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I could make a long list of what I don't like about my current boss or company but I'll spare this information, instead I will make a list about my own mistakes and errors:

  • Not communicating my needs to the management well enough.
  • Taking on too many responsibilities to prove myself. When I was a junior programmer, I enjoyed working extra hours, and completing more tasks. I never said "I can't do this.". I said - "I will finish it this evening. You can review it tomorrow morning". Sometimes it meant staying at work 3 hours longer and arriving at work 2 hours earlier. The lead programmer saw and knew this. The manager did not. Extra hours were not paid at all.
  • Not speaking about things I dislike. I could have brought topics such as salary, career advancement options earlier.
  • Not being strict enough about my opinion and thoughts. Often when I had reasonable suggestions and manager said "We don't have time for such changes now, but we can consider them in our next project", I agreed. I just could not stand firmly behind my opinion when I was a junior programmer and the attitude stuck with me. I also did not object the "write code that works ASAP, don't think about architecture and re-factoring too much" model. I wanted to, but I did not. Senior programmers neither. Guess what that lead to?
  • Taking too long with resignation. I have thought about it for about a year. I could have avoided many problems if I acted earlier... I didn't resign because I "needed" stable income to finish repairs in my apartment, then I had other excuses. In reality I am simply a coward.

If I had to summarize my faults, I would say I lack a backbone or the one I have is too weak. Now, how do I actually improve in this aspect?

I want to quit my job, find a new one and learn from mistakes.

I am ready to work on this question to improve it. At the moment I think it fits in WP.SE well enough. Maybe title needs to be changed.

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    What's the question? Valid points but are you trying to make a Q&A? Then you should simply ask the question and then answer it below. – Jonast92 Mar 5 '15 at 12:46
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    Is your question whether you should quit your job or not? Do you want to get a new job and "start clean", having learned from your mistakes. Or do you want to salvage your current situation and improve it – Brandin Mar 5 '15 at 13:03
  • @Jonast92 I have identified behavioral(?) flaws in myself which I want to fix and not repeat in a new company. – MoustacheMan Mar 5 '15 at 13:09
  • @Brandin I am quitting. Question is about how to not repeat these problems in a new environment. It might sound super easy for some - just talk, act, stand your ground etc. Due to different reasons, I developed a submissive/passive behavior. When I think about it, all of my colleagues are very similar. Might be less about me and more about the company. – MoustacheMan Mar 5 '15 at 13:09
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    very "open ended" question. you don't need to grow a backbone. you need to understand that each environment is different and that most of the times you need to adapt to the environment. you also need to shift this from "i'm a sissy, i don't have a backbone" to "it's a learning experience and I am improving myself by going through this". the day you stop learning/adapting is a sad day – Mircea Mar 5 '15 at 14:44
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For the most part the longer you are with a company the more your opinions will be respected. One thing about being a good employee is being able to swallow your opinions and your pride and just do the job you are asked. As you mature both as a person and as a professional you will figure out how to make your opinions count. That will be part of what takes you through the roles from a junior, to a senior and eventually a lead. But regardless of how skilled you are with the technical aspects, the experience that really matters is time. I know it was hard for me to see why that is as a junior or even after word but 20 years later I can say that I see it now.

However if you job hop every year or 2 it will take you much longer to get to that point. The only advantage of this is it will give you the opportunity to work with different types of people and in different environments. This can help you with selecting a company where you can finish your career with a long term engagement. Just realize that no company is perfect, if you try hard enough you will find things that are good and bad in every company.

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    While I generally agree with all of your points, I have to say that I have worked with people who have only had 1 or 2 jobs for a couple decades, and they tend to be some of the employees with the weakest skill sets, and have instead mastered internal politics and keeping their headdown to avoid additional work or expanding their skill set. Like one guy I met who only mastered FoxPro and constantly advocated for more FoxPro when though it was probably obsolete the day it came out. This tends to happen more in the public sector rather than private though. – Mark Rogers Mar 5 '15 at 15:38
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    @MarkRogers - I agree if they are still in the same basic job that they were in 10 years ago there is a reason they did not grow. That said, especially in a large corporation, you can work a career with one company, and still move around and get the variety of skills that you need to be a quality senior or lead. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 5 '15 at 19:00

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