As some may recall, following a Termination event last fall I have been diligently searching for a new job. I have noded a few elements of my career transition process along the way. Despite my brand-spankin'-new resume prepared with all the positive vibe acronyms (AIM, SOAR, and so on) business hasn't been exactly booming. But today I did in fact get as far as an in-person interview. Go, me.
Said interview was with a fun, up-and-coming e-commerce software shop. They have a beautiful work space with all the right touches to attract millenials*. The company is exactly the sort of place I'd dream of working if I was in that growing-and-building stage of my career. Beautiful loft space, the latest Apple hardware gleaming on the freestanding desks, the company not-a-watch-dog on duty, the open space for catered lunches, the ping-pong room, and so on. I am far from immune to the appeal, myself. But after the slog of the corporate drone factory, all that open concept space and lounge area seemed ... wasteful. I kept wondering how they justified the square-footage costs. But they're very successful and that likely keeps such pedestrian concerns at bay.
Anyway, said company is known for eschewing the traditional "tell me about a time when" interview that I'm skilled at, and just going for a more relaxed "tell us your story" approach. And that was how today went. I told my story and even to myself I sounded a little too square, a little too staid, and a little too technically stale for this particular opportunity. Which is a shame, because I like what they do and how they do it. If I get anything but a "thanks for your time" email I will be quite surprised. But even if nothing comes of it, it served to open up my ideas of what office work could, and even should, be like.
If you'd told me half a year ago that software companies could approach employee quality of life like this one, I'd have been very skeptical. I thought that it all blew away when the first tech bubble collapsed. Trapped as I've been in a cycle of screw-tightening and moving work to "favorable cost centers" I was buoyed by seeing these folks living the dream. For their sake, I hope it's not built inside of another bubble.
* Tangent: I clearly am not a member of the millenial cohort, having started my full-time career coding mainframe apps (uphill, both ways) in COBOL. Indeed, I am past my BEST BEFORE DATE. You know you've crossed that line when you hear the phonetic "kegger" and think of "Compound annual growth rate (CAGR)" and not a party with a drum of beer. But I digress from my digression...