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  • Expectation vs. Reality: Working in Tech

    "I want to work in Silicon Valley because that is where all tech jobs are at."

    "There are no women in tech."

    "You can't be creative in the tech industry."

    When people think of working in tech, they often have a lot of expectations of what life is actually like. Tom Parzych, Division Manager of Workbridge Dallas, is here to dispell some of the common misconceptions people have.

    1. Expectation: You have to live in Silicon Valley to work in tech.

    Reality: Any large metropolitan area will offer a stable, and consistently growing, technology market. Technology is where most companies are investing. Every industry and sector needs to hire to invest in their technology. Whether the city has a dominant presence of one specific industry (i.e. - Finance, telecommunication, law, real estate, etc.) or a diverse landscape, each industry will need to evolve a focus on technology in order to help the company evolve. The main reason the perception in Silicon Valley is that it is the only place to work in Tech is due to the fact that the dominant industry is software companies.

    Though Silicon Valley is well-known as the tech capital of the world, other rising hubs like Dallas are well on their way to displacing that title. For instance, Dallas was named by SmartAsset as the country's fourth best tech city in which to work. Known as the home of Texas Instruments and mogul Mark Cuban of Shark Tank fame, Dallas has its share of fast-growing VC-funded companies with IT Services provider CPSG Partners and real estate CRM developer Think Tech Labs, along with 168 Inc. 500 companies. With 3.9% job growth from March 2015-2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that "among the 12 largest metropolitan areas in the country, Dallas ranked first in the rate of job growth and third in the number of jobs added."* Additionally, the annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) report names Dallas the top U.S. market for overall real estate prospects. In terms of affordability, Dallas exceeds even their much admired neighbor Austin in the ULI Affordability Index.

    Start your job search in tech by checking out these job listings in Dallas or a city near you.

    2. Expectation: The technology industry is dominated by men.

    Reality: This is a common misconception based on historical data and the previous 'IT' field. There are a lot of companies who would like to diversify the make-up of tech departments and often that starts with the opportunity to hire women. There are many programs that now encourage female involvement in the tech industry, including 'Women who Code' meet-up groups and other industry-interest groups that encourage more female involvement in the technology community.

    There are more women in the tech industry than you think. Tech companies are making more of a conscious effort to increase women in the industry. After learning that only 30% of Google's employees were women in 2014, they offered free coding lessons to women and minorities to encourage more involvement. As many obstacles women face in the tech industry, there are ways to overcome them and make a statement for future generations.

    3. Expectation: Working in the tech industry can be monotonous and there's no room for creativity.

    Reality: A lot of people in the industry are extremely creative and are focused on fostering that creativity and challenging themselves to evolve their skill set through solving complex problems, which requires looking at solutions from various angles and points of view.

    The tech industry is filled with creativity. When people think of "tech" they imagine engineers or programmers, but they often forget the design side of tech. User Experience (UX) designers are the ones who create the interfaces for your screens and how it affects your experience with the product.

    4. Expectation: You need to fit a specific job description with a skill set matching everything that is listed in the requirement section.

    Reality: Most of the positions (especially senior roles) are very much based on the overall potential of a candidate. There are so many technologies that environments can utilize and the industry is constantly evolving. Any company would be very hard-pressed to find someone who had the specific stack they are currently working with and they shouldn't want to! Hiring managers aren't putting as much of an emphasis on resume screens, therefore you shouldn't put a lot of emphasis on job descriptions.

    Ready to start your tech job search? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you'll love:

  • 4 Surprising Paybacks You Get from Being a Mentor

    At first glance, mentorship seems a bit of a one-way street. With a closer look, it becomes clear that there are some surprising benefits for the mentor, as well as the mentee. Sam King, Division Manager of Workbridge Associates NYC, discovered four unexpected paybacks that will encourage you to consider mentorship yourself.

    1.      The satisfaction of watching someone evolve

    Looking back at their own experiences and evolution, many of the best in the tech industry grew up being a mentee. For those who were mentored most of their lives, it's only natural to want to give back in the same way. But as simple as mentoring sounds, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. The correct way is to be as open and able to share as much as your mentee is sharing with you, and to talk an honest journey together. Their success is theirs; however, the pride of seeing your mentee grow from the person you first took under your wing into an accomplished professional is yours to share.

        2.      Knowing in a small way you were a part of someone’s success

        There are only a few things money can buy in life, but being able to see firsthand - and knowing that in a small way you facilitated someone’s success - is certainly not one of them. It priceless. Mentoring provides an amazing feeling that hits you at the core of your heart and there is no other feeling like it.

    3.      A deep look into your own faults and weaknesses

    When you are mentoring someone, it allows you to discover the obstacles in your own game and what you can do to improve on yourself. Talking to someone about what they are doing or what they are going through also allows you to look at it from a different perspective. You might approach a similar situation in a new light. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to communicate a different learning experience in the future.

    4.      You learn what makes you uncomfortable

    A mentor is essentially a mirror of your own reflection and you learn what makes you feel good and what makes you frustrated in life. If you are approaching mentorship in the right way, you should be sharing equally in the benefits of the relationship, just as your mentee is.

    Mentoring someone not only makes a difference in someone's life, but takes you on your own journey of self-discovery. Take the time to mentor someone and you'll be surprised with what you learn about them as well as yourself.

    You might also be interested in:

    About the Author:

    Sam King, Division Manager of Workbridge Associates New York, is a serial mentor for you professionals in business. When she signed up for a job in the tech industry, she wanted to experience what it was like from the other side: to mentor. Since mentoring her first mentee, Sam has continued to be a mentor throughout her time at Workbridge Associates. She says that watching someone's growth and success will never get old and she continues to learn more about herself every day.

    Work with Sam to find tech talent or the next step in your tech career.

     

  • 4 Obstacles Women - And Young Professionals - In Tech Face & How To Overcome Them

    With under 17% of technical positions in the US filled by women, its easy for the female technologist to feel as if they're at a disadvantage.  While it is obvious that many women are making great strides and contributing to the technical world, there are many obstacles that women in tech, and simularily young professionals - face and need help overcoming. Here's a few key roadblocks that could keep you from being successful, and how to get around them:

    1. Not being taken seriously – Many women feel like they aren’t given the same respect as their male counterparts in the workplace.  Whether in a meeting or interview, sometimes its easy to not believe that the young woman in a designer dress and neatly plated hair is capable of coding an algorithm designed to compute the trajectory route of the east coast's next hurricane or create the next social media fad.

    How to overcome: Let your resume and experience speak for yourself.  While the world may never stop judging a book by its cover or a woman by their stature, no one can argue with experience and accomplishments.  Take yourself seriously, and don't let prejudiced opinions control your confidence

    2. Male-Dominated Management: It’s easy to feel intimidated or underrepresented when the majority of the managers you come across are of the opposite gender.  With only 23% of technical positions managed by females, the numbers speak for themselves.

    How to overcome: Strive to break this statistic; instead of feeling defeated by it, become determined to rise to your full potential.  Study characteristics of good leaders: honesty, listening skills, empathy – and exhibit them.  In most cases, managers aren't promoted based off of their gender, but the leadership qualities one possesses.  Show your managers your worth by putting in the hours, sharing your ideas, and showing your determination for your team to succeed.

    3. Technical Knowledge:  The number of females with technical degrees is decreasing. Many female technologists find that they never dreamt of a career in tech, yet found themselves pursuing a tech career.  With so few women obtaining technical degrees, how can the amount of women in tech increase?

    How to Overcome: More so than other fields of study, technology is always changing.  Self taught coders saturate the market and their knowledge is just as extensive as those who graduated 10 years ago with technical degrees.

    Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO of Monetate, looks back on her entrance into the tech world, saying, “I started in tech accidentally. After graduating I took a job as a secretary for a VP of Sales for a company that turned out to be a Silicon Valley startup, though in the mid-80s none of us knew what those were. I was soon doing a bit of everything, including some programming in their proprietary scripting language, though we didn’t call it that then.  I loved the company, but still wasn’t sure I wanted to be in business, much less in tech. Nonetheless, here I am 30 years later, in my fifth tech startup.”  Without formal technical schooling, Lucinda has accomplished more than many IT graduates can say and has even been awarded Eastern Technology Council’s Enterprise Award for CEO of the Year, all with a Psychology degree.

    Make it a point to constantly learn, ask questions, and inquire.   As more and more technologists rely on their hands on knowledge, degrees in the technical world will become more and more obsolete and your path into a tech career can be as unique as you are.  

    4. Always feeling the need to talk about being a woman in tech – Women in technology need to stick together, right?  Why do women in tech always need to talk about the fact that they are women in tech?  Why do we need more female technologists?

    How to Overcome: Many women feel the need to defend their roles and career successes and praise others', specifically because of their gender – but know you don’t need to.  Instead of focusing on increasing the number of women in tech, focus on diversification as a whole. 

    On increasing the number of women in tech, Cassy Rowe, head of UX/Design at Scoop takes a less voiced stance. “To be candid, I don't necessarily try/target/push for more of any particular gender/race/etc purely because of their gender/race/etc. I frame the conversation differently. I don't see that we need more women in tech purely because we need more women, but I do see that we have a lack of women.”  Instead of pointing out our differences, focus on what makes us all the same: a passion for technology.

    No matter how many more young (female) technologists strive to be the next award winning CTO or UX/UI designer it is still going to be awhile until the statistics fall in their favor.  Until then, continue to make strides, innovate & be more than just a woman in tech.

  • 5 Ways You Know You Found the Right Job

    How do you know when you’ve found “The One” in your career? When you’re looking for “the one” you have a checklist of things you want in a significant other. There are certain things you can compromise on, and those you need fulfilled to be happy. Like finding that perfect person, finding the right job has its own checklist as well. Have no fear, we’ve got 5 top areas that most tech professionals can match their desires up with in order know it’s the right offer and the right company:

    1. Personal Goals

    Even before you start your job search, sit down to think about your personal goals, values and what makes you happy. Once you access that, start looking for jobs and going on interviews, stop and ask yourself, “Does this company align with my values and goals?” It’s easy to get caught up in the red carpet treatment. When companies want to woo you, they’ll offer you all the good things: free lunches, dinners, drinks, etc. The celebrity treatment will eventually fade away, so don’t get caught up in all the flashy things. The right job will be lined up with your values and goals, which will make you happier in the long-run.

    Don’t get stuck in a job you don’t love. Contact us here to find one you do.

    2. Innovation

    Innovative companies will have new ideas they want to implement, or aggressive updates on current product offerings for continuous improvement.  You should feel excited about the project you’re going to be on, the new technologies you’ll be working with, and all the things you’re going to learn.  You probably don’t want to be a part of a stagnant company with an existing product that they do nothing but maintain; these aren’t going to be the type of companies that can adapt to a constantly changing environment.

    3. Mission and Outlook

    When you find the perfect person you often envision your life with them five or maybe ten years down the road. It’s the same with a job. You have to envision what the next few years will look like with this company. How are their stocks looking? (Or maybe they’re a startup and not publicly traded.) How much funding do they receive? All these questions can help you anticipate how the company will look in five or ten years. You want to make sure the company you’re working for is in a market where they can expand their product and grow. The right job will have a good outlook for you in the next few years, without worrying about the company heading in a different, more volatile direction. 

    4. Company Culture

    Seeing how your significant other interacts with family and friends can provide a window into whether it will be a lasting relationship. Similarly, knowing how a company treats their employees will give insight into what your office life will be like on a day-today basis. Furthermore, how people communicate and work together is crucial, since that’s the atmosphere you’ll ultimately need to communicate in and work with. Take a look at the environment and how the office is laid out; it can be a big factor in finding a place that not only fits your personality but your needs and desires as well. Do you need a collaborative, open workspace or a quiet, secluded area to concentrate? Another aspect to look for? Humility: a company with little ego is less likely to put their egos before the employees. The right job will allow you to voice your own opinions when needed.

    Want a company that treasures work life balance? Check out these job listings.

    5. Work-Life Balance

    Balance is everything in life. There’s work life and then there is life outside of work. The right company will give you the best of both worlds: the ability to live the life you want and be able to do the work you love. Sometimes those two can be one and the same. Many companies, especially tech companies or startups, require a lot of around the clock work, and that might be your cup of tea. Either way, the right job will align with how you want to live your life.

    Bonus key area, if you still don't know if it's the one? Growth.

    Finding the one – the job or love of your life – can have the same goal at the end of the day: both make you want to be a better person. The right job will enable you to grow professionally and personally.  You should be able to climb the corporate ladder, and not feel stuck in a bad relationship with your company. Growing and learning is important, so you should be able to find ways throughout your job experience to continuously evolve.

    Ready to start job searching? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you’ll love:

  • Workbridge Associates Opens Up Technical Recruiting Operations in Dallas-Fort Worth

    Thriving Texas tech industry and considerable local talent creates unique need for a recruitment agency in Dallas specializing in hard-to-fill IT positions

    DALLAS (November 11, 2015) – Workbridge Associates, a leading IT recruitment agency specializing in hard-to-fill technology positions, today announced the opening of its new office in downtown Dallas. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has experienced major growth and gained national attention as a booming technology hub, becoming a dynamic location for the agency to provide local clients with highly-qualified candidates for a range of tech positions.

    "With the opening of this office, we’re expanding into the heart of a thriving IT community with huge growth potential,” said Matt Milano, President of Workbridge Associates. “We are perfectly positioned to work with top talent who can drive our local clients’ development in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

    Looking for a job or have an open role to fill? Contact the Dallas team here.

    In addition to helping local technology candidates streamline their job search, Workbridge Associates specializes in finding the best talent for hard-to-fill contract and full-time positions, including RUBY, PHP, PYTHON, UI/UXJavaScriptMobile, Java and .NET/Microsoft developers.

    This new Dallas office will be led by Division Manager Tom Parzych, and will hold up to 30 people, including recruiters, sourcers and marketing & events specialists. Workbridge Associates plans to start hiring immediately for all roles when the office opens on November 11th. Candidates can apply online at www.workbridgeassociates.com/work-for-us.

    Workbridge’s recruitment teams pride themselves on staying fully up-to-date and conversant in the latest IT trends and developments. With extensive access to local hiring managers and technical talent, Workbridge takes a relationship-first approach that emphasizes personal engagement and added search value as much as the nuts-and-bolts objective of filling or landing a job.

    For a sneak peek at the Dallas office, see below:

    Meet the leadership team and apply to jobs in the Dallas office here.

  • How to Build the Perfect Engineering Resume

    Article by Morgan Khodayari, Practice Manager in Workbridge San Francisco

    It’s no secret that in our current market (particularly in the Bay Area) Engineers and IT professionals are in extremely high demand.  With the national unemployment rate on a downward trend, companies are prepared to do whatever it takes to make the best hires.  But even in a great market all job searches start with one key tool: a resume.

    So how do you get your resume noticed?  There are three simple things you need to keep in mind when crafting an engineering resume.

    1.  Keep what is most impressive at the top. Do you have a degree from a top-ranked school or program?  Do you have any particular certifications?  Have you recently written an application with the newest Javascript framework?  Make sure that’s the first thing a potential employer sees.  When evaluating a resume it’s expected that the most important information is right under your name, and you want something there that will immediately convince the reader that you deserve an interview. 

    2.  Don’t list technologies or applications that you haven’t worked with recently. I get it; there are many tools/technologies you’ve “touched” that you could easily ramp up with when taking a new job. However, if there is a coding language, tool, application, or other technology that isn’t in your core competencies— do not list it on your resume.  Mention those technologies in the past positions you’ve worked, but don’t make them the forefront of your resume if you’re not ready to talk about it in depth.  When potential employers receive your resume they expect you to be able to discuss everything listed in detail, and when you’re not able to do that it gives the impression that you embellished or lied about what your capabilities.

    3.  Keep it concise. Your resume is not an opportunity to dictate your life story.  Rather, it should be a summary or appendix of your professional experiences.  Utilize bullet points to not only improve readability and keep the reader interested, but also to highlight your main accomplishments. Think of every point as an invitation for the interviewer to know more. 

    Most resumes are accepted or rejected in the first 30 seconds, and your objective in resume writing is to make sure you secure an interview. A great engineering resume perfectly reflects what you’ve done in the past, what you’re currently working on, and what you want to do moving forward. 

  • San Francisco’s Latest Tech Problem: Everyone Has a Job

    Article by Lauren Winklepleck, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge San Francisco   

    It seems like almost every technology-based startup in the San Francisco area is hiring for someone that is technical. Whether that be for a DevOps Engineer, Big Data/Hadoop Developer, Ruby on Rails Engineer, or a UI/UX Designer— the SF tech market is booming dramatically and now more than ever…even more than in the dotcom boom of the early 2000’s!

    Back in the first quarter of 2001 there were roughly 32,521  high tech jobs open in San Francisco whereas in Q4 of 2013 there were approximately 53, 319 open tech jobs (source: CBRE research analysis of CA employment development data). That’s a 63.9% increase in 12 years!

    So with over 50,000 open tech jobs in San Francisco, how are these startups filling their roles and capturing great talent?

    There are a several ways these startups are filling their roles— the most effective way, I’ve observed, is keeping in touch with personal networks as well as expanding them.

    Successful hiring managers are reaching out to past colleagues, buddies from college, and even developers they overhear doing a technical phone interview on the MUNI train! 

    In San Francisco, specifically, software engineers have a 2% unemployment rate compared to 4.4% unemployment nationwide. The job market for engineers is hotter than ever, meaning companies will do whatever it takes to make their next great hire.

    As startups continue to receive more funding, more tech jobs will open, which will continue to make the competition for candidates harder than ever—this trend shows no sign of slowing. It’s exciting to see where the San Francisco tech market will be a year from now!

  • Creating the Perfect Company Culture

    Article by Jaime Vizzuett, Practice Manager in Workbridge Orange County

    Recently, I sat down with the CEO of a startup to talk about their future growth plans, and during our conversation he stated something I thought was crucial to his success. He said he is building an environment where employees are dreading Friday afternoons and are looking forward to coming in Monday mornings. Of course, in most cases, employees look forward to Fridays and dread Monday mornings. Regardless of the industry, position, or size for that matter, one of the most important parts of building a company is culture. Because of the industry we are in, I have been fortunate enough to see companies flourish, and others crash. I say ‘fortunate’ because regardless of the success or lack thereof, there is always something to learn.

    One thing I have learned is that a happy employee is a more productive employee. In a study done by Jim Herter, a coauthor of the New York Times bestseller, found that unsatisfied employees led to poorer performances. It is clear that when people don’t care about their job or employers, they tend to mentally check out, which inevitably leads to a lack of performance. I believe it’s a general consensus that humans tend to give better results when they are excited about what they are doing. As an employer, there is only so much you can control, but the one thing you can control is the work environment. That being said, one of the major contributors to a culture is the management or leadership of a company.

    As managers, you are exposed to a plethora of different personalities. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the leaders in the company are approachable and there to ensure that the employee’s job has a purpose. At the end of the day, an employee is going to take and stay at a job primarily because of who leads them. I am sure every company’s goal is to increase retention and decrease employee turnover, because not only is turnover costly financially, but it can cost you talent. Building a great culture will not only help with turnover, but also attract great talent and eventually your company will sell itself. Let’s remember that good talent is difficult to find, and talent is not going to hang around in a depressing, isolated, and lackluster culture.

    We are all people here, and want to be treated like such, so knowing who works for you is another crucial part building a culture. I am not saying you need to know every employee's life history, but simply make them feel appreciated to the point where they don’t feel like a walking money sign. In addition to that, employees are the biggest part of a culture, so bringing someone on board with the wrong attitude or mentality can ruin that. Remember, it only takes one bad seed to ruin the bunch. So if this means tweaking the hiring process, company BBQ’s, or an old-fashioned walk around the office, then so be it. Employees should be the number one priority for an employer, because no one wants to work for someone that doesn’t care about their well-being. The bottom line is that it pays to invest in your employees, because they are the ones that build a company.

    Let’s not forget that working adults spend more time at work than anywhere else, so do whatever you can to make them excited about coming into the office. I know none of this is breaking news, but it could mean the difference between the next Facebook and another start-up shutting its doors. If you feel like your current culture is non-existent, or repressive, then it’s time for a change.

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