“What motivates you to work for this company?”
I am frequently asked this question by new graduates at career fairs, and I think that it is a good topic to write about. As a millennial who has worked at Schneider Electric for 6 years, I’ll summarize my observations with 3 strategic reasons.
1. Winning Investment Strategy
First, let’s compare career decisions with investment decisions. In both cases, we invest our capital, be that our time or money, with the goal of a positive return over time, whether career growth or financial gain. So… what is the winning investment strategy when choosing a company to work for?
Would you invest your time in the same company you’d invest your money? For young professionals seeking upward mobility, it makes sense to join a company that generates sustainable growth. This allows an employee to focus on delivering performance without worrying about the company’s future. A company with a winning investment strategy takes advantage of the market upside and protects itself from the downside of the market.
Schneider Electric is a great fit considering investment strategy. Founded in 1836, Schneider’s core business—Energy Management & Automation— solves the world’s increasing challenges in sustainable development. Additionally, the company’s unique business portfolio protects itself from being easily copied by competitors.
2. Personal Development Strategy
When it comes to personal development for Millennials, I see my friends’ enthusiasm about personal growth and learning. I have friends acquiring new skills like programming, gaining certifications like their CPA, and pursuing advanced degrees, like an MBA. From where I stand, in addition to formal education and training, the biggest personal development potential lies in the workplace. If you work 8 hours per day, you will work almost 2,000 hours per year. How do we choose a company to develop important competencies, regardless of job function or industry?
I recommend you choose a company that deals with complex concepts, because in the era of artificial intelligence (AI) & internet of things (IoT), it is inevitable that some traditional jobs will be replaced by machines. However, if handling complexity is a part of your daily work routine, it will naturally equip you with at least two transferable skills to land your next position—to learn quickly and to simplify.
Schneider Electric is a perfect fit considering a personal development strategy. Schneider operates the most complex business portfolio that I have ever heard of in the industrial business. To support every employee to achieve his or her goals under this complexity, Schneider Electric has created an organizational culture that strongly supports learning and simplification. For example, the company’s training system welcomes people from different backgrounds such as business or engineering to take the same role like offer marketer. Over the years, I have found that these two skills have become increasingly valuable. These skills are the keys to our fast-changing world.
3. Work-Life Balance Strategy
Lastly, let’s talk about how work-life balance may influence your career choices. I won’t consider “balance” as the complete separation between personal and professional life, because the always-on work culture has become a reality in today’s business environment. At different life stages, some people may work longer hours with the ambition of faster promotion and pay raise, while others may need more time to devote to their private lives. Therefore, I prefer to define work-life balance as getting work done with the most flexibility.
What criteria should we use to choose a company for work-life balance? Let’s consider these two questions:
- Digital Tools: Does this company invest in digital tools for its employees to complete their tasks seamlessly in the office, at home or on the road?
- Culture & Policy: Does this company support its employees to have flexible work options, with policies that support this?
For Schneider Electric, the answer is yes to both questions. For example, I can easily complete most of my tasks with mobile devices and apps when traveling (e.g. attending a conference or customer visit). In addition, the company has launched various policies addressing employees’ well-being, diversity & inclusion and flexibility at work, such as flexible working hours, work from home and the Global Family Leave policy. This shows the company’s commitment to attract and retain individuals who seek out work-life balance.
This is important to me as an employee because flexibility leads to creativity and productivity. Many brilliant ideas are created away from the office. With flexible working options, I can make the most of my energy to achieve more.
In conclusion, a good strategy helps you find a company where you can build your career with sustainable growth and happiness. I hope this article is helpful for you to make better career decisions. What is your strategy?