The Difference Between Jobs and Opportunities

It’s graduation season and over the next month or two we’re going to see a new crop of candidates hit the job market. Some of them are already out there, creating profiles on job sites and networking with their college career center and calling the connections their parents keep bugging them to pursue. And when I think about those graduates who are interested in pursuing the field of technology, I have one piece of advice for them when the time comes to accept a position:

Do not accept a job. Accept an opportunity.

Here’s what a job looks like: you’re hired as the third-wireframer-from-the-left, hired to fill a spot in the long assembly line of software production, possibly for a large and well-known company. Or you’re hired because the role requires someone who knows one specific language or framework. Or maybe you’re hired because a recruiter showed up at a career fair when you were a sophomore and offered you a huge chunk of money to sign on the dotted line so you could sleep easy for a few years, knowing you were safe and sound in someone else’s pipeline.

Here’s what an opportunity looks like: the person interviewing you listens to what you’re interested in. The prospective colleagues you meet come from a variety of backgrounds, colleges and universities. The hiring manager promises that you’ll wear a number of hats, that the lines are slightly blurry around your role, that your evolution at the company depends on things like your initiative and curiosity and hard work.

When people string jobs together like beads on their career path, they find themselves job searching every couple of years, constantly persuaded by a bigger office or a more famous logo. But when people string together opportunities, there’s a flow underneath it all. They organically find new opportunities because people can see that they’re someone who values working with smart and motivated people above all – and that they’re ready to pitch in. The most interesting (and rewarding?) career paths out there are not straight lines, but go through dips and crests and maybe a few double-backs.

They don’t teach this in college, at least they didn’t ten years ago when I was there. Nonetheless, I have found it to be true. And perhaps more importantly, my work at Arc90 is to underscore this truth, to seek out and hire people who want opportunities over jobs.

Looking for an internship? Work after graduation? A new opportunity after several (or many!) years in the field? Visit our openings and get in touch.

We’ve got opportunities to talk about.