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Fresh graduate needing fresh advice

By CloudedYoda ·
Hi guys

I'm 23 this year and am already experiencing how bad IT is being treated (as a commodity) and IT ppl's skills undervalued. I just started working in an R&amp company and the company is losing money since 5 years ago. I observed how my mentor, THE ONLY software engineer there who does his job professionally and with integrity. He has worked there for 1 year(since he graduated) and is paid $50K. The sales executives are paid a hefty $150k and the CEO $300k !!

The company has not been making money, the IT guys(who are critical to this company's survival) are paid far lesser than the executives.

Now I feel quite demotivated and is planning to have a slight career change, of which I need some advice from those wise ones here.

CAREER CHANGE
=============
Considering that I'm quite young, I want to start my own business. However, since my core skills are IT-related, I can't sway too far from IT. I love IT, but I want a balanced life and I demand respect in addition to good pay.

I'm not sure where to go from here, but this is my plan:
1. Work for 2 years in the IT industry as a software developer.
2. Become an IT contractor. While I'm at it, start networking and setup my IT software company and start getting projects.
3. Hire more software developers to take on projects together. I will oversee project progress and be a system analyst.

Though I know this is not the best place for career advice, I'm hoping that someone here has been there done that (or know someone who does). I don't like finding career advisers as I reckon that they don't have a clue how to get me there. Even published IT roles with names such as "System Architect" could make them dizzy as they try to visualize it.

Btw, I'm from downunder Sydney. Many thanks in advance and much help appreciated!

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Patience Yoda

by Magic-G In reply to Fresh graduate needing fr ...

You must finish your training!! If you have a gig and it pays a check, keep it. And while you are earning your stripes, take this time to evaluate your career; not just the next eighteen months but the next five years...

True, the IT-Glory days are over and it is 'pay-back' time for all those high salaries companies endured up until the purging of 2001 and beyond... And, for the record, IT dudes will never be paid the same as Sales Managers and CEOs, not now, not never. However, you need to work in this miserable situation a little to appreciate where your talents can take you. Focus. If you are the entreprenurial type, use the job as a study hall and plan. You'll need a solid business plan and you will need to zero in on the those aspects of IT you enjoy the most. Not the money. That will come as soon as you decide on a few things. You either plan to stick it out in the commodity-IT world in your R&amp company gig or plan a different outcome based on your skills and desires. From the sounds of it you are heading towards starting your own software company. Fine. Planning is critical and don't bite off more than you can chew, making promises to customers you cannot fulfill. I would hang in for 18-24 months and begin your plan to do your own thing now. Keep an eye on small businesses as these are the people who will need your products more than the big players and will give your fledgling company a chance to grow.

P.S. On the next gig, you I would humbly suggest that you research the company BEFORE signing, although I am fully aware of having to pay the rent. I would have passed up a five-year consecutive money loser. God. Just that fact in itself has to make the entire environment a downer... Hang in there and good luck.

Magic-G

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Network first then (possibly) contract

Take the job.....at least it pays something,and probably has some benefits. You may not even get 2 years in at this company before it goes under, outsources all its IT, or gets sold to a bigger company.

While you are getting a paycheck, focus on networking, vendors, and contacts. Make friends with other people in the industry. Keep a list of these contacts and how they might help you get work when you are on your own.

Trust me, when you "become an IT contractor", you will not have people knocking down your door. You will have to find your own business. About 2/3 of the contacts you thought you had will be absolutely worthless as leads. Most of the time you will be contacted by people who are just looking for information, who will waste your time and won't ever pay you a dime.

Contracting is incredibly brutal -- at least in the US. You get to be your own boss and set your own rules, but be careful what you wish for....you'll find yourself doing less IT and more sales and marketing. And in the US at least, you'll be paying a lot more taxes....with no bennies like paid holidays and health insurance.

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