Specifically for in-house design teams. What is your criteria?
Not going to say "salary", because that's too obvious.
I think "20% time" - or generally speaking time dedicated to personal/company/internal projects - is huge nowadays. I feel like its a de facto standard at large internet companies (Google, FaceBook, Twitter, etc.) and the largest client services firms/agencies.
As they say, variety is the spice of life. Having that hour or so everyday to do a little bit of professional development and skill building, while also just creating something without the limits of the usual process/approval sequence, is incredibly refreshing. Heck, I would even argue that it's borderline necessary for maintaining moral.
I wouldn't work anywhere nowadays that doesn't at least have a side project or two going internally, and recognizes the value in this type of time.
Completely agree! Having variety is a must for me.
Fantastic response. 100% agree.
You know most places that offer 20% time are merely providing a computer and a roof for 120% time.
A computer and a roof... and legal rights to whatever you create.
Yeah, thats so generous. It's still just 120% time.
Most: Salary At this point in my life I need the bucks. Once I reach a certain point (aka no loans) this will drop down the list.
Other really important issues (sometimes these trump salary, even now, if salary is close enough)
- Is this an interesting place to work? (product, audience, etc)
- Will I get to grow (New challenges)
- Will I get mentored (work with awesome people)
- Do I get to help people in a significant way?
- Will my friends/family be impressed (being honest here)
- Will this be a step up the ladder or open up new opportunities
To piggyback, because these are all factors for me as well, but:
Stability, do I think this company would be going under or prone to being sold anytime soon.
Ethically does this company align with my views
+1 these factor in as well.
What would I learn from the people I'd be working with/for?
Would I enjoy having a drink with them after a long day?
No amount of money or time for side projects negates missing on these two points.
- Will it help me get much better at something?
- Are they fun people to spend most of my time with?
- Can I get a much better salary somwhere else?
- Are the projects interesting, or is it just doing some boring corporate stuff?
- Will I be ashamed to admit working for this studio in my future resume?
if my answers are yes, yes, no, yes, no, I'll probably take the job :)
I care about the projects first and foremost. If they are a traditional "one off" website agency, no thank you! I could just freelance and do that myself for more profit. If it's a company building a product that I personally use and love. I get excited and look forward to negotiating the details.
The details I look for are schedule flexibility, working remotely, a solid salary, health insurance and the chance to gain bonuses/rewards for exceeding goals.
As far as work environment, it just can't be tight and cramped spaces. I need my white space! Natural light and plenty of desk space are key.
Team. Especially when working on a product, there will be a lot of debating, feedback, and clear communication needed. If you think about it, you probably spend more time with your significant other during the work week. At a minimum, you should enjoy working with your team. In an ideal scenario, you should be looking for a team that challenges you creatively, pushes your skills to new heights, and one that you're willing to bust your ass for.
This answer might be a bit idealistic, but I truly believe that finding the right team to play for will ultimately be the most fulfilling for you and your career.
Salary is an easy #1. I've got mouths to feed.
Health insurance became a close second last time I was in the job market. I had an offer from the place that would have been my dream job, but the monthly contribution for the family package was over $600/month. It would have ended up being a pay cut. I ended up taking one of my other offers for $5000 less.
It's possible that Obamacare would change things these days, though I haven't done the math.
Dogs friendly, vacation, management.
Apart from salary, location. I don't want to lose 2-3 hours a day in commute. If you work 9 hours a day, in real your job is costing you 12 hours a day.
For me the most important thing is a good culture. Collaborative, supportive, learning organization. Without that it's not fun, and then the salary doesn't mean much.
3 things I always consider.
1 - How big is the opportunity and how fast/ego-free/good is the team. 2 - If is there a friend or someone you know working/worked at the company and how is/was. 3 - Perks
Salary should always be enough to pay the bills and save some bucks for the future. So it depends a lot to each individual.
This is how I evaluate a new job offers in this exact order:
- Location - I won't commute more than 60 minutes each way per day, if the route is longer 1-2 days of remote work must be offered
- Type of work - the work I do must interest me and must be something I'm passionate about. There must be a variety of web based work for multiple clients who are willing to take chances and break trends. The kind of work I do must challenge me to be become a better design
- Other workers in the company - ideally there will be multiple designers to work with and learn from
- Salary - Money is not my priority just yet as I don't have a family to provide for but in a few years this could easily become my #1. I like to have money in the bank to spend and invest though so it's still important
- Further opportunities - is there potential to move up the ranks in the company or will it help me get to a better job in the next couple of years
- Flexibility - are they strict on work hours? I prefer to work in a place that doesn't watch the clock for when you arrive and leave. I like to finish early some days and work late others so the ability to chop and change is nice to have
It's not a checklist, because no job choice in life is as simple as that. For me it's a cost benefit analysis, i.e.
Salary vs Satisfaction
If they are even, then it's a no brainer, but if they're not (and that is more often the case) then it's down to a pros and cons of each.
Ultimately for me, it comes down to comparing what you do now to what you're considering and where the differences lie.
For me right now is the company management.
After working with the most awesome teams just to have the poorest decision makers in front of the companies I've worked, that is the most important for me.
Apparently I hit the jackpot now and for the first time I'm at a company that as an awesome manager (helps that he was a designer) and I couldn't ask for a better team. I just wish all the other awesome people I've met along the way and are still at the wrong places could come work with me also.
Oh that's easy, for me the most important thing is whether or not I can relate and care about their product. If yes than everything else comes in like team dynamic, remote work etc. I don't have to be best friends with the people I work with - they just have to be polite and stand-up 'guys'. As long as I care about what the company is doing everything else will fall into place. I see myself sleeping in interest and worth ethic if I don't.
- Stack of choice being Rails
- Remote option