Mike’s Dump

January 29, 2007


Filed under: Home,Work — mikesdump @ 1:18 pm

I received an e-mail today from someone I have never met. This person lives in Ontario working at A & W, and from the sounds of it he is unhappy. He is unhappy with his wage, with the training he has received (to be a trainer) and his manager. This gentleman was looking for more insight to my experiences at A & W (he came across my post here). I responded to his e-mail but got me thinking about my current and past jobs.

When I was finishing collage all I cared about was getting a job and experience as a professional developer. The salary didn’t matter too much to me at the time because I figured over time that would come. As time went on the salary issue became a larger and larger until I decided I had to find something else to make more money (funny how things worked out. I ended up getting laid off and had no salary).

My next job I was hired at $5000/year more than my previous job. I was really excited about this opportunity. Within 3 months I was reclassified as an intermediate developer and received another increase in wage. But after two years without an increase the salary didn’t seem adequate and I started to look elsewhere.

In both of these jobs my salary not being where I wanted eventually got me thinking about leaving. When I think about it now salary was definitely a factor but not the only one. My first job sucked. I spent lots of time doing on-site and telephone support, installing third-party applications, and maintaining programs written in languages I didn’t want to work in (Visual Fox Pro and MS Access).

Near the end of the second job I was much more aware of the office politics and the environment was changing for the worse. There was much less talking and laughing at work and some people were vocal in their disapproval projects continuing that made no immediate revenue (I was working on a no money project). Many of these changes resulted because the company was in financial difficultly and could no longer pay the staff on time.

I would be lying if I said I have never thought about leaving my current job. We have had many talented developers leave over the last 18 months and I’m sure they are all making more money than I am. Money, yes, it is on my mind but it isn’t the only thing. There have been several issues eating away at me from office politics to business decisions that make no sense.

Something I read a while back on leaving a job can be found here but the key points are:

It is important to differentiate the need to move on from a false view that the grass is greener somewhere else.

Need to move on:

  • You do not feel like you are growing.
  • You do not see that this will change in the near future.
  • You do not feel that you work is challenging.
  • You have interests that cannot be explored with your current work.
  • You want to make a career change.

Grass is greener:

  • If you leave, you would seek the same job at a different company.
  • Your complaints and frustrations are pretty common.
  • You have felt the same way at other companies.
  • You are drawn to an idealistic picture of a different company. If your desire to move is more about the company than the work, I would urge caution.
  • You have been in your position less than two years.

When I read the “Need to move on” section my answers are:

  • Nope, I still have lots I can learn
  • I believe change is coming that will resolve some longstanding issues
  • There are challenges and some of them I like 🙂
  • From a development point of view there is a wide range of options at my current job
  • Not yet but I have been thinking about being an electrician 🙂

Overall I am still pretty positive about my current place of work. At every job I have ever had there has always been a certain level of crap that I have to put up with. If there is no crap you wouldn’t be paid to be there. As for money, odds are, as long as I’m working what I’m paid will never be enough. There is always a reason I “need” to make more. If you have a job and your only complaint is the money then it is probably a hell of a good place to work. If money isn’t the only complaint and you can’t change it, well that’s another story.


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