5 Reasons You May Not Want to Work for Google

June 3, 2014. www.LinkedIn.com

Written by:  J.T. O’DonnellCEO, CAREEREALISM Media & CareerHMO | Employment Branding | Career & Job Search | HR/Recruiting | Consulting & Training

Several times each week, I get contacted by job seekers who ask the following:

“How can I get a job with Google?”

I cringe each time I get that question. It’s like asking, “How can I get a one-on-one meeting with the President?” The chances of it happening are highly unlikely.

The Competition Isn’t Just Tough… It’s Insane!

Studies show the average job posting gets 118 applications. I’ve heard rumors (no hardcore proof, mind you), when Google posts a job, they get 1,000+. That’s just mind-blowing.

Google deserves huge kudos for creating such a powerful Employment Brand. They applied the formula for success and are laughing all the way to the talent bank. It’s a simple equation: build a culture, market the culture through the right channels, and watch job seekers flock to your careers page. Easier said than done. Yet, when done right, it can save a company millions of dollars in recruiting – which all goes to the bottom line of the business. Being able to hire the ‘best of the best’ by making them truly excited about being chosen almost guarantees your company’s productivity and profits soar. 

Google Isn’t For Every Job Seeker

While I admire Google for being a top-notch employer, it doesn’t mean they’re the right place for you. In fact, only a very small percentage of the working population are a good fit for their company. Yet, the buzz Google’s created has given them rockstar status in the employment world. People are drooling over the chance to work for them, without even considering if they’d really be happy there. Job seekers are blinded by the hype and not thinking about their real employment needs.

Therefore, I’d like to offer some perspective for all those people thinking they want to get hired by Google. Consider the following five reasons why you may not want to work for them:

1) You’ll be stereotyped. Over the years, many people have applied and failed to get a job at Google. It’s become a coveted company to work for. Those that make the cut often feel pretty darn good about themselves. Some, to the point of acting a little cocky about it. As a result, a few unsavory names have been given to people who work at Google. Which means, even if you are the nicest person on the planet, some will assume you’re like those that have earned reputations for being full of themselves.

2) You’ll need to always be “on” the job. Just because you got the job at Google doesn’t mean you’ll keep it. You will be working with some intense people who are striving to reach new levels of success. You better be ready to bring your top professional game every day.

3) Subsequent job search will get harder. Employers will definitely want to interview you, but they’ll always worry that they won’t live up to Google. True story: I know a young man who worked for the Boston Red Sox in 2004 when they broke the curse and won the World Series. It was a low-paying, entry-level role that had no room for advancement. He decided to move on and spent the next year trying to get a new job.He got tons of interviews, but at each one, the hiring manager’s first question was,‘Why would you want to leave the Red Sox?” Nobody really wanted to hire him – they just wanted to hear what it was like to work there. He had to move to a different state to finally get a new job.

4) Your future expectations will be tougher to meet. As soon as you get a job at a place like Google, you can pretty much forget ever finding another work experience like it. The benefits, perks, etc. will set a new employment standard for you that will be almost impossible to match. It’s like playing a pro sport. Once you’re called up to the big leagues, you don’t want to go back down to the minors.

5) You’ll become a professional networking target. Get hired by Google and watch your LinkedIn inbox explode with requests from friends, family, school mates, neighbors, your hairdresser, your butcher’s son, strangers, and plenty of others who are trying to get their ‘foot in the door’ at your employer. With 80% of all jobs gotten via referral, your popularity is going to skyrocket – and so will the time you spend fielding inquiries about how you got your job.

To Find the Next Google, Start Here…

The good news is the next hot employer is out there just waiting for you to find them. They’re right here on LinkedIn. With millions of companies hiring every day, LinkedIn offers companies the opportunity to showcase their Employment Brand directly to members. You can follow them, get updates, and even interact with hiring managers directly. It’s easy and effective.

Start Your Interview Bucket List Today

To find the next Google, you need to start with an Interview Bucket List. It’s a list of companies you admire and respect for what they do and how they do it. Your goal is to follow them, become knowledgeable about their business, and then build network connections with people who work there so you can position yourself to learn about job openings before they get posted publicly. Better still, interact enough with their Employment Brand on LinkedIn and they may proactively reach out to you! Companies love to hire fans of their business. Develop relationships with the companies on your Interview Bucket List and you’ll be able prove yourself the ideal addition to the team.

P.S. – Make Sure You Look Good to Employers Before You Pursue Them

Just a friendly reminder: don’t start networking with your Interview Bucket List until you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile. You want the hiring managers of the next Google to be impressed by your business-of-one’s track record. Make sure your profile is sending the right message regarding your expertise.

It’s Your Turn – Which Companies Are the Next Google? I’d love to hear from readers in the comments below about which companies you think are every bit as good to work for as Google.

周鴻禕的互聯網哲學

互聯網思維系列之5

奇虎360創始人及總裁周鴻禕是互聯網思維的另一大旗手,他倡議用戶至上、體驗為王、微創新、免費時代、顛覆性創新等概念;著有《周鴻禕自述:我的互聯網方法論》(中信出版社,2014年8月)一書。本文著眼在把該書的精華撮錄於後,並於語調上及舉例方面加入筆者的意見。

 用戶,不是客戶

「客戶」跟「用戶」,在定義上有所不同:「客戶」是付費享用產品或服務的人,而「用戶」是不論付費與否的用家。從前的思維是:不付錢的不是客戶,沒有付錢又免費使用產品的人,多是無賴,不值得尊敬。

過去把一件產品製造出來,賣了出去給用者,企業便完成了責任;互聯網世代的潛規則,卻是「把產品或服務送了到用戶手中,用戶與企業(品牌)才開始打交道!」周鴻偉說:「在我看來,用户的定義就是那些你能長期提供一種服務,能長期讓他感知你的存在,能長期跟你保持一種聯網繫的人。只有在互聯網上積累了足够多的用户,才有能力把其中一些轉成你的客户。」

若要發展互聯網生意,就應要先認同無論企業(或品牌)的想法如何,都不會比用户高明。所以任何美妙的想法,都不如先把它簡單地做出一點點,拿到市場上做驗證:一旦對了,企業馬上得到增長;一旦不對,就要立刻調整。有了實證,就是用戶決定一切,絕不能閉門造車。

收入需建基用戶利益之上

 周氏提到做產品要做到:(1)超出客戶預期,愈強烈、愈與眾不同愈好——否則不算體驗;(2)要常常為客戶創造價值,例如說上載或下載時「一按到位」,不用客人按幾次「下一步」才完成,就創造了「省時方便」的價值;(3)找到用戶關注的核心,找到焦點,一句話能說明產品或服務如何解決用者的痛點;(4)同時要照顧一些產品周邊的問題,例如上載產品後會不會令電腦變慢。綜合來說,是要追求簡約易用,就像汽車一樣,一般消費者不懂機械也能駕駛。

 周認為先談商業模式(即如何賺錢)的方法經營互聯網是錯誤的;應先把產品、服務,用戶體驗,推廣模式都做好了,最後才談收入模式。他舉了兩個例子,一是互聯網服務供應商(Internet Service Provider),另一是電郵營銷者,他們為了短期利益,前者設計一些收費陷阱,後者不斷濫發電郵,終於前者導致當局引入監管,後者甚至被用者唾棄,二者皆得不到消費者的認同。

微創新方法論

第一次使用「微創新」這個詞的人就是周鴻禕,2010年他應邀為「中國網際網絡大會」的演講嘉賓,他強調在現有產品上增強及改變一些用戶體驗、提高產品功能、美化用戶介面,都是一種創新,稱作「微創新」。他認為在互聯網創業不要都搞平台,而是應要為用戶解決問題,提供更佳的用戶體驗;透過不停地改進用戶的體驗,便是一種創新;也是最適合創業者開始互聯網生意的第一步。周說:「一件小事,你把它做到世界第一,做到極致,就是一件大事。相反,你覺得自由己牛,能寫100萬行代碼,做出來一個大產品,技術含量高,但用戶用不了,不願意用,這種產品又有甚麼價值?」(第179頁)

另一位推崇「微創新」的名人是台灣出生的李開復。李於中學時移民美國,並取得電腦博士學位;他在1998年遷居北京,於同年7月設立微軟中國研究院(現稱「微軟亞洲研究院」);2005年轉任Google大中華區總裁及全球副總裁;至2009年李離開Google,宣布成立「創新工場」天使基金,旨在協助年青人創業。該工場投資的一些公司,被認為是抄襲外國某些著名網站,例如「點點」就像Tumblr、「知乎」就像Quora;甚至有人稱他為「李開始複製」。李在接受美國傳媒訪問時說,辯稱這是「微創新」,是一種「學習、跟隨、超越」的過程。

人人都是產品顧問

「微創新」有兩個關鍵規律:「第一從小處著眼,貼近用戶需求心理;第二要小步快跑,快速出去,不斷試錯。」(178頁)。

中國的微博源自Twitter,它出現時已有Blog(網誌)的存在,為甚麼還要搞「微博」,限製字數在140字以內呢? 那是因為這樣降低了寫作的門檻,能滿足一些愛好「短文」者快速閱讀的需求;這個改變能令更多人成為作者及發行者,產生了新的互聯網產品。微博一例正好說明「小處著眼」。「小步快跑」的意思是盡快把產品造出來,即使未完美也先上線,然後迅速地迭代改進,最初功能不要太多,因為不知那些功能是否為用戶接納。