What’s important in a job?
The 17th February 2016 marked my two year anniversary at MOO; this is a significant milestone for me because I left my previous two roles after the same amount of time having become unhappy. As I’m still really happy & enjoying working at MOO, it got me thinking about what it is I like & what I find important in a job.
Having a manager who can help you develop
This is really important to me & is the reason I left my first job. I was a Developer & my manager was the Creative Director who, by their own admission, didn’t really know how to manager technical people. Without the guidance of someone who knew what direction I needed steering in & could offer me advice on how to improve, I drifted & became stuck in a rut. This in turn led to me becoming unhappy, at which point I knew I had to leave.
I can’t stress how important this is, especially to people in the early stages of their careers. I wasted a good 6 months of my career not improving or learning; that’s unacceptable. Ideally now my manager would be someone who themselves has been in the role that I currently am, so that they can share their experiences, point me to learning materials & help me understand how the code I’m writing can be improved.
Finding the work you’re asked to do interesting
This is a biggy as well. There’s no way I’d be happy at work if I wasn’t interested in the work I was being asked to do day-to-day. It also needs to be challenging, as nice as it is to sometimes have work that you’ve done before, being asked to do that over & over quickly leads to boredom. This is also linked to being engaged in what the company does. I never really found affiliate marketing interesting & this was part of the reason that I left Affiliate Window after two years.
Working in a good team
It’s really important for me that I get on with the other members of my team. It’s a well known phrase that you spend more time with the people you work with than you do your friends & family, so I would soon become unhappy if there were people in my team who I always had to fight against. Ideally for me I should be able to call my team mates friends; that doesn’t necessarily mean that I meet up with them outside of work, but they do become people who you can share things with. It also, I think, makes you a more productive team - any differences of opinion can be worked out quickly & nobody is afraid to ask for help if they need it.
Good company atmosphere
I find it much nicer to work at a company where people from all parts of the business talk to each other. That doesn’t mean that you’re on first name terms with everybody, but it’s nice if you can chat to whoever’s around when you’re making a cup of tea or having lunch. At Affiliate Window there was a clear divide between the tech department & the rest of the business, this meant that it felt more like you were sharing the same office with another company & I rarely spoke to anyone outside the tech team.
This is a small thing that makes a really big difference. MOO is the first company I’ve worked for that offers more than the usual list of perks; this includes:
- Free breakfast - including toast, yoghurt, cereals etc.
- Free lunch every Friday - normally from a local eatery & with lashings of cake!
- Discounted gym memberships.
The breakfast in particular is amazing, it’s great that I can make my way to work & then have a nice bowl of cereal & cup of tea to set me up for the day.
Spotting that I’m not happy
Both times that I’ve changed jobs I’ve had one trigger that makes me realise it’s time to move on. This isn’t because I don’t think I’m being paid enough, or that I think I should have been promoted - it’s much simpler than that. I wake up in the mornings & I think “urrrgghhhh, I’ve got to go to work today”. I shouldn’t feel like that about work so if I do, I need to move on. Thankfully over the two years I’ve been at MOO I can honestly say I’ve never woken up like that, which is why, along with all the other things I like, I’m still there.