Choosing the right company for you – part two

Growth

When looking at small- and medium-sized companies, it is important to look at their growth (head count and client base) over the last few years, wherever possible. Joining a company that is experiencing an accelerated growth can be very beneficial to your career in the long term. However, on the flip side, a company that is losing customers and shrinking its business may ultimately not have room for you. Look for companies that lead in their industry and that are performing well, acquiring new clients and retaining the business and loyalties of old ones.

Reputation of the company and its staff

Do some research to try to understand the image the company holds in the industry. Working for a company synonymous for quality and delivery will be seen as a positive reflection of your abilities and attitude.

Culture and values

The company culture and its values are very important to your happiness and growth within the company. Ask about the company culture and the team structure to try and ensure that the ethics, values, team dynamics, management style and atmosphere are in-line with what you would like.

Employee turnover

Because developers, analysts, project managers are in high demand, they often move between companies in search for better career opportunities, so resignations from IT companies or divisions are natural and organic. However, be weary of companies with higher-than-normal employee turnover. Generally, companies with this effect have underlying issues that may not easily be seen. Try ascertaining what the management’s attitude is toward employee development and retention.

Management team

Management teams and styles vary from company to company. Often, development managers, team leads or project managers are most effective if they have worked their way up from developer or analyst. By doing so, they often have a better understanding of the interests, dynamics and intricacies of all parties and components, as well as the business motives behind the decisions that they make.

Finer details

If you’ve applied for a role and have an interview, try to get a better understanding of exactly what your day-to-day job will entail. Make sure you know what type of development work you are committing to. Make sure you are acquiring transferable skills. Will you be working on challenging new development or are you going to be confined to maintenance work?

These are not blanket rules and there are exceptions in every case but hopefully the points raised in these articles have given you a better base to make a decision on your next career move.

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