What you'll learn

  • Ways to negotiate your hybrid working schedule with future employers
  • How to find a workplace culture that works best for you
  • Different ways you can own your professional development

If you are an individual contributor in tech, your skills have never been more in demand. Firms are desperate to retain talented software developers, engineers, product managers and project managers.

Yet, according to numerous recent surveys and studies, tech professionals want to quit their jobs in record numbers.

In the current tech jobs market, this is the perfect time to talk to your manager about your current role and your future: training, learning, pay raises and promotions. It is also an ideal time to explore your options elsewhere, if you are ready to switch to a new company.

At Korn Ferry, we’ve identified five key factors influencing job satisfaction in tech professionals that can be leveraged to get more from your tech career.

1 Salaries & packages: Looking beyond pay

If money is on your mind, you are not alone. It is the number one factor driving job moves in the tech world. While you can boost your pay by moving jobs or negotiating a generous raise, don’t be swayed by the biggest headline number.

Many progressive companies have been upgrading their rewards offering to differentiate themselves from the competition and boost wellbeing and retention.

If choosing between employers, dig into the detail of the benefits packages being offered. Are there flexible options relevant to the priorities in your life? If you weigh the total value of the different offers, then a lower-paying role may still be worth more to you overall.

Moreover, while salary is the top motivator for career moves, don’t let money distract you from the other reasons to join an employer. You need to balance how much the financial rewards matter compared to culture, job satisfaction and career development prospects.

2 Flexibility in tech: find the right hybrid working balance

A Hired Report in October 2021 claimed “Nearly 90% of US job seekers want some kind of remote-work option. Only about 30% want a full-time remote schedule.”

If your skills are in demand, you can likely request remote working and a high level of flexibility. It is vital to be mindful of what mix of remote and on-site working truly suits you best. Be honest with yourself about wellbeing, productivity and your engagement levels. Have open conversations with your manager on how best to meet your learning and development needs. When you do spend time in the office make it count by meeting with fellow employees and making connections – don’t replicate what you do alone at home.

If you are looking to move to a new company, the same principles apply. It is likely employers will offer you flexibility. So, quiz them on how their hybrid working operates in practice. See if they have policies to prevent burnout and promote a separation of home and work life. Ask about their approach to collaboration and learning in virtual teams.

If you prefer to be in a physical office, then seek out companies who have adapted or updated their tech workspaces to suit new working styles.

3 Tech team culture: finding the right fit

In Gartner’s 2021 survey, “70% of workers said they’d consider quitting their companies in favor of working for an organization with a stronger viewpoint on social issues that matter to them.”

If you don’t feel at ease in your current company, there are organizations out there ready to inspire and re-energize you. When researching new opportunities, look out for companies that highlight impact and sustainability as key pieces of their career offer.

Be wary of employers who talk about their amazing culture but fail to show any evidence of it. It is always a good sign when tech businesses showcase the reality of the working experience through the voice of their employees – from the CIO to graduates and apprentices.

Tech Talent

Insights for technology professionals

4 Day-to-day experience: identify what makes you happy

According to Gartner’s 2021 Survey, “Job satisfaction for IT employees fell to just 25% in 2021" - that is a sobering statistic.

There is rarely time to pause and reflect when you work in technology. It is important to ask yourself “Do I really enjoy my daily job? Do my tasks, responsibilities and projects make me feel fulfilled?” If not, identify what aspects of your work give you moments of satisfaction. For example, it could be troubleshooting, idea generation, architecting, testing, code refinement, mentoring or even presenting.

Then, be up front with your boss. Could a change of responsibilities or role re-energize your career? If you decide you do need a change of scene, explain to recruiters what you most enjoy doing and why. Also, keep an eye out for employers that put a strong emphasis on the developer experience.

Your day-to-day job will be better in a company that is actively improving working practices, DevOps support and the quality of their tech stacks.

5 Take ownership of your development

Given the current cost of finding replacement staff, companies today are incredibly focused on staff retention. This means that if you are open to staying with your current employer, it’s the perfect time to talk to your manager about your career path.

Clarify exactly what skills and achievements you need to earn a promotion – and agree on a structured plan to ensure you reach your development milestones. Be confident in requesting training and learning opportunities - and remember that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

If you are exploring new opportunities with recruiters or hiring managers, investigate whether there is a structured career path for you to follow. Ask about personal development plans and the full breadth of the learning and development offering. Make sure they explain how the process works for earning internal promotions.

The best employers will offer you the freedom to explore new technologies, while learning the skills to progress as either an Individual Contributor or a leader.

Get the latest tech talent insight

Korn Ferry views the tech talent market from both sides. We help tech employers to hire, engage, reward and develop their tech workforce. At the same time, we support tech professionals in navigating job opportunities and advancing their careers – as developers, engineers, architects, project managers, product managers and leaders.

Take a look at this parallel article to learn more about the steps that companies should be taking to earn employee loyalty.

And for more insight on tech careers, and industry networking opportunities, join the Korn Ferry Tech Talent Community today.