Perhaps you have just begun working for a new firm, or maybe you have been with one for a while. However, something does not appear to be right. You probably cannot put your finger on the problem, but you know something is wrong deep down within.
You thought it was the role at first, but you still like what you do and are good at it. Then you realize, no, it is something to do with the work environment, something less tangible. Despite this, you dismiss the sensation and continue on your way.
You are unhappy months or years afterward, thinking how things would have been if only you had seen and paid attention to the red flags.
With that, here are some signs that you have joined the wrong company as a developer.
1. The Job Description is Not Accurate
You applied to a job posting because it referenced a technology that caught your interest. However, after you get started, you will discover that the technology is not getting used. Even though your firm listed a certain machine learning framework in their job description, you found shortly after starting the job that they did not use it and had no plans to use it soon.
While many businesses aspire to adopt cutting-edge technology, the fact is that most are not ready and have competing short-term goals. For the hired candidate, this might be extremely discouraging.
As a result, it is critical to keep in mind that interviews are a two-way street. You should be conducting as many interviews with the company as they are with you. It is also a chance to learn more about what a profession entails and which technologies get utilized.
2. You Do Not Have a Clue About What You are Doing
You may have gotten assigned to a job that does not match your qualifications or that the department head simply does not know what to do with you.
But if you are floundering around three, four, five or more days a week, unclear of your purpose or where you belong, it is time to face those who hired you and see if you can fix the problem or if you need to move on.
You can only do busy work for so long before the issues start to pile up.
3. You Do Not Feel as Though You are a Part of the “In-Group”
You are usually an outgoing, friendly, and conversational person who can easily make friends at work. Despite this, it is possible to go an entire week at work without having a proper discussion with someone, or at least one not about work.
The issue is that, unlike past jobs, you do not feel comfortable interacting with these new coworkers since you do not feel like you are part of the “in-group.”
You avoid making jokes and contributing to the conversation for fear of offending someone, yet you don’t get invited to join in half the time anyhow. As a result, you keep your head down, eat lunch alone, avoid team outings, and your time at this firm has become rather lonely and isolated.
If this sounds familiar, it is an indication you are working in the wrong company culture. While everyone is unique and you may not get along with everyone, the right company culture will make you feel at ease.
4. Your Capabilities are Neglected
Your abilities are formidable; you know the company’s systems and architecture better than anybody else. Within the department, your keyboarding and coding skills are unrivaled. Nonetheless, all of those abilities are getting squandered. Why? Because the company employs alternative software, the head of IT has chosen a different path, the company has vendor lock-in, or it’s stuck in the 1990s or early 2000s.
Whatever the reason, all of your training and expertise will be useless. Unless you address those who have the authority to change things, you are likely to become increasingly frustrated as time goes on.
5. You Do Not Want to Tell People Where You Work Anymore
Upon being hired, you undoubtedly proudly exclaimed, “I am an employee of X!” But what happens when that pride’s radiance fades? Have you ever felt embarrassed or ashamed of your workplace or the work you do?
If that is the case, you are dealing with a far deeper problem that requires immediate attention.
6. You See a Low Ceiling Directly Above You
You took that position with the expectation of rising through the ranks and eventually taking over as a project leader.
Unfortunately, when you glance up, all you see is that the ceiling is much, much lower than you had anticipated. That only indicates one thing: opportunity may not be waiting for you. If you notice this and upward mobility is on your wishlist, it is time to consider if your current employer is the greatest fit for you.
7. You Feel Underappreciated
Feeling underappreciated and undervalued is something that everyone has experienced at some point in their lives. However, if it continues, there may be a more serious problem. It is typical to feel underappreciated as a recent college graduate; however, this feeling should fade over time. If you have been in the industry for a long time and still feel underappreciated at work, it is time to start looking for a new job.
That sensation can creep under your skin and erode your self-assurance. Feeling appreciated and valued is critical as confidence goes a long way in the IT business to keep your head above water.
8. You have Lost Respect for Those in Positions of Authority
When you lose respect for your superiors, it can manifest itself in a variety of unpleasant ways. You may begin to slack off at work or act belligerently; you may start to spread rumors or refuse to do your job at all. In the end, your lack of respect for your boss will only serve to undermine you.
Eventually, you will either be placed on probation or fired at some point. That mark on your record may be difficult to eliminate once you have gotten fired. If you sense that respect is eroding, speak up right away. Moving on is sometimes the only way out of a situation like this.
9. It is Not Just Personal
It is one thing to feel alone personally, but it is another to feel excluded at work.
You find it difficult to communicate your ideas to coworkers in meetings, and you have found that people either disagree with you or, worse yet, ignore you entirely. As a result, you have avoided speaking up completely, which you know is detrimental to your professional advancement.
Nobody should ever feel lonely at work. If you do, it means you do not work in an open company culture where all ideas become welcomed, and everyone has an equal chance to be heard by top management. These types of inclusive workplace cultures exist; all you have to do is look for them.
10. You Do Not Believe in the Organization’s Values
This issue is a major one, even if you do not see it at first. The company you work for may be in a less-than-ideal industry. Perhaps the product you believe in does not live up to its claims. Or maybe the company participates in business tactics that grate against your ethical sensibilities.
There is a slim to none probability that the company will resolve this problem. So, if you cannot fall in line with its core values, consider it a signal that it is time to leave.
11. Senior Developers are Overworked and Cannot Help You
Before you can bring value to the organization that hired you, you must have a particularly technical and subject knowledge level. At this level, a company that cares about your success — and its own — will provide resources to help you accelerate your learning curve.
Joining a firm that employs a tech stack unfamiliar with is one of a developer’s dreams and worst nightmares. Worse, the senior developer may not take the time to walk them through code, pair them up, or answer questions unless it is an emergency. Regrettably, this nightmare is all too real.
It is difficult to blame that developer for being overworked, but it should not be a reason for being unhappy in their job.
Companies, on the other hand, vary greatly! For example, a startup might set out hours each day for development, training new employees all they need to know. Non-developers may not realize it, but software engineering is a team sport. Being a 10x team is significantly easier than being a 10x developer.
Being able to rely on the experience of colleagues can make a huge difference in terms of quickly producing high-quality software and developer satisfaction. So look for a job that encourages teamwork.
12. Compulsory Events Scheduled During Your Off-Hours
Hackathons, video games, and drinking in the evenings are not perks; they are free to work. Even though these events were not “required,” most developers participated, so opting out would have been strange.
While this may appear to be a hit for the 20- to 25-year-old developers, employees in their 30s with families at home, on the other hand, might be less enthusiastic.
Company activities are important for establishing camaraderie, and colleague relationships are important for a well-functioning team, but they should occur within business hours. Requesting that staff stay late for social gatherings is simply a way to get additional value without paying them. For some, it is a pleasurable experience, while for others, it is a burden.
13. Time in the Office is More Important than Output
Promotions and raises get best obtained in some dysfunctional firms by appearing stressed and leaving the office late. However, this is a lose-lose situation where the developer misses out on life, and the organization misses out on optimal results. The relationship between time spent working, and output is not linear.
14. Feedback is Vague at Best
Poor feedback can be caused by a variety of factors, including the following:
- Instead of delivering negative comments, avoidance of conflict gets preferred.
- Insufficient management experience.
- Positive feedback gets withheld so that the employee does not ask for a raise.
It is difficult to give meaningful feedback, yet a manager who simply delivers generic input is not helping you grow. Developers can and should go into the details of what you are doing well and incorrectly. Even if it hurts to hear it, knowing this information is always beneficial.
15. You have got an “Itch” to Scratch
The “itch” here is that you are looking for a new challenge or a new locale. This happenstance is a regular occurrence in the IT industry. You have been working for years in the same firm, department, or function, and you no longer feel challenged.
Technology professionals need to be challenged, solve major challenges, and save the day. If you get stuck in a never-ending cycle of fixing printers and clearing Outlook files, you are going to lose whatever sanity you have left. Now is the time to get out while the getting is good.
There is no such thing as a perfect firm. Each has its own set of advantages, disadvantages, and peculiarities. What you are willing to tolerate is determined by your tastes as well as your previous work experience.
If you are experiencing one or more of these signs, it is time to rethink where you are at in your career. Of course, you may find these circumstances tolerable. In any case, it is always a good idea to do a mental and emotional inventory of your current situation.
Ultimately, the corporate culture is the company’s personality, and just as you cannot get along with every personality, you will not fit in with every company culture.
As a result, you must not be too hard on yourself; instead, view this as a learning experience and consider the type of culture you will fit into before making your next step.
Why put up with a bad cultural fit when you would not prefer to wear ill-fitting shoes every day?
For your professional advancement and day-to-day satisfaction, you deserve to feel a sense of belonging to your company. So go out there and find a company culture that supports your ideas, work ethics, and personality type, and be amazed as you watch yourself thrive.
One last thing, if you ever consider freelancing, check out this awesome intro to freelancing guide , it’s free!
Thanks for reading!