New kid on the job – when expectations and reality collide

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Every recently graduated sees the first job as a new world ready to be conquered. Great expectations flood their minds, motivation comes more from what they are about to learn and less from salary. Most of the times, a young graduate arrives at the office with a naive smile and is ready to engage in a great project, code a hundred lines and get immediate results. But what does really happen today in IT companies?

In the first days he is told to install software on his laptop, read a hundred pages of some manual and never receiving real tasks. Many companies fail in setting a welcoming environment for new people, including a plan of activities, training sessions and, above all, a mentor to guide them in the process of understanding the IT company culture.

A junior IT consultant sees a senior as someone who knows everything there is to know in the IT business. He’s hoping to learn the best coding techniques, work with the latest technologies and participate in the most innovative projects. The senior IT consultant, on the other hand, sees a junior one as someone with potential but still very expensive because he has to spend time with him and always be available and patient to teach on the job. As in Shark Tank reality tv show they would say “not an investment to me!”

After a period of adaptation the junior finally joins a team and for every time he is given a task his answer is “Yes, consider it done”. Usually they regret being so optimistic!…


The conditional “Yes” is more like a senior response, since they knows things never turn out to be as simple as they seem when explained for the first time. But this roles are about to reverse themselves…

Soon, the junior consultant will gain confidence and starts to think about the future; is he or she in the right company? Does he or she feel aligned with the company’s culture and values? What makes them stay?

It’s usualy at this point that salary and career progression opportunities are considered the most important factors to make decisions. It’s also the time when they acknowledge the fact that their profile is very desirable in the IT market.

What about a senior consultant, what makes him stay? Distinct factors for sure, many would say stability and alignment with the company’s leadership style and culture. But in the end what everyone wishes is to feel motivated every morning, either to participate in a project that is going to save the world or to just meet once again that beautiful girl in the 8 o’clock tram.

By the way, if you’re a recently graduated student you should know that Polarising has an Academy where you’ll find a relaxed and inclusive environment to learn and improve your skills. Our goal is that you feel confident working with the technology that best suits you. Here, it doesn’t matter your starting level, it’s about choosing the best stairway to reach your potential.

Tiago Ávila & Pedro Marques
Polarising Consultants

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