One of the best things about working in tech companies are the people. Smart, interesting, funny, dedicated people, with diverse personalities and backgrounds who work hard to do great things for their employers.
Over the past few decades in many different companies I’ve seen these people working under pressure, in challenging and constantly-changing environments. They take on tough projects, they do overtime, they deal with frequent restructuring and too-small teams. They hold training sessions during their lunch breaks. They’re asked to justify the time they need to do their work. They’re the first people questioned when projects go wrong. They’re expected to keep up with new technology, to be great at communicating and to be excellent team players and if they don’t already over-achieve in these areas it gets noted during their annual review. Hard work and innovation are not always appreciated, sometimes not even noticed.
But … some people are promoted and given raises. Some get opportunities and cool projects to work on. Some companies train and develop their staff, and value their contribution.
It’s frustrating how much it comes down to luck. Are you lucky enough to work for a company where staff are valued and cared for? Do you have a good manager who has your best interests at heart?
Even if you are fortunate to work in a good environment, that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be rosy. There are still pressures and times you may feel neglected.
Right now, there is a large group of experienced and skilled people doing just fine in IT/tech roles, but they’re not happy with ‘fine’ … they want to be better. They want to keep learning, to improve and advance. They want to be noticed, get promoted. They want a more balanced life. What options do they have to be supported to get the growth and challenges they want?
This is the reason I started Elementum. I want to make it easy for everyone to move forward and achieve their goals, no matter where they work. I want people to be in full control of their careers. I want people to be able to learn how to improve the skills that make the most difference. I want people to realise how easy some of these things are – you don’t have to change jobs or make big commitments … small and steady improvements will add up over time and become life-long habits.
I’m learnt some shortcuts working in a range of IT roles for the past 20 years, but the most important learning for me was when I realised it didn’t matter if I was a permanent employee or a contractor, it didn’t matter who employed me or what my role was. What mattered was that I needed to take charge of my own growth and career happiness.
A job is the work you do for someone else. A career is what you own over a lifetime of experience and growing and doing awesome work. Even when my job wasn’t what I really wanted, I could still work on the skills and experiences I dreamed of for my career.
“You can apply for a job, but you can’t apply for a career. A job is given to you; a career is made by you.” Lynne Mattoon
Always remember that you own your career. The power is in your hands. Is there anything you need to do to take back control?