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Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT?

Roblimo posted more than 2 years ago | from the getting-ahead-one-way-or-another dept.

User Journal 247

I've had a couple of management consultants tell me that if you want to move into management, it's better to change jobs or change where you work within your current company than to stay where you are. What if you have to fire one of your old friends? Not cool. Or are you better off starting your management career surrounded by people who know and (hopefully) like you? Read the rest .

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Job Change (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878150)

Frequently people who are promoted wind up doing both their new job and their old one. There are advantages too, like a lower learning curve, but this would be the big downside for me.

Re:Job Change (2)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878280)

Indeed at my last job every promotion meant more responsibility, but also had to do my old job. Was fun for a while, but you can easily get yourself killed with the stress.

Personally I'm done with chasing that career, a job paying enough for me to pursue my hobbies is all that I need.

Anyone going for a career out there should do it by changing job, internal advancement is a killer.

Re:Job Change (4, Informative)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878342)

If you have to ask, you need to move job. Although my yearly reviews and bonuses are in the top 10% for my pay grade, I was having trouble getting promoted for political reasons. I could maybe accept their promise of 'it will happen in 2012', but since they've spent the last year hiring a tonne of people in the grade above me, my prestige has been lowered.

So, I just handed in my resignation. The gaping whole I am leaving has my former employer in a bit of a bind now, since I was the last person with the knowledge and skills to support a key system. They have offered to promote me now, but it's too late.

I will earn more than double as an IT contractor at a competitor, so that is what I'm lined up to do. I've seen the other side and the grass is definitely greener.

When I'm ready to go back to being permanent in the next year or two, I will automatically get that grade and set of responsibilities as well as a much bigger pay-packet. It's a no-brainer.

Re:Job Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878420)

Why do you want to go back to being permanent? After going contracting and then going consultant for 3 years, I can't think of any reason why I'd switch back to being a perm any time soon. Maybe when I 'settle down', but thats at least a decade away.

Re:Job Change (0)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878616)

"The gaping whole".... I rarely have seen a "whole" gaping. A "hole", I can see though.

Re:Gaping Whole (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878834)

Gaping Wholes are the Paradigm Shifts that the submitter is wrestling with!

Re:Job Change (2)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 2 years ago | (#35879048)

The gaping whole...

The look on the face of every person in manglement in the conference room when you pull out the really old email which places responsibility on manglement for the current clusterduck they are trying to hang around your neck. Generally characterized by slack jaws, rapid mouth breathing, and rapidly shifting eyes.

Re:Job Change (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878732)

I'm thinking of how non-IT organizations handle this. I'm also looking at it from the viewpoint of your employers. One group I can think of is the military, where the ideal is to progress within your existing unit. On the other hand, I think of the Michigan State Police where they automatically include a location transfer with a promotion. The argument for the former is that it helps unit cohesion; for the latter is that its difficult to be a supervisor over people you've worked with. Like most things, there's an element of truth in each.

Unit cohesion isn't a big deal in most IT organizations, so that argument really doesn't apply. A big question is would this promotion put you in the position of supervising your former co-workers? If not, then you can dismiss the latter argument.

Other factors would be the stability and health of both companies. If you're leaving a stable place to take a shot at a place about to go into bankruptcy, why not just go to the casino and bet your career on red. Loyalty, in either direction, is the first thing to go. It boils down to what is best for you. Chances are you'll go faster and farther if you move.

Re:Job Change (4, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#35879080)

Typically promotions in the military come within a unit (so you're much more likely to go from Squad Leader to Platoon Sergeant, or Company Commander to Battalion Operations Officer inside the same company or battalion), but they move you around every few years anyway. So you may get your promotion to SSG or MAJ when you moved inside of a unit, but next year you're going to Ft. Stewart anyway. It's kind of a combination of both promotion from within, and moving around a lot.

The military is also setup in a way that makes continued and regular advancement relatively easy, if not required. Especially for officers. If I decide I really like being Battalion Communications Officer, that's really too damn bad. When the opportunity comes along for company command I better bloody take it, then take the next job to make Major. After more than a few years of the same job (or more importantly the same rank), my raises stop coming; year or two more and I'm looking for a civilian job.

Using the military as a comparison is really kinda flawed for these reason, as well as a few others (the process of "getting into management" in the military (getting a commission) is not exactly straightforward there either).

Re:Job Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35879058)

It's unfortunate your did not document the intricacies of this "key system". Perhaps your employer did not provide you the time/resources to do such, but this sort of documentation work should be an main priority for all IT workers. In the recent past, we dismissed an employee who did not respect our repeated requests for documentation/change-management information.

Re:Job Change (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#35879072)

If internal advancement was the way to go, they'd be offering you significantly more than your external opportunity. This rarely happens. It worked for me in my first job (10 years from entry level programmer to top of R&D), but at the second, I hired in just below director (better benefits and equal pay to "top of R&D" in the other town), and I would have remained just below director for a veeeeeery long time if I had stayed - that place was more interested in "cross pollination" than developing their existing staff.

Re:Job Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878706)

If I felt that I only wanted to make enough money to pursue my hobbies... I would be in the wrong job. I want to make piles of cash, and that is because my job is my hobby. Sometimes I hate the environment in which I work, but I always like the work itself and the challenge to succeed.

To the OP's point... changing jobs is the way to go, however. I tried to get into a management position at my last employer twice... they wouldn't consider me even though I essentially filled the position for a total of nine months while they looked for their ideal candidate. The problem: I had developed a friendly relationship with the people I would me managing.

Re:Job Change (4, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878328)

Often this is not the case, but it'll still work against you. If you are good at what you currently do, management will always be reluctant to promote you. They'll prefer to leave well enough alone, and instead promote the guy with mediocre performance but strong communication skills; maybe he'll improve his performance in a management role. From your manager's perspective, it kind of makes sense to take a chance on promoting a non-performer or hire a new guy, rather than promote they guy who is already doing a good job. That is why it makes sense to look for the next step in your career outside your own company... or you should be training your replacement from day 1. Never be irreplacable.

Re:Job Change (3, Interesting)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878370)

to take with a grain of salt since if you're replaceable you can also just be dumped when you ask for a better salary after 5 years.

Re:Job Change (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878752)

Don't you guys get yearly increases? Anything less than the rate of inflation is a pay cut.

Re:Job Change (2)

cervo (626632) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878858)

Mostly increases are at rate of inflation or slightly more....... Job change tends to be much more of an increase

Re:Job Change (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878788)

you mean there is anybody on this earth except Mama that is not replaceable?

Re:Job Change (2)

bemenaker (852000) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878854)

Everyone is replaceable. If you think you're not, you have an ego problem.

Re:Job Change (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878980)

to take with a grain of salt since if you're replaceable you can also just be dumped when you ask for a better salary after 5 years.

But you generally won't be, because of the cost to hire and train, plus the 6-12 month period your replacement would need to get up to your current level of productivity.

Re:Job Change (1)

J4 (449) | more than 2 years ago | (#35879064)

Or just denied. Let's face it, if one's strategy for success consists of asking for a raise after 5 years, you aren't hungry enough to leave.

Re:Job Change (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878618)

Seconding this. I must say I never got promoted, I just finished school so I went from part-time to full-time. Now I get delegated lots of tasks and I manage projects. Before, I just programmed. Now I don't really have time to program anymore, yet I'm still expected to make my deadlines.

Re:Job Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878656)

I agree and think this should be your bigger concern. This happened to me and was happy to found out supportive my co-workers / subordinates were. The real problem was that I was manager by day, programmer by night. Essentially, they were losing a programmer (me). But of course, because I was boss, I had to fill in that need myself....

Re:Job Change (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878864)

The cure for your scenario, which I've been in, is simply chuck the whole damn thing. Admit to yourself that the overhead of learning, the stress of competing, the possibility of outsourcing make this profession a sucker trap.
        I personally invested a bunch in shop equipment, found a day job while I did so and now provide custom stringed instruments to those with $, talent and taste.

Screw IT

quick dupe... (0)

MoreDruid (584251) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878156)

Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT? Posted by Roblimo on Wednesday April 20, @11:10AM Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT? Posted by Roblimo on Wednesday April 20, @11:07AM Does Roblimo have the same memory span as a goldfish?

Re:quick dupe... (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878216)

According to modern physics, two stories can suddenly appear out of nowhere. One is made of antimatter, the other is made of matter. Roblimo has to keep them separate, otherwise there could be catastrophic server cancellation.

To be on the safe side though, I suggest you also type the exact opposite of your comment in the other story, to allow the anti-threads to grow normally.

Re:quick dupe... (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878274)

According to modern physics, two stories can suddenly appear out of nowhere. One is made of antimatter, the other is made of matter.

In some cases both are made of the common element "doesn't matter".

Re:quick dupe... (2)

bvimo (780026) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878410)

Where is the upvote arrow?

Re:quick dupe... (1)

dam.capsule.org (183256) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878662)

It's no matter/antimatter problem. I'm pretty sure these dupes are part of an experiment about transmitting information at speed greater then light by quantum entanglement of slashdot stories. It will make the headline in popsci next week...

Re:quick dupe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878234)

Quick, somebody mod this article as Score:-1, Redundant.

Re:quick dupe... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878356)

When I commented on this story, I'd selected the first (and only) entry listed for the story. There seemed to be some trouble saving the comment. It posted, and then staged on "working". I refreshed the session and found I'd wound up with a first first post on a duplicate copy of the story. There may be more broken on SlashDot than just the new CSS and Javascript.

Re:quick dupe... (3, Funny)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878426)

No, he's currently busy filing a patent on Slashdot's new SpeedDupe(TM) technology. Then he'll sue Twitter for millions, because their users have memories just as short as his.

Two answers (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878470)

This is a quantum type of problem. The answer to the first story was Promotion, the answer to this one is Job Change

Re:Two answers (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878658)

So after enough people have seen both stories one of them disappears?

Re:Two answers (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878800)

No, but the promoted person dies.

Re:quick dupe... (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878640)

Yeah I noticed this as well. One of the best topics every time it comes up on /., so more the merrier eh?

Re:quick dupe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35879114)

Probably. I met him at LWCE in 2000 and I'm still mopping the wine spittle he sprayed as he talked about
glomming all the freebies. You can take the boy out of the trailer park....

Deja vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878162)

I could have sworn I have seen this post before.

Re:Deja vu (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878262)

I could have sworn I have seen this post before.

Great job, you are promoted!

Wrong job (1)

OddJobBob (1965628) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878164)

If you want to be in management and want to be liked then you are not suitable for the job.

Re:Wrong job (2)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878808)

-1 wrong.
Well, not wrong if "being liked" is the only thing you want to do. You can never get everything done with everyone by simply keeping the peace. However being a good manager includes being liked or at least thought fair, most of the time.

Not even sure why people want to be managers (2)

gmack (197796) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878168)

Being a manager means spending more time dealing with politics and paperwork rather than technical issues and I know from experience it's a lot less fun so I don't understand why people crave management so much.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878178)

Advancement doesn't need to mean management.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878192)

Does it mean not giving examples?

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (3, Informative)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878842)

Does it mean not giving examples?

Here, let me help you with some examples where technical advancement does not imply moving into management: Programmer/code monkey > Entry Level Software Engineer > Sr. Software Engineer/Tech Lead > Software/Systems* Architect > Principal Engineer/Architect of a major engineering project.

Obviously, each technical advancement *must* entail some type of managerial skills as you will be expected to lead, mentor and delegate junior members under your belt while performing technical tasks that you possess via your extensive expertise. But that is not management proper (as in a pure definition.) Besides management runs the spectrum - you don't need to be a manager you to "own" a particular responsibility, and if you have to work with peers and juniors while supporting the section of the system that you "own", you have to displays implicit management skills. Otherwise, you will suck at it from a technical point of view.

To be technical does not mean having to do anything but l33t hax0r mayhem in complete isolation. Engineering does not work that way. * and by Systems Architect, I don't mean the guy who lays out the hardware (which is how we typically use the term in IT), but one who has an architectural role in the realm of Systems Engineering [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35879110)

This is very true in industries which deal with specific and complex hardware... such as medical and defense. You can make a career as an expert in some specific piece of hardware, because that chunk of hardware is gonna be around for a long time... and there are very few people with detailed understanding of it.

Obviously you don't bet the farm on this.. but being _the_ expert in something tends to result in good things.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

iangoldby (552781) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878244)

Depends where you work.

I think there are still a few places where you can reach the top of the ladder in a purely technical role.

There are probably others where you clearly have to become a manager and this is explicitly stated.

But the current thinking seems to be that certain universal 'behaviours' or 'competencies' are required for more senior grades, and these always include things like being able to provide examples of where you have dealt with performance issues in others - even if your particular job isn't management.

So the official line is that, yes, you can get to the top in a purely technical role, but in practice if you don't have examples of all the standard corporate 'behaviours' then you won't get anywhere.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878670)

Unfortunately, at the majority of companies it does. So if you work at a company like that, and you want to remain in the loop technically, the clear answer is "job change".

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878856)

DEC had a system where management and technical tracks were parallel. You could transfer between them, but managers did not earn more than the engineers that they supervised, so the only reason to switch to the management track was if you actually wanted to become a manager. It's a shame that more companies don't understand this.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878190)

Amen to that. A colleague at my previous company was promoted to team lead and then spent about half his day in meetings.

When quizzed by his boss as to why progress on his project was so slow, he complained that it was because he was spending so much time in meetings he simply didn't have time to work on the project. His boss simply replied, "But you wanted to be a team lead, and this is what happens!"

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878298)

Amen to that. A colleague at my previous company was promoted to team lead and then spent about half his day in meetings.

Keep in mind that you can affect the direction of a project or product in meetings. If you're not involved in the discussion then you usually end up coding what you're told.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (2)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878676)

Heck, I'm not even a team lead and I spend way too much time in meetings!

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35879078)

I'm in a meeting now, you insensitive clod.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#35879066)

It's a bad idea to have people who are supposed to be managing others also working on technical projects. There is never enough definition for the role and people expect basically two full-time equivalents out of you.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878204)

Being a manager means spending more time dealing with politics and paperwork rather than technical issues and I know from experience it's a lot less fun so I don't understand why people crave management so much.

I like management because there's only so much you can get done on your own - as a manager you can achieve a lot more by building guiding a team. It's also a way to build capacity by imparting your technical wisdom to your underlings. It's important to keep up with some techincal stuff as well, but it can be hard to find the time.

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878358)

Being a manager means spending more time dealing with politics and paperwork rather than technical issues and I know from experience it's a lot less fun so I don't understand why people crave management so much.

money and making the proper decisions for their lower-in-the-chain friends

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878830)

money and making the wrong decisions for their lower-in-the-chain enemies

Fixed that for you ;-)

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

elPetak (2016752) | more than 2 years ago | (#35879096)

Don't be so sure about money. Where I work becoming a manager means you don't get paid overtime anymore and you don't get a raise immediately (maybe in the long long term they may give you some, but not right away). So basically becoming a manager where I work means you have more responsibility, work more hours and get paid less... but you get a reserved parking slot... great deal, isn't it?

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878762)

Money: more responsibility the more you get paid. Money doesn't buy you happiness but it prevents many areas that can make you miserable.

Power: you can get things done your way and the higher up you are the more of your way you can have done.

Security: you could be high enough to not be targeted in the first round of layoffs.

Respect: fancier title allows people to respect you more.

Sure they arnt noble reasons but they are real ones

Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878768)

Gratz, you win at duping a comment in a dupe thread! You should get an achievement for that.

Advance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878170)

What is your goal? High salary?

A new record! (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878174)

Quickest ever dup on slashdot!

Re:A new record! (0)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878210)

Yes, this is a first ever: the dupe directly after the first post. Kudos to the /. crew for making this possible!

Re:A new record! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878222)

So sad half of the comments will disappear.

Re:A new record! (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878250)

So sad half of the comments will disappear.

Take a close look - all of the odd numbered comments have disappeared from this article.

Re:A new record! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878344)

never noticed all cid-s are even

Re:A new record! (0)

Nikker (749551) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878228)

Right now roblimo is running furiously around trying to figure out how to merge the posts of the dupe to end all dupes without taking down the site. If you put your ear to the monitor you can hear the faint moans as another 'editor' gets jeered for doing an exemplary job.

Re:A new record! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878270)

Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT?
Posted by Roblimo on Wednesday April 20, @05:07AM
from the everybody's-trying-to-get-ahead dept.

Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT?
Posted by Roblimo on Wednesday April 20, @05:10AM
from the getting-ahead-one-way-or-another dept.

ROBLIMO: What the hell, with everybody trying to get ahead, why not get ahead both ways?
Everyone else: Rob, you're only getting ahead of yourself!

Re:A new record! (0)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878434)

Tonight on 'It's the Mind', we examine the phenomenon of déjà vu. That strange feeling we sometimes get that we've lived through something before, that what is happening now has already happened. Tonight on 'It's the Mind' we examine the phenomenon of déjà vu, that strange feeling we sometimes get that we've... Anyway, tonight on 'It's the Mind' we examine the phenomenon of déjà vu, that strange...

Job Change FTW (1)

Kaleidoscopio (1271290) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878188)

Truly, job change has been the pivotal point in my career. Every time I change company (willingly) I get a promotion and a pay rise, only exception was when I delivered my resignation and my current company made me a generous counter-offer to keep me (I stayed). If I hadn't delivered my resignation I would still be doing the same thing for the same salary, few companies that I know promote inside people, most prefer to pick an outsider... :(

Re:Job Change FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878278)

Agree 100% It's a common saying I've encountered, if you ever want to be known as more then the junior you have to go elsewhere. You're doing well in your current role so a company might be interested in promoting you to keep you but they know you do well at this level so why bother?

The summary links to another summary (1)

Mouldy (1322581) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878224)

Here's [techtarget.com] the actual article.

leave and come back (4, Insightful)

Migx (551367) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878236)

I often see people leaving a company and then returning at a much higher level a few years later, something like "internal promotion" cannot beat the "go away and then come back" strategy.

Re:leave and come back (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878336)

Indeed, I can't even believe someone in IT needs to ask this question.

IT is treated as a cost and anything but an investment at almost all companies. Bar a few software firms out there that are run by developers.

Seriously, you don't notice the higher ups looking down on you like you're trying to swindle them out of a few more bucks? Its part of that dull dumb look on their face whenever you try to explain something technical and they just can't figure out if you're telling them the truth or just trying to play them, let alone understand what you're saying.

Ship out for better pay, up skill, if you really like the old job: go back later like my parent is saying.

This all reminds me of an old daily wtf post [thedailywtf.com] (short version linking to the much more informative article: Up-or-Out-Solving-the-IT-Turnover-Crisis [thedailywtf.com] )

Haven't read that horrid place in years but this article is one I consistently find myself Googling to give to friends in IT wondering if its their time to move on.

Job change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878304)

No discussion necessary. This is just a poll, right?

A New Record (0)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878310)

Fastest. Dupe. Ever.

Gotta be a Slashdot achievement for that.

Why be a Kapo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878334)

The questions you ask are about playing games. As an employee you should concentrate on doing the best job possible.

If you think the only way to get into management is by playing stupid games, then you shouldn't get into management. Sometimes its better not to play the game than to try to win.

Don't stress it. (2)

hattig (47930) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878346)

Ugh, management. Paperwork and stress, and loss of creativity. It sucks when that is the only option for career advancement, when you really want a technical promotion path so you can do more with the skills and knowledge you actually have, rather than suddenly be expected to balance budgets and make reports!

Anyway if you are promoted to management ask for some training courses, and they should clear up professional boundary issues. I guess that if you are open and honest with the people you manage, and try not to become aloof, then things will be alright. If you want to protect your friends, then enact a 'last one in is first to go' policy (however ridiculous that is in reality). Be honest, how many coworkers have you stayed in contact with once they left the company? Is the term 'friends' correct, or are they actually colleagues with whom you might enjoy a beer or two after work sometimes?

TFA spamz (0)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878350)

Reading the article, this post looks like spam to promote their website if anything.

Beside this discussion comes back every couple of month on Slashdot. How did that get to top again :'(

Re:TFA spamz (0)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878820)

Reading the article, this post looks like spam to promote their website if anything.

Ding - ding - ding!
We have a winner!

Yes, Slashdot is changing to become like most other blogs, posting a mix of press releases, astroturfing and videos, and presenting it in a user interface that is so advanced that you have to, wait for it: wait for it!

Not exactly IT... (1)

larwe (858929) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878384)

... but I agree with the "go away" comment, if you've been in your current position for at least two years. Two years is long enough to have been given a development plan and had it successfully execute. Faced with the same problem (stuck at the same org level for ~5 years, and in fact technically pushed down the org chart due to ever-multiplying middle management layers), I changed job functions totally - engineering to marketing - which gave me an instant promotion, and allowed me to earn a second promotion six or seven months later, as a kind of "catchup".

Startup (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878386)

One option might be to start up a new company. A lot of companies go to the wall because the people who run them are not clever enough to understand their products. Look at the companies that survive vs those that don't. It's simple to teach a clever person leadership, but a stupid appointee cannot make working tech – it's only a matter of time ...

Well, they would say that ... (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878442)

I've had a couple of management consultants tell me that if you want to move into management, it's better to change jobs

By "management consultants" I presume we're talking about recruitment agencies. They have a vested interest in getting people to move jobs and will frequently say anything to make their case. Not only do they earn a huge commission from placing a person with a new company, they then have prior knowledge of a vacancy at the old company and will try to fill that one, too.

It certainly used to be common, that the route to promotion was to change company. However, these days with so few places hiring and the loss of (in the civilised world, at least) job security when taking a position with a new company, the advantages may not be as great as they were - though still better than having to wait for someone in your existing company to die, before you can move one step up the ladder.

Although why a techie would want to move into management is a question worth asking. Generally management jobs pay better, but they carry greater risk. At least when you're producing stuff, or even just solving problems, you have an inherent value to your employer - they can see and count what you do. As a manager, your value is not directly quantifiable and in most cases imaginary. That makes the position much harder to justify and much easier to cut when times are tough. Management jobs are also harder to get at the interview stage, since there will be many candidates applying: none of which will have any quantifiable skills that would justify their employment. That makes the selection process a lottery (which could work in your favour, if you're not very good).

So, it's a high-risk/medum reward strategy. The "consultants" advising you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by having you switch jobs. You could, possibly, go back to a technical job if the management career doesn't work out - although you'll probably find that the position you left will be filled by someone earning less than you did, so you'll probably take a drop in pay if you can scramble back in. It's not a career choice I'd make and most management positions are incredibly dull and unrewarding.

Re:Well, they would say that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878770)

Or, perhaps, when he says 'management consultant' he actually means 'management consultant'.

Re:Well, they would say that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35879016)

if someday i go to management, i could use the extra money for my leisure and saving for tough times, problem is that management imposes an expensive lifestyle a good car, those suits aren't free, like in "The Company Men". is possible to be in management and mantain your same expenses?.

dup (1)

ccabanne (1063778) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878450)

come on

You have to ask? (5, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878472)

Subterfuge. It works every time. When I started in this industry nearly 33 years ago it was your attitude and your quality of work that determined your path of promotion and success. Nowadays the people I work with are more interested in Social Networking, gossip and "Diversity." It's not just in IT but all industries within white collar environments. The smart players keep their head down, know when to throw in a political jab and to document failures and whine about the mistakes of others. Don't sell it short but schmoozing pays too.

        Don't get me wrong, I still consider myself successful, it's just now I work as a consultant and get to watch this go on all the time. It never ceases to amaze me when my clients promote some of the worst folks that I've ever seen and watch the ensuing anger and confusion it causes. You see if you want to get ahead in an organization you need to not create too many waves. That's for entrepreneurs and companies that want to be progressive. By and large, most organizations just want peace and quiet with the associated slow, I mean really slow, progress that it promotes.

        If you're aggressive and talented, don't get into a large organization. You'll be frustrated and upset with the politics that go on and constantly in bewilderment at why Joe down the hall who hasn't produced anything in 4 years and who's last major project was a disaster is now a VP.

Re:You have to ask? (1)

David Off (101038) | more than 2 years ago | (#35879118)

> and constantly in bewilderment at why Joe down the hall who hasn't produced anything in 4 years and who's last major project was a disaster is now a VP.

As you allude, and contrary to popular wisdom, those are the guys to watch. If they've survived 4 years in an organisation without producing anything tangible they must have a lot of powerful friends. You have less trouble with the producers, because they are doing stuff the scope for doing something wrong is much greater.

Management consultants...oh yeah (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878510)

What's the difference between a shopping trolley and a consultant?

You can fit more food and wine into a consultant but at least a shopping trolley has a mind of it's own.

It Depends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878584)

It totally depends on the company you're with. If they are being fair, they'll always being paying you what you're worth and keeping you happy.

If they aren't being fair, the only way to get paid what you're worth is to go ask another company for it. And if you really are worth that, you can probably get that job.

I recently switched companies for that reason. When they told me they were capping everyone's pay at 5% increases, and I knew I was woefully underpaid, I was a little upset. When they did it 2 years in a row, I was upset enough to ask for more. After a little runaround, they finally said 'We'll be fixing everyone's salaries sometimes this year. Can you hold on until then?'

I couldn't. I should never have let them take that money from me for 1 year, let alone 2.

I think it's worth noting that there are non-monetary things that can keep you at a company as well. The people were very nice, and the environment was awesome. The work was fun, interesting, and steady. I knew the whole system inside and out, and I was a trusted person to come to for advice from my peers and bosses both. In short, they did everything right except pay me properly.

tl;dr - Stick with a fair company. Leave and unfair one.

career advice (1)

cthlptlk (210435) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878698)

--if you want a job in management, try failing as a programmer or admin
--if you want to avoid firing (or laying off) people, don't go into management
--if you want to avoid winding up with a job jacking off elephants at the zoo, don't look for career advice on slashdot

Change (1)

bbroerman (715822) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878730)

In almost 20 years as a developer, I've noticed that the best means of obtaining a promotion and pay increase has been to change companies. This also seems constant between small companies and fortune 500 companies...

Quit. (2)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878750)

Quit.

It's as simple as that.

Quit, after finding another job that is.

Promotion means shit if it doesn't produce more money. And in 20 years in the business my best raises came from the old FU to the previous employer to move on. Even the smallest job switch is still over twice the dollars of any 5 year period of "raises". Even when promotions come, or more likely some "redefined job description" BS that includes all the higher up's work (or more likely, the work of some fool that knows some higher up who's dead weight they finally couldn't tolerate anymore) but no change in status, power, or pay. 30%, 50% jumps in salary just DONT HAPPEN unless you are the CEO or similar. If you are still a tech in any way, there's little extra money room to go for.

So quit. Make sure you are always polishing your resume, and getting skills that can be written down and skip over the company specific complicated crap you can't take with you. (Hint: if you learn their proprietary and crappy system well, guess what you'll be doing for the rest of your stay there? Being invaluable at your job means no promotion. Be good but not in a way that keeps you down.)

Re:Quit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35878806)

I'm an invaluable asset, and since my bosses aren't jerks and recognize hard work I just saw a "title" promotion (same job, same responsibilities) as a way to bump my salary 15% (title promotion) + 6% (yearly raise) on top of that increased salary (applied at the same time, in that order) totaling about a 22% overall raise.

Not every company is run by incompetent people.

Change Employer (1)

scottfk (125751) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878754)

I don't know about other companies, but where I work (major financial services firm) "advancement" only means increased workload and responsibility -- it is not reflected in your paycheck. If you change employers you can expect a pay raise anyway (~15%), and you can argue for a bigger bump still to match your new responsibilities.

Leave on good terms, and you can always hop back to your previous employer in a few years to advance (in responsibility *and* in pay) again.

It depends (1)

jsprenkle (2009592) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878760)

Are you a real tech head or just in it for a high paying career?

A tech focused individual should change jobs. They are almost certainly very poor managers and almost no companies offer promotions unless you go to management. It's a common misconception but their knowledge of technology does not make them a better manager.

A careerist should take promotions to management.

Re:It depends (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878962)

I am both. because I discovered you cant afford the full tech head toys on the techie salary. If you are a real tech head, you have to have the high 5 or low 6 digit salary in order to afford the real fun toys.

The grass is always greener.. (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878784)

People recruiting for a job almost always think that the unknown person is better than the known, because they don't know the faults of the unknown person. You will always do better by moving due to human nature and bias.

Is it worth the money? (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878886)

I know my manager makes probably 50% more that I do, but she's in meetings over half the time she's here, has boatloads of reports to file, etc. She's also salaried, (I'm hourly), so she often has to put in more than 40 hours. I hate meetings & paperwork, so I often tell her I'm glad I don't have her job, and she says I'm welcome to it any time I'd like.

If you're just looking for extra income, I'd strongly recommend checking into your local community college and seeing if they have any openings for adjuncts in technology courses. I teach a couple of computer courses and its easy money, and its also pretty fun.

Change jobs (5, Informative)

willith (218835) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878908)

I'm 33, and I've worked for a single large aerospace company since getting my undergrad degree 11 years ago. I started off as a desktop support guy making $42k, and then was bumped to $43k after a year, then to $45k after another year, then to $46k after another year. In late 2004 I was promoted to junior sysadmin and was bumped to $50k, and through yearly raises got that up to $55k by 2006, when I transferred formally from sysadmin to the enterprise architect side of the house. That got me a bump to $68k, which brought me up to the minimum salary level for that position, and then between 2006 and mid-2010 the pay rose to $74k through those yearly incremental raises.

In 2010 I was a senior architect, making decisions that directly affected the technology direction of a Fortune 50 company with $65B in revenue, making $74k a year. It was nice, of course, and the job was fun, but the compensation just hadn't scaled to the job. There were other benefits--outstanding and near-zero-cost insurance, stock, a functioning pension program, and as near a thing to stability as it's possible to get in an American job--but I wanted more money, so I left. Now I work as a presales engineer (that's "engineer," not real engineer) at one of the same vendors that used to sell to me, making $120k. I would have had to stay at the first job for another 20 years to hit the same level of salary. More, I left on excellent terms, and I wouldn't mind going back there some day.

This experience echoes that of my much-older peers at the aerospace job, where I was one of the only folks in the group less than 50 years old. All of them, without exception, had left at some point for between 1-5 years and then come back, bringing with them a large salary bump. Even in a company that gives you near-guaranteed 2-5% incremental raises, the only way to get a massive salary increase is by leaving.

Did hell freeze over? (4, Insightful)

J4 (449) | more than 2 years ago | (#35878990)

Where am I? Since when is aspiring to management a slashdot thing?
I thought suits were to be distrusted and ridiculed?

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