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What Are You Looking For in a Job?

Last few weeks of 432

Matthew Spenko

on 25 April 2017

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Transcript of What Are You Looking For in a Job?

Have Reasonable Expectations
Work is a four letter word
You are paid to do something that:
someone else cannot do
There are always jobs for intelligent industrious people
Expect to be rejected, unemployed, and/or fired
What are you looking for in a job?
Take some time for introspection
Talk to your parents, friends, family about what has consistently motivated your direction in life from early childhood to present
You tend to like things that you are good at
Write down what work might be consistent with your motivating principles
Know your other options
Graduate School
Religious life
Peace Corp
Win the lottery
Welfare (parents or state)
The 7 P's of picking a job
Principles/ Philosophy
Your principles, priorities, goals, time management, crisis management
Large or small company?
Startup vs. mature?
Government research lab (Sandia, NASA, Lincoln Labs) vs. product driven business?
People/ Personal
Do employees like their co-workers and managers? vice-versa?
Young/old single/married/families?
Socialize together or just work together?
Your boss - benevolent manager, tyrant, irrelevant?
Mentor - can you find one?
Proximity to friends and family
Are locals friendly and easy to get to know?
Weather - Detroit or West Palm Beach?
Proximity to cultural/sporting events, shopping, restaurants, hiking, skiing, water sports
Traffic, congestion, commute time, commuting options (e.g. biking, public transportation)
Cost of living
Quiet vs. noisy
Research and development (e.g. programmer, engineer)
Technical services (e.g. training, quality assurance, technical writing, phone support)
Marketing (e.g. web sites, graphics, advertising, trade shows)
Administration (accounting, financial analyst, shipping and receiving)
Sales (e.g. making a quota, making $)
Management, management consulting (people are the product)
Financial (making $ from $)
Apple? Does the product excite you?
Once you get off the ride its hard to get back on. If you want to climb the career track, keep the snowball rolling
Maternity/Paternity leave
Young engineers are cheap - don't expect to be doing engineering 40 years from now.
Companies will replace you
A lot of companies don't need great, they need acceptable
Never accept being acceptable
Do you want the be the "door handle guy?"
Intelligence and hard work get you far, but you need some luck too
Flexible work hours, travel, dress code, working from home
Facilities (e.g kitchen, workout room, showers, warm, neat working environment, ping-pong table
Friday bagels, free coke, coffee
Office space, windows, sun
Time for attending classes or getting advance degrees
Money is societies conventional metric for measuring value
Salary, stock options, stock purchase plan, commissions, profit sharing, bonus structure
hours/week expected, overtime
paid holidays, vacation time, maternity time
pension and/or 401k, matching funds
health benefits, HMO vs PPO, dental, vision, FSA, gym, co-pay and prescriptions
Moving costs, signing bonus, payment for advanced degrees
conference costs
Title: Senior consulting engineer, Chief Yahoo, Tiger?
Professionalism and desire to be C-level
Notoriety - rock star, pro athlete, politician, master thief
Microsoft in Vienna
Urban Outfitters
Red Bull
Too many to name
Some things to look out for
The Good News
All data from ASME Magazine, July 2013
Starting Salaries - from January 2013 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers: Engineering,
$50,165 = bottom 25%
$62,535 = median
$74,324 = top 25%

Mechanical Engineering Average starting salaries:
BS = $63,400
MS = $67,400

over time, the value of graduate degrees increases
Medians over time:
BS = $85,900
MS = $95,576
PhD = $116000

Unemployment for Engineering
recent college grad = 7.5%
Experienced college grad = 4.9%
Graduate Degree holder = 3.4%

Unemployment for general recent college grads is 12.6%
Lecture Notes:
Do you like the idea of getting raises and climbing the corporate ladder?
do you need praise (boss, no boss, type of company)
do you like working on lots of small projects (multi-tasking) or devoting your efforts to one large one?
do you like "taking care of business" or looking at the big picture?
do you want someone to tell you what to do or do you want to explore and come up with new initiatives?
having someone tell you what to do doesn't sound great, but it has it advantages. There is something satisfying about getting something done and then going home.

"I saw it Lemon. My whole life passing before my eyes. Neil Patterson pitching me the rotating microwave tray. Me personally coining the phrase "what's the upside." Participating in hands across America. And all the time I've been on this earth I have only one regret: I should have worked more." - Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock
Lecture notes: Know many people fired from job. Can be emotionally devastating. But is much happier at new job. Lots of time, has to deal with "cultural fit"
Lecture Notes:
Grad school = engineering, but flexible, but still have to work at some point. example of dad pointing out perpetual student at U Mich
Military - still a job
Welfare - S. lived with well off parents for over 1.5 years. Worked at startup during the time. Made no money. Made it possible to look for job she really wanted at NASA.
Large company
change to move up more
greater structure give you clear picture of what you need to do
good benefits?
but, you are a cog in the machine
what value do you add?
Medium company
not as many chances to move up
its a pyramid, always a pyramid
you may end up doing lots of mundane tasks that don't require your skill set.
but you can feel as if you are making an impact on the company

Startups have lots of excitement, but also lots of risk
can work there for little to no money. Must be willing to accept defeat. Sophia did it for a year. Didn't get anything out of it monetary-wise. Only some great interview topics
Lancaster worked 70 hours a week for 7 years. Hit it big. company sold for around 200 million with up to 300 million more in bonuses. Probably owned 2-3% of the company.

MMAE eating lunch together
professorship can be lonely
could easily sit in my office all day long

you will be in tons of meetings, who you work with is very important

will you socialize with your coworkers or not?
I have been in both. Socializing with coworkers is a lot more fun

working for boss.
worked for tyrant - nice to me but awful to some coworkers. made a man cry once. Made me feel very awkward. Never again.
being close to family and friends can be great, but the opposite can be great too. I wanted to get away for a while and see the different parts of the country. What else is out there beyond Chicago?

Can tell you that with a young family it is a lot easier to be around your family. Support system is important.

Locals - Move to Charelston S.C. and the locals are very friendly, but nobody wants to be your friend. They have their tight-knit groups from growing up. Very insular

Proximity - Ithaca = no (good) restaurants, shopping, etc.

Cost of Living - offered job in NYC, cost of living adjustment close to 45k. Could have made that out of undergrad

Quiet - me and Matt Peet. Very different perspectives.
Lecture Notes:
there is a lot you can do with an engineering degree
some people really care a lot about the product.
They like the fact that they are working on cars, or bikes, or at Apple. Even though the engineering work may be the same at a different company, it excites people to know they are working on something they themselves are passionate about.
Lecture Notes
dress code - Me vs. RT and what to wear
Marrissa Meyer at Yahoo had nursery built next to her office

ping pong tables? nobody ever plays. Just decoration, let's be honest
Food? Sounds nice, but I know myself, I would just get fat and resent it
Office space ? Warner electric, worked in a tin roof building with zero windows. Motorola, if you walked out of your cubicle and walked to one wall, you could take a peek at the parking lot. A big upgrade.
Phil Troyk - put a poster up of a window. Seriously?
My office now - big window. Loved it when I came here and still appreciate it.
Never really considered this at your age. Didn't matter to me.
With a family that changes.

Life satisfaction studies
money does matter, up to a point.
Generally if household income is $75k, people are much happier. Have to stop worrying and stressing about the small things.
After that people are generally happy. Other things related are whether you make more than your friends and neighbors.

HMO vs PPO - a huge benefit that I never realized when I was looking at jobs.

Moving costs - Ben 20k to intel - spend it however you want

Lecture Notes
C - level requires incredible hours for a long time. A marathon to get to that level.
startup c-level titles don't count
From the survey in the first class
Why do you like engineering?

create something new
help society, influence the world
like to make things
like solving problems

a parent did it
an evolving field that is always different
like to understand how things are made
Full transcript