It’s been 3 years since my technology career officially started, and although I don’t consider myself an “expert” in the field of technology / information science — I’ve learnt 3 important lessons that would prove useful for soon-to-be graduates.
Extraordinary Technology Innovation Is Done By A Select Few
No one doubts the impact of technological innovation on our world, particularly with the advent of electronic computing in the last century. That said, many of these advancements are only made by a few companies, and inside those companies, a few select people.
Although you might be fortunate enough to do something truly exciting in your very first role in your very first company — it’s highly unlikely. More often than not, you’ll have to earn the right to work on something like that, and even then you ultimately can’t control their final decision to involve you.
Don’t Take Anything A Hiring Manager Says At Face Value
Talk is cheap, how cheap depends how badly you’ve been burned by it. I’m not suggesting you should trust nobody, but rather actions speak louder than words. They may have a once in a lifetime opportunity for you, but remember that they’re occupied first and foremost with the value you can add to them and their company (P.S. sell yourself on this).
You’re better off speaking to or getting to know employees at the company who can give you more honest opinions. Websites like Glassdoor can also give you an idea of internal company culture. Any company that won’t let you meet your workmates before taking an offer might have something to hide from you (unless you’re taking a grad role which rotates through the organisation).
Don’t Let Anyone Tell You “You’re Lucky To Be Getting This Much”
Money isn’t everything, and I’m not suggesting that you walk away from something you really like because the dollar figure is 2% less than what you expected. That said, technical skills are in high demand, and a company is only paying you enough to make the offer attractive. You likely won’t have room to negotiate for at least 2–3 years into your career. In the meantime, take the time to soak up everything and use it to justify your worth.
The point of this is not to make you feel egotistical, but to make sure you have some healthy self-respect. There has to be give and take in the relationship between you and your employer. If you’re willing to take a pay cut for something more exciting, be incredibly sure that’s what you want and that’s what you’re going to get.
Best of luck!