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My aim is to work in a company with good work culture. So, I started my search from Forbes list of Top 100 companies to work for. And from there I narrowed down the list according to my preferences and constraints, and now I have 8 companies which I am looking forward to..

But I am now stuck at how to prepare for these companies. Below are the two approaches I can think of:

  1. Look at the job postings and their requirements and skill myself accordingly
  2. Learn the technologies which I am more interested in and wait for the relevant openings in these companies

Problem with approach 1: there would be very less to no time to learn the technology/tool before the position closes.

Problem with approach 2: I don't know if any of these companies will ever be needing a resource for the technology I am choosing for myself.

Please help he decide which approach is better and if both of them won't work. Please share, if you have a better approach in mind.

Thanks :)

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    Do you have any current skills and experience? I would start by looking for positions that fit those, and I wouldn't limit myself to 8 companies. – sf02 Dec 6 '18 at 19:31
  • Yes forgot to mention that I have worked for almost 2 years now with 1 job change recently. And I have good understanding and experience in web apps, android and a few programming languages like Java, C++, etc. I am also open to other companies but so far, I think these are the companies which look promising to me (And package is not my first priority here) – 0x550x42 Dec 6 '18 at 19:40
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    You should probably find some middle ground. It doesn't make sense to learn things you'll hate working with nor to learn things that barely anyone is using or will ever use. – Dukeling Dec 6 '18 at 20:25
  • Option 1 (b): Read news related to the company to see what they might be starting to work on or planning. Option 3: Learn technologies that are popular in the industry right now. Option 4: Learn some useful technologies and convince the company to hire you to start using them there. Option 5: Learn general skills - there are many companies that don't care that much if you don't know the technologies they're working with. – Dukeling Dec 6 '18 at 20:46
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Well, aren't we all looking for that paradise.

Please make your qualifications, skills and expertise the primary factors in deciding which job offer you apply to.

Sadly the culture within a company can only be experienced within that company.
So trial and error. We all do it.
If you can talk to others that worked at a company that offers a job suitable for you, ask about their experience.

In shiny pamphlets every company promotes themselves as having an outstanding culture and media publications are usually not much more than mouth pieces or paying lip service.

  • My brother is working for one of these companies, and he is quite happy working there. This makes me believe that the other 7 should also be good in that respect. You're right to say that all companies promote themselves as the best company to work for. That's why I chose a third-party(Forbes in this case) for the rankings. – 0x550x42 Dec 7 '18 at 7:16
  • It doesn't hurt to look at all info that you can but just because a company is part of that list doesn't automatically mean they have a culture that is right for you.Plus,you don't know how Forbes/others are gathering their information and if they get "incentives" to report positively.After all, they might very well get money to write or publish an article ("Native advertising",a widely used ad form). Ultimately, even if you talked to people who worked at a company, your milage may vary. After all you're dealing with people and you might butt heads with someone others love and vice versa... – DigitalBlade969 Dec 7 '18 at 12:32
  • Considering the fact that Forbes may be getting incentives (which is very much possible) what then do you suggest will be a possible way to find out the companies where I will have a good time working (because there always is a way :)) – 0x550x42 Dec 7 '18 at 13:56
  • As I said. The most reliable way is to work there. Again, you're going about this the WRONG WAY! Find work that you like, is in line with your abilities and projects that you're interested in if you have that luxury or simply something that pays the bills otherwise.You won't work at one company all your life. In fact almost certainly you'll be jumping from job to job.LONG TERM EMPLOYMENT is largely a thing of the past due to a myriad of reasons from you leaving for personal or professional reasons to companies going bust or merging and downsizing as well as globalization and recession. – DigitalBlade969 Dec 7 '18 at 14:13
  • Another thing.It's good to aim high but many of those companies won't even consider hiring you,even as junior.Lack of experience in large pipelines and budgets.If you were supervisor in a 10 person company with projects worth below say $1million you'll be lucky to be one of many leads on a project worth $10 million in a team/company with thousands of employees.The higher tiered a company and their projects are compared to your current/past employers and projects,the more steps below your current title will you be hired in the hierarchy ladder.Unless you're some genius or know the right people. – DigitalBlade969 Dec 7 '18 at 14:38
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It's nice to work at a place with a great culture, but that great culture won't make up for the fact that you hate what you're doing. If you don't enjoy the current technologies that you know, you should start learning technologies that are more interesting to you.

After you are comfortable with those, you can start looking for job openings that use those technologies but do not limit yourself to 8 companies. Even companies ranked "best place to work for" will have their downsides.

  • Conversely, companies not ranked "best place to work for" can still be great. The companies on that list are just the ones that 1) answered the survey, and 2) fit Forbes' criteria for "best place". But Forbes' criteria may not be your own criteria. – Seth R Dec 6 '18 at 20:49
  • @sf02 Till now I have been focusing on the technologies of my interest, and I have also been brushing up my resume and putting it up at all major online job portals and I was open to any and all companies out there. But then, the offers I was getting were totally irrelevant to me. That's the reason why I thought of shortlisting a few companies that look relevant and focus my time and energy on them (8 is not the final number for me, if I get to know about a good company I will definitely consider that). – 0x550x42 Dec 7 '18 at 7:01
  • @SethR I also think the same, the companies on Forbes' list may not be the only companies which are good to work for. But then, how should I find out which companies are good to work for. I chose Forbes for its popularity. I am not sure how they have ranked the companies, but I am expecting that they must have done some kind of research. That list can't just be put up there without atleast some kind of thought. Isn't it? – 0x550x42 Dec 7 '18 at 7:06
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You can't really go wrong with looking their current job postings as well as any other information you can get to find out what technologies you need to learn.

If you're really lucky and their requirements match your current skill set (or you're confident you could learn on the job), you can apply right away. However, there's a very real chance that you might not have the skills yet.

In that case, obviously you need to gain/improve the skills you are missing, using books, courses, the internet, any way you can.

If you find that a) you don't yet have the needed skills and b) you're unlikely to fill the gaps while working at your current job, you should apply for jobs that will give you the opportunity to learn/practice/apply the needed skills. Then in a year or two, with more experience and an upgraded resume, you can try applying at your dream companies (again).

EDIT: Others have touched on the topic of whether this method of selecting a dream job is the best way. In this answer, I'm sort of assuming that OP has done their homework and is sure about this goal.

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