Life & Work

Sometimes in the course of life, one must re-evaluate the things that are important to them. Not in a “mid-life crisis” kind of a way; rather, the exercise is necessary just to get reminded of values and attempt to measure just how satisfactory life is at the time.

I’m about to hit the two-year anniversary of when I started at Microsoft, which is one of those points in life that call for reflection. I’m doing this by stack-ranking all of the things I believe I currently value in a job. Here they are, in order of how much I value having them:

  1. Work/life balance
  2. Collaborative team environment
  3. Flexible working schedule, ability to telecommute
  4. Working on a product that is greatly admired / respected
  5. Team that is excited and positive about what they are working on
  6. Shipping early and often
  7. Passion / excitement to come each day
  8. Minimal bureaucracy / process / red tape
  9. Minimal commute to work
  10. A large network of friends in the company and surrounding area
  11. Working on a product that is well known
  12. Trust in me to make the right decisions
  13. Perks – free food, shuttle services, on-site amenities, toys
  14. Growth opportunity via learning new things
  15. Benefits – health care, financial options, vacation time, transit passes
  16. Exposure to the public as a representative of the team
  17. Ability to live in an urban environment
  18. Vertical growth opportunity as a career
  19. Having a manager who is invested in me
  20. Open office layout
  21. Fun, informal team environment
  22. Stability, low risk of termination
  23. Recognition for my efforts
  24. Low cost of living in the area
  25. Challenging work that stretches me
  26. High salary
  27. Stock / options that grow

I think Microsoft has delivered very well on most of these desires so far.

This is my list, and it’s bound to change. Now, a request: Is there anything you value in a job that you might add to such a list? I’m curious to know what others value that I might be missing…

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