People-First Jobs & My 8 Criteria

There’s a new curated job site around (h/t Swanand). The headline spiel is indeed what it is about:

Tired of “growth at all costs” work environments?
Find companies who take a healthy approach to work,

Their criteria is interesting:

  1. Remote work
  2. Asynchronous communication
  3. Deep work
  4. Sensible hours
  5. Flexible schedules
  6. Outcome-oriented
  7. Professional development

I think all of these are valuable, but perhaps a few can be clubbed together. I had these 8 criteria when I was job hunting:

  1. Product: Product company, not services or a software consultancy.
    Simply because products matter. There’s a good Steve Jobs video as to why!
  2. Bootstrapped/Public: Not stuck at going after growth for VC’s sake.
    Venture capital is great for most companies, but I’ve rarely seen it have the right indicators to build the kind of product I want to contribute to: those with long-term, lasting value, and simple economics.
  3. Profitable: Ideally a profitable SaaS or other company that is making money.
    Profitable companies are just great. It’s again the simplicity of the economics that appeals: there’s no hockey-stick growth required: you spend less than you make, and you save for a rainy day.
  4. Salary: Pays within 10% of top-of-market.
    I think Software Engineering is enough of an in-demand skill that if you are good, this should be a given.
  5. Remote: Is primarily remote (truly remote, not just US) or has a good remote-working culture.
    The truly remote also includes asynchronous communication.
  6. Open Source: Has significant open source contributions.
    Two reasons, one: because most often stewarding a good open source community looks a lot like building a good remote company. And the next, giving back starts at home.
  7. Interviews: Has a sensible interviewing process with a take-home test.
    I despise the whiteboard interview. It’s much harder to be a company that executes the alternative—a take home test—but it’s much more humane and respectful.
  8. Balance: Respects personal time. Allows for at least 20 days of vacation in a year.
    This should be self obvious. Taking downtime is as important as work.

Make your criteria before you start a job hunt. But People-First jobs is definitely a good place to start.

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