“That is nice work if you can get it, and you can get it, if you try…”— George and Ira Gershwin
After last Saturday’s conference, George Walters and a few of his Microsoft coworkers held a session on what was billed as “Diversity, Inclusion and Careers at Microsoft” (or something to that effect). Unfortunately, I missed about the first half of the session (I had to run up to the speaker’s room to get my stuff out of there before they locked it up), so I’m unable to comment on the “diversity and inclusion” part. Speaking as an Asian-American, that’s unfortunate, since it sounded like something that could potentially appeal to me.
I want to emphasize again that I am not actively seeking new employment. However, I’ll also admit that I do look passively. If something drops in my lap, or if I come across something that looks interesting, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least look into it. Besides, George is a friend, and I wanted to at least see what it was about (not to mention make the rounds with my friends before I left the conference). (And on top of that, they had free pizza!)
From my perspective, it seemed like a Microsoft recruitment pitch (and I say that in a good way). They discussed opportunities at Microsoft, what was needed to apply, what they looked for, what the work environment was like, and so on. There were good questions and good discussion among the crowd in attendance, and I even contributed some suggestions of my own.
For me, one of the big takeaways was the description of the work culture. If you decide you’re not happy with your career direction at Microsoft, they’ll work with you to figure out a path that works for you. It seems like there’s something for everyone there. Since I’m at an age where I’m probably closer to retirement than from my college graduation, the idea of finding a good fit appeals to me. (On the other hand, that thought would probably also appeal to a recent grad as well.) And I’ll also say that a lot of what the Microsoft reps said didn’t sound too bad, either.
While I’m happy in my current position, it won’t last forever (and besides, things can happen suddenly and unexpectedly — I’ve had that happen before). So it doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes and ears open. And when it comes to potential employers, you can probably do worse than Microsoft.