Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Workplace Evals

Matt McAlister has been working at Yahoo! for a year now and breaks down the positives and negatives of working there as he sees it. Having recently started just 8 months ago myself I started comparing and thinking of my own +/- 's. And without further ado here's my post-it note sized comparison list (it has only been 8 months after all ;-)

Positives:

Management - I've replaced the first 6 on the list with "management" since it rocks hardcore in my group/department/division. Best boss ever, back you up to the wall and provides all the resources needed to succeed. #1 Strength by a country mile.

Great Work Environment - Great people, very understanding, terrific... now if it was only located in Stuttgart, Ottawa, Melbourne, Nice or Rotterdam we'd have a winner ;-) There is however a Tim Horton's just downstairs, bonus!



Position - I've added this one to the list as well. With any job it's SO important to have a good fit between the individual and the position (job requirements/responsibilities, skills, learning, etc.). I've been lucky that I couldn't have asked for a better fit, what they need is what I've got education, experience and passion in and the integration with my studies and learning areas is a great fit. Makes all the effort in the application process, decision mulling and ultimate relocation all worth while.

Travel - Lots of flexibility here, it's a job positive but mostly because #1 on the list makes it possible. Great co-workers, terrific boss, constant learning and travel, 4 of the 6 keys for a happy Ross - hockey and the last negative listed below being the other two ;-) ...although they tell me Hamilton's in the running for an NHL team soon... YEAH RIGHT!

Now on to the...

Negatives:

Control - Using Matt's words: "There are way too many people “owning” things and not enough people contributing their expertise in the places where it’s needed most" doing things. In fact the "owners" do a great job of suppressing the "doers".

Innovation Constipation - More like innovation aversion for our client groups within the organisation, although I will say that our department's on this like white on rice.

Isolation - With regards to our group being spread out over 2 floors and also not being near our client departments. Errr!

Product Duplication - Not that I know of, rather we have responsibility overlaps causing problems. There are still 3 groups that I can't tell the responsibility difference between in our division, it's not just me, I ask others that have been here for years and they can't tell me the difference either!

Analysis Paralysis - This is a HUGE problem. Don't even get me started on the whole "don't jump to solutions, that's our job, just give us the analysis" bullshit. Combined with control above it forms a deadly duo requiring a daily war-like effort to overcome. I guess that comes with the territory when you work within government :-(

Where are all the women at? - Amen to that brother. Amen. ;-)

Overall the positives massively outweigh the negatives (although there's always room for improvement!) and I'm lucky beyond belief (at least for now) to be where I am. I can only hope that my other colleagues can say the same...
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