If you are a fresher (just graduated) looking to begin your Software profession or if you are already working as a Software Professional, looking for a change. The top question on your mind might be:
What Company should I join? Which company will be good for my career? And what role should I pick from a long-term perspective?
I get quite a few of these requests from people looking for help to decide/pick a company. They believe, I can advice them on this hard problem. Let me tell you up-front, there is no ready-made solution. A lot depends on your background/context and your aspirations.
The company you pick plays an important role, but I think your attitude, your passion, your aspirations play a much bigger role.
For ex: If you come from a financially weak background, your family depends on your monthly income, you don’t really have the time to experiment or take chances and in the long-run you would be happy working at a good position in a large, stable company, then you have many options in India. You can pick any large product or service company and you would do just fine.
However, if you come from a financially strong background, your family is happy to give you some slack to figure out what you want to do, you are the person who has big aspirations, you might want to build your own product company (because most suck!) then working for a large product/service company will destroy your soul. Unfortunately, there are not many options for you in India. The options are growing, but its like finding needles in a haystack.
Here are few things you might want to keep in mind:
- Does this company have a real vision. A vision worth fulfilling?
- Will you be working closing with the founder/s of the company, who have this real vision that stikes a chord with you? (If you don’t get a high listening/thinking about the vision, find another company. Don’t waste your precious time. Life is too short for non-sense.)
- What does the company value? And more importantly, do they walk-the-talk or is it just lip-service? And do these company values suit your personality? Is it aligned with your believes?
- Is this is a small company of extremely talented (read as capable) & passionate people?
- Does this company have the potential?
- Is the company flexible and open? (I know some companies, who have their employee policies on their website.)
- Do they care about their employees? Are they open to letting you try out different things before you’ve to decide which career path you want to choose for now?
- Does the company have a very strict hiring process? Generally this ensures your co-workers will be at least as smart (if not more) than you. Ideally I like to be the worst band-member of the band. This way, I’m constantly challenged and I keep learning.
- Will this company push you outside your comfort zone and let you grow?
- What is the work-culture of the company? (You want a creative design-studio kind of an environment, not a factory setup.)
- Will you be collaborating and interacting (read as learning) with different teams. You don’t want to be pigeon-hole into a spot (role) and restricted to that specific task.
Don’t shy away from slogging. (Of course you need to see if its worth slogging and its done for valid reasons.) I meet many people with 10 years of experience, but they have 1 year repeated 10 times. Don’t make that mistake.
Finally the litmus test is:
Does this company excite you enough, that you would be willing to work for free?
If this makes sense, then the next step is to find more information about the company so you can answer these questions. Read my next blog: How to Seek more information about a Company?