At this point, it's a cliché to say that employment opportunities in San Francisco's tech sector are expanding. Any discussion that references this is likely going to highlight the numbers involved – an increase in hiring rates, median salary spikes, and more. An emerging new pattern in the Bay Area, however, is the qualitative expansion of the opportunities themselves. More and more, employees are being given the chance to write their own job description.
It's a phenomenon that's born from the question of 'why not?' Why shouldn't a salesperson mix in a little work with the creative team to build a door-opening presentation? If your SEO experts can get better results by contributing to the corporate communications team, why not give them a shot? Everywhere, you'll see engineers crossing teams to create a feature they know will take a product to the next level. Cross-functionality isn't simply a way to describe a product suite anymore, it's an evolving necessity for employees within fast-moving companies.
Don't misinterpret – this is not a continuation of the free spirit, start-up mentality that leads to pogo sticks being a preferred method of office travel. These developments have tangible benefits for organizations of any size. Right off the bat, it is a boon for HR teams to offer candidates flexibility and freedom to impact their company in ways they might not have been able to by adhering to a strict job description.
It's no surprise that in the heart of the world's fastest moving industry, the lines of responsibility are blurring. To some extent, it's a supply and demand issue; to reel in the best talent, organizations are showing a little flexibility and allowing prospects to pursue their goals in ways that weren't considered just a few years ago. On the other hand, the organizational benefits are obvious. San Francisco is home to one of the most passionate and energetic work forces in the world, and harnessing that energy has led to a sustained, dynamic growth period for the tech ecosystem.
Kamal Ahluwalia, Chief Marketing Officer at Apttus, is responsible for worldwide marketing strategy and execution. He previously held management positions at Selectica, Model N, Oracle, Apple, and RadioMail.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.
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