Red flags to avoid early in career
See a red flag? Don't be a bull.
Many of us start our professional journeys at a relatively young age, often in our late teens or early twenties. While a fortunate few may land their ideal job right off the bat, the majority of us encounter various challenges along the way. This newsletter highlights key 'red flags' in the tech industry, that you can avoid.
Let’s start with internship experiences first.
Here are some of the phrases or instances that you may come across, and if you do so, try complaining about it or looking for alternate opportunities:
“It is an unpaid opportunity, but you will get a lot of exposure” - Internships should be paid, the amount does not matter, but it should be paid. You can earn and learn at the same time, it should not be mutually exclusive.
“You will need to pay for the internship and after completion you will receive a certificate” - If this is what the company says, it is a training or a bootcamp and definitely not an internship.
There is no manager or lead to guide you. While this is not entirely a red flag, this can be a hindrance to your learning journey, which we look forward to having as an intern.
Moving on to the full-time opportunities, this is where the tricky part starts, because now you are expected to know a little more than what you knew during your internship. Many companies seem like a perfect place to work at first, but only when you stay there for a year or more is when you realise that all that glitters is not gold.
Here are some common red flags, that you can avoid as a fresher:
When your job expectations (what you were hired for) suddenly changes and nobody informs you about it prior.
When somebody makes you feel “stupid” and is abusive towards you (trust me this happens with a lot of folks). Remember, no job is above your well being, report that person and LEAVE.
When you are expected to work on weekends (On call does not count) and your seniors/manager makes you feel that you NEED to be available during the weekend.
If you are working at a startup and your company is not transparent about the finances, and if your salaries are delayed, you know the boat is sinking.
If you are being micro-managed and your opinions does not matter at all, it is time to question the culture of the company.
And some more 👇
While future-proofing yourself from red flags is not possible and this is something you can learn only from experience, here are some tips that can help you understand the company better:
Talk to folks who work in the company and who have left. People who currently work will help you understand the company culture and people who left will tell you what to avoid.
Stay away from gossips or company politics.
Do not invest emotionally in any company. Give your 100% at work, but do not get emotionally attached.
Do some thorough research on sites like “Glassdoor”, “Fish Bowl”, people are brutally honest here and you will be well prepared for what is to come.
And, to finish with a friendly reminder, no company is perfect, use your job as an opportunity to learn. Be selfish, use this opportunity to upskill yourself and build a network.