It's easy to get swept up in the fervor of technology. Everyone else is doing it, shouldn't you? Your friend got into an internship with a great company, why aren't you applying? Everyone makes a to do app to put on their resume, aren't you going to do the same?
I'm of the mind that doing what everyone else does, means you don't get to accomplish what makes you unique. See everyone's super power is that we are a tad bit different, we all bring something special and valuable to the table. Just like we have different hobbies, we see a problem and a solution in a different light. If there is something that I am learning more, it is to continue to be me. Losing who I am is never going to fulfill me in the end. It might placate me for a season, but I won't ever be full in the long term.
I value small teams, close mentoring relationships where I can share and be heard and the ability to make mistakes so I can learn from them. I've been caught up in the glitz and glamor of companies and people before. But I have learned through a lot of pain that staying true to what will be the best fit for me is key. Every job that comes my way doesn't mean it's for me. If it isn't the right fit, I won't be happy and neither will my employer. I believe, if we can take the time to really think about what we value in life and evaluate companies by our list of non-negotiables, we will ultimately have a much happier workforce in tech. Here's my actionable list to figure out what makes one happy at work:
List out the top three to five things that you value most in life
Find out which companies have those priorities reflected in their values or mission statement
Speak to employees that either currently work there or recently worked there
Make a list of pros and cons for each company and make a selection of your top contenders
I just want to encourage you to please not forget that your happiness is a priority too. And sure, maybe one job has better pay but is it worth losing your joy over, if the company doesn't align with your goals in life? Ultimately, we each have to choose what we think is best, but I hope I've encourage someone to remember you in the process of making a work decision. Besides, people are the greatest asset that a company has. For more about how to be happy at work, you can read this article at Positive Psychology.