All posts by Jack Lawson

4 Ways to Ensure Growth in a New Job

4 Ways to Ensure Growth in a New Job

Starting a new job is a leap of faith. First there’s the initial shock of a new team and purpose. After that, there’s the lingering fears that the job might not have been quite right for you.

Uncertainty and stress are normal, but there are ways to still ensure you’re growing in your career and setting yourself up for success. Here are four tricks to approaching the first year at a new job.

Look to management’s culture

It sounds obvious, but understanding and adapting to the culture surrounding your new work environment is paramount.

Most importantly, look to management or founders for a read on culture. Work ethic and philosophies tend to trickle down from the top. Do they take vacation? Are they around for lunch and learns or team-building activities? Do they put in long hours or leave at 5?

Noting these behaviors can help you fit in more quickly—or decide whether you want to get out.

Master internal networking

At a new job, it can be tempting to remain within your team’s bubble. But as you settle in, try to make new connections with other colleagues.

Understanding how the organization as a whole functions and having support in other departments only helps in the long run. It can also lay the foundation for a role switch if you want a change of scenery later on.

Start branching out by considering what aspects of your skill set are underused in your current role, and if anyone else in the organization could benefit from those skills.

With this in mind, you can meet people naturally and provide immediate benefit while still growing in your role.

Don’t ignore external connections

Tapping your colleagues for opportunities and challenges is a great first networking step, but don’t forget about the outside world.

Work can be immensely isolating. So make sure not to forget about meetups, hackathons, or tech workshops in your area. Attending these events can put you in touch with creators, developers, and designers who you’d never cross paths with otherwise.

Working on passion projects with people you meet at events like these (or alone!) can act as a way of recharging your batteries while continuing to grow your skills.

Continuing to grow your portfolio as you work is never a bad thing. Especially if you already love what you do. If anything, it can show your employer a creative side impossible in your current line of work.

Learn to advocate for yourself

Most importantly, learn to represent yourself well.

There’ll come a point, often sometime around the three month mark, where you begin to adjust to your new working environment. You’ll be more confident, surer that you’ve got a feel for how the company works.

That’s the time to start planning the next few months to a year in the gig. 

Make sure that you ask for more responsibility when you feel you’re ready for it. Even if your boss or manager turns you down, they’ll know that you’re thinking about your impact.

But self-advocacy doesn’t stop with asking for responsibility. It also covers talking to your employers when you feel that your skills are being underutilized, or if you don’t understand a key aspect of your project goals.

Remember, you were hired for a reason and beat out scores of other candidates.

Hiring you to fill a key role was management’s decision. Making the best of your time there is your job.


Considering a new opportunity? Authentic Jobs has one waiting for you.

Four Steps to Take Before Relocating for a Job

Four Steps to Take Before Relocating for a Job

It’s finally happening: you got that call back and the next step is relocating for a dream job. Moving expenses, finding a new apartment, and navigating a burgeoning relationship with your bosses is a lot to get your head around.

Getting the best deal for your new job starts with the interview and stretches well beyond your first visit to your new home. Here are the four things you need to do before packing up your things and starting the new adventure.

Start at the negotiating table

Before relocating for a job, the first thing to think about is whether your new employer is willing to pay for your relocation. Often employers are more willing to negotiate a relocation package than a pay increase. Use this to your advantage!

Relocation packages involve either the company’s HR coordinator setting you up with a relocation company or a lump sum payment. This process is designed to cover moving expenses like renting trucks and tricky things like the apartment search or temporary lodging.

If there’s a written policy against relocation assistance, try pitching it as a signing bonus. Before doing so, calculate how much it would cost to move without company assistance. Again, this will be preferable for many companies when compared to asking for higher salary.

If your new company refuses to budget, there’s still the IRS. If your relocation passes their distance and time limits, you may be able to deduct your moving expenses come tax time.

Explore your new home ahead of time

Try to plan several trips to your new city before relocating for a job. Just because you’ve heard that Seattle is rainy doesn’t mean that the gravity of its regular deluges has sunk in. Getting on the ground lets you figure out the lay of the land and start visualizing yourself in a new place.

Weekend adventuring also lets you check out different parts of the city. Making sure that the place you come home to is right for you will make the transition all the easier.

Your preview visits are also a chance to find community. Using services like Meetup.com let you connect with real people in your new home over shared interests. Making new friends or acquaintances before you move really helps with the mental half of moving. Locals will also have insight into the safest neighborhoods, the greatest transit options, and the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

Checking out local blogs in your areas of interest is a distance free way of researching your new home. Are there any cool foodie blogs? Coffee hunters? Bouldering pros? This can tell you a lot about what neighborhoods you’ll want to live in.

Figure out your new cost of living

The nitty gritty of relocating for a job comes into play when figuring out budgetary changes.

Using a cost of living calculator is a great way to start. They tell you all about the differences in eating out, gym memberships, and necessities like produce. If you’re moving to a more expensive city this kind of information is especially invaluable.

Knowing how your spending habits will need to change can also give you more information at the negotiating table. Be honest with yourself. If you regularly spend $500 on fun a month, then put in the time to figure out how much more you’d be spending in your new home.

On the housing end of things sites like Trulia shed light on reasonable rates for both renting and owning.

To buy or not to buy

By now your life is in boxes and the interstate awaits. It’s time for a new walls in a new place, but to rent or to buy?

Moving to a new neighborhood is a risk. Even if you plan trips ahead of time, it’s impossible to truly get a feel for a place before living there.

Sometimes the neighbors are noisy. The bells at a local church go off at 8:00 a.m. every Saturday, prompting the local dogs to riot. These are things which are hard to predict and harder still to fix when you’ve already committed to a year-long lease or down payment.

Using Airbnb or subletting in a different neighborhood can give you a great feel for life there without committing heavily. Staying somewhere centrally located can give you the freedom to explore the city at your leisure. What’s more, it’s almost always easier to get to apartment viewings if you already live in the city, even without a permanent address.

You can also try to negotiate for temporary corporate housing as part of your relocation package for your new job. Often times, large companies will have deals on short-term accommodation for visitors and new hires.

Home sweet home

At the end of the day, balancing work and life will always be hard, especially in a new place. But with proper preparation, caution, and an eye for detail you can make relocating for a job perfectly painless.

Want to explore jobs in a new city? Check out Authentic’s listings that provide relocation assistance and visa sponsorship.

The Next Silicon Valley? 4 Alternatives to San Francisco for Tech Workers

The Next Silicon Valley? 4 Alternatives to San Francisco for Tech Workers

Predictions of the next Silicon Valley are like the weather: every day there’s a new forecast.

There’s no denying that the Bay Area is the beating heart of America’s tech industry. Over half of all tech jobs in San Francisco pay above $100,000 per year to meet the high cost of living in the area.

San Francisco might seem unachievable for those just starting out in tech. Fortunately, several tech hubs are growing in the United States, offering more manageable real estate costs with the same job security.

Austin, Texas

Austin is no stranger to developers and designers. As the headquarters of SXSW, tech folk flock to the Texan capital every year to learn about the latest, greatest, and weirdest things that tech has to offer.

Austin’s sunny weather is a stark contract to San Francisco’s infamous fog. What’s more, it has a similarly low level of unemployment – something which tends to influence industry growth.

Like San Francisco, Austin’s growing economic power equates to higher living costs across the board. That’s likely why most of its postings reflect higher-salary job titles.

If BBQ and country music seem like the perfect after-work entertainment, check out developer and design jobs in Austin.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle trades SF’s fog for rain. It should come as no surprise that tech jobs are booming in Seattle, as it’s a popular headquarters for established giants including Amazon and Microsoft. This contributes to Seattle offering a slightly higher percentage of high-paying jobs than San Francisco.

Startups are starting to find more ground in Seattle, too. Zillow and Moz are popular success stories offering plenty of hiring growth over the next few years.

For now, Seattle offers a lower cost of living than the Bay Area. If you want to feel like you’re living in a forested city, check out web creator jobs in Seattle.

Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Oregon

If you’re looking to move to a truly up-and-coming tech hub, look no further than Boulder or Portland. Both offer a similar quality of work as tech centres like Austin, but on a much smaller, more affordable scale.

These cities hire for the same lucrative, highly specialized positions as San Francisco and Seattle. But what they lack in recognition for their tech industries is more than made up for in lower costs of living, steady growth, and lifestyle.

Portland is famous for its walkability and bicycle community, as well as its extensive network of public parks. If you want to help keep Portland weird, check out open jobs for on Authentic.

Boulder on the other hand offers both a steady supply of craft beer and rock-solid mountaineering. See any open listings on our website.

Finding a New Home

Deciding where to target a job search is only the first step. The hardest part is finding a position which fits your career goals. There are a few things you can do regardless of whether your destination.

  • Check LinkedIn for shared connections in your dream city
  • Explore job boards like Authentic for the perfect position
  • Reach out to the specific organizations you’d like to work with regardless of whether they’re advertising positions

This last point puts you on the map for potential employers. Expressing interest before a position is even available can make the hiring process easier.

Staying in Touch

It’s unlikely that Silicon Valley will be replaced by another tech hub any time soon. But San Francisco isn’t the only option for talented designers, developers, and business leaders looking for job security and community.

Look beyond the Bay Area, and you might just find the perfect locale — and a dream job to go with it.


Wherever you roam, Authentic Jobs has a job for you.

3 Things to Consider Before You Hire

3 Things to Consider Before You Hire

Hiring is a big decision. Whether it’s your first hire or your fiftieth, the process rarely gets easier.

Knowing when to hire is the first step in getting recruitment right. Budgets, workload, and growth goals have to align to welcome a new team member full-time, but missing one of the three can lead to layoffs and burned bridges.

Below are three ways to tell if it’s a good time to bring on a new team member or if a short-term fix is needed.

Planning workload

Before even considering a hire, founders and leads need to think about a new employee’s role and what responsibilities they would have at the company. Asking the right questions at the start can help teams decide if a contractor or freelancer is a better fit. Here are just a few examples:

    • How much overtime do current full-time employees clock?
    • Does the task lie within the startup’s core competency?
    • How time sensitive is the task?
    • After this task is completed, what will the hire do?

These questions will quickly reveal if a startup just needs an extra pair of hands for now or if they’re ready to welcome someone over the long-term. It’s best that full-time hires are brought on because your current team is working loads of overtime or because you need help with a long-term project.

Freelancers tend to be best for specific, time-sensitive jobs that sit outside of the startup’s core product or structure. Bringing on a contractor fills needs for a longer time period at a set weekly or monthly rate. Both freelancers and contractors are great for side projects that don’t necessarily affect the organization’s core competency, but probably shouldn’t be brought on to build new products.

Money Matters

Figuring out how much to spend on a new hire is just one component of a complex process. While full-time employees receive a fixed salary there are also benefits, medical, and vacation or sick days to consider. Before writing a job description, make sure a new hire fits within your financial goals over the next few years.

On the other hand, freelancers come with fewer stipulations but higher hourly rates. Contractors might offer lower rates than freelancers in exchange for consistent work for a set period of time.

Keep in mind that the billable hours needed to get freelancers or contractors up to speed are basically lost time and money once that person moves on. Staying on the same page is also difficult, even with weakly check-ins and daily communication. And it will be harder to negotiate a lower rate in exchange for equity with these folks, unlike full-time hires.

If you’re still on the fence, Toptal has an excellent salaried hire vs. freelance rate calculator.

Growth

Hiring is the best signal to the outside world that a startup is thriving and growing financially.

But keep in mind that your prospects and continued growth hinge on hiring decisions made throughout the company’s life. That initial $500,000 of venture capital isn’t necessarily a sign to scale up. Often, it’s a way of testing whether a startup and its management are capable of guiding an organization’s growth.

Don’t feel like you need to grow simply because money is coming in from sales or investment. Set long-term goals and benchmarks with engineering and product leads to see if and when an extra staff member will be needed. Then, check in with sales to make sure you have the cash to support them over a long period of time.

Hiring is a sign of a thriving startup. Firing and layoffs spell doom to investors.

Hiring is a Big Step

Hiring is a magical opportunity for companies. It’s awesome to know that people want to contribute to your idea, and that you’re helping people feed their families and plan for their futures. But making a full-time hire is a huge responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Before bringing someone on, think about your plans for the role and other ways you could complete planned tasks. Putting in work at the outset will lead to less heartache down the line.

The Secret to Amazing Interviews? It’s All In the Job Posting

The Secret to Amazing Interviews? It’s All In the Job Posting

Getting an interview is exciting after submitting countless resumes. That is, until the panic sets in.

Job hunters looking to show up prepared to an interview should look no further than the original job posting. Most employers carefully craft these descriptions and use them to frame candidate performance and fit.

With the job posting in hand, use these five tactics to wow interviewers and get the job.

Look for keywords

If you want the job you’ve got to talk the talk. Using the same language as the job posting shows an understanding of the company’s needs and can help with the technical aspect of applying.

At the resume stage, many companies use automated filtration systems. Finding the words that are repeated in a job posting and peppering them thoughtfully throughout your cover letter and resume will help get it in front of a hiring manager. Be sure required skills are included, too—it doesn’t hurt to reiterate that you have experience with Node.js or Adobe programs.

Once you get to the interview, keep these keywords in mind. Think about how the company might ask about a time you met the leadership requirement or a project when you used responsive design principles.

Turn tasks into examples

Job descriptions always provide a list of responsibilities or tasks that the new hire is expected to deliver on. Prepare for the interview by turning each item into a question and thinking of a project or scenario where you met the requirement.

If the job description says you’ll need to explain technical things to non-technical audiences, think of a specific example where you did that successfully. The more detail you can add, the better. If you don’t have a long resume, this is a great opportunity to tie in volunteer or school experience.

The list of responsibilities also provides an opportunity to deflect the dreaded question about weaknesses. Take one of the least important requirements and think about how you could improve upon your skills. This shows your understanding of the role and willingness to grow within it.

Numbers don’t lie

Most job postings include a description of the company in plain terms. You can tell a lot about a potential employer based on whether they provided hard facts about:

  • How long they’ve been in operation
  • The company’s current and previous products
  • Number of operational countries, zones, or clients

If the position is limited as remote, it’s also worthwhile to determine whether the company is remote first, remote-friendly, or distributed as we’ve talked about before.

If the job posting doesn’t include this paragraph and you can’t find a similar one on their website, this hints the company might not know how to explain what it does. That should be a major red flag for any potential employer.

Company culture

All hiring offers are made based on technical skills and company culture. When you’re interviewing, it’s important to verify that you see yourself fitting in the company’s culture. A startup might lack structure and formal processes, while a government gig takes both to the extreme. Think about what’s important to you before taking the interview.

Job postings usually provide bits and pieces of insight into the company’s culture. Are there references to game nights or team building exercises? How does the role fit into other members of the team?

If these answers aren’t provided, don’t hesitate to bring them up in the interview.

Research the interviewer

Usually, an interview will include the hiring contact as well as the direct manager (sometimes, it’s the same person). Researching the people who will be interviewing you never hurts in the preparation process.

Companies often have staff pages with blurbs about each full-time employee. If they don’t, finding the interviewer on social media or LinkedIn is the next step. Knowing that you share an alma mater with the hiring manager or that the recruiter hates people who show up more than 5 minutes early can be played to your advantage.

Bringing it together to get the job

On the day of the interview, make sure you have all this information ready but not memorized. The goal is to have an understanding of the role and the company’s goals, but it’s key to be natural and not rehearsed.

Showing an interest and an understanding of the role ticks one box. Let your professional knowledge tick the other.


Before you test out your interview skills, you’ve gotta apply! Authentic Jobs has you covered.

5 Strategies for Separating Work and Home

5 Strategies for Separating Work and Home

Finding balance as a remote worker is hard. Distractions abound. They come in swarms of push notifications, the allure of hobbies from home, and the infinite rabbit hole known as the internet. Despite our best efforts, these magnets often compete with the reality of deadlines, team communication, and self-care.

Fortunately there are ways for remote workers to stack the deck in their favour, but it requires purposeful separation of work and life. Below are five tips to create boundaries when you work remotely.

Managing Schedules

Routine is what makes the world go round. It’s important to be consistent regardless of whether you’re rising before dawn or Skyping into a group video call at 9:00 AM. Regularity primes you for work in the same way that stretching warms your muscles before exercising.

Actions as simple as making your bed immediately after getting up, and doing the dishes before going to sleep can do wonders for the mental health of remote workers. Marking the end of a work day and the beginning of a new one with decisive actions allows for better definition between home life and work life.

It also helps to start each day with the same ritual, whether it’s making a cup of coffee or working out. In a world of shifting deadlines and project goals a little bit of self-enforced stability really helps.

Recharging Batteries

Everyone experiences fatigue. The challenge for remote work is learning how to pacing yourself without the ebb and flow of the traditional office environment.

Remote workers should try dedicating a few minutes of every hour to a non-work activity that they enjoy.

This window breaks up the day into manageable chunks and lets your brain take a break from work. Leave your computer behind, hop onto another device to check the tour dates for a band you like, go for a walk to some green space and back, or make a cup of tea and stand by the window.

Taking breaks doubles up to counter the health problems which come from working at a desk for eight or nine hours a day. Repetitive strain injuries and problems with posture are just two common maladies from working at a desk. Bones need time to stretch and our wrists need time to relax.

Moving about, even if it’s just to the couch or the front door, is an important way to break up the day, pace yourself, and stay healthy.

Designating Devices

People are great at building associations between activities and objects.  Modern remote workers use their phones, tablets, and laptops to connect with employers, clients, and friends every day.

What we use a device for tends to influence how we use it next. If you use your work computer to watch Netflix after a hard day you will be more likely to think about watching Netflix the next morning when you boot it up.

Designating one device for relaxation allows for your work computer to serve its purpose without acting as more of a distraction. Leaving your phone by your bedside table and setting its ringtone to call only is just one simple way to boost working efficiency.

Changing Clutter

It’s been proven that maintaining a clean working environment does wonders for the brain. Who hasn’t experienced that nagging voice reminding them about the dishes, kitchen counters, and dusty corners behind the front door?

It turns out that people perform better when there are fewer unresolved tasks on the mind. Finishing simple tasks, the kind of household stuff which inevitably gets put off, actually improves our ability to focus on difficult, work-related issues.

Silencing this internal peanut gallery can lead to an overall improvement in work flow productivity.

Take Your Time

At home, even minor distractions are amplified by space and freedom.

The real problem comes when these nagging feeling and thoughts compound into an increased sense of isolation. Remote workers meet plenty of people online but almost never see these new connections in person.

This can make it hard to get out on the weekend, or on our days off to do the things which we enjoy.

Remedying this feeling comes from managing the space in which we work as distinct from the space in which we rest. This extends to how we use our devices and talk to friends. Getting out on the weekends, going to local coffee shops and talking with people, despite the difficulty, is tremendously important.

Remote workers that take the time to enforce boundaries will be happier in the long run, which makes for a better personal and work life.


Find your next remote job on Authentic Jobs/