Every business needs money to run its operations. Though, contrary to popular belief, businesses are not run by money. Owners, executive officers and managers observe, asses and take actions in order to make the business a successful one. If their decisions are correct, and if every other important factor aligns with their strategy, indeed the business can easily be a successful one.
A business may have investors and good amount of cash in its bank account. However, that cash can burn faster than you may think if bad decisions are made. As a recent example we can take a look at Quibi, but that’s a subject for another article.
Just like any executive officer runs any business, you run your career by making decisions and the decisions you make play more important roles in your career than you may think. It’s because, most often it would be too late when you figure out what you did wrong.
I came across a video several years ago. The guy in the video was complaining because he lost his job at one of the biggest tech companies in the world after working there for about 15 years. He was a bit upset and disappointed too as you can imagine. I recall that he specifically mentioned that he worked on products, which discontinued by the company. Interestingly enough, the products he mentioned about, have been virtually the same during almost last two decades. So I’d like to give you some ideas how you can avoid a similar situation.
Say you find yourself in a position where you can’t use your skills, experience, knowledge and you can’t produce proper work because of reasons that you have no control over. Neither this would make you satisfied, productive and happy, nor would it add any value to your career particularly in the long term. As you probably know, having such a job is not that uncommon at all either.
Likewise, in similar situations even though you may consider the company you work for a “good” one, the problem might be your manager and his/her limited or lack knowledge, experience, vision and skills or even in a worse case his/her behavior.
You might be stuck working on a product or an assignment for a long period of time in another case, which eventually would produce no value for your career either.
The question is “Should you continue working in such an environment?” I know what you may think. “They pay good so not producing worthwhile products, not advancing in my career by learning and doing new things and not being so satisfied might not be that big of a deal.”
In all scenarios, whatever the case might be, when it comes to harming your career particularly in the long term, you should seriously consider leaving your job and finding a better one as soon as possible. There are many reasons to make a such decision. First and foremost, if the company you work for, at any level collectively or not, doesn’t have as much enthusiasm as you have, does not align with your professionalism and expectation of producing worthwhile products by doing it right, while having difficulties developing your career and not getting compensated accordingly, you are in the wrong place to begin with.
Of course you can choose to stay, do as much as any other developer does, get along with anything else in the process and enjoy the perks. But this might and probably will lead you a moment in time where you could find yourself in the same spot where the guy in the video was.
You should assess the performance of the company that you work for, as they would assess your’s. Ask questions on a regular basis, every month if not every week. Questions like;
- Do I work in a respectful, professional environment where the majority of the management and co-workers care about delivering worthwhile products and actually work towards that goal?
- Where does my career go from this moment on at this company?
- Whether I am appreciated/compensated fairly based on the work/value I produce?
- Do I get to develop more skills and learn new things that I didn’t know before, which would contribute to my career?
- Does my performance get better as much as I work at this company or do I get sloppy because I mostly repeat myself due to the tasks I am involved with?
And even questions like;
- How does the company do financially?
- Is the company overall stable?
- What about the vision of the company? Is it something I’d be happy to be a part of?
- Does the company have a history of treating employees badly or even laid off people in groups with no logical explanation, particularly when the profit was record high?
You would reduce the chance of ending up like the guy in the video if you assess the situation and take actions on a regular basis based on the answers of these questions.
As I always say “Quality of your life is determined by the people around you, money is secondary”. Do not take this quote out of context though. You should totally be compensated for the value you provide. What I am simple saying is that, it doesn’t matter how big your paycheck is, real happiness, satisfaction and success doesn’t come without an environment, where majority of the people from executive officers down to most junior coworker share same professional, respectful attitude with discipline of getting things done right and having enjoyment of doing so. Because in the long term this is exactly what would make you more successful in financial terms and otherwise.
If you are not one of the guys who would sit at the corner forever and do nothing but get paid, take control of your career, assess every situation and take actions to make things better for yourself and always remember, nobody can prevent you from doing it.