Why ASEC Might Be The Right Work Environment For You


Looking for a new job is often just about the job: we want to know what the job’s pay will be, what the job’s responsibilities are, and where the job will be located. These are the high-level details available on any job post.

Those are important details, of course, but anyone who’s ever worked in an office and with a team knows there’s more to a job than just what’s written on the post.

Even with companies that describe what it’s like to work with them, candidates know it takes a bit more effort to learn about a company’s working environment. These are details that can come out in the research we do about a company and the interview process, or we might not find out about them until a few weeks (or months!) into the job itself.

Finding out about the working environment at the company you’re applying to shouldn’t take months. With the right preparation, you should be able to get enough information to make a smart decision much sooner. 

As ASEC is an employee-owned company, we take a special interest in making sure that the people we hire – our future employees and co-workers – are a good fit for us, and that they feel they fit well, too. 

Part of making that process successful is knowing what you’re looking for in a workplace. To help with that, we’re sharing a few questions you can ask yourself to ensure a good workplace fit for your new job, as well as insights into what working at ASEC is like.

7 Questions To Ask Yourself When Looking For A New Work Environment

When we’re looking for a new job, the filters we set up can be fairly straightforward. How much do I want to make? Where do I want to work? What title am I looking for? Job portals can then lead us toward the openings we’re looking for.

However, finding the right work environment can be a trickier process. One good place to start is with a little bit of introspection. We’ve put together the seven questions below as a good place to start when looking for your next job in the defense contracting industry.

  1. How important is autonomy to me?

Having a sense of independence and control over one’s work can be a significant factor in job satisfaction. It is essential to understand how much autonomy you desire in your work and whether the company you are considering can provide you with that level of autonomy. 

Once you have your answer – and you can support it with the times in past jobs where you felt the most satisfied – you’ll be well-equipped to bring up the topic in an interview.

  1. How do I feel about working in teams?

Most jobs in the defense contracting industry require collaboration. Therefore, it is essential to assess your ability to work with others, your communication skills, and how much you enjoy collaboration.

If there are types of collaboration or communication you prefer, note these down. Being conscious of how and where you work best will also help hiring managers make the right decision.

  1. What are my long-term career goals?

It is important to determine what you want to achieve in your career and whether the company you are considering can provide opportunities for advancement, professional development, and learning. 

When considering how a company fits in with your goals, two good indicators to consider are longevity – how long people stay at the company, and how long the company has been around – as well as growth prospects. Is the company growing, taking on new contracts, and establishing new projects, or are they maintaining and staying even-keeled? ASEC hired over 120 new employees in 2022, so we are definitely looking to grow.

  1. How much does the company invest in its people?

The amount a company invests in its people can be an indicator of how much they value their employees. It is important to consider the training and development programs, benefits, and support the company provides to its employees.

One example of this is ASEC’s employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP. It’s a way of valuing employee contributions with increased ownership in the company. This means as the company grows and succeeds, the employee has a direct stake in that growth. As another way of investing in our employees’ growth\, ASEC also offers tuition reimbursement for both undergraduate and some graduate-level classes.

  1. What kind of work environment do I thrive in?

Every person has their own work environment preferences. Some people prefer a quiet, solo work environment, while others thrive in a bustling, collaborative atmosphere. It is essential to determine what kind of work environment suits you best. 

As Dan Bishop, an ASEC Systems Engineer and Program Manager, shared in a recent interview, the work environment at ASEC is focused on the quality of the work. 

“There’s not a lot of focus on competition or personal evaluation. It’s expected that you’re going to do your job well, it’s expected that you’re going to be honest and follow through and keep the customer’s needs in focus. The aim of the company is to support you in that and help you succeed. To put you in a position where your client allows you to do your work and lets you succeed without worrying about other items.”

  1. How much work-life balance do I need?

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial to one’s well-being. Consider how much flexibility you need to accommodate personal obligations and hobbies outside of work and whether the company you are considering can accommodate those needs. 

Being open about this helps to ensure that you find the right company, but also that the company understands your needs. ASEC’s Director of Talent Acquisition Stephanie St. Peter shared how she works to understand each candidate’s values from the very first steps of the interview process: 

“I try to find out what environments they find the most rewarding and successful. I never look at a candidate as a “butt in a seat”, but as a person with a life, a family, friends, and unique goals and aspirations.”

  1. How important is company culture to me?

Company culture is the shared values, beliefs, and practices that influence the behavior of the organization’s employees. It is essential to determine how much the company culture aligns with your values and whether you would enjoy working in that environment.

In some instances, company culture has to be experienced from the inside. Having the chance to speak to current employees will also illuminate more about how the company treats its employees. Here are two recent examples from ASEC:

“Above all, I love working for a company that is deeply committed to our nation’s Warfighter. I [also] feel very supported by our executive leadership team. They have allowed me the opportunity to build a Talent Acquisition department and implement recruiting processes that did not exist here before me.” – Stephanie St. Peter, Director of Talent Acquisition

“We’ve got very open lines of communication across multiple teams and that helps us. It’s really nice to sit in on meetings, it’s gratifying to see where decisions are being made and problems are being solved because there are multiple ASEC personnel involved on multiple teams. It gives you a sense of pride that we have a lot of quality folks that are trusted by the client to help solve problems.” Dan Bishop, Systems Engineer & Program Manager

Interested In Careers At ASEC? See What We Have Available

Finding the right workplace fit is crucial when searching for a job, and it’s our hope that in sharing some pointers, we can help you understand better if ASEC is the right fit for you. 

If you’d like to work at an employee-owned company that values diversity, collaboration, and innovation, then we encourage you to visit our job listings here and to consider applying.