I met a candidate a few months back who expressed a clear desire to get a career in tech. He was working on the idea that because he finished his schooling he could get a job in the field of his dreams. However, when I presented him with an opportunity to get started as an intern with a well-known company he asked for a rate of pay that senior engineers would earn.
It’s important to understand that having a degree is important for some careers, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. You need to have a plan on getting where you want to be. You need to clearly understand how you will get there. You need to take steps to build toward your dream.
Brian Tracy once said that to be successful you need to
- Show up on time
- Show up with a plan
- Put that plan into action
You also need to be realistic. It’s great to have a degree and dreams of being part of an organization that is doing great things. It’s unrealistic to expect that organizations will pay you top dollar when you show up with little to no experience. Yes, you can be passionate and driven to do whatever it takes to get the job done, but you need to add value to the organization. If that value isn’t visible, how can you expect a hiring manager to bring you on board?
I was interviewing another candidate who just recently graduated with a Master’s degree. He was at the beginning of his career in tech development. During the interview I asked him, what are your salary expectations? He said that wage is not important, he just wants to work. Now, he didn’t mean that wage was not necessary for his survival, he simply did not give a lot of emphasis on wage. He also didn’t give a lot of thought to how much he needed to make in order to pay his bills. He was focused on his dream of being a developer and not the financial reward.
It’s important to understand that wage is important. It might not be where you place your energy, but it needs to be known how much you’re willing to accept in exchange for your time. It also has to be realistic. You can’t expect a large hourly wage if what you give to an organization will not produce a return on their investment. This means that you need to understand what the pay scale is for the career that you’re applying. You also need to know what the expectations are at each level of the pay scale and if you can deliver that level of service. At what point do you make top dollar? How long will it take you to get there? What skills and additional education will you need to get it? What can you offer in exchange for the pay that you desire?
If you could recommend one thing that is important to making a plan, what would it be?
Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.