I like my job, but I'm not learning. Help me help them help me, please.
September 3, 2014 5:03 PM Subscribe
What role should is the employer supposed to play in my career development? What role am I supposed to play?
posted by Krop Tor to Work & Money (12 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I've reached a point in my job where I'm not really learning things from my everyday tasks. My boss has indicated that he was starting to realize the same thing, and is interested in finding a way to help develop my career outside of my daily tasks rather than risk me leaving the company, which both he and I realize is a very real possibility at this point. He's been trying to come up with some ideas, and I'd like to present him with my own. The only problem with that is that I'm pretty unclear what is a fair expectation and what I can even ask for.
* Web developer, mostly dealing in architecture, databases, and dev ops, although I do the full stack.
* My employer has exactly zero things in place right now. I'm not the first to have this issue, and many have left around the 2 year point because of this exact issue. I am, however, the first to complain before quitting.
* This is my first job out of college (BS in CS), and I've been there for nearly two years.
* I consider my boss the closest thing I have to a mentor. I've mentioned this to him, and he seemed not to keen on it (I suck at reading people, so all I have is seemed). I've come to realize that looking to him as a mentor is a bit unfair to him because of the supervisor relationship, however no one else I work with is really in a position to fill the mentor role for me.
* I have no idea what I want my future career path to be. I can go a lot of ways forward from full stack developer, and I'm having trouble determining which I'd like to focus on the most. I could really use some help narrowing this down as well.
* I'm in a small town in the midwest. There isn't really a tech community to lean on around here.
What I've come up with so far:
* Grad school (funding or flex time for classes) - I was shot down for this once before, and while we've just switched upper management I don't think they'll give in to this one.
* Presenting at/attending conferences - In the past they haven't been willing to do this for the engineers, but I think I might be able to convince them of this one if I can prove the benefits. I'm not sure how productive conferences typically are for attendees, however. I'm also not sure I want to offload all of my career development onto a once a year event.
* "Research" projects - A few hours per sprint on projects that deal with our products, but may or may not result in a deliverable (i.e. is there a better way/technology/solution for X, where X might not be something mission critical at the moment and the answer might be no).
* Regular feedback - I think I have a lot to gain from identification of my flaws and successes. Right now I currently only get feedback right when something happens, which also typically makes the feedback negative. I'm not sure if this should be a weekly, monthly, or yearly occurrence, or if this is even valuable for many people. Usually when I hear about one-on-one meetings it's people complaining about them.
My questions for you:
* What is a reasonable expectation for career development from your employer? Alternatively, what does your employer do for you that mine could possibly do for me?
* What should I be doing in regards to this that I'm not? I realize there are multiple things outside of work (e.g. MOOCs, personal projects), and while I appreciate the advice there I'm looking for things I should be doing to help my employer help me.