IT Professionals – Are you taking stock of your career at the end of 2017?
By Hugh McCarthy, Brightwater Regional Manager – IT division
As we near the end of the year, many of us will find ourselves reflecting on career progression and satisfaction – understandably so, with 2018 fast approaching and talk of resolutions and new beginnings on the rise. The question you really should be asking yourself at this point is – ‘Do I love my job?’. While no job is perfect in all aspects, if you are having serious concerns as an IT candidate regarding your current role, it might be time to consider making a move.
Change does not come easily to most. It takes bravery and often involves leaving your comfort zone and a working environment that you are familiar with. If you are lucky enough to be extremely satisfied with your job, it’s simple, just stay put. On the other hand, if things at work aren’t sitting with you the way you would like, you are doing yourself a disservice as an IT candidate in your current position. Given that the IT job market is strong at present, your options elsewhere will be wide and varied and certainly worth considering.
When reviewing your year from a work perspective, focusing on the following key factors will help you determine whether the time has come to kick-start the job hunt:
Workplace location/commute: Are you dealing with a significant commute to work every day? Is it something that you find draining and impacting adversely on your general happiness and mood at work? If the idea of entering another year with the same daily commute grind is getting you down, you might want to look for something closer to home which will be less taxing in the long-term. With the wide distribution of IT and tech firms across tech-hub cities like Dublin and Cork, there are certainly options to consider that will provide you with a more manageable commute in 2018.
Money: Let’s face it, when it comes to salaries – we all want more! It always proves to be an important factor for most IT candidates when they decide to change roles. If you know you are underpaid having benchmarked your skills against your peers in the market, the reality is that in most IT disciplines salaries have risen this year and promising opportunities lie elsewhere. If you are a valuable employee and can back up your pay claim but your current employer isn’t taking note, why settle? Other employers are out there who will be prepared to pay you what you are worth in terms of market value.
Technology stack: Are you looking at emerging trends in your area and wishing you could have a piece of the pie? Are you working with older technologies or a legacy-based stack in your current workplace? Have you recommended more modern tools and technology that could better the environment you are in, but hit a brick wall? If this sounds familiar, know that there are plenty of companies out there with state-of-the art technologies and innovative working environments which would enable you to stay at the top of your chosen field.
Work-life balance: Do you find you have little time to pursue hobbies and interests outside of work? Are you working fifty to sixty-hour weeks with little financial compensation or time-in-lieu benefits? Is your family life suffering? Is your social life diminishing or even non-existent? Do you have any “me time” anymore? Do you feel that expectations from your employer are unreasonable? With many employers increasingly recognising the importance of life outside of the workplace and the role of flexi-time and working from home, it may be time to pursue a better work-life balance with a new employer.
Career Development: Are you making strides in your career? Are you working hard, working smart, helping those around you and leading from the front, but not seeing the career advancement or receiving deserved accolades from your employer? Is the promotional culture in your current workplace lacking or completely absent? If you are career driven and strive to continuously move forward, there are employers out there who will value your acquired experience and place greater importance on career progression plans and ongoing professional training.
Company culture: Are you working in a negative or demotivating environment, where morale is low? Do you hold your company’s culture in high regard and does it fit well with your particular values and preferences? If not, there will be another company whose culture may align better with your own needs. Different people work better in different environments and one size most definitely does not fit all. If these words ring true for you it may be time to make a change?
The Christmas period is a great time to mull over your career – things largely slow down and you generally have more headspace than any other time of year. Put this downtime to good use, reflect on the factors mentioned, and if any are weighing you down in your current position then you might well benefit from a new job in the new year!
For information about current and future job opportunities available within IT visit www.brightwater.ie .
Prepared and edited by @EdinaZejnilovic, Journalism student at DCU