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Job Hunting Tips for Techs

Job hunting is hard. There’s no way to sugar coat it. I’ve worked at some great places and I’ve worked at some where I knew I had made a big mistake my first week there.

There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for a job. The obvious ones are money, commute time, insurance and paid time off. However, there are many other intangibles that can make or break a job.

DOE

This stands for Depending On Experience. This is how much you will be paid. It’s very hard to consider a position that pays DOE because if the position doesn’t pay anywhere near my current rate, I am not going to consider it.

I don’t expect every ad to have an exact figure posted. But at least put up a range. It can even be a large range. Give me a $10,000-15,000 range of payment. Are you looking to pick someone up cheap for $25,000 or are you looking for a seasoned professional at $50,000?

Company Culture

The fluff on web sites doesn’t offer any real insight to how a company operates. Are they innovating or standing still? Do they care about customer service or just provide technical support? Is the company a post-collegiate experience with games and rides and endless activities? Or does the company understand that people have families, children and lives outside of the working hours and digital tethers?

Sometimes a company will represent itself well on its website and in the want ad. Sometimes you realize too late what they actually meant by the optimistic sounding words on their website. There’s no way to tell what a company’s culture is until you’re in that culture. And by then it’s too late if you’re not a good fit for it.

Where do I go from here?

When I got out of college, I followed the siren’s song of “Temp-To-Hire” every time it was sang to me. I wanted my contract gig to become something more. I wanted to be a full-time employee. Not a necessary IT worker but exempt from the company’s benefits, perks and insurance.

I wanted to move up. I still want to move up. I can’t work the same job in the same place for more than a two years without needing a change. I want to learn. I want to advance. I don’t want to keep doing the same thing I was doing eight years ago, only for a different group of people.

The problem with IT contracts and even IT companies is there is very little room for advancement. Even a lateral move to another group or division would give a much-needed break in the monotony of running tickets daily.

Seeing the same problems over and over. Fixing the same bugs over and over again. Explaining the same procedures over and over again. It gets old. It gets maddening.

Investment

When I go to work for a place, I give it my all. I become as vital to the company as I can because I am passionate about my work. I help people win their battles against technology. I am their ally in the digital age.

I commit to a company and I commit hard. I am loyal. But what does the company give back to me? Yes, I get a paycheck. That’s a requirement. But is there anything else?

Are there training opportunities? Will they reimburse certifications or other educational classes? Do they require or even encourage it? The truly good companies realize how valuable hard work and dedication is and will show the same in return. The companies who lose their best people don’t give back as much so their talent moves on.

Published inObservations