When to leave your job... Take 2
and I think it doesn't just apply to you developers... but to all of us in IT (the Systems Engineers as well!)
As a prime example... I came out of a well-paid large 8 week contract just 2 weeks back. I took some work for a 'friend' intending it to be short-term... i.e. whilst I was waiting for my application to progress somewhere else...
This 'friend's' company - to be named later... have many of the classic signs mentioned here... lets begin.
1. 'We all hoped to have company cars, top-notch health care, company cell phones, and tons of other wonderful perks; all just slightly out of reach '
They offered me $90,000 A step down from what I usually recieve but my altruistic nature said - 'hey... they need a real Senior Systems Engineer/ Systems Designer to come in and show them how real-world IT is done. I can take it for a little while.
No... BAD IDEA!
When they finally startied paying my wage they told me that $14,000 of it would be made up by the provision of a really crap, smelly, gutless red car which had been the previous Systems Engineers wheels. ugghhh And if I didn't like the car (which when most of you know I drive a luxury car made by Daimler Benz Chrysler, then of course I wouldn't) that I would get $5000 compensation on my salary for 'using my own wheels'. Instantly $90,000 turned into $81,000.
Quote: If you're not happy with the amount of money that you're making, do a reality check. Find out what you're worth. If you are confident your compensation is inadequate, extend your superior the opportunity to rectify this mistake, and then start looking for jobs where you will be valued.
2. Just How Dumb is Management, Anyway?
The management at this firm fit every one of the three criteria for stupidity that Chris Wilson mentions in his article...
A. Thinks they know too much:
When I pointed out yesterday that their method for managing jobs (using Excel spreadsheets that they email to engineers who CANT get them out on the road because none of them have the luxury of something I take for granted... a PDA Phone with Activesync...) I found out how correct Chris was...
QUOTE: Questioning the methodology at work will often result with a "this is how we did it in the old days, and I don't see anything wrong with that!"
Management at this firm pay lipservice to the need to upscale business proceedures... but at the same time they keep coming back to the whole... 'We think we are 95% there... and we just need you to help us get the other 5%'
WRONG: they are about 5% there and I believe will never get the other 95%. As I said to them yesterday... go out... take a look at what the McLeans, Computerlands, and Infinities of this market are doing... how they manage jobs (Heat, Jobtracker etc) and how they manage staff in doing those jobs. You are not there... you are not close. The differences between their systems and yours is why they are making 8 figures this year in sales and you will make 6 if you are lucky.
This firm I speak of are an Education IT provider who are having fantasies that they actually know something about Corporate IT, and are wanting to break into the corporate market (competing against the likes of McLean, Origin Business Solutions etc) They are fooling themselves. I have been to 12 sites thus far that they were responsible for building... the Technical Manager gives his 'Systems Administrators' bad, incorrect and in some cases illegal advice.
EXAMPLE: Don't install Small Business Server from the SBS cd... install OLP windows, then install OLP Exchange, then install OLP Sharepoint and SQL... then it is basically a SBS Server.
WRONG: This method breaches the whole idea of SBS, reduces the functionality (by removing the build interfaces, and management interfaces) and breaks the copyright law by installing 'OPEN' products in place of a 50-seat MAX product. The main problem is that they expose their clients (schools, AND corporate alike) to these sorts of illegal practices... with willful disregard. And even when someone senior like myself points out that it is bad practice... I got 'shhhh... Darren's in the next room. He has been teaching the Sys Admins and he sets policy. You don't want to upset him'.
B. Relies on, but disregards your technical advice:
Again, as Chris writes... the management are impressed by my technical and business practice advice... but persist in the ' This is how we do it and we think we are so good at it that we don't need to change - mentality'.
This is company who promise their engineers and administrators training... then expect them to buy their own books and do it at night in their own time. Even Computerland allowed engineers to take time for training if there was no project/ reactive work on that day or if it was in a new product they wanted to bring to market. All during paid hours. That is what a responsible company does. Not this nonsense of telling the engineers they will get training and then perhaps one guy hands out some ExamCram sheets he go from the internet for you to take home and study in your own time.
Oh... and I left out the cubicles...
This is the second only IT company I have ever been that has cubicles... the first was Computerland. Computerland however made their desk/cubicle arrangement low, so you could see over them and still converse with the neighbour in the next desk... but the firm I have been speaking of above have cubicles that explicitly inhibit this process... meaning that a lot of the guys end up sitting on the desk to talk to each other... ducking back into their seats when 'mommy comes in from her office'.
Well... suffice to say I am glad I only intended this job as a temporary 'time-filler' whilst waiting to get into the interview process for somewhere FAR better. 2 weeks has been 14 days too long.