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I am 9 months into a startup IT company. I had no programming background, apart from a handful in my graduation. I started programming in PHP and Laravel when I joined.

There was a requirement to show some graphical analysis in the Dashboard. I used external APIs to draw charts, with all the data analysis that I could think of. I didnt use Google Analytics or Tableau or similar services, because I didnt think it would be required.

Seeing this, the manager and CEO are making me read books on Analytics and dive deep into Predictive Analytics. The CEO is giving me some books on them (because he was already into it before ) and is asking me to read it. Moreover, he is asking me to join some Workshop (Not Free of course, and the money comes out from my pocket).

Now, I love analysis, no doubt. But I am not interested in pursuing a career in it. I want to get into Cloud Computing and AI, for which I am simultaneously pursuing courses to fulfill my dream apart from doing my job.

Not only that, I also have to submit my project on time, in addition to reading all those books on alanytics.

I am totally confused and also frustrated. How do I express my interests to the Manager?

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  • Does the startup use Cloud Computing or AI currently? Apr 30, 2021 at 8:21
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    How much is the workshop? I'm sorry, but the employer needs to pay for it. In what country/state is this in? This company is horrible. Don't let others dictate your path. Find another company that does things with the cloud or AI (although, you should be careful about companies claiming to use AI. Many companies use the AI buzzword for marketing/funding reasons, they don't actually do any AI). Apr 30, 2021 at 8:36
  • @mattfreake Nope. And I am going to change my company anyhow because of a variety of reasons. It is due to this pandemic that I am struck here
    – Asish
    Apr 30, 2021 at 8:38
  • @StephanBranczyk Around 10 USD. But by salary is 195 usd per Month. I am from India, so is my company.
    – Asish
    Apr 30, 2021 at 8:39
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    Predictive analytics is AI, just without the buzzwords. And probably delivering more value than 90% of companies which say "we're doing AI". Apr 30, 2021 at 9:08

3 Answers 3

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A professional way to handle this is to set appropriate expectations and communicate them to your management:

  • If you're currently lacking skills required for you to complete the project, and the books you were handed should fill that knowledge gap - estimate how long it will take you to finish reading the books and develop the necessary skills. Add this amount of time to the project timeline. You should not be required to read those books off the clock. Note that it is your responsibility to learn the skills necessary to complete the project assigned to you, and your manager should help you with any resources you require and by allocating enough time for you to learn.
  • State that you'd be happy to join the workshop your management suggested you join, but only if the company pays for it. You're only attending this workshop because the project requires it, you wouldn't do it otherwise, therefore it doesn't make sense for you to foot the bill.

That said, it seems that your management is acting unreasonably, and unfortunately there's no surefire way to change it. If this continues then you might need to look for another job.

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  • Umm, the thing is there is NO requirement in the project to learn the skills that are there in the book. They want to me to read the book, so that in case they decide to try something on that skill in the future, then they will come to me. But again the problem is they are not willing to increase my salary from 196 USD. Apart from that I need to complete the project, even if it means working on weekends.
    – Asish
    May 3, 2021 at 9:29
  • I would suggest starting to look for another job, there's quite a few red flags I see in your situation.
    – Egor
    May 3, 2021 at 12:45
  • Hope I get a good one, during this pandemic
    – Asish
    May 3, 2021 at 13:19
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Just find another company and do not sweat about it. The only reason they are behaving like this is because you are inexperienced. They knew your qualifications when they hired you. If they feel they need a more qualified one they should hire one and stop wasting your time.

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  • I was supposed to be trained under them, then get hired by another company. But because I performed better, they decided to hire me, rather than let me get away. Of course I am new to industry, but that does not mean I will read whatever they throw at me. I have plans on my own. Due to this pandemic, I fear that I may not find another company, and may be struck here doing all their work for cheap.
    – Asish
    May 3, 2021 at 9:32
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The key word in your question is "startup". Many startups have gross overexpectations of the people they hire because everyone's looking to prove that they can make something out of nothing, and the owners are hoping everyone they hire will be willing to work as tirelessly as they do.

If you are being expected to pay for your own workshops, this is a HUGE red flag because it says they're not willing to invest in you but definitely willing to manipulate you, by pressure, into paying the bill for something that hasn't paid off for them yet. They are relying heavily on the fact that you are inexperienced and far less likely to speak up for yourself than someone who is.

There are innumerable resources online for learning how to set healthy boundaries with others in work situations and it'd be useful for you to dig up some of those and find some approaches that will work for you. Right now, you're unsure of yourself, and that's not helping you. I don't see a long future for you at such a company because if you keep bending, you'll suffer from overwork and burnout in no time at all.

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  • Yep. Most of what you said applies to me. Although they are NOT forcing me to pay for the workshop, they are still forcing me to spend money in buying books or online courses for that specific skill (Predictive analysis) and on top of that, they are sending me links to various paid workshops. All of which would come out of my pocket. They offered me some books themselves, and I am allowed to keep them, but I cannot keep them all the time.
    – Asish
    May 3, 2021 at 9:39
  • and that is why , I cannot read that book when I have free time. The biggest problem is , I dont have any interest in what they are asking me to read. And I dont know how to convince them
    – Asish
    May 3, 2021 at 9:40

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