Updated: Jun 20, 2020
A lot of people fantasize about their "dream job", and until recently, I was one of them. Looking to advance my tech-marketing career, I set my eyes on three major high-tech companies, which I thought that being hired by, would really make me feel like I "made it". Thus, I submitted my application and managed to get a call-back from all three companies and go through long hiring processes - which ended up with me not getting a job offer from neither one. What a roller coaster!
Obviously, this experience didn't make me quit or lose my passion for marketing nor for innovation. However, looking backward on how emotionally invested I became while hunting these "dream jobs", I now realize that if I did end up getting one of them, I would have been personally setting myself up for a huge disappointment.
You Can't Achieve What You Don't Understand
I guess my longing for success is understandable. Working hard since I was 16 years old, paying my own tuition and doing a bunch of marketing internships for free to gain experience, made me feel like I am worthy of getting a sit at a nice high-tech company, all benefits included. The idea of promoting top-edge technologies alongside the smartest minds in the industry still makes my eyes sparkle.
However, my bumpy career road made me realize that I was so blinded by the concept of "Success" that I didn't take the time to really understand what it meant to me. It became clear to me that if I want to achieve real success, I need to reorganize my priorities, and I hope you'll find my insights useful for your own career path as well.
Here are the parameters to look for in your next realistic career opportunity in order of importance:
1. A Manager Who is a Born Leader
This is by far the most important parameter when you look for a job. Your direct manager can really dictate how you feel about your position, and she or he has a lot of influence on your future career path, especially in its early stages. Great managers make you flourish: you get up in the morning eager to prove yourself and look forward to their feedback. Your relationship of trust and respect makes you feel confident in your abilities, and when the time comes, you know you can count on them to be your reference for your next career opportunity. This is because they see your success as their own. However, great leaders are not easy to come by. So if you wish to have a successful career, remember to examine your potential manager's leadership skills and confidence in your next job interview.
2. Great Team Spirit & Company Culture
People are what makes or breaks companies. In the competitive high-tech world, your team should make you feel energized so you can push forward innovative ideas and try new things. Therefore, your teammates should be collaborative, ambitious, smart and fun to be around. A great team is one where everybody feels free to contribute and work together toward the same goal. It doesn't only help the company, but your health and overall life satisfaction improve as well.
"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." - Oprah Winfrey
3. Interesting and Valuable Product
Intelligent people usually find it difficult to feel truly satisfied, but working to develop and promote a product that they don't believe in, is the best recipe for dissatisfaction. Therefore, when you look for your next role, you should ask a lot of questions about the product the company is offering. Ask about the company's vision, the benefits of the product and the problems it solves, the development plan and the competitors the company is facing. Then ask yourself if the product aligns with your own beliefs and values, is it something you would feel proud to speak about and fulfilled while working on? If the answer is yes - go for it. But if you feel conflicted or unclear about it, find another company whose product ignites your imagination and motivation.
4. The Paycheck
The final parameter is, of course, the salary. This discussion is so delicate that it can either land you the position or make you lose it, even if you made a great impression beforehand. In this stage, it's important not to sell yourself short, nor to overprice yourself. Therefore, you should consider two important facts while evaluating the right amount to ask: on the one hand, people like to pay for something they feel is worth it (and sometimes it even makes them feel like they are getting a higher value), on the other hand, people don't like to feel cheated, and asking for too much will drive them away. This is why you should always know your worth and give a salary range that you'd be comfortable with. In any case, money is important, but if the parameters above don't apply to the position you are after, look for another career opportunity.
Summing up, the search for the right position is tough, however, being stuck in a job that doesn't motivate you to be the best version of yourself is much tougher. Stay dedicated to finding the right career path for you, and you will make it.