Better Not Bigger!

Hello Spartans and Happy Turkey Season!!! I hope that all of you of you were able to find joy throughout this stage time and reflect on everything that has happened over the past year that you are grateful for (even if the list is a little different than usual). I don't have a complete topic to share today like I usually do, but I did want to share an interaction that I had with a parent of a friend of mine who is a hiring manager within an engineering department over the holidays.

Essentially what the conversation boils down to I was listed off all of the companies that I have been looking into and they noticed a majority of the companies that I was applying to were "Big Brand" companies that had great name recognition. They went on to say that they, and their colleagues, tend to avoid hiring people who are leaving the big name companies and are moving to a smaller firm.

This completely shocked me. I had always assumed that the big name companies were the target place because anytime you handed off your resume someone will know all about the place you worked at. However, when I asked why they chose to do this, everything became much more clear.

They said that a lot of time that when people leave larger companies, they have less of an understanding of what they actually did and how it fit into the big picture. In larger corporations, it is easier for people to slip down into a crevasse of the corporate world and get by without having a wealth of knowledge. Then when they leave that place, they struggle when adapting to a new position at a new firm because the system had allowed them to get by without having a deep understanding of everything that they were doing and the way that it fit into the company structure.

Honestly, this made a lot of sense to me. There are going to be jobs out there that will allow you to fall into place and not do much, and a lot people will be ok with that. However, this is not what I want coming out of college, and I hope that you feel the same way. I am hoping to find a job that is going to challenge me and push me to become a better professional each day. So my big two takeaways from the Turkey Season are these:

1) STAY DRIVEN - A job is just that - a job. It isn't going to define you as a person or how successful you are. What YOU do in that job is what defines how successful you are. Try not to get caught up in the fancy job titles and the corporate lingo. Stay true to who you are as an individual and push yourself to continue to learn and grow each and every day when you enter the workforce. This may seem very obvious and simple, but this will pay off huge in the long run when it comes to finding new positions and obtaining promotions.

2) BETTER NOT BIGGER - Start looking into some smaller scale, local engineering companies. These companies do not have the same name recognition, but they may have better opportunities for professional development. The job title might be "Engineer -1" but you might have triple the responsibilities of a fellow Spartan with the same job title in a larger firm. We will be entering the work force within a year, but we will NOT be leaving any time soon. There is going to be plenty of time to move around and work your way into an important role at a "Big Brand" if that is what you are looking for. Don't think of this first job that we have been chasing all year as a success indicator. It is only square one of your professional journey. Try to focus more on what the company can offer you from a development perspective instead of the street cred you might gain from corporate swag.

Just an interesting interaction that I had over the holiday that I thought would be some good "food for thought". I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Stay tuned and keep grinding Spartans!

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