We hear “innovation” thrown around a lot in the tech industry. By definition, innovation means a new idea, product, or method that creates value. To many, it’s important that they work in an environment that encourages innovation, but it’s not so easy to find in the workplace, along with other desirable factors like collaboration styles, feedback processes, or growth tracts.
So how do you go about finding a place that’s the right fit for you?
Read Reviews and Current News
With all of the tech at our fingertips, it’s hard not to imagine a world where we check reviews before making a big purchase. Would you buy a car without looking at its history and seeing what other consumers think? Take advantage of the tools on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to learn more about a company’s culture. What do current and past employees say about an environment? What are the issues that the company cares about and what events have they been involved with recently? Information like this will help give you an idea of what the environment is like and how innovative it is.
Talk to People
As much as reading reviews written online can be helpful, a first person account is always the best when it comes to true impressions. Seek out people who work at the company via LinkedIn to ask them their experience working at a company or on a particular team. And of course, don’t discount the interview process. In this case, the interview will be one of your best tools to see how a company communicates and views its employees. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions about financial status, team trajectories, diversity in the workplace, or other topics that would interest you. How your interviewer reacts and answers a question can be very telling. Finally, think about how the people at the company will play into your day-to-day. Mentorship may not be top-of-mind for some when considering a company, but learning from others and growing skill sets should be an important factor in your decision process.
Look at the Work
Is the work that this company is doing work that you can see yourself doing in the long term? How do you see it playing into the overall vision for your career? Our Director of Finance & Operations, Aimee Silverman, recently shared some insights she gained from her career and compares the process of finding the perfect fit in workplace to the belief of having to kiss many frogs before you find your Prince. She made a point to mention that she consistently did work she was passionate about throughout the years. In some environments, this meant that she was in a sea of cubicles. Here at Raizlabs, things are more laid back culturally, but she still feels that she is doing meaningful work.
At the end of the day, finding the job and workplace environment that’s right for you will always be a challenge, as there will be variables and factors that are constantly changing. Where the innovation lies here is to be consistently reevaluating the meaning of the work you’re doing and the fulfillment it provides in the long run. If you are passionate about the work you do, those other variables will eventually fall into place. And not knowing exactly where the places will fall, but trusting that they will, is part of what makes things so exciting.