The first company that got me thinking about a dream job, was when I saw an opening for Controller / CFO at S&S Cycle in La Crosse, Wisconsin. For those of you that do not know, S&S Cycle makes motorcycle engines and other components for custom bike builders, like Orange County Choppers, West Coast Choppers, Arlen Ness, etc. The company is 3rd generation family owned, founded by George and Marjorie Smith back in 1958. So what makes me think this a "dream job"?
1. I have been a motorcycle enthusiast since my early teens. I love just about every type of motorcycle every made. I love to look at, ride, and dream about bikes.
2. I am passionate about manufacturing; particularly U.S. manufacturing. I wish we had more products that could be made "cost effectively" in the U.S. And the situation with the U.S. automakers troubles me quite a bit.
3. Obviously, a company like S&S Cycle, will have a lot of machining going on. Machining is one of my favorite types of manufacturing. One of the best jobs I ever had was running the machining division of a major company.
4. I am certain that I have the skills to jump into a role like this and help the company grow and make more money. This is very important to me: I cannot be happy in a job unless I feel that I can make a full contribution. I have often said, that I would rather have an 80 hour a week job than a 20 hour a week job.
5. The fact that the company is privately held is also a good thing. That suggests that the company is far less bureaucratic that most corporations have to be. When I have worked with family-owned business in the past - the objective often were something like "how do we ensure that our grandchildren can come to work and make money here". That simplifies things a lot when you compare it to the thinking at many corporations which often is "what will we tell the board and stockholders this quarter?" Speaking of family owned the picture to the right here is artist Stefanie Azier-Sattler's impression of the founder George Smith. The picture was commissioned by S&S to commemorate their 50th anniversary in 2008. How cool is that? Click here to see more of her work. http://www.chromedimpressions.com/commissions.htm
6. The one last thing I would need to know to qualify this position at S&S Cycle as a dream job would be to meet the management team. With every job and every company it is important that you can feel a part of the team. Getting the "right chemistry" is critical to making a great contribution on a dream job.
So let me try and sum it up. To me a dream job needs to be
- making products or providing services that you are passionate about,
- in an industry that you love,
- with processes you know and understand.
- a position that enables you to make a significant contribution to the organization,
- working with a team of like minded individuals to create the best company imaginable.
Will I ever work for S&S Cycle? Who knows? I am sure there are a lot of capable professionals, just like me, who would crawl on broken glass from Milwaukee to La Crosse for the opportunity. So the competition should be really tough. That is as it should be, when you have a great company like S&S - you have to be able to get great people to keep it great. Will I ever work for S&S Cycle? I don't know, but I'm going to give it my best shot.
And if I don't make the team at S&S Cycle, I am going to keep trying till I find something with all of the qualities of S&S.
All the best,