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What attracts you to a job?

 
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When you hear about a position, or find it online,
what attracts you to it?
What makes you say -- wow, I've got to check that out?
What are your concerns when you read a description?
What are the red flags?
Let's say you're content in your current position, but
not all that fired up about it, what would attract you
away, or at least make you explore something outside?
I'd appreciate any advice you may have.
Scott
 
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Scott:
- What attracts me to a job.
1. Am I learning/using transferrable job skills?
2. How is the boss/co-workers. Unfortunately, you only get to meet the boss and one or two folks on the team during interviews.
3. Atmosphere - is the place a sweatshop.
4. Training - does company pay for training.
5. Flexibility - can I choose assignments/hours I work/when I work/how I work. Will boss stay away from me.
6. Location - I prefer the country - preferrably the West (CO/MT/WY)
7. Money - surprisingly not all that important as you would think.
-------
Red Flags:
1. An interviewer who is too busy to talk to me for all of 20 minutes without an interruption.
2. A manager who looks too worn out for the interview. (like he's been up for 2 or 3 day)
3. An inteviewer who does not pay attention to what I have to say.
4. An interview who forgets business cards. I see this is a major sign as to whether the company is really hiring or not.
5. If I go to work and start getting yelled at for little things - like going too many times to the restroom or for parking my car too close to the front door - even though it's in a regular parking space.
Or getting yelled a for parking in one of the 30 empty "Visitor Only" parking spaces when doing emergency production support at 2AM.
6. I make it a point to talk to the secretary/receptionist. I use their attitude to judge how well the company treats their employees. Just one of many factors I take into consideration.
7. I use the on-site interview to interview the company as much as the company interviews me. Granted, I don't get to ask a lot of questions - but I try to get a good picture by seeing how people act during my visit.
8. Just plain rude management.

This is why I lean/preach so heavily on transferrable job skills and the College Education. If I get ticked off - I just go somewhere else.
Remember: Company's today have absolutely NO LOYALTY whatsoever toward their employees. And my friends, that non-loyalty attitude goes both ways. Layoffs can happen at any time - at any point in your career with the company.
If I get treated right - then I stay. If not, then I am out the door. And I really don't have time nor do I really care about playing any of these political b.s. games that you see so often in the office environment.
Bottom line is that I did not spend 8 yrs in college to be unhappy with my employment situation.
-------
I found my current position on www.brassring.com
Position advertised 5 yrs experience (I have only 1). They wanted a zillion certifications (I had none at the time). But they were doing J2EE work and it was Hewlett-Packard (I saw that as a big plus), and they wanted 100% travel.
I figured I would fire them a resume in the off-chance that they would need a junior level person who would be willing to do a lot of travel & teaching. Turns out that they did.
-----
What I don't care about:
- Dress code.
- Benefit package - as long as the basics are covered. Most of the Fortune 500 boys have the same general package.
- Vacation time. Again, most of the big outfits offer a flat 3 weeks plus X-Mas week off. Or something close to that.
- Company Perks - like baseball tickets, or retreats. I prefer to go where I want to go and do what I want to do.
-----
My current situation. I work for Hewlett-Packard in Philadelphia, PA - yet live in Colorado. My job is to function as a J2EE developer/instructor. Currently working with JSP/XML/XSL technologies to develop a website connected to an Oracle database. This, in addition to, either attending or teaching HP "Total-E-Server" classes.
My job involves about 80% transferrable job skills (teaching/consulting/J2EE/OracleDB). The other 20% deals with HP specific server software.
My boss literally stays away from me. Going to see him is a little like going to confession. He basically asks me what I did wrong that month and asks me what I want to do right for the next month. And we play a little give and take as far as my next assignment(s). BTW/ I only visit with the big boss once a month.
We work about 40-45 hours per week in the office. But we also spend about 10-20 hours a week flying between various customer sites or home back in Denver, CO. I also study 4 or 5 additional hours per night.
Regarding compensation - HP takes care of their employees. We have a manager's night out once a week. The whole outfit is having a "pig roast" tomorrow at a manager's house.
Basically, we subscribe to the "work hard - play hard" mentality. If my boss wants me to learn a technology, I am on my own to get it done. If I need a class - I go take it. If I need books - I go get them. Whatever it takes. And it's this freedom - away from management - that makes this such a great job.
-----------
The downsides:
- Too much to learn, and too little time to do it.
- Corporate bureaucracy and paperwork. It takes 5 phone calls to get anything done. It seems to be a common trait among big companies that should be addressed by senior management.
- Too many different projects going on at one time. Worst part, each project uses a different technology. Seems like we get pulled in opposite directions sometimes.
- Our course materials always need updated due to changed in the underlying technology. This means more pressure on the instructures to "keep up with latest technology." Right now we are looking at "XP" and ".net"
- I have a tendency to fall asleep in class - due to jet lag (I guess). And I have caught "heck" for that a few times.
- Not much "flex-time". We teach/attend classes - so we are on-site from 8:00AM to 5:00PM. Would love to come in at 6AM and be out at 2PM.

[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited August 24, 2001).]
 
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> When you hear about a position, or find it online,
> what attracts you to it?
>
> What makes you say -- wow, I've got to check that out?
-OOP/OOD, UML (this shows me that modern design is likely going on there, rather than pumping out c function after c function)
-required: enthusiasm and creativity (this hints to me that they will actually want me to use my brain and not just be a drone.)

> What are your concerns when you read a description?
>
> What are the red flags?
-minimum 3 years experience -- NO EXCEPTIONS! (Ugh, fine then, you can keep it.)
-hokey job descriptions about it not being a job but an adventure with a paycheck.
-anything mentioning M$.
 
John M. Gabriele
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Oh yeah, and the most revolting one:
"must have a sense of urgency"
???
My wife asks me if that means they're looking
for someone who frantically needs to poop all day?
 
John Coxey
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I'll probably catch hell for saying this.

previous quote: "...the ability to poop all day."
-------
Don't knock it.
Pooping is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind.
There is nothing quite like holding a good poop in all day - followed by the utter sensation of total relief and pure joy when you finally go.
Later,
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)

[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited August 26, 2001).]
 
John M. Gabriele
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{interviewer}
JC, you've got just the sense of urgency we're looking for!!
Welcome aboard! Here's your bathroom key.
{/interviewer}
[This message has been edited by john gabriele (edited August 26, 2001).]
 
Greenhorn
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Well, what makes me check out a job posting is the title. If the title is simply "programmer", but the skillset and experience level needed is Sr. level, I think it's an indication that the company really doesn't give a hoot about their software. If they did care, they would categorize their jobs a bit better.
Some red flags to watch out for: "willing to work nights and weekends" (who are they kidding?), also if they list too many skills (Java, C++, VB, ASP) (what does VB/ASP have to do with JAVA?) , or if they mis-spell critical technologies (must have experience with Pearl and Linus.) I don't even want to IMAGINE what these companies are like to work for!
 
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Scott,
One of the main things I look for is inconsistancy. Did the ad say one thing, and the interviewer another? Is the interviewer consistant during the interview ( early on say 40 hour work week, later on say a lot of overtime ). When your talking to different people, are they painting a consistant view of the company? I was on an interview during the summer and the employees I would work with told me I could ask questions. I requested to INTERVIEW them seperately to see if there stories jived. I usually ask a few questions every time...what do you think is the best thing about your company, worst, how well do you get along with your team members? I don't think the manager appreciated me asking to interview them seperately. But I feel that if that is a problem, then they are too hung up to work for anyway.
Many times I have been told something during the interviews but when I start its a whole new ball game. It took me some time to be able to "spot trouble". But if you spend some time asking questions in the interviews (as I have), you can sometimes see the "problem" jobs.
I look to have a number of different things to work on during the week (not pidgeon holed). It is very important to feel comfortable with the manager you will be reporting to, and meet as many of the team members beforehand as possible. They will be your second family after all. Then I need latest technology and training. For me, these are the most important factors. I use the benefits package to gauge how the company feels about its employees. I interviewed at a place which started with 1 week vacation for the first year. The rest of the benefits were low also, so obviously they value no one. So I gave them a pass.
Dan
 
No. No. No. No. Changed my mind. Wanna come down. To see this tiny ad:
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