There’s a trend on LinkedIn that reveals a lot about career success…
Photos of people who got jobs at famous tech companies. I won’t post any examples because I don’t want to shame anybody. Look at your newsfeed and you’ll be flooded with them.
“OMG I’m so humbled to get a job at Google!”
“I can’t believe Microsoft said yes to my dreams!”
“My mother is going to be so proud I got a job at Facebook.”
“I wish Steve Jobs was alive to see me start at Apple today.”
The photos are full of cheesy grins and merchandise from HR brainwashers. A backpack with a Facebook logo on it ain’t going to feel so special when you see first-hand how Zucks treats our privacy.
And a drink bottle from Google will mean nothing if you have to work 12-hour days to keep the logo on your resume.
No one cares about a tech logo anymore
That’s the harsh truth. In the boom of Silicon Valley and the smartphone revolution, working at a tech company was all the rage. How do I know?
I fell for it.
I interviewed for many of the big tech players. I came close. Then I got a job at a Fortune 500 tech company. I thought all of my career dreams had come true. It took a year to work out that nobody cared about my employer.
Every company is now a tech company — or they’re already bankrupt.
The dark underbelly of the tech platforms we once worshiped is coming to light. The revolution Web 3.0 has brought to the world of tech has changed our relationship with these once do-no-evil juggernauts.
Tech bro culture will rip your face off
The culture of many of these tech companies sucks, too. It’s a Game of Thrones survival of the fittest tech bro competition. How do I know? These tech companies were my clients at one job.
The elitism will make you feel sick.
Many of them are hired based on what university they went to. They talk down to people who work at non-brand-name tech companies. Their eyes are open but their ears are closed.
I remember trying to explain to one famous tech company that there is risk when you allow customers to accept money through a marketplace like Uber. If you don’t do the proper checks then it can blow up in your face.
They didn’t listen.
What does this Aussie Bimbo know? they thought to themselves.
Months later they got hit with thousands of cases of fraud. They didn’t get their customers to fill out proper online applications. They approved everybody to use their service. Ka-Boom!
One customer ended up using their service to run a cyberlocker full of nude photos of children. They had to explain to one of the largest financial regulators in the world what the hell happened.
Naturally, the tech bros hid for cover.
They got their famous founder to apologize. The families of the affected children never got an apology, though.
When you think you know everything because you got a job at a famous tech logo, you end up making terrible mistakes. Humility and tech bros just don’t go together. They’re too busy trying to win the revenue game to understand the bigger picture.
The world has enough elitism. It’s the opposite of real career success.
Career success is stupidly simple
Thankfully there are two solutions.
1. Work with good people who support you
A good team or a great leader will do far more for you than a famous tech company. A logo doesn’t care about you.
But people can care.
Often, it’s the people we work with that add enormous value to our careers. They’re the ones we remember and stay in touch with as we change from job to job over our lifetimes.
Some of my best friends are ex-bosses or former colleagues. I remember them more than I remember the logo that provided our Friday beers and pizza.
Last week tragedy struck my life. Guess who showed up two hours later? My former boss. (Bet Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t do that.)
Choose good people over logos.
2. Do work you genuinely enjoy
The work you do matters more than looking cool on LinkedIn with your tech logo t-shirt.
You could get a job at Google but if all you do is write empty code for a product you don’t care about, or worse, one that is bad for society, where will it lead you? Answer: ruin.
It won’t look like ruin though. You’ll show up to work empty and lifeless. Your care-factor in meetings will be zero. You’ll live for the weekends. Monday morning stand-ups will become your worst nightmare.
Gantt charts and a whiteboard full of stickie notes will be a painful reminder of the tech logo nightmare you’re trapped in.
Can you just leave? It’s harder than it looks. Everyone was so proud of you when you got that job. What if things don’t work out and you have to convince another tech logo to have mercy on your career gap?
I’ve met many former tech bros that joined unknown startups that can barely afford the desk rent at their makeshift co-working space, yet they end up being a lot happier in their careers. Why?
They’re doing work they enjoy that has meaning and allows them to tap into their creativity.
Put the selfie poles away. Cancel the bus trips to Silicon Valley (they’re not the home of tech anymore, anyway, thanks to coroni-macaroni).
Career success is doing work you enjoy, with humble people you can stand the sight of, that don’t treat work like The Hunger Games. The rest is 5-minutes of LinkedIn fame that won’t change your career (or life).