up one level
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2016-05-02

w̶i̶e̶l̶d̶l̶i̶n̶u̶x̶.̶c̶o̶m̶

For a Software Support Engineer when At Work Always be Interviewing

As a Software Support Engineer, when at work I should always be interviewing.

What does this mean?

I mean in order to propel my career forward, when talking to colleagues I should have the same attitude as if I am interviewing for the job. In other words, I should be focused on work and should always act with a professional attitude and my actions should be professional.

There is a story that is spurring me on, to want to adopt this attitude.

Upon returning from vacation, my great-grandboss (my supervisor’s boss’ boss) asked me ‘How was vacation? did you spend time with [your family]?’, and my reply was basically: “Uh, yeah. Uh, it was good.”

However thinking back I should have replied “[insert great-grandboss’ name here], yes my PTO was good. I spent some time thinking over how to improve my productivity for the company upon my return.”

In other words, when talking with colleagues and especially in this case talking with my boss’ boss’ boss, who is therefore my boss, I should always reply with a note about how I’m adding value to the company. This is no matter whether the conversation starts to steer to personal topics. I should make an acknowleding remark about the personal topic *but then end the sentence with something about work and company productivity*

For some reason, and it may indeed be lack of personal professionalism, I tend to respond to personal comments at work with more personal comments. But my point here is that when at work I should always be interviewing– I should always reply to all comments with professional comments.

Indeed thinking more on it now in hindsight, I see that my colleagues, sometimes purposely and sometimes inadvertently, test me in a way, by seeing how I reply to personal comments. And if I reply professionally then they think of me as professional but if I reply with personal comments then they think of me as unprofessional. And then over time based on my historical replies it’ll develop *even further* and I’ll either be thought of as That Professional Colleague, or thought of as That Unprofessional Colleague, depending on my answers.

In conclusion, as a Software Support Engineer, when at work I should always be interviewing.


Edit: This post was previously published at: w̶i̶e̶l̶d̶l̶i̶n̶u̶x̶.̶c̶o̶m̶/2016-05-02-engineer-always-be-interviewing.php
[2019 edit: Moved to: https://investorworker.com/2016/... .html.]