Feel mental pressure to quit job at my startup tech company

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 06, 2016 1:53 AM GMT
    I am somewhat at midlevel career as tech in Silicon Valley.

    Main issue is since I left college and graduated, I found my first job at a big tech company but all jobs I have held so far were like low level repetitive stuff (sys admin level 1) even after when changing my job I had been promised with more responsibilities, training and going up in my ladder.

    Usually it has ended up in dumping all repetitive boring maintanance tasks that usually only one guy did which has been usually me which usually did not benefit me too well in learning any new skills but to companies were still vital (such as replacing hard drives when I worked as a data center monkey).

    Recently when I quit job to work for a startup website hosting company I jumped into salary but in terms of resposibilities, while the new job I was interviewing for has title IT Engineer and over 80% was supposed to involve network admin and system administration, others help desk, I found myself spending most of the time doing helpdesk which I despise but they won't hire anybody at lower level to do helpdesk desktop support.

    Whats worse, only after I got hired a few months later I realized that my company's infrastructure is old shit and unstable. We are also understaffed. Which results in most evenings and weekends responding to "911" emergency alerts which sometimes are not emergency (such as low disk space). This has put a lot of stress on my health and sanity. It has even affected my study to get better better knowledge and credentials to make myself more marketable when looking for a new job (I am currently learning senior tasks of linux sys administrator and preparing for RHCE)

    Since I am viewed at company as junior I am not able to have much input as to press management to make some desirable adjustment such as alert treshold, rotation or other helpful tasks. I feel I am just used as a slave and taken advantage because I am a foreigner (usually I do not think this way, but once my American coworker theorized one of my landlords was getting greedier when she realized I am out of country).

    Whats more I feel awful I cannot relax on weekends and go out to town or gym because I may anytime need to respond to alerts.

    So what should I do? Accelerate my study in RHCE, get new certifications and then look for a new job which may take couple months at least.

    Or should I start looking now and rush before I get myself burned out???? I stand then to look with less qualifications and miss opportunity on better jobs or higher salary but I guess I can always jump again.

    I do not know too many people or professionals in my area. I heard what also matters is not just always what you know but who you know. I have linked in and connected with many professionals in my area. But those are weak links and I found most people who accept my invitation rarely respond to my inquiries about their companies. So I think it would be better to go to meetups in person but don't know any of these.

    Another thing I think of is getting in touch with recruiters and use Dice. I have to be careful though that my current employe does not find out.

    Any advice for my situation?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 06, 2016 4:30 AM GMT
    In the tech world, if you keep your head down and do your job well, you will stay at that level forever. Advancement is usually lateral. Build a resume working on solid projects and move to another job before things get stale.

    But honestly, you need to work on your writing and probably other communication skills.

    And I don't understand why you can't work out when you're on-call... I've worked out during teleconferences before. You just have to catch your breath before you turn on your mic, or people will thing you're jacking off.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 06, 2016 3:06 PM GMT
    Silicon Valley is notorious for not creating or growing employees by training. Advancement is by job hopping. Work hard ( 80 hrs) play hard is the normal ( weeks off after product launches). Job hopping also expands your network thereby giving your more opportunity to find the job that fits your skills through your network of friends and skipping over the dreaded HR dept.
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    Mar 06, 2016 3:46 PM GMT
    I went through the same stuff for years and then finally started working as a consultant after moving to UI development platform. Which was a lot of fun and gave me a chance to do challenging work. But I got there by learning stuff in my own personal time.

    I am finally working full time again but I wanted to settle down and have a more stable job.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 06, 2016 3:58 PM GMT
    I don't know your particular situation well, but I do know from representing large businesses that reputable companies tend to fast-track people with both technical and business/management skills. Have you considered taking business- or management-centric courses?
  • blueandgold

    Posts: 407

    Mar 07, 2016 7:15 PM GMT
    Hey I think the advice here is all solid. I'm guessing english is not your first language, so congratulations! You have a pretty good command of the language, but I think that working on improving your communication skills in English would certainly help.

    Good luck!
  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    Mar 12, 2016 9:54 AM GMT
    While learning more will help I think you need to change your mindset.

    If you want a promotion you have to be thinking and acting as if you are already at the level you want to be at.
    If you were in a senior role how would you think and act differently?

    willowcrow231Since I am viewed at company as junior I am not able to have much input as to press management to make some desirable adjustment such as alert treshold

    You are viewed as the junior but you probably view yourself as the junior. Start viewing yourself as their equal partner and they will start to see you differently over time. But if you stay defined by how they view you and wait for them to see the potential in you you will be waiting a long time.

    You should also work on your English but confidence is going to be more critical than your English and skills.

    There is a principle called the compound effect: small increments over time add up to big gains.
    So ask yourself how can you be 5% more confident today?
    Even though you are working hard spend 15 mins a day doing something that will move you forward. It may be learning some new vocabulary or improving your skills, or networking on LinkedIn maybe find a mentor.
    Also go to lunch with someone you can ask for advice. There's a book called "Never Eat Lunch Alone" which is about networking.

    In terms of dealing with stress and working hours read this book:

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 14, 2016 12:05 AM GMT
    Find a new company. It's difficult, if not impossible, to change a crappy company culture. Why waste the energy? Take advantage of everything you can now. Like does your company offer reimbursement for training/certification? If yes, go for it. If you're doing tasks that are above your current title, add that to your resume. You're building new and marketable skills.

    Sys admin and dev ops jobs are hot right now. It's pretty easy to bounce around. And you might even be able to find some telecommute jobs as well.