Everyone has been at that place where you have been given so much career advice, you simply do not know whether you are coming or going. The biggest problem when you are just entering your career is what advice to take and what advice to completely ignore. Whether you like it or not, you will be given the worst career advice by someone who is both very sure of themselves and very out of touch with the times and even your chosen industry. Of course, there is only one way to handle bad advice; just nod and smile. Separating the worst career advice from that which may actually be valuable is your best defence.
How to Make More Money
The old rule used to be; stay at one company and get steady raises. Unfortunately this career model doesn’t always work especially in the tech industry. Simply being there will guarantee you nothing; some companies choose to adopt a performance-based model rather than dolling out yearly raises. Additionally, when the company is struggling financially, these performance-based increases tend to drop.
There may be several other reasons for a stagnating salary too; such as company restructuring and even changes in technology. As a developer, it is up to you to keep up with new technology and keep learning. If you’re still not earning what you think you should, it might be time to time to move to a new company. While money shouldn’t be your entire focus, you need to be able to build a legacy and imagine yourself retiring.
Don’t Rock the Boat
Well, I think we all know that the tech industry was not built on an unwillingness to shake things up a little. The old traditional route may be what is hindering the growth and efficient running of the business. Keeping your head down when you can see a solution to a problem is a sure sign to your employer that you probably aren’t especially invested in or stimulated by your job.
If you worry about stepping on toes (and you should), there is a way to stay humble and remember that you have also been hired as a skilled developer who knows something the boss man doesn’t.
Follow Your Dreams
Well… this one is pretty tricky. You may have dreamt of being a rock star, an artist or an actor but the problem with our dreams is that often our dreams are enveloped in all manner of delusion. You think you’re going to be a famous actor and people the world over will adore you? Its really not that simple, actors endure audition after audition being told they are too tall, too short, too blonde, too dark, too pale or just plain terrible. That’s enough to extinguish most dreams forever.
Sometimes what is more rewarding is that which we are passionate about rather than an unattainable ideal. Be a passionate developer! Love coding, problem-solving and learning. Don’t become a developer because you think you are going to make millions – you might make millions but if you aren’t passionate about being a developer how sustainable a career is it? And don’t forget, when you first start out every entry-level job is filled with low-level tasks that you’ll need to slog through before you get to really get to the meat or your job.
Stay at Your Job for at Least Two Years
While job hopping may not look too awesome on your CV, staying at a job to the detriment of your happiness, career or self-worth is never a good idea. Be open and honest with your employer; try everything you can to make things better, but if that doesn’t work out, consider moving on. Sometimes it just isn’t a match and it’s not meant to be. Over and above the job description there are many other factors which play a role in whether you enjoy your job or not. Your job shouldn’t come at the price of your quality of life. Find a job that gives you more and challenges you.
Work Your Way Up
Keeping your head down, doing your best and saying yes to everything the boss asks may not be the best approach. You may find yourself out of your depth, unhappy and on the wrong career path altogether. If you don’t steer the ship who will? It’s not your bosses job to grow your career; although there are some awesome bosses who will be happy to guide and aid you, they are often in the minority.
Whats worse? You may not even have the opportunity to work your way up especially in very specialised industries. Roles change, requirements change and industries change. It may be more productive to ensure that you are continually learning and growing your skills in a direction that best suits you. This way you are responsible for your own success and happiness. Don’t let anyone push you into a corner that doesn’t may you happy, doesn’t allow you to learn and doesn’t allow you to grow.
Take the First Job You Can Get
Firstly let’s start with a disclaimer; not everyone is able to hold out for the perfect job, especially when you first enter the job market. Afterall you need experience before you can get too picky. That said, there comes a time when you aren’t desperate but something just doesn’t quite feel right, don’t do it. Ask yourself this; will this job help grow your career? Is the salary fair? Will your quality of life suffer? Don’t be fooled by the bait and the flattery, find something that feels right.
Ultimately you are the CEO of your life and career and the world isn’t the same today as it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Hopefully now you can spot the worst career advice from a distance and take it with a pinch of salt. If you’re truly ready for a change, upload your CV and browse our job section.