Saturday, March 17, 2012

Getting a job in corporate America.

When I was trying to land a job as an engineer, I had zero problems getting job offers. Getting the offers I wanted was a little challenging because I had no idea what I wanted. Its hard when you have never had a real job to just decide what you would want that job to look like.

Point is, I had offers, no problem.

Business degrees are different, supposedly. You're supposed to really work at selling yourself and presenting to your future employer as much evidence as possible that you are exactly what they need. I'm ok with this in theory, but at some point I always get asked to phrase something a certain way or to make extra sure I bring up something in an interview even if its barely relevant to the question... Oh, and my favorite is when I'm told to have a flaw/weakness that is not a real flaw/weakness. Like being a perfectionist. "Oh, I'm just so obsessed with getting a problem done right that I'll work myself half to death to make sure of it, its a real weakness of mine."

Here are my priorities in finding a job - as straightforward and honest as I can make them:

1. Does the culture fit? I'm honest, sometimes brutally so. I need to know I can ask questions and say what's on my mind without feeling like I crossed a line every time. I like real criticism. Make me better, push me, that's fine. I also need support, I prefer to be working in a team to working completely alone.

2. Am I solving problems? I need to be investigating real problems or implementing solutions to problems. I have no interest in a desk job trying to maximize return. I want to be protecting something, whether that's a company from legal issues or clients from getting ripped off, or the industry from its own reputation. Finance makes our world function and I want to be on the front lines keeping the industry fair and prosperous.

That's it. I care about what I get paid only out of fairness. I have a great sea of talent and skill and I should be compensated. I'm not after amazing bonus checks.

I'm not in finance for the money. I'm in it because of how important this industry is to everything else. It must be protected. If someone can use my skills to do that, I will be loyal to them for a very, very long time. If no one can, then I will just put aside my vast technical skills and join a local police department.

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