How to make sure your work suits you

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Questions to ask when you want to take a job

Why Here:

  • worked at horrible places
  • worked at places where they're happy
  • People need psychiatric help because of the disfunctionality they are dealing with within their organizations.

What makes current job great:

  • Values alignment
  • Bosses (all the way up the chain) are good
  • The amount of work necessary to be successfully is perfectly aligned with their life
  • Sociopathy: They say "You're great, we have the perfect job for you, you'll love it"... and then 6 months later you're doing an entirely different job and they're making you feel shitty about it.


What are the questions you should be asking?

If you are being engaged by an organization and possibly considering joining them, what are the questions you should be asking (and getting answers for) before you join?

Questions to ask of others:

  1. Who is your boss (line manager)? The number one factor that can ruin your life is your direct boss (the person you are reporting to). That person needs to be a reasonable person and you have to trust that they know what they're doing.
  2. What is required to do the mission? Talk to someone who isn't trying to hire you to find out about ethics and value alignment.
  3. Walk me through a good and bad day? Get a sense of how people actually spend their time day to day.
  4. Understand how hierarchical (or other norms) the organization is? For example, is it ok to talk to the CEO/Director.
  5. How clear are my personal objectives (or the objectives of my team)? For technical role, will they expect you to fix their printers and build a Kubernetes cluster.
  6. How is my manager evaluated and how do my actions affect that? What is their job?
  7. How do I get feedback?
  8. Is there a career path? And how does this role fit into my own career path.
  9. How is this position funded? Is it dependent on a grant or project? How do funders evaluate success?
  10. Why did the last person leave? Can I talk to that person?
  11. How much of a paycut can I take to work on this thing? And how many hours do I have to put into it?
  12. What are your personal priorities? What is more important to you than this work? What do you need to be happy?
  13. Does the leadership value professional development?
  14. When I fuck up, what will you do?
  15. What are your opinions on the team as a whole? Strengths, weaknesses.
  16. How do you think about improvements? What are you working on?
  17. How do people react to change? How do people introduce internal changes?
  18. Does the organization have a vision of success? How does it put itself out of business? How does my work contribute to this?
  19. Are they striving for excellence in at least one aspect of their work?
  20. Do they walk the walk? Are they territorial? How do you relate to other organizations in the field?
  21. Are they learning? Can you explain a change in strategy?
  22. What are you missing on the team right now that you want me to do? This usually happens when you're being hired in upper leadership.

Questions to ask of myself?

  1. Am I a person who likes to take direction or work autonomously?
  2. Do I need external validation? Can I define my own success?
  3. Is this just a job? That's fine.
  4. Am I personally invested in this specific social mission? Or do I just want to be overall doing good?
  5. Am I the only woman/trans/poc person within the organization? Is there a role model I identify with within the organization?