Thursday, November 6, 2014

MakerSquare Day 51: "You don't know what you don't know." (11/3)

A very short blog post today--please, contain your disappointment!

I realize I didn't tell you my plan for this last week before our open house: having finished (for now) with my Chrome extension, I'm going back to my first project, Sharecare, which was really in not the best state.

Which is a shame for a few reasons: reason one, I would actually like something like ShareCare. (And yes, I'm inconsistent with my capitalizations because I haven't decided yet; tonight, I am leaning towards the camel case of "ShareCare.")

Reason two, the closer we get to our graduation, the more we're talking about the upcoming job search. For instance, today we had two lectures by outside consultants: a HR person and a VP of engineering. Which made for a very interesting day, if not totally coherent.

I mean, the HR person might be one of the first people to see our resumes: he's the guy who decides whether our resume goes forward after that first brief glance. (Note: Not him, exactly; he's pretty high-powered.) So he's looking for a certain set of skills on paper; and then, in a behavioral interview,  he's looking for a human being to fit a human-shaped hole in the company.

By contrast, the VP of Engineering might not see our resume at first; but he's not only going to be weighing in--and weighing heavily--on whether we've got the actual technical and human skills to fit in with the company on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, if we get hired, we might not see the HR person, but we'll be working with the Engineering person.

So these two people come to the task of interviewing with a slightly different set of perspectives.

But--and here's my English grad school education to the rescue--I can see the patterns of similarity that run between these two widely disparate views. (If I were writing an English paper, I might call these "themes.") They may differ on some details, but the core advice is mostly what you hear about interviews: be the best version of yourself.

On top of that, both speakers hit the notion that informs today's title: at this stage in our career, we may have some ideas about what we want to do, either technology-wise (front- vs. back-end) or field-wise. But we don't know what we don't know, so we should also think about being flexible, not getting too tied down to any fantasy of what the right job would be for us. The right job might be something we don't even know about.

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