, especially (supposedly) where I live, so why not give it a try?

Tangent: as a business owner and entrepreneur, this is hard to post. It’s an exciting time, and I’m not walking away from JibberJobber… there’s plenty of work to be done, but I don’t have to be here for a full workday anymore.  But it’s almost like walking away from my baby :/  At the same time, there are a lot of opportunities that are interesting to me, and they would fill the time/money gap I have right now.

I’ve applied to a few jobs I’ve been interested in, and as I think about them, I’ve realized there are certain things I’m really interested in, with regard to a job:

Salary: we should get this out of the way right away. I’ve learned that salary isn’t everything, but it’s pretty important. Don’t take a higher salary because it’s higher if the culture stinks. But if the other factors are good/great then higher is okay.  On the other side, a salary too low will just not work. You’ll be unhappy, especially if you think you are getting a raise soon and it never materializes.  I wish more companies would post salary ranges on postings, to let you know what jobs you just shouldn’t even apply to.

Location: Some people like commuting. When I was in Washington, D.C. I knew a girl who commuted from Richmond. I think it was a three hour drive, one way. NUTS. Why she liked it I’ll never know. I personally don’t like commuting. Options are: find a company close to me, or look at jobs that offer a lot of work-from-home freedom. Having said that, for the right job and opportunity, I’ll commute!

Culture: Do you believe in company culture? Have you ever worked at a company with a great culture? I have. It’s almost too powerful to describe.  I want a company that has a great culture. Employees are taken care of, they are happy, and they are empowered. I’m not saying that a bad culture leads to employees that aren’t taken care of, unhappiness, or unempowered… but I know that a great culture is amazing, and it’s what I want.

The Team: I’ve worked on cohesive, tight teams, and I’ve worked with dysfunctional teams. I have no need for drama and dysfunction in my life… I want to be on a high performing, respected, and awesome team. This means the leader(s) and members are awesome. It’s not easy to figure out how awesome your team is, but it doesn’t hurt to ask around.

Company Mission: What is the company doing? One company I worked with made fertilizer. Another ran a janitorial and building maintenance operation. Both are noble, I guess, but I wasn’t necessarily passionate about what they were doing. I didn’t care, at the time… just do my job, do it well, etc.  But then I started JibberJobber and our mission is to help individuals through a really tough time. The mission of helping and serving, offering a hand and relief, was much more fulfilling than any other company I’d been involved with, and my eyes were opened to how it is when you are aligned with the company mission.

There are more variables, for sure. Sometimes the importance (or weight) of these can change… what are the factors you think are most important in your future job?