Looking for a new Job? – don’t look for a job, look for a company.

First, I need to recognize the excellent posts on this subject that one of the North Dallas .NET User Group members, Anderson Imes, did a while back. Here and Here.

Here’s the thing. Anderson and I are in pretty different boats. He’s starting off his career, I have a well established development background with some of the largest companies in the world. That being said, the principals of “job hunting” are the same. When you are being interviewed – it is just as important for you to also interview the potential company.

One of the best parts about leaving Microsoft is that I have Microsoft on my resume. It’s amazing how many doors that opens. Any company that I have wanted to look at… the door has been wide open. I pretty much get the interview… and in most cases I’ve been ushered past the tech screen as well. One of the other benefits of the last year and a half is that I know most of the consulting partners and enterprises shops in the DFW area, and most of them know me as well.

This has created an interesting phenomenon that I haven’t really had in my life before. I’m *really* able to evaluate different companies and make some serious decisions about the type of work that I want to do… and the type of company that I want to do that with..

After I left Microsoft, I met with several companies… most of them were really good companies with interesting projects. During that process I learned a lot about what I *don’t* want to do – which is sometimes, just as important as knowing what you do want to do. Mostly I realized that I am so used to working with and impacting multiple teams at a time that staying on one project with one team wasn’t very appealing. At the same time, I actually *want* to complete projects… help teams of people implement best practices, leverage Microsoft technologies and move from inception to deployment.

I also realized that I like being involved in the community. I wasn’t sure how I was going to continue my involvement… hookup with a specific user group or what? That was when Giovanni convinced me to follow through on the CommunityCast.tv idea. That is something that I am very excited about., and I’ll blog more later. The important community aspect is that not all companies value community involvement. If I had the opportunity to go to the Mix07 conference, or the MVP summit… not everyone would support opportunities like those.

So, after two weeks of meeting with different people and companies… the company that I am going to work at is actually the first company that a spoke with after leaving Microsoft. I’ve known them since before joining Microsoft and worked with them frequently while I was there. Giovanni keeps trying to get me to spill the beans on my new endeavor… but I think that I’ll have a contest and give out a *really cool prize* instead. 🙂 More on that to come!

About Caleb Jenkins

Caleb Jenkins is an international speaker, author and 6 time Microsoft MVP award recipient, he currently works for Solera as a Director of Software Development. An entertaining and informative speaker who approaches software from a fresh perspective that spans UX, agile practices and technologies for enterprise customers from across the globe. Leading UX product design teams, coaching multi-team agile transformations and architecting and mentoring at some of the largest companies in the world, As a long time community leader and former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Founder and Principal Mentor of Proaction Mentors, former UX Manager and Agile Coach, Senior Architect for Six Flags Corporation, Product Architect on a Cloud Marketing Platform, Caleb has made a career out of empowering others while building products and teams that delight customers and solve business needs. You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) or his blog, DevelopingUX.com and if you're still reading this, then you could also subscribe to his blog RSS feed or sign up to receive updates by email