After reading lots of the responses in the NG, I've decided they're all
bunk. We're in a hiring mode, so I know what I'm looking for:
1) Accredited Professional Degree
2) Desire to be the owner of their own firm at some point.
3) Preferred: Real office experience.
4) Proficiency in some CAD program, prefer Revit or AutoCAD ADT (or
whatever they're calling it these days). If they don't do these
programs, then a willingness to shut the hell up about how whatever
program they know is better than Revit or ADT.
5) An ability to think, try.
6) References that can honestly answer as to what type of employee they
are: work ethic, sense of humor, etc.
I really don't care about most portfolio stuff. They're not being hired
to design--that's what we get to do because we own the firm. I do care
if they CAN get around FTP, HTML, and some basic web stuff because we
use it quite a bit.
Mostly we look for somebody with true ambition. We expect them to be
here a few years, then move on. We're looking for people like us when
we were employees--we provided good value to our employers.
Here's our current "Employee Manual":
1. Dress Code: Nice T-Shirt (no concert shirts, or odd, large
graphics) and nice jeans OK. Dressing up nicer is also OK. This isn't a
manual labor job (usually), so don't dress like you're at one. How you
look in front of our clients is representative of the firm. No baseball
hats at work, at client's or when you're representing the company.
2. Promptness: Be on time. If you've scheduled yourself on the
"official" calendar, be here ready to go when you've said you're going
to be here. If you're going to be late, call. An occasional 5 minutes
late is OK. A regular 5-10 minutes late is not OK. Late with clients is
3. Effort: We expect you to put in an honest day's work for an
honest day's pay. This means you need to work hard when you work hard.
But, we also recognize the needed break. Take one when you need one.
You're old enough to know how much, when, how long. We're not your
parents...don't make us act like them, either.
4. Internet: The internet is a great tool for getting your job done.
It's the FIRST place you should look before asking a question. Learn to
find out the answer on your own. We also understand that you might use
it for personal business. Fine. See #3 if you have any questions. And,
in case you have to ask, no pornography, no gambling. Period. Never.
It's easy enough to avoid it. No second chances.
5. The Reason You Work Here: is to make us money. Really. Your labor
is used to leverage our profits. It's a win-win game. You exchange your
time, thinking and effort for money from us. If you make more money for
us, we'll share some of it with you. This is true of everyone that
employs you. They need to make money from your efforts. You're not here
so we can give you money (if we could afford to give you money, we
wouldn't anyway. That kind of charity hurts you in the long run). If you
can't be productive, we can't afford to pay you. If we can't afford to
pay you, there's no reason for you to be here, is there?
6. Don't Be Jealous of the Boss: He's earned whatever it is that
he's doing. Years of school. Years of working for bosses that aren't
nearly as nice as we are. Ten's of thousands of dollars in schooling,
testing, licensing. The risk of hiring you. All of these have earned the
boss whatever it is that the boss is doing at the moment. This doesn't
give you license to do the same. You've not earned it...yet.
7. Own Your Problems: We expect you to complete the tasks assigned
to you. We will not provide step by step instructions. We expect you to
discover the issues and problems, and solve them. The old addage, "don't
bring me problems, bring me solutions," applies. We would like you take
that to the next step. You do not need our permission to implement
solutions for the problems you discover while accomplishing a task.
Please use good judgement and if you are concerned about the impact of
your solution, ask.
8. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: This means that you pay attention
to what is going on. If you know a client is coming by, maybe dress up a
bit nicer. If you're going to see a client, dress up a bit nicer. If you
see something that needs to be done, do it. Quietly observe what is
going on around you. Be ever learning even when it's not a formal
9. Your employment is always "at-will": We have no obligation to
give you a job. You have no obligation to keep working here if you don't
like it or if you get a better job. Of course, it's polite to give some
notice (in either direction). If we think things aren't going well,
we'll talk. If you don't think things are going well, then come and
talk. We want to make sure you have the tools necessary to do your job
(including enough information). But we also want you to see #3-7 above.
Think of it this way, you're always on a 1-month probation. If things
aren't going well, we'll usually give you a month to turn it around. We
might even give you 2 months. But don't expect it. And, if we've given
you a month, take advantage of our charity and generosity.
10. Talk to Us: If there are issues, we need to know about them.
Come and talk to us. We can't help if there isn't any communication.
We expect things to be brought to our attention as soon as you can. We
expect an honest discussion. If we're doing (or have done something)
that's a problem, you need to tell us. We can't read minds, therefore,
you need to vocalize any issues in such a way that we can understand.