I saw this question answer on Quora today and I think it’s the most accurate summary of things to know when you are looking for a job.
So many junior developers don’t know the market in their region and ask for low salaries because they are afraid if they ask for more no one will hire them.
The average salary for a junior level, with no development experience in Atlanta is $55-65,000/year. A Computer Science fresh graduate can make $70,000-80,000 per year. A mid-level can make $75,000-100,000/year. Don’t ask for less! Don’t undervalue yourself. Believe in your talents and be confident you can contribute to a team.
Talk with recruiters and ask them the average salary for a junior developer. Search for junior developer jobs on Indeed and see what the average salary is for your city. Look on Glassdoor and search for the company you are interested in to see what their average salary is for an Engineer. Add $5-10,000 onto that average and this the salary you should ask for. Allow for negotiations. Ask what benefits you get with your position. Ask if there are bonuses and company supported conferences or courses you can take.
Things you can negotiate: Salary, Bonus, Vacation days (avg for entry level is 10 days aka 2 weeks. Always aim for 3).
If a company doesn’t offer 401k match, then ask for a higher salary. If a company has high insurance rates, low vacation days, ask for a higher salary.
Apply for anything and everything no matter the technologies listed or experience needed. You’d be surprised how flexible companies are.
Anyway, I’ll let you read the well written response for yourself:
As a headhunter helping countless professionals from CEO to analyst level make and negotiate their next position, here are the most common career mistakes I’ve seen candidates fall victim to:
#1. Aiming too low.
Whether it’s salary, title, or type of company, people are too intimidated by interviewers, scared of asking for too much, and suffer from imposter syndrome. This is a direct result of decades of indoctrination by authoritative educational, parental, and societal institutions that tend to demolish your self-confidence in an effort to control you. This persistent lack of confidence is the #1 issue candidates when it comes to selling yourself effectively.
#2. Saying no to yourself.
Because you feel that you lack the “qualifications” the job description asks for, you end up not going for the opportunity. This continued lack of self-confidence through self-discrimination combined with the obsession of fulfilling requirements down to the last drop handicaps good professionals from achieving career greatness. Although job descriptions don’t matter, many candidates still try to play by the rules. They don’t understand that job search is like war. The victor obtains the spoils. It’s every man and woman for themselves.
There are no rules in job search! This is why often psychopaths and liars sometimes get the BEST jobs and offers. They understand manipulation.
Too often, the most accomplished candidates lose because they don’t know the song and dance that is job search.
#3. Not understanding the modern job search ecosystem and process.
There are 4 major hiring entities that you need to know how to manipulate, maneuver around, and negotiate with. The HR person, hiring manager, headhunter, and internal recruiter. Each person has a slightly difference incentive, process, and interaction protocol. You should behave accordingly.
The process to job search is no longer: look on the web for listings, apply to jobs that you like, wait for feedback, go interview. The new process is: create your marketing documents, master LinkedIn networking, leverage 4 hiring entities, utilize volume of interviews to your advantage, negotiate all throughout.
#4. Becoming a jack of all trades.
The most dangerous problem candidates run into that seriously limits their market value and future career options is becoming a generalist. Corporations no longer value soldiers. They want professionals, experts, and true masters of the industry and job vertical. No longer is being eager and willing to work for a firm for the next 25 years a valuable candidate trait. Firms want true market leaders. That means, specialization and experience within a niche skill is not only a good to have, but CRUCIAL to remain a relevant and desirable professional.
Lastly, #5. Having no financial plan nor power.
Most professionals forget that they work largely to make a living. Since most people accumulate worse spending habits every year, people rely on their jobs more and more to fuel their lifestyle. This dependent relationship to a job quickly spirals out of control once the house of cards experiences even the smallest tremor. Because of your deep reliance on your paycheck, your emotions run amuck when experiencing any type of career turbulence.
Since your financial woes are so heavy and over-leveraged, you can’t see straight, let alone find a career you enjoy!
In most of these cases, professionals tend to work simply to chase the dollar, losing all meaning and passion for what they’re working towards outside of living the highlife. They become money-mongers. Greed takes precedence.
In conclusion Career problems don’t arise solely out of your job’s stressors. Your personal, financial, and professional problems, weaknesses, and vices will all meld together to gang up on you if you let your guard down. Stay ahead of the game by learning, networking, and speaking with career experts, colleagues, mentors, and influencers that have the RIGHT advice to guide you.
Extra tip: Parents, while well-intentioned, are from a previous generation with very difference market dynamics and understanding of what it takes to succeed in the next 30 years. Take what they say with a massive grain of salt. If I listened to my old-school Chinese immigrant parents on what to do on my career, I would not have retired from corporate life at age 28, that’s for sure!