Your Position Has Been Eliminated with Mike Burkhart Part 2

Welcome to episode 65 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we discuss the interview and evaluation process with Mike Burkhart in the second half of our interview with him about and unexpected job search.

Original Recording Date: 12-03-2019

Topics – Mike Burkhart

03:00 – The First Interview Happened When?

  • Mike reached out on LinkedIn to the person he knew had an opening to get an idea of the role.
  • This time around in the job search, Mike looked really hard at company culture.
    • When asking about culture, choose your questions carefully to penetrate the rose-colored glasses effect.
      • Ask about performance interviews, how they operate, potential for upward mobility, etc.
      • Ask about whether people have been able to successfully take leave / vacation. What exactly is the process of taking PTO?
    • One of the reasons Mike wanted out of the architecture space was because of organizational politics. He does not enjoy navigating the political waters.
    • Look for how you want your life to look (traveling, coding, speaking at conferences, break stuff as part of a security team, etc.). Translate that into current skills and the type of work you can do.
  • Consider the simple questions about your career / current role such as "what do you like most about your job?"
    • John shares a great story about an interaction with a recruiter.
    • Much of Mike’s journey was finding the right questions to ask.
      • It’s easy to ask about yourself about now. What about yourself in a year or several years?
      • Mike shares an interesting story about leaving an employer that did not value him.
    • What do you value when you’re working?
  • John reiterates finding out if a new job is a culture fit is crucial.
    • One of Mike’s questions was "how do you celebrate as a workforce?" This could be holiday parties, births of children, or celebration of success.
    • Are you willing to trade your life for whatever gain you’re getting / whatever you are willing to build with another company?
    • Many of the things done in IT are not celebrated like we might want them to be.
    • The value of IT is not easily quantified by business people. They don’t quantify it in terms of time you did not get to spend with your family.
      • You should care an extreme amount about how you spend your time.
    • Is this type of thinking the equivalent of a systems thinking mindset?
  • We should make tips for determining cultural fit an ongoing conversation.

22:20 – How to Examine Culture before You’re in Crisis Mode

  • How do we get started when we’re semi-comfortable?
  • Comfortable is not complacent.
  • Understanding what your goals are is important.
  • We don’t always think of ourselves as a person in our own lives.
  • If thinking about a job change / role change that involves going elsewhere, examine whether it is the employer you work for now or the job you are currently doing.
    • Mike’s transition to his current role has been the first time he has felt real joy from work in about 10 years.
    • Leaving isn’t necessarily an answer if the job you are doing is the problem. Dissatisfaction can be maintained across employers.
      • This is the equivalent of having multiple bad relationships that were bad for the same reasons. It can happen with career as well.
  • Great quote – "You accept the love you believe you deserve."
  • When looking at transitioning, find something to move toward instead of moving away from something else.
    • Accepting the fact that you’re unhappy is difficult.
    • Positively outline the things you want to move toward.
    • Saying no is better than saying yes to anything and everything.
    • Am I on a track for improvement of myself?
  • Pursue a relationship with a mentor
    • Someone you believe you can trust / have a relationship with
    • This is someone who can help you grow and reflect upon goals and desires.
      • This is easier to do with someone who is not yourself.
    • Finding someone who has walked the path you’re on is immensely helpful. Understand you need to provide value back to them (i.e. progress on your goals).
    • Find a mentor who wants to make an impact on your life.
  • – John White School of Mentoring plug
  • 35:12 – John recommends The Talent Code by Dan Coyle and its recommendation to get coaching.
  • If you want to follow up with Mike, find him on Twitter or LinkedIn. He is happy to provide mentoring.
  • Remember to build your professional network!
    • Don’t be afraid to take a small chance that could change your entire world.
    • Do the hard thing and reach out.

Contact us if you need help on the journey.

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