After 5+ years of working at high-profile tech jobs (and traveling across the globe), here is what I have to tell you…
Already for years, I have been making north of $100,000 a year in the tech sector.
(Plus I have a few other side businesses as well…)
Because of this success, I get friends (and other people who know me) asking for help…
Recently a friend had a weird job situation with a colleague where he was unsure about… But was extremely bothered by it…
Like a good friend, I met him for a coffee and gave an advice that turned out to be very helpful down the road. (I’ll tell you exactly what I told him later.)
Since there are many other people struggling with their day jobs, I decided to write something that can help everyone (even you).
A kind of list that I wish I had when I was struggling (and boy, there were years of struggle before the ultimate success).
(So perhaps, you can skip some of the unnecessary suffering.)
Note: I’m not the know-it-all guy but rather just an ordinary mortal (exactly like you). What makes me different is that I’ve seen a lot of situations by travelling for work all around the globe where I learned my lessons…
I couldn’t believe how this mental shift changed my life for the better (nor will you).
#1 A 9–5 is not always Catastrophic
Many people have made businesses of helping others move out of their 9–5… Over the years, the term 9–5 has grown to be something Yucks… (As if it was a terrible illness that requires immediate action.)
See, I don’t understand why that is…
Why do you have to be an entrepreneur (and why urged to do it right now)?
The point here is that you have options… It is very likely that you have grown blind to these possibilities… As there is a widespread trend to devalue 9–5s in favor of “having one’s own business”.
(If you have a drive for entrepreneurship, the moment will come, keep trying but don’t rush it…)
(After all, entrepreneurship is an extremely competitive game and even once you succeed you will not be at peace… Because now you will have to protect what you have got and this brings all other kinds of worries…)
So what can you do here?
Well, try to become the best __________ [your occupation here] that one can find… Invest in yourself — both in hard and soft skills such as personality improvements (yes we are all hard to work with sometimes)…
And you will see the results… With those skills, a 9–5 you can get will drastically change the way you think of it.
If you are top-notch in whatever field, there will be companies waiting in line for you…
And accepting whatever you ask (marvelous salary, a luxury company car, premium health benefits, stock options, gadgets, business travel, you name it).
So, think of what works for you and go that path regardless of what others are saying…
Just remember, a 9–5 is not bad per se if you get employed by the right companies.
If you need help consider my course from below.
#2 Learn programming to Exploit this opportunity
You actually don’t have to learn programming… But you do have to be in a tech company.
A tech company is a firm that sells software most typically as a service consumed online (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, Google).
What do I mean by it?
Well, tech companies employ a wide range of occupations including marketing experts, legal experts, accounting folks, product managers, execs…
And only then come programmers, software architects, support engineers, and a bunch of other tech positions.
And they all get very similar employment conditions…
(So, the myth that you must be a programmer to work in tech goes out of the window. Still, programmers tend to be slightly better paid.)
A sweat-spot is to pick a tech company between 200–1000 employees (which is basically a start-up).
(Some of these start-ups actually pay even better than Google, Microsoft, or Amazon…)
There you have it…
Go and find yourself a tech start-up to power up your career & get real benefits.
(Actually, I am so thrilled with my “9–5” that I will most probably never exit the tech scene… Despite my own businesses…)
Try and see for yourself.
#3 Job security is Bulls**t
You can stay at a bad 9–5 for years if keep telling yourself a “secure job” plot…
The reality? There is no such thing as job security — the sooner you forget about it the better.
Companies go bust every day and the thought that “someone is going to save you” is just not true.
(I’ve seen people working for 30+ years in the international banks being fired in the blink of an eye. Yes, the banks whose apps you have on your mobile…)
But what can you do then (as no one likes uncertainties)?
Well, here is one thing I do to make my job secure (but for real)…
I invest in gaining knowledge that is essential for my occupation and the technology I am working with (I read white papers, and books, visit conferences, and everything else that I can put my hands on).
If a company where I work goes bust (for any reason) or if I get fired (unlikely but still can happen), I will be able to find a new tech start-up that will hire me in no time.
If you remain on top of things it will always be your decision to leave the company rather than someone else’s call.
(In fact, other companies will try very hard to hire you even while you are happily engaged with your current company.)
#4 Don’t tolerate Toxic environments
There is no reason for you to tolerate an environment where you feel terrible.
Be it a job or a relationship you’ve got a choice.
Toxic (work, family, and love) relationships are everywhere… And one thing we humans do exceptionally well is…
We learn how to tolerate (by telling ourselves different stories).
Your job is to ignore that radio voice in your head giving you a reason to stay (when you should leave)…
In fact, your gut feeling already tells you what to do… (But you must tune down the volume of your mind’s narrative.)
A friend that I mentioned earlier actually worked in a very hostile team (and corporate culture)… Asked me about particular situations on how to handle the conflicts (extremely unhealthy ones where people make setbacks, backstabbing, etc).
So I’ve told him that he has a choice (the same as I am telling you now).
Here is what you can do when facing difficulties at work (but in life also).
- Accept what is
- Try to influence and improve the problematic situation
Look at things this way and you will stop struggling with the recurring thoughts that paralyze you completely.
A note here…
You can combine the stragies. For instance, if you tried working on the problem with no results, and cannot accept the situation, it is all right to leave. Since you have to pay your bills, you may decide to tolerate the current environment short-term only while you are working on the “exit strategy” (getting ready to find another job). Mind that you must set a timeline (e.g., 3 months).
Want to get “unstuck”? If you need help consider my course by clicking here.
#5 Don’t be a Victim
Do you feel that someone else at work is picking at you?
One thing you must understand is that nothing is personal…
No one hates you or picks at you intentionally… They would do exactly the same even if someone else would have been at your place…
It’s fine to have heated discussions at work and to challenge one another (with a dose of respect, of course — else, you have a choice).
But don’t take it personally — be very careful not to start hating someone just because they told you this or that (or turned down your idea).
Take this as a game… We only wear costumes just as actors on the scene…
It’s important to not take a position of a victim as you will start fearing others… And fear is a very complex emotion.
It basically blocks your brain from doing any fruitful thinking as the brain power goes to an ancient part of the brain in charge of physical conflicts (fight or flight mode).
Then you get confused, slower, and less productive, your days get ruined, and you can’t sleep well. (Because you get terrorized by your own mind.)
And this position is no good to be at… Especially not in the long term as it makes you incapable of advancing and learning (achieving your full potential)…
And remember, the delayed conflict is always conflict multiplied so have the needed discussions earlier rather than later.
If the situation is still hopeless (toxic teams, backstabbing cultures, lack of agreement), the only way out for you is to leave (and you should).
#6 Learn to say NO
Especially if you start working at a startup, people will constantly ask you to do something…
If you are insane enough (or just insecure), you can work 24/7 as there is always undone work…
(Or something super urgent that should have been done “yesterday”.)
Don’t fall into this trap… You found this high-paying job to enjoy your life more (and not less)…
Learn to understand if the issue is really “urgent”…
99% of situations actually do not require immediate action but just a polite answer that you have another task at hand and that you will get to it later.
I’ve seen experts working day/night just to find out that they have developed a terrible illness (after years of torturing themselves this way)…
So, nothing is worth your health and your life.
Learn to say no.
#7 Don’t be afraid to ask for Money
You do the proper work and make sure you keep a record of the things you have done.
In 1:1s with your manager make sure that they understand your contribution but also your financial (and non-financial) goals.
Are you planning to pay off your house early or perhaps early retirement within 5–10 years?
Tell that to your manager.
Good managers will have that in mind and will help you in achieving your goals by tying them to the results at work.
So you need a raise?
Be specific when asking the amount but also request to get the exact guidance on what you have to do to get it (and in what timeline).
It’s kind of you scratch my back I scratch yours…
Do you need someone to hold your hand & level up your career? Consider my course by clicking here.
In the world of extreme motivation, it can be hard to know what is best for you.
There is always another “thing” to check out (that will finally “make you happy”).
This is all BS.
You don’t have to follow all the popular advice on social networks (such as the “get yourself a business” hype happening nowadays).
Especially not if you are uncomfortable or haven’t developed yourself as a professional yet.
Still, not every company can give you the safe ground for development & nurture you as you deserve… But there are ones that do…
In this text, I tried to pass on to you 7 things I learned doing high-profile tech jobs (after multiple mistakes and toxic work environments).
These lessons helped me find the spot where I really (frankly) enjoy what I do.
(And I thought there was no such a place that would make me truly happy.)
But I have been proved wrong…
Start investing in your knowledge & (soft) skills and follow my advice… Then see for yourself what happens…
If you need career guidance you may consider my course by clicking here.