Match-making your dream job

What matters when picking your first job after graduate school?

Graduation season is coming up, which means that a lot of student are actively starting to look for a job. As part of that process there will be a lot of questions coming to the surface. What am I good at? What do I want to do? Where can I get paid well? Who should I work for? Which industry am I passionate about? All of these questions are important. However, I will argue that one particular question is more important than the others:

What are my values and do they match the values of the company?

There are several reasons why you should be asking yourself this question:

  • Joining a company is like joining a new family and you will get new brothers and sisters. Some will be annoying and others will be lovely. This is your opportunity to join a family that you care about.
  • You spend more time at work than you do with your companion. Make it count.
  • If you are not passionate about what you do, you will never do a good job. This will affect the company and it will eventually affect your continues career.
  • Your life is short! Why waste time working on something that doesn’t matter to you.

To help you map the companies that match your values I have created a simple model.
I have chosen to call it: “The 3 Core Values Model”

3 core values model by Alexander Hold 20-Feb-2016
3 Core Values Model by Alexander Hold 20-Feb-2016

The model consist of six elements. 3 core values, job function, industry and location.

The 3 core values
The core values are the 3 values that matters the most to you. You must select 3 values that you really care about and which should serve you as a guideline for choosing the right employer. The rational for choosing 3 and not 4 or 5, is that it is important for you to focus. 3 stands for Past, Presence, Future. Birth, Life, Death. However, most importantly you must focus and narrow down what really matters to you.

Job Function
Narrowing down on your preferred job function is very important. Sadly too many graduate students, especially within business are not focused when applying for jobs. Because they are educated generalist, majority will apply to Marketing, Strategy, Finance, Communication, Operations and whatever course they studied in school. The lack of self-awareness affects your concentration and will come across as unprofessional with employers.

Selecting the right industry is similarly important for you to target your job search. If you know which industry you are really passionate about you can take on any job function and over time excel to become an executive manager of the firm.

Location is for some really important and for other less. A lot of global companies’ value mobility and international profiles do often have a wider variety of companies to select from.

These are my 3 core values that matter the most to me:

Sustainability – as I want to work for an organization that makes a positive impact in the world.
Innovation – as I want to surround myself around people that challenge the status quo and make changes in their industry.
Growth – as I want to accelerate my career and see greater opportunities to excel with a fast growing company.

Now it is your turn to customize the model to fit your values. It is important that you take the time to reflect and figure out what really matters to you. Maybe you are all about fame, money, or maybe you seek security. It is all about YOUR true values.

Ask the What if Question?

Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre

Innovation starts when people ask the What if Question? Today I attend a great lecture in connection with the 10 year anniversary for the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre. The lecturer was Steve Huff, form managing director of Typefi, an automated publishing too used by companies such as Apple, Lonely Planet and Telstra.

Steve Huff was sharing his entrepreneurial experience, which he did really well. In 1999, just after the IT bobble busted, he founded Typefi, after asking the question; What if we could automate book publishing and save the publishers money by shortening the editing process from several days to today’s just 3 minutes. The entire lecture was framed by this question of: What if? Because as Steve said, that is the main question entrepreneurs ask themselves.

Steve shared a great story of an episode with an online conference call with Apple in Cupertino, where they experienced constant fall outs. The Apple employees became pretty frustrated about the situation and Steve Huff and his team had to admit that they did not have broadband.

Even though Steve’s story was pretty amazing, he underlined that being an entrepreneur is a hard job and he also had a few stories to about sleepless nights, extreme frustration and fear. But as he stated, if you are passionate about what you do, you don’t want to take a break from it.

Today Steve has asked himself the question: What if we could supply refugee camps in Africa with lightning and by that minimize the risk of assault and rape of women and children? With this question has Steve set out to create jobs in a whole new industry of lightning under the name of Doble.

The anniversary also gave the opportunity to say hello to Gideon Shalwick, an online video marketing entrepreneur specialized in turning online videos into cash. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a guest lecture held by Gideon just a week earlier on Campus. It was a great lecture, and I was happy to be presented with the opportunity to have a little chat about Gideon’s book publishing history.

All over a regular Thursday turned into an extraordinary Thursday. Now I am about to ask myself the What if Question? And so should you?

FoodPharmaTech 10 innovative discovery!

Food Pharma Tech 2010

Wednesday I visited MCH (Messecenter Herning) for the FoodPharmaTech 10 trade-fair. You might wonder why FoodPharmaTech, but it is like a tradition and I have been attending for several years.

Trade-fairs are a dying race cause to the evolvement of the internet, and there is hardly anything you can see on a trade-fair that you cannot find on the web. It is a shame though. Let me tell you why. Walking up and down the corridors, you often experience something catching your attention which you usually would not have found elsewhere. Being there in real life also offers your other opportunities such as feeling, smelling a tasting, which you at the moment will not be able to on the web. However trade-fairs are dying simply because it is too expensive and the businesses displaying their products cannot defend their presence.

Even though the trade-fairs are dying it is an enjoyable experience and I also did a discovery. Maybe not new but at least interesting and I got my hands on an innovative product that I had only heard about, but not before tried out.

The product concerns the category of handling milk, and other dairy products, and could be defined as a carton, however it is not. We are talking about an innovative bag that has some absolute cool features.

The concept of the back is that you cut a hole for the dairy product to float out of. As seen on the picture there is an air bobble working as a handle which gives the bag the function of a jug. The bottom of the bag is flat, so even though the bag is made from flexible plastic, it stands upright on the table or in the refrigerator. Another interesting feature of the dairy bag is the automatic closing system. As you stop purring, the bag will automatically close and prevent bacteria’s and dust to get in touch with the product.

Food Pharma Tech Carton 2010
Food Pharma Tech Carton 2010

Last but not least the bag has some logistic advantages. Today when dairy products in cartons are transported to the stores they come in boxes made of hard plastic. These boxes are cleaned and send back to the dairy manufacture empty, where again new cartons of dairy products are packed in them. This is however very costly as the transportation from store to the manufacture is approximately 90% air. With the plastic bag there is no need of hard plastic boxes and the bags can just be packed in cardboard boxes which can be reused for other purposes by the store. The truck does then have the opportunity to transport something else instead of the empty boxes.

So the conclusion must be that it is a win, win situation. The consumer gets a well-functioning product with great abilities. It doesn’t require that much space in the stores. The transportation company can be more efficient. The manufacture can save money on the transportation cost. And the environment will benefit from less carbon dioxide emissions.

Because the trade-fairs are dying grip the opportunity before it is too late. The FoodPharmaTech 10 was free to enter and so are many other trade-fairs today. If you are being open-minded you might end up getting inspired for the next big venture, even though it is in a branch you usually would not find interesting.