In “Techs shouldn't stay where they're not appreciated,” writer Jeff Dray recounts a personal experience with an unappreciative employer and urges techs in similar circumstances to seek other employment. TechRepublic members responded in force with their own tales of unappreciative employers as well as suggestions for finding a better job. Because of the volume of feedback, I can’t publish every response. However, I believe I have included a fair representation of all the submissions. Where possible, I've also linked respondents to their listing in the TechRepublic Peer Directory.
Want to know how your peers feel about critical issues in the world of IT? Each week, our In Response column highlights the feedback we’ve received from TechRepublic members.
Members assert that loyalty is a two-way street
Wayne M: Excellent advice
“Anyone who is not comfortable in his or her current job should take this advice and find a new job. It is simply too emotionally, physically, and psychologically draining to stay in a bad work situation.
“Many years ago, I was caught in a similar situation. I was not feeling any appreciation, but being a loyal person, I would just keep trying harder to get an ‘atta boy’ from my boss. Before I knew it, I was working all kinds of overtime and now not only was my work life unpleasant, but my social life was falling apart as well. Then, my attitude started to go, too.
“I was caught in a downward spiral, and the worse things got, the more I doubted myself. The more I doubted myself, the more I feared rejection from companies, and so I continued to avoid sending out résumés. Finally, the third wave of layoffs hit the company and I was forced out. Much to my surprise, within a week I received a phone call from a previous contact who was desperate to hire me.
“The moral of this story is that if you are feeling unhappy with your current job and you are not receiving any help from your management to change things, switch jobs. It is devastating to your self-esteem to stay, and your ’loyalty’ will only serve to break up personal relationships, both in and out of the company.”
Matthew P: "Loyalty" is no longer rewarded
“My sentiments exactly. Back in the old days (1950s and 1960s), valued employees were rewarded for loyalty, and one could expect a lifelong career with the same company. But starting about 10-15 years ago, all that changed drastically. The CEO of the company I used to work for told all 4,000 of us (the employees, not just IT personnel) as much in several company-wide communiqués, and we were a healthy, growing company approaching one billion dollars in annual gross revenue. Loyalty wasn't nearly as prized as the ability to make margins and please the stockholders.
”If you don't like the job and are staying just because you feel an obligation to remain loyal to the company and/or your coworkers, you are a commendable human being but a naive IT worker. In our profession, there are plenty of good jobs out there, and it only takes a little time, training, and proper networking to land one of them. Your biggest opponent is yourself; map your path and make the journey! I recently did when the IT Services division where I used to work went very sour (the entire local IT team has quit or is leaving in the next month or two), and I found a better job with better career opportunities in less than two weeks.”
Keep trying and learn from your failures
Plippe1: Ditto and more
“I too left a job that I loved because of an abusive boss and have been much happier since leaving that oppressive situation. Much of the advice presented here in this discussion seems very helpful. One of the best jobs that I have obtained came after 14 straight failures when seeking new or different employment. The moral here is to always keep trying and learn from your failures.”
TheDQ: The grass is greener
“I tried your routine (nose to the grindstone, education, etc.) for three years. I got nada! My end users loved me, but my management was clueless. Rather than be grateful for having a competent staff, we were repeatedly told how lucky we were to be employed. Finally, I received an offer from a friend in another location, and it has been the best move ever. I'm good at what I do, and I deserve the credit for doing a job well. If you're not getting the credit you deserve, get out. There are plenty of jobs out there.”
Advice for finding a better job
Ansed: Try another path
“To pay the bills, I took an assistant accounting position at a local university, and within three months I was spending over half my time doing IT work for our department. Other departments were now noticing our productivity because we had virtually no down time as we now had an in-house tech. At the end of six months, I was offered a full package and was retained by the university. I created my position within my department, and I now spend all my time doing IT. I love my job and I love the potential I have in my job...and I remind myself that it all started by taking a lowly assistant accounting position just to get my foot in the door. So when looking for a new job, look for the growth potential of just getting your foot in the right door.”
Phil H: Show 'em the money
“If lack of experience is a problem, try showing a prospective employer actual samples of your analysis work. This should provide some perspective on your ability. Number of years of experience can only be a rough guide to what you can do. Examples of work that you have actually done will provide a much clearer picture.”
Does your job situation lack the respect, compensation, and appreciation you deserve? Share your experiences and any advice you might have for others in the same situation. E-mail me your story or click here to join this discussion.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.