10 things to consider when looking for your next job in tech
Finding a new job in tech is never a simple process — especially when you add happiness to the list of things you want. More than any other time in history, we’re looking for careers that not only financially support our busy lives, but also provide value and leave us feeling fulfilled.
It’s not always easy to evaluate whether a potential tech job is right for you. Although it takes time to adjust to a new role and company, there are certain things you can look for during your job search that will signify your next opportunity will be a rewarding one.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Feeling pride in the company
One of the best ways to know whether or not a certain company is the right fit for you is to explain the company to someone else. If you find yourself feeling excited, energetic, and proud to describe the work a particular company does or its core beliefs, you know that you’re off to a good start. Having a sense of pride in your employer doesn’t just make you feel good. It can motivate you to work harder since you truly believe in the overall goals of the company, as well as how your role contributes to the bigger picture.
Work on projects that are meaningful to you
It’s important that the projects you take on have meaning to you. Do you prefer to code, but a big portion of your new job will be focused on project management? Perhaps that’s not the best fit for you. Think about what makes you enjoy coming into work each day. Do you have a chance to contribute to the larger mission of the company? Are you being given projects that add value to your team and make use of your skills? Although each day will bring new challenges, facing those challenges is easier when it’s something you believe in.
A culture that feels comfortable
In addition to the actual work you do, a company’s culture is equally as important when it comes to career happiness. Ideally, the culture meshes well with your personality and you find it easy to communicate and connect with your coworkers. Company culture also involves work-life balance — including things like vacation policies, exercise benefits, and flexible work hours. Every company is different, so don’t be afraid to ask about the culture and gain firsthand insight from current employees during the interview process.
Opportunities for growth
Something we might not always think about when we land a new job is where we could go next. A great way to evaluate growth potential is to see if the company offers any opportunities to learn new skills, whether it’s on-the-job learning or formal classes and workshops. The structure of your team also provides a glimpse of growth opportunities, specifically if there are positions above your current level that you could work towards.
Leaders you trust
Although the structure of tech companies isn’t always linear, the people you work under, both directly and indirectly, can greatly influence your experience. There are many qualities that define a strong leader —intelligence, strong communication skills, being approachable — but it’s also essential that you can trust your manager. Communication is a large part of trust, so it’s definitely a good sign if top leaders are continuously informing the rest of the company about any important news or changes.
A competitive salary
We’ve all heard the phrase “money can’t buy happiness,” but making enough to pay your bills does provide stability and comfort. Make sure you’re being properly compensated for the work you’re doing and the level of expertise you’re bringing to the role. During the job search or interview process, research salaries for the specific role you’re interviewing for so you’re in a strong position to negotiate. Need help pinpointing what a fair salary looks like in your profession? Randstad’s 2018 salary guide can help you narrow down a figure.
WHAT TO AVOID
The wrong management style
As mentioned before, the person you work directly under has a big impact on your work life. If you find yourself unhappy with your superior’s management style, that may be a sign that this job isn’t for you. In order to truly feel fulfilled in a role, you want to ensure you and your manager work well together, and that he or she treats you with respect, offers learning opportunities, and expresses interest in your career growth. Everyone’s preferred management fit is different, so it might take some time to gain a full understanding of this aspect of your new job.
Work you tolerate
Just because you don’t absolutely hate the work you’re doing doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit. Simply tolerating the work you do each day isn’t enough to sustain a long-term, rewarding career in the tech world. Did you know that 73% of professional developers choose to code non-work-related projects in their spare time? They enjoy what they do, and it shows. That kind of passion is an incredible asset to the longevity of your career. It may take some trial and error to find a position and career that you feel passionate about, but in the long run, you’ll benefit.
A role that requires stress overload
Most jobs are stressful once in a while. That’s the consequence of having people rely on you to get your work done. The real issue arises when the stress never really seems to go away. If a potential role seems to include stress as just “part of the job,” consider that a red flag. With any new job comes the stress of adjusting and learning, but if it seems like employees accept being under constant pressure and stress as the norm, you may want to look elsewhere.
It may be tempting to accept a shiny job offer and settle for a slightly lower salary than you were expecting, but it’s important not to choose a role where you’re being underpaid. It’s one thing to take a pay cut if you’re switching industries or starting a role that’s brand new to you, but it’s entirely different to feel like you’re not being properly compensated for the value and experience you’re providing to the company. That will only spell resentment long-term. Not sure what’s fair? Check out Randstad’s 2018 salary guide to get a ball park range for how much you can ask for in a variety of tech jobs across Canada.
Randstad is all about helping you find your right job fit. Looking for a new job in tech? Discuss possible job opportunities that fit with your skills and career goals by connecting with a tech-recruiting expert.
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