I don't get things that I deserve

Couple of days back I got a mail from one of my friend who works in a medium sized company. The mail read - "I am fed up with my job. I am technically sound, I work hard but still when it comes to promotion or salary hike some one else grabs the chance." I am sure almost all of us have faced such a situation at least once in our life time. It is so common to believe - "I deserve it but still don't get it". To his mail my reply was - "You get what you deserve." He was of course disappointed. He expected me to stand by his side and show sympathy to his situation. However, I never show false sympathy and being his friend I thought of pointing out his possible mistakes.

Many developers believe that being technically good is all needed to develop a successful career. However, in reality technical skill is just a part of the overall skill set of today's software professional. Today a software professional is expected to have many behavioral skills such as communication skills, presentation skills, leadership and so on. Unfortunately many developers never ever think about these skills. They confine themselves just to technical aspects. Things such as promotion and leadership opportunities also call for skills that are non technical. Just seniority or technical superiority many not be sufficient at all the times.

Being a trainer I come in contact with many developers working in all sort of companies. When I talk with them I often realize that:

  • Very few have clear idea about their career goals
  • They are not clear (or they are ignorant) about efforts required to achieve that goal
  • They lack behavioral skills necessary in today's competitive IT industry
  • They do not know how to improve their behavioral skills
  • They focus only on technology
  • They forget that skill set evolves and changes as your role in the organization changes

Whenever you feel that you are not getting what you deserve the first question that you should ask is - "Do I really deserve it?" If so just note down on a piece of paper why you think you deserve it. Believe me but many people cannot even complete this exercise.

For a developer who has experience of say 5-10 years (depending on the kind of company you work for) there comes a time when he starts hoping for leadership or managerial positions. This is a crucial time. He is possibly a great developer but he is now going into a zone where altogether different skill sets are necessary. Leading and managing people is altogether different story than writing great piece of code. Managerial positions are often looked upon from the point of view of "high salary" and "control over others". Unfortunately very few developers prepare themselves for these positions. When you are unprepared the chances of failure are more. You feel unsafe and start working in "safe-mode". When this happens all your creativity and enthusiasm starts diminishing. That is why today we have so many poor managers and only few good, well respected managers. You need to think which group you would like to belong to.

The same can be said about technical positions such as system designer and architect. Developers dream about these positions as a part of "seniority" but very few think about the skill set required. I remember a friend of mine who was given a position of architect by his company on the basis of seniority. After an year or so he started complaining - "My life is about Word, Power Point and some block diagrams." Naturally, he didn't understood the job of architect well. When I asked him as to what he does to keep himself updated with latest industry trends and how he architects a new system. His reply was - "Most of our applications were FoxPro based, later on we ported them to VB5 and now we are migrating them on ASP.NET. So most of the work is already there. It is a matter of copy paste and come up with new set of documents." Well...you will agree with me that his approach itself was faulty. Any good architect who understands his job requirements would have handled this situation differently.

The point that I want to stress is that - Decide what you want to be in your professional life, set some learning path for yourself, prepare yourself for current and immediate future job role.

Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant, trainer, author, yoga mentor, and meditation teacher with over 24 years of experience in classical form of Yoga. He is an internationally published author and has authored or co-authored more than twelve books on .NET technologies. He has been awarded as a Most Valuable Professional by Microsoft. He has also written a few Marathi books including Devachya Davya Hati and Natha Sankentincha Danshu. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he also teaches Ajapa Yoga to selected individuals.

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Posted On : 04 May 2007

Tags : Life Thoughts