I've been away, lurking at the shadows (aka too lazy to actually log in) but a post from a new member intrigued me; this is dedicated to @devAstated . It is erratic, and VERY boring.
When I resigned from the Navy, I got a flood of questions from EVERY direction, from the lower rank personnel and the higher ups (for some reason, the higher-ups were very interested on what the resignation procedure was...). A very common question was, of course, why I resigned. This requires a bit of explaining (I'll be quick, I promise):
In my country, being in the Navy (or any public sector) means you have a VERY stable job position; you can't be fired unless you do a colossal fuck-up. Reduced to non-existent productivity? No problem. This was one of the reasons for my resignation, actually.
However, this is also used as a deterrent to keep you in, this fear of lack of stability and certainty. And this is the reason why so many asked me why I left, and what was I going to do, how was I going to be sure about my job security.
I have a simple system. It can be abused, but if you are careful, it may do you and your sanity good.
It all begins with your worth, as an employee (I assume you want to go this way, for now). Your worth is determined by the supply of your produced work, versus the demand for it. I work as a network and security engineer. While network engineers are somewhat more common, security engineers are kind of a rarity, and the "network AND security engineer" thing combined those two paths. This makes the supply of my work (network and security work from the same employee) quite limited, but the demand, to my surprise, is actually high.
Of course, this is not something easy to achieve, to be in the superior bargaining position - usually it requires great effort and many, many sleepless nights. Anyway....
Finding a field that has more demand than there is supply is just one part of the equation. You must also keep up with everything (especially with the tech industry, that changes with every second). The same rules apply when deciding on how to develop your skills: develop skills that are in short supply, but high demand. Usually, such skills tend to be very difficult to learn and master, hence the short supply.
You probably got asleep by now.... WAKE UP THIS IS IMPORTANT!
Now, to job security: if you produce, say, 1000$ of work, then know this:
YOU WILL BE PAID LESS THAN THAT. That is how the company makes profit. However, to maximize YOUR profit, and to have a measure of job security, you have to make sure that the value of your produced work is high. This is done by:
- Producing more work by working harder (hard method)
- Producing more work by working smarter (smart method)
- Making your work more valuable by acquiring high demand - low supply skills (economics method)
The hard method is the simplest, but also the most precarious - I'd advise the other two. Now, if you manage to produce, say, 3000$ worth of work, you can demand for 2000$ (numbers are random).
And here is the thing: any serious company wants employees that produce much more than they cost. The company will strive to pay them with as low a salary as it can get away with - after all, a company seeks to maximize its profit. However, if you have high demand - low supply skills, which means that you are more expensive to be replaced than you are to be paid, then guess what? You have unlocked god mode: the company needs you more than you need the company. Don't get me wrong: this is not an excuse to be unprofessional or unreasonable. However, you can look your boss in the eye. Believe me, most people out there can't.
Even if your company fails, an employee with valuable skills that brings profit tends to be snatched very quickly. If a company fires profitable employees, unless it hires more profitable employees to replace them, it has entered the spiral of death and will go bankrupt with mathematical certainty. Also, said fired employees tend to be absorbed quickly; after all, they bring profit, and companies are all about making the most profit.
It was a long post, and somewhat incoherent - the coffee buzz is almost gone, and the coffee crash is almost upon me. I'd like to hear the insight of the veterans; I estimate that it will be beneficial for the people that start out in this industry.

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