It is annual review time, and this is the second year I'm on both the receiving and delivering end. As a team we communicate throughout the year, but this is the time where salaries, titles, and responsibilities get adjusted. My philosophy as a manager is to be transparent, and look out for my coworkers' careers. This time of year also leads me to ask myself "what makes a great job?"
The first and obvious point is compensation.Notice I didn't say pay. Compensation can come in the following forms:
- Paid Vacation
- Benefits (Healthcare, childcare,401k + matching, etc.)
- Stock Options
Each individual is different, and has to consider what combination of compensation makes sense for them. In today's competitive tech market, compensation has become something many companies are offering upfront to entice new hires. For me, compensation has become less important; but it is not to say I will undervalue myself.
A strong mission leads to understanding what I am working towards. Nothing drains my enthusiasm more than working hard towards an ephemeral goal, or a goal that seems manufactured. I also would be more motivated with a mission to cure cancer as compared to a mission to design better poop emojis.
Working with people you genuinely like and respect makes a job great. The inverse is a nightmare. A culture that supports you and makes it a priority to see you at your best is an amazing feeling to have.
Being at a place that is winning makes me feel great. It is important to be able to meet the needs of the business and its users and make an impact, which brings me to my next point.
I am proficient in the core abilities required to accomplish my tasks. Working at a place that pushes my professional boundaries keeps things exciting.
Great is subjective, but understanding the facets of what makes a job great can help me evaluate whether my current place of employment is a good fit. Also, as a human being my criteria shift based on life events. Overall, I can list what I want:
- Be fairly compensated on my role and responsibilities.
- Work with amazingly smart people, that challenge me to be better.
- "Win" in meaningful ways that impact users positively.
- Have a lot of fun while doing 1 through 3.
If a job can meet all 4 criteria, I consider it a great job.
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Software Developer and All Around Nice Guy
Cover image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fulkrum/