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Mike Levan
Mike Levan

Posted on • Originally published at

Know Your Worth in the Tech Industry

Knowing your worth in general is important, but if you're in the IT industry, you may start seeing patterns unhappiness. The unhappiness can come from a plethora of different things - hours, commute, unhealthy environments, and many others.

In this blog post, I'm going to go over the top three issues that you should look out for, how to hopefully fix them, and more importantly, help you understand your worth.

Long Hours

One of the issues that are unfortunately apparent is long hours. I can't lie, there will be times that you'll pull 14-15 hour days. Whether there's an unknown issue that occurred or because you simply want to get a piece of code done. The other thing is if you choose to do it, that's fine. It's your choice, but remember not to burn yourself out.

The issue starts to occur when an organization expects it. You may hear things like this:

This person is working long hours, so it's expected.
This person is working long hours, why can't you?
There's a deadline that needs to be met. I promise it won't always be like this.

Once we get over this deadline, the timing won't be as bad.
The above four bullet points are all excuses. Understand that it doesn't have to do with a deadline, it's just a poor company culture. If a company doesn't understand that you have a family and a life outside of work, and they hold it against you, get out. I know that's easier said than done, but try your best.

Poor Communication and Culture

You'll never have a job that's 150% perfect. At the end of the day, perfection isn't something that's truly possible. That goes for pretty much everything in life.

However, there are things about jobs that make them close to perfect. The perfection aspect will be about what you consider perfection. Whether it's a shorter commute, working from home, or lots of conversation, you'll be the judge of that.

With that being said, here are a few things you want to watch out for because you know your worth and what you're looking for.

If communication with management isn't there or feels forced, chances are you won't have an open line of communication. That never feels good.

If everyone looks upset, mad, or unhappy, it's most likely a poor culture.

If technology isn't cared about and treated poorly in the organization, chances are working for tech departments in that org won't be fun or exciting.

If management won't hear you out. If you have a good idea, but they say no because of some mythical timeline or say something along the lines of it's too much of a lift.

If the organization isn't willing to adapt to new ways of doing technology work. I hate when someone says it works, so it's fine. Sure, horses just worked when we used them to get around before we had cars too.

The thing is this - no one can tell you what perfection is to you, but there are a lot of things that come up in technology departments that are typical within poor organizations. These things may differ for you, but the core issues always occur.

The Ability to Grow

If you're passionate about technology, it's very hard not to want to grow. Growing doesn't essentially mean a promotion or a title change. Typically, growing means learning new skills, AKA, not being stagnant.

Believe it or not, there are places that won't fully understand your passion to grow and get better. Here are some tips to confirm you can grow in your current position prior to having to look for a new one:

Ask your manager to take on new tasks, even if they are outside of your wheelhouse.

If you're interested in something specific, say, frontend development, ask the frontend developers if you can shadow them. This may have to be outside of your normal hours, so either before you start work or after.
Ask your manager if he recommends any good books, courses, meetups, etc. that you can grow your knowledge. This can be tough because if your manager isn't technical, they won't know. However, they may be able to point you in the right direction.
Tell your manager firmly that you're looking to take on new responsibilities and you want to grow in your position. If there's a response of there is no room to grow or there are no opportunities to take on, it's time to think about your next challenge.

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