Would you take this position?

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Jul 10

How management defines the importance of projects is critical to Cubicle Warriors. And to management.

When we evaluate positions, there are certain assumptions that go along with that evaluation. If you are interviewing for a new position, whether in your current company or not, there are benchmarks that use that make you feel comfortable about the position.

Still challenging, of course. Still a position that will add to your skills. But benchmarks that don’t send alarm bells going off in your head.

What are those benchmarks?

  • Budget for the project. If management can’t recognize the importance of the project by budgeting dollars for it, how important can it be?
  • Management for the project. Each project should have clear management accountability for the project parts. Without these in place, chaos rules.
  • How the team works. If it is a new project, there should be an outline of how each member of the team will contribute work to the project. This changes over time, of course, but if management hasn’t figured out an approach, you’ll waste months figuring it out.

Now imagine you are interviewing for this position on this project. You’ve got the skills and want to do the work.

Then you are told that there isn’t a budget. Not only isn’t there a budget, but the management for the project is simply borrowed ad hoc as they have time from their day jobs. And the team is really trying to get help from other skilled people who are not on the project. Like, beg for help.

By the way, this story is real. What advice would you give to this person? Would you recommend taking the position? Why or why not? What else would you want to know?

  • It’s tough to walk away from an opportunity. But when a company reveals that it lacks commitment, they’re doing you a favor. It’s sort of like the sign on the road that tells you that a bridge is out up ahead. You’ve been warned…

    Even though I would recommend not taking the position, it might be wise to hear more for a little bit of market intelligence.

    • Scot Herrick says:

      @Eric Pennington – The project was considered an important new product in the mix of current successful products. Two of the four largest competitors already had the product for their own customers, so this company was behind.

      This event happened over a year ago. The post got triggered because the product was released to customers this week in a simplified form.

      To me, this could have gotten done faster, with better people, and a better product if the management would have focused the project as important and left others out of the important mix and taking resources.

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