I just celebrated my first anniversary at LogDNA, so I thought it fitting to write my first LogDNA blog post.
The year marker seems like the right time to reflect on some things that I’ve learned along the way and give a taste of our unique culture. In the tech industry, it’s not uncommon for people to seek new opportunities to grow their career, so this blog post is also meant to share a few things that I look for in new roles with the hope that it helps people who are ready for a similar change. While I’m a marketer by function, I think these tips can apply to people in any discipline in any industry.
Everyone has their own calculus, their own checklist of the most important things that they look for in assessing a new opportunity. For me, I look for three things: team fit, organizational health fit, and career fit.
It might seem trite, but it’s true: the most important decision factor when considering a new opportunity is the team. Simply put, your team is everything. The team can make a challenging experience fun (we’re doing something big that neither of us could achieve alone) or it can make the job dreadful.
Still, assessing the team fit during an interview process is complicated. Like dating, everyone’s presenting themselves in the best possible light. The candidates. The interviewers. Everyone. Here are a few things that I looked for at LogDNA:
The point is to find the people who you’ll want to go to battle with for the long haul. Often when interviewing, candidates spend most of their time answering questions but interviewing is a two-way street. Interview your potential employer as if they need to convince you that their company—and your potential team and hiring manager—is the best place for you to continue building your career.
I’ve got to admit, for someone who loves mission-driven, strong-culture companies, I loathe the word “culture.” It means everything and nothing at the same time.
Recently, I’ve become familiar with the term “organizational health.” It’s meant to communicate not just the IQ of the company, but the EQ as well, which to me, speaks volumes.
Here are a few things to look for when assessing organizational health:
At LogDNA, our investment in organizational health is rooted in the belief that our team is one of our primary competitive advantages in the market. We believe that a team of 140 people all rowing in the same direction has the adaptability and nimbleness to beat a team of 10,000 who can barely handle their oars. And we’re constantly communicating the fundamentals—our core purpose, core values, the strategy for winning, and what matters most across the company right now—in order to keep LogDNA healthy.
I often refer to careers as adventures. They are more than individual jobs. They represent multiple jobs, and each job opportunity is measured by how it contributes to your growth and learning. Yes, other factors are important—compensation, title, and so on—but the most important factor is ongoing growth and learning. When evaluating a new opportunity, take time to understand how this new role fits into your overall career arc.
LogDNA is my first startup. When I decided to join the team, I was looking for a company as it was beginning to scale, a phase of growth that I’d never experienced. For me, I immediately saw the career fit at LogDNA. I was eager to apply what I’d learned in my career to lead a great team and help bend the growth curve at LogDNA even more.
Today, the company is disrupting the traditional log management category by creating what we call an observability pipeline: a platform that enables the builders of this economy—the developers, security engineers, site reliability engineers… everyone!—to get vital data in real time, without regard to source, to destination, to use case, or to scale. This is an opportunity to work on this big, complicated challenge. When you are scaling, there’s another meaningful benefit: you get to stretch your career faster by doing things that you’d never get the chance to do at a bigger company.
It’s been a tremendous year full of learnings (and did I mention explosive growth?). Mostly, though, I wake up psyched to work with a kick-ass group of people who are thinking about customer problems, day-in and day-out, and have fire in the belly to take on the industry Goliaths and change the world for the better.
So, that’s my 1 year reflection. I hope these tips are helpful to you as you contemplate the next step in your career adventure. PS: We’re hiring.