First tech job blues

Hey All,

Thanks for taking the time to view my post.

Six months ago I landed my first tech job as a “Jr. Drupal Developer” at a government contracting company. It was a dream come true. I have an associates in Digital Media, a very generic degree but one that is allowing me to pursue this career. It started off nice and all but now I don’t feel too good about it at all.

Let me run down what I do at my job. I am the only person working on a single project that was contracted out years ago. Someone had this job before me and left the company while doing this contract and I took it over. I work alone everyday, I am not on a team of any kind. I have a boss that doesn’t really work with me at all. He calls once every 2 weeks and “checks in”. I feel as though no one really gives a shit about me. No one ever asks, “oh how is this project going?” or “hey when is it going to be done?”. I rely on my own deadlines and thats it… hopefully the project gets done someday… I talk with the clients a lot to get a feel for what they want. They have no idea of what they want. They want a million things! I hold meetings every now and then to give them a progress report on how Im doing and they tend to like what Im doing but then add on 2 million optional things they want for the site. Its a cluster fuck of information and I have no project manager or team members to rely on.

I work with Drupal on a daily basis and since my start with this company I have realized that this is not the technology that I want to work with… ever again. It makes sense for the site that Im making, but it is horrible to work with. Lately I have found myself getting off task and just working on my own personal projects. I mean who is really going to know what Im doing. No one ever checks in with me. I have no other team members. No one seems to give a shit about me. I have 1001+ things to get done on this site and I find it really hard to want to do any of it.

Is this the nature of government contract work? If so count me out, forever.

I am thinking about applying to other jobs. But Im very worried that, this being my first job in the field, that it will be hard to find work with only 6 months under my belt as a “Jr. Drupal Developer”, a title I don’t want. I am however very passionate about web development and work on personal project daily. My current goals are to work in the software engineering world as a front end developer, on a team, with deadlines, goals and objectives. Should I start applying to jobs with this being my only experience in the tech world?

Thoughts on any part of this post?

Try to appreciate not having impossible deadlines and people watching over your shoulder all the time.

It gives you a lot of flexibility and the freedom experiment, learn some new technologies on the job (within reason, ideally in a way so it can practically be applied to the project). Most jobs don’t allow you to do that unless it’s really necessary for a concrete feature.
It also means you can find the time to go to and prepare for job interviews.

It’s pretty comfortable to do that while you have a job. I don’t think you’re required to call yourself a junior drupal developer, and if you say you have experience working on technology X, I doubt people will question it (as long as you can back it up with knowledge). Nobody will expect you to be an expert early in your career.

Hey there waffle,

I agree with what dfwl said. If you do not have any support at all, invest some of your time into looking for other job offerings or try to bring some of the issues yo your boss in a subtle fashion.

You really should not feel stuck in a job you do not feel rewarded for doing.