Attention developers 👀 Don't make these mistakes when choosing your next role! In this article, we'll discuss common regrets you might encounter in your job and how to prevent them.
1. Lack of Mentorship and Support
One of the most common regrets beginner developers have is not having a good support system and mentorship in their job. To address this, be proactive in your job search and interviews. Make sure to ask questions about the support system, mentor-mentee relationships, pair programming, and code reviews within the company.
Here are some questions to ask during interviews:
Will I have a mentor in the company?
How does the company conduct code reviews?
Are there any pair programming practices in place?
2. Not Negotiating
Many developers often regret not negotiating their job offers especially early in their careers. It's easy to take the first job offer you see because you're excited, but remember, you are the only one who can advocate for yourself!
Also remember there is more to negotiate than just salary including vacation time, stock options, signing bonus, or work-from-home arrangements. Whatever you negotiate for, the resulting offer should be something you're excited about!
3. Poor Work Culture and Work-Life Balance
Another common regret developers have is not considering the work culture and work-life balance beforehand. Poor work culture and lack of work-life balance can take a toll on your mental health, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. For me personally, my work-life balance is my number one concern when considering new opportunities (followed closely by money 🥰).
Here are some red flags to look out for in a job culture:
Are people (specifically upper management) looking to blame others instead of learning from mistakes?
Are there arbitrary deadlines that lead to long hours and weekend work?
There are a million other things to look out for. These are just a couple that I've struggled with in the past. Regardless, make sure to ask questions during the interview about these types of scenarios: how often people stay past 5 PM, work on weekends, and the on-call rotation policies.
4. Boring or Outdated Tech Stack
Working with a stagnant and outdated tech stack can make your job boring and negatively impact your career progression. During the interview process, ask about the current tech stack, modernization efforts, and the company's plans for the future. This will help you gauge whether the company is a good fit for you and aligned with your interests.
The worst case scenario is you join a company that's using a tech stack that you're not excited AND also won't serve you in the future. Consider how the skills and technologies you're using at your current job will help enable you to find your next role. Always think about the future.
5. Staying Too Long in a Job
Staying in a job for too long can limit your career growth and opportunities. Maintain an openness to new possibilities and be open to taking interviews and talking to recruiters. This doesn’t mean job hopping every few months, but staying aware of opportunities and not staying in a job that isn’t providing growth and satisfaction.
I've seen it play out over and over where people get comfortable with their current jobs. They take their unhappiness and frustration as commonplace and assume that's the best it gets. Try your best to fight that mentality. Continue to push yourself mentally to pursue more in your career: greater happiness, interesting challenges, work environment, etc.
Bonus Tip: Too Many Meetings
While it might sound trivial, many developers regret the amount of time they spend in meetings instead of writing code. Be sure to ask about meeting culture within the company during the interview process so you're aware of the balance between meetings and actual coding tasks.
Understanding and avoiding these common regrets will help you make better decisions and ultimately lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling career. Keep these tips in mind whether you're searching for your first job or considering a change in your career path.
Seek mentorship and support
Negotiate your job offers
Consider work culture and work-life balance
Be mindful of the tech stack
Be open to new opportunities
Be aware of the meeting culture in a company