When you are deciding what company to work for in the technology industry, I have one recommendation: join the best team.
There are so many great technology companies out there, many of which are working on innovations that will change the world in the coming years. If you’re talented, you may be in a good position to enter one of these companies, but which one should you join?
I have found that one of the best heuristics for deciding where to work is to evaluate the team with which you will be working.
Your team is the group of people with whom you’ll be spending most of your time in a job. They will be teaching you as you go along. They will be the ones who you will need to go toward if you are looking for assistance.
The people with whom I work right now are all proactive. When I need something, I know that I can depend on them to get back to me swiftly. Similarly, my coworkers know that, if I can help, I’ll be there to provide them with support.
I am not exactly sure what constitutes a “great team.” There are too many factors that could be at play. With that said, I have a few ideas.
The first is that the people with whom you work should be smart, but kind. They should know their stuff -- when you ask a question, they should be able to help you out, even if they don’t know the exact answer -- and they should also be polite and respectful. These two characteristics are a rare mix, but go a long way.
In addition, you should want to work with people who are doers. These are the people who do not just say what they are going to do -- they follow through.
Quickly in my career I realized that those who follow through are those who are given the most opportunities to advance. Why is that the case? Because if your boss has an assignment, who will they want to give it to: the person who is great who follows through, or the person who is great but who is unreliable?
To find great teams with whom to work, I think you really need to spend time studying organizations at which you have applied to work. Get to know them and how they work. If possible, speak to people who already work there, as they will be able to give you a first-hand look at what it is like to work on a specific team.
Especially for your first job, working with a great team is extremely beneficial. Even if the work is not immensely interesting, if you have a great team then you’ll be able to go really far. That’s because the characteristics of the people with whom you work will rub off on you. Do you work with a really ambitious team? You’ll become more ambitious. It’s exactly why so-called “mafias” like the PayPal Mafia and the Product Hunt Mafia exist today.
Join the team where you think you’ll grow the most. Join the team where you’ll be able to work with the best people.