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Background

I'm a junior developer with a 1 year and 6 months of experience. I'm currently in a start-up (14-20 employees) where I'm working as a web developer on the company's main app/product (it's a 1 year long internship). Before this I worked for 6 months in another start-up while getting my college degree, but after getting it they didn't renew my internship period and I had to look for another job. All offers that I saw were +1 years of experience so I joined the one that looked better and matched my skill-set.

I joined 7 months ago as a "web developer intern" with an internship contract, but after the first month I've been working on tasks that could be considered 100% a normal developer's job. When I joined I was working directly under the CEO's orders + the CTO, helping on multiple tasks on a daily basis. After that I started working on new features under the boss's indications, while the CTO worked on other projects. Now there's a new developer who has my same age but more experience than me, and when comparing my job to his, we could say that I'm doing the same amount of work. The boss knows that I'm performing more than expected, so he usually tells me "you're doing a great job" and stuff like that. I usually work on solving bugs/problems that directly affect the customers and he tells me that "it's a good training", but I know that what I'm doing it just a developer's job instead of training. One of the employees of the company that I got along with told me that "they're profiting off you", which I think means that they're getting a developer's worth value while saving 50% with an intern, but I don't know what to think about that.

Question

I'm very happy with the company, I work extra-hard to meet the boss's expectations because I'm hoping for a really good offer after I finish my internship (sometimes even on weekends to finish deadlines, unpaid overtime of course), but at the same time I'm considering asking my boss to reconsider my contract now and give me a permanent position. My contract finishes in 6-5 months. What's the best course of action in this sitatuon?

Edit: The current internship is paid, but of course it's lower than the role's average pay or the current offers for the same position in the market.

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    Why can't you wait until your contract is up? – Kilisi Feb 14 at 12:24
  • Are you still picking up skills at a high rate? – AsheraH Feb 14 at 12:47
  • @Kilisi It's not a matter of waiting, it's just that I'm thinking that maybe I could be in a better financial situation if I did it now, and I'm wondering if it's a good decision or if I should just wait. – wq_0895 Feb 14 at 14:28
  • @JoeStrazzere Then I'll just not say anything until the contract is over. If I say it now they will look bad at me, like if I'm not satisfied with the current situation. – wq_0895 Feb 14 at 14:28
  • It's a risk... could work out, could leave you unemployed, at the very least it will bring you to the hierarchies attention in a less favourable light then before – Kilisi Feb 14 at 14:29
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You're putting in the work, not being told to do unpaid overtime or anything else. Which is good, it shows commitment and a good work ethic. But it's not grounds for trying to get a new contract sorted. You're an intern, this is the sort of thing you do if you want to impress.

Are you being taken advantage of? Yes & NO. You're taking advantage of yourself and your bosses are letting you, and No because it will stand you in good stead when it does come time to look at giving you a full time contract. Until the internship is finished I recommend you keep up the good work, pace yourself though, they will be watching you for signs of burning out.

Any time you bring up negotiations outside the norm, there is a perception that if you're not kept happy you will leave. It's a risk because this can lead to a search for your replacement. If they're the sort to only want to profit from interns then a request would be refused and a new intern advertised for when your contract finishes.

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  • "You're taking advantage of yourself and your bosses are letting you" This is what I didn't realize until now I guess. I'm working a lot to impress them and by consequence I'm getting burned out and thinking that I'm getting "profited off". I should probably balance my work load and improve my skills to work the same amount of tasks while keeping a healthy work-life balance. Thanks a lot for the advice! I really appreciate it. – wq_0895 Feb 14 at 14:34
  • Yeah, burnout is poison, it makes you frustrated which can lead to all sorts of nastiness. I think you're doing great, just need to soldier on a few more months. – Kilisi Feb 14 at 14:46
  • @wq_0895 "I'm getting burned out" Why? Work your precise 40 hours, and then walk to the train, and then go home. You surely have many interests in life .. family, gaming, sports, Netflix, Starbucks .. whatever. Work 40.00 hours and then go live. "You work to live, you don't live to work." If you're experiencing "burnout" something is drastically wrong. – Fattie Feb 14 at 15:16
  • @Fattie I could do it but the problem is that I'm trying to be highly competitive and productive to demonstrate my value for when the time of hiring me comes around. I'm totally aware that I'm doing a bad job at managing my work-life balance, but I "comfort" myself by thinking that this will give foot to good offer (and ability to negotiate) in the future. – wq_0895 Feb 20 at 8:59
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My gut instinct would be to just wait out the 5 months.

HOWEVER..................

At the end of the five months

  1. You must aggressively as possible ...

  2. Seek a drastically higher pay level ...

  3. At that company or another company.

THE KEY FACT IS THIS:

At the end of the "internship" in five months, one of two things will happen

A: They will try to screw you and offer you some crap salary

B: They will offer you a great salary.

YOU MUST BE MENTALLY PREPARED...

If they offer you a crap salary, you have to walk. That day. Here's the language to use:

Let's say you're currently getting "10" units and they offer you, rofl, "20" units.

"Steve, thanks. It's been a terrific internship. Thanks again. At the moment I can easily secure "60" or "70" units and of course I have to think of my career and family. So again thanks for the fantastic internship, you guys were the best!"

and then say

"Goodbye."

And then walk out the door.

THE LIKELY OUTCOME...

Unfortunately my guess is that they are an "A" company, not a "B" company.

They are looking to trick people in to working cheap.

Hopefully I'm wrong, and they offer you a realistic amount of money.

If so, fantastic. If not, you know what to say.

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Say ... why not just take these concerns to your present manager?

"Tell them exactly what you think," just as you have done here, "then ... listen carefully." First, speak. Then, [shaddup and ...] let them speak. And please remember – neither of you are actually "adversaries."

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