I have written before about the dream job, what it is and ways to try and get into said dream job. Nowadays there seem to be online reviews for everything. From a movie to the hotdog cart around the block, all things are rated and given some kind of valuation. Companies are no different. There are similarities between preparing for a performance evaluation, and choosing your dream job, and sometimes anonymous online reviews are the best method to learn about a company you want to work for.
While surfing the internet I stumbled upon anonymous reviews by either current employees or past employees of Pixar. If not obvious by now, I am a bit of a Pixar fan boy so I found them particularly interesting. As with any kind of performance evaluation, there were some that were overly critical of the company, and others who were the opposite. I found the “Goldielocks” reviews to be the most helpful, and interesting. I find it interesting to see what someone working somewhere likes and dislikes about their job, but even more interesting is their suggestions for the future. Glass Door, the website where I found the Pixar reviews, is a company that provides an inside look at different jobs and companies. Using a five star scale for measurement Pixar averaged a four star rating from 29 ratings over five basic categories.
1. Work Life Balance
What kind of strides does a company make to help ensure that everyone is able to have a life outside their work? Work Life Balance is a very important topic for potential employees, and one that is becoming a higher priority from the workforce.
2. Compensation and Benefits
Compensation and benefits is a pretty straight forward metric for comparing companies. It should be mentioned that when choosing between two jobs to take, carefully analyzing the full spectrum of benefits and compensation should be taken into account, as opposed to just the bottom line salary number. There are many cases where certain benefits like 401k employer matching can greatly increase the amount of total potential compensation.
3. Culture and Values
Culture and values describe the working atmosphere and inherent beliefs of a company. Are there group bonding events? Do people generally get a long and are friendly? Is it easy to collaborate with other employees? The culture and values of a company should align with your own for a dream job scenario. For instance, if you didn’t believe in the use of guns or the right for people to buy and own them, then working for an organization like the NRA would not be in line with your values. Aligning your values is important for personal happiness, which makes it an important factor for choosing a job.
4. Senior Management
Trusting in the abilities of those who are in charge of your project is key to finding the dream job. If employees don’t trust or believe in the management leading them, then the entire production process will suffer because of it. The Dale Carnegie Institute conducted a study of key drivers for employee engagement and two out of the three were related to relationships and trust in management. Pixar is an example of a company with an outstanding array of senior managers; however that was an area of concern for a few of the anonymous reviewers. There seems to be a growing concern over whether or not as the current senior managers approach retiring if those coming up the ranks will be able to maintain the same quality of a company. You can also add in the fact that Pixar was completely bought buy Disney, which has been voiced as a concern in a few of the evaluations.
5. Career Opportunities
Looking at a company’s hierarchical structure and seeing if there is room for promotion as you become more skilled and gain more experience at your job provides insight into possible future career path at the companies. One of the major knocks against Pixar in these evaluations was the lack of chance for advancement. As one reviewer points out, it is a downside of being surrounded by experts in all the fields, you are unable to advance.
These five categories are great metrics for measuring and comparing possible employment opportunities. They also provide good questions to ask during performance evaluations and anytime you perform self analysis to help figure out where you are in your desired career path. It can also just be incredibly interesting and enlightening to see what other people are saying about their jobs and the people they work with.