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Ask HN: How do you decide which company is right for you?
22 points by userium 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments
When applying for a job, how do you decide which company is right for you?

That's a loaded question that I can attempt to answer. The list below isn't by priority but it is the through process I go through.

1. Compensation - Would you be comfortable with that salary and can you do the things you want to do with it (vacation, hobbies, etc.).

2. Interest - Is the work that you will be doing at the company engaging to you? Are you interested in solving those problems? Would I be excited going into the office every day?

3. People - While interviewing, did you enjoy the conversations you had with your potential coworkers? Do you think similarly but do you also challenge each other to be better versions of yourself?

4. Size - Small companies don't have process and you'll have to wear many different hats. Large companies have more defined roles and your focus will be better planned by higher ups who set an overall strategy.

5. Location - The best way I thought of this is the commute. Count the minutes (hours) it takes to get to your new company. Will you be "time poor" but "financially wealthy"? Would you be okay with that?

6. Risk - Smaller companies naturally have more risk. I personally think we tend to over index on the risk (Prospect Theory) and forget about the lessons and professional development you learn at a start up.

7. Regret - This one helped me out the most. I ask myself "Would I regret not working at this company with its people and product X years from now?"

Good list. I would add growth opportunities, too.

This is an excellent set of metrics. This is what I used as well.

I don't until I spend at least 6 months in a company. Is this company right for me? Where is the company going moving forward? Is the project I'm working on that exciting? Are people I've been working with great co-workers? Do I see myself rising within that organisation based on what I know now?

Your question should be, what would attract you to apply for a specific company? My answer to that question by order of preference - role, location, product, compensation, work life balance (that one is also hard to guess at that stage of the process).

What do you do after those 6 months if you decide the company isn't right for you? Look elsewhere?

I would do the exact same thing as if I thought it would have been right for me prior to joining... then realized it wasn’t a great fit 6 months later. I would indeed look elsewhere.

First thing, apply for companies you like even if there is no fitting job posting. Then search for job postings read them carefully and if you like it, have a look at the company website and some rating sites for employers (like kununu). If everything is fine and you could imagine working there, apply for the job. Get to know the team and everything else at the interview. Afterwards, you know if you want this job or not.

Basically, who pays the most, but at this point of my career I'm 100% mercenary and building capital for my post-career life.

1. Will they let me work remotely?

2. Compensation: Who will pay the most, provide the best health insurance, most vacation days, etc

I'm not shy, I'll take whatever.

Otherwise it's a very personal choice involving dozens of trade-offs. You'll never really know until you try.

How do you decide which romantic partner is right for you?

1. Compensation 2. Type of Work 3. Flexibility in working remotely from time to time

Small Company(Startup) or Large Company(Facebook)?

For that you have to get an offer from the large company first


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