Three things to look for before applying to a technology company
With the steadily increase of professionals looking to break into technology rather its due to the higher salary, the notion that there's longevity, opportunities to work on cutting edge technology or because it appears cool; it is imperative that you do your research to ensure you are applying to the technology company that fits you. The fit doesn't have to be like a glove, but it must be one that you find some form of comfort and exhilaration. As this will be the place that you will devote a great deal of your time, make some of the biggest sacrifices and experience some of the most humbling moments as you have to navigate working with different personalities, leadership styles, pressing through the "no's" and rejections on ideas that could transform organization.
In order to know if you are applying to the right technology company, you must first identify what made you interested in the company.
Here are three things to consider before applying:
1. Is the company likeable specifically, their products?
Now this question isn't about marketing, sales, financial reports but more along the lines of the specific product(s) this company offers to its consumers and how respected is this product. For example, Microsoft makes undisputed the best operating system as many people aren't versed in Linux or Unix. Not only are they #1 with Windows but their office products are exceptional Google just can't compete, in my opinion. So, ask yourself, what are their offerings and how do the customers as well as yourself feel about it? That assessment could potentially let you know whether or not this company is on the path to long-term sustainability.
We, all, know that companies are in business to make money but does leadership value profit over people? What does leadership value most about their organization and how does the company reward employees for exceeding expectations? Many companies preach that they value employees but in actuality, they are just taking up a collection of your skills and loyalty and not giving back when you need it the most. One way to gain traction of how employees feel about their company and roles is to look up various websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, CareerBliss, Blind and many more but one of the most effective methods is speaking with those that work for said company. Now, if you've already made it to the interview stage then find questions to gage hiring managers and team members on the dynamics of team and company culture. By learning if a company is employee-centric then you'll be able to determine rather or not, you will be supported from career advancement to personal development.
3. Does the company workforce reflect the world, we live in?
The world is steadily changing and becoming more and more diverse so it's very important to have representation across the entire board. Representation, in any organization, is VERY important as others need to be able to see themselves throughout an organization especially, in leadership roles to know that their goals are attainable. Many companies have incorporated diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives; however, it appears those efforts never quite got off the ground. But if you are from an underrepresented demographic looking to break into technology, take some time to do your research by looking at the company leaders, searching on LinkedIn and reading up on how people of color are feeling at said companies and use that as part of your assessment.
Your goal may be to stay your entire professional career, at one company, but keep in mind sometimes, that won't be possible. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to identifying what technology companies that you want to work for but identifying and outlining what is most important to you is key.
As I look back on my career in technology, I wish there were more resources, community groups and a push for mentorship as it could've alleviated the many different twists and turns, I've had along my career journey. But the things, I've learned over the last few years have now enabled me to create content and coach others in order to aid them in creating their own path to begin their journey into working into technology.