One of the main reasons you pursued the path of a technical professional is because you are truly passionate about the work you get to do. If you want to work for a company that won’t stifle that passion and instead offers ways for you to pursue a passionate path at work, ask these 4 questions to your current boss or in your next interview!
1. Are there opportunities to learn about other departments?
Whether you want the chance to explore career opportunities you may not have otherwise thought about or you want to branch out and learn new skills that will compliment your current job, this is a great question to ask! Companies that let their employees shadow each other, explore other departments, help out on interdepartmental projects, and more will be a great fit for a passionate technologist like you because it’ll allow you to continue to learn, grow, and shift to a new path if that’s where your passion takes you.
2. Is there a formal or informal mentorship or training program in place?
Mentorship and training are key if you want to take raw passion and apply it practically to your every day workload. If you’re not growing or being guided in the workplace, chances are it will take you a lot longer to advance your careers and gain the skills you need to be able to pursue all of your technical passions. Ask if your company or the company you’re interviewing at has a formal mentorship or training program in place. If they don’t, ask if there are any sort of informal leaders or training opportunities that have sprung up in their absence. If the answer to both of those questions is no, this may not be the right place to pursue your passion.
3. Do you encourage side projects and experimental tinkering?
Passionate people thrive when they get to do what they love on a daily basis and tinker with their other side projects or experiments at home as well. Some companies really encourage side projects and experimental tinkering. In fact, some organizations will offer an hour or two one day a week for you to work on those projects in office because they know that pursuing your passion energizes, motivates, and inspires you as well as educates you on cutting-edge technologies that you could end up using on their future projects.
4. Is career movement—either lateral or upward—common here?
The easiest way to tell if a company will squelch your passion for tech or add fuel to its fire is to ask whether or not there’s a lot of career movement there. Whether it’s lateral or upward, career movement is a good sign for passionate people like you because it gives you the opportunity to pursue any path without having to start a lengthy job search every time you want to advance your career or make a lateral transition to something new. If the company you work for or the company you’re interviewing at foster opportunities for employees to create their own unique career paths, they’ll be a great fit for a passionate technologist like you!
You could pursue your technical passions at home and work for a company that has limited growth, learning, and tinkering opportunities in place or you could work for a company that fosters your passion so you can pursue it both in and out of the workplace! Ask these 4 questions to your current employer or during your next interview to see if the company has a culture that a passionate professional like you can thrive in!