Watch Where You Work, and Who You Work For

This has been something I’ve been thinking about for a few days now, and every time I get some free time to think again, it strikes me as how lucky I am.

I have a cool job.

I have a cool boss.

I do interesting things (most of the time) and have a great amount of flexibility and autonomy. I was part of an interview panel this week, looking for potential new hires. Listening and learning and asking questions of folks who wanted a job like mine. I think it was a good experience. For both parties, regardless of what the outcomes may be.

Yesterday I had a call from a headhunter (Hi Winston) who had been referred to me by someone on my network. Someone who didn’t want it known yet that they were talking with Winston (someday I hope they will let me buy them a coffee in thanks for giving my name to Winston. He was a neat guy.

Anyways, there was an opening at a web hosting company who shall remain nameless, for sales execs. Did I know of anyone who might be interested. Did I!  I don’t think I swing a dead cat without hitting someone in the web hosting industry. ;-)  I made a few calls. Put out the word that the nameless hosting company was looking for Senior Sales folks.

Wow. Did I get an earful. One of the folks I’d talked to had actually met with the hiring manager, who’d turned out to be a complete nut job. He was looking for the old *A* type personality sales guy who you could run into the ground and manage by fear. I remember sales types like this - the golden oldie cold callers who would sell and run as soon as the contracts were signed. Guys who would try and sell the carpet out from under your feet. Guys who just made you want to wash your hands right after meeting them. This is the 21st Century. Sales has come A LONG WAYS. No one wants that sort of relationship, or sales experience, for that matter.

I was completely surprised, since I’d met with the un-named hosting company a few years ago. Mind you, I spoke with the VP of Network, and the VP of sales (who were both really great guys). Maybe the leadership isn’t aware that they’ve got a snake-oil sales director?

Seth Godin’s got an awesome article that talks about the trickiness of making sure you’ve got a good place to work, and a good boss.

His most poignant quote:

If you want to become the kind of person that any company would kill to have as an employee, you need to be the kind of employee that’s really picky about who you align with.
The single most important marketing decision most people make is also the one we spend precious little time on: where you work.
Seth’s Blog


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