Career Advice from Jack Kramer, Global Technology Leader of W. L. Gore

Jack Kramer joined Gore in 1982 as a process engineer and has climbed in the ranks since then, becoming Global Technology Leader in 2005.

1. If someone wanted to land a job at your company today, how would you recommend they do it?


The best way is to learn more about the company, our products and our culture and consider whether you would be a good fit. Working at Gore is not for everyone. If you think you have what it takes to thrive within our unique work environment, then there are a number of ways to apply, the easiest, and preferred, being online. I highly recommend that applicants tailor their resumes to illustrate why they would be a good fit for Gore. We have a team-based culture that values highly self-directed, hands-on and motivated individuals, so giving examples of how you fit that mold is key. It’s also helpful if you receive a recommendation from someone who works at Gore, or from someone who has a good professional association with us.

2. What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given, and who gave it?

I don’t know that I can attribute it to any one person because it is something that is ingrained in our culture here, but it is the simple mantra: “Do something you’re passionate about.” If you’re passionate about the work you are doing, you are naturally highly self motivated, directed and focused. Achieving your goals becomes your greatest source of self satisfaction and reward. You feel great pride, ownership and are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful and make an impact. One of Bill Gore’s sayings was Gore was made up of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” It’s having people that are passionate and committed to what they are doing that allows those extraordinary things to happen.

3. If you were job hunting in this economy, where would you look?

I would look at innovative growth oriented companies that provide best in class products or services. In a bad economy every business suffers to some degree, but in general the strong get stronger and many of the weak are no longer around when the economy turns up. Companies that have a unique value position don’t have to rely as much on price to compete. Thus, they should fair much better that those that will see both lower unit volumes and may need to drop prices to maintain share if their product or service is not highly differentiated.

Read more Top Jobs 2009