Sometimes I complain to my wife about work. We know I need a change as my complaints escalate.
I ground myself while reducing complaints by reflecting on reality. I ask why I’m complaining if I’m learning, earning, and growing. I consider alternatives if my complaints are valid and LEG needs a letter. It’s a fun little homegrown formula I pulled out of my ass.
Let’s explore these critical components of a healthy professional life.
During my career as a software developer, I’ve experienced peaks & valleys of learning. Early in my career, finding learning opportunities on the job was accessible, but later on, it became more challenging. I often become proficient at high-demand, high-value activities but would get typecast. Like actors, being typecast as a programmer isn’t fun, as you’re rewarded with repetitive tasks.
My friend was stuck with the role of Sharepoint developer because it’s in demand, he knows how to program it, and it’s a mysterious maze of bullshit that most dare not navigate.
I’ve typecast myself with ETL work before. I spiced it up with generalized solutions that sped up delivery and delighted clients. It was fun until it wasn’t.
Nowadays, I have plentiful learning opportunities, so I have stopped complaining.
If your bank account balance is increasing, rest easy. If you’re taking a loss while cutting costs, ask for a raise or move on.
I struggled with salary negotiations early in my career because I didn’t know my worth. It takes work to quantify your worth as a software developer. Market demand, skill scarcity, and many other factors are part of the equation. However, having confidence in your value is crucial for performing well in interviews and at the negotiation table.
As professionals, we’re selling and branding ourselves intentionally or unintentionally. Earning requires knowledge, intelligence, and confidence. It’s a magical circle of power, so start spinning it! If our storefront is messy and we don’t believe in our products, we’ll stay in business. Let’s keep ourselves clean, sharp, and ready for the next challenge.
My favorite aspect of being a software developer is growing. I’m constantly learning new patterns, concepts, algorithms, and tools that improve my craft. Beyond that, I’m diving deep into leadership and what it means to be a leader.
Through coaching, I learned that achievement is my top fulfillment need. A close second is collaboration, so I’ve gravitated toward growing a community from the ground up. While I grow myself, I’ll grow others and unlock big wins for everyone. That’s my kind of growth!
Knowing what you need to grow and where you want to grow is vital. Focus on self-awareness to identify your crucial fulfillment needs and get the proper sunlight! 🌱☀️
[A buddy of mine] has another formula worth considering. It helps you learn, earn, and grow sans analysis paralysis.
Ask yourself this question:
How do I feel about my current job?
If you’re in the WTF phase, you’re probably asking what the fuck is going on, so you’re likely learning & growing.
If you’re in the Huh? phase, you’re still learning and growing but consider your options.
If you’re in the ZZZzzz phase, it’s time to pack it in and find a new job. It’s unlikely you’re learning or growing, and if you’re not earning, you’re heading toward stagnation.
I notice it happens in three or five year spans, with each phase divided into equal parts.
-– My Buddy Tom
Life is too short to work in an environment that doesn’t help you learn, earn, and grow. If we’re not living life on your terms, we’ve lived it on someone else’s.
Let’s prioritize ourselves, set ourselves up for success, and help everyone learn, earn, and grow!