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is it more difficult to maintain moral ethics in IT industry? or it is just that this industry has its own code of conduct?.

I have another profile with karmas close to a thousand. This posting is something personal, so I am posting it as anonymous.

I am a software engineer.I quit my job in a service-based IT company nearly 4 months back. I have some mood disorder problem. I worked there for over an year. Worked on one project from kick-off to sign-off and worked on one phase of next very similar project.

I quit the job because I needed flexibility in work timings and be able to work from home say once a week or now and then (to cope up with my health issue). This job was very low salary paying for my resume and work was very chaotic and unsatisfying in my project (on which I worked end to end) and had lost hope for better work. I didn't find any mentors or role models in the team.This being service based company, I felt like I was to give status on each day. It is true that I have to struggle to meet deadlines because of my problem. But by working on weekends/late nights, I was meeting these. But people didn't perceive it in that light.And I feel that with time, I am only growing and learning in terms of discipline and my problem is like any other health problem for which people need accommodation at work, but qualify for job. I was sincere in my work. and given this flexibility I can do my job. If not excel then at least meet expectation.

I quit it, because when being on the job, my mind was always stressed and I couldn't think of what would be better job for me as a next job move, so I needed time to figure it out. Near the end, I was also feeling burned out from the project and I wanted to work on my health.

For 2 months, as planned I took a break (break from career worries and career planning, but I spent my time reading things basic things which I wanted to learn like about country,culture,religion,spirituality etc) makes basis for long term peace. May be I have some degree of attention deficit disorder and I would feel blanked out on such issues. and I wanted to spend one month from my life imprinting such knowledge in my brain.

then I studied for a month.(I prepared for Google,took onsite interviews,(and got rejected) so focussed on data structures,algorithms preparation along with general OS concepts) and took my focus off from applying to other places etc.

Now, gradually before I realized its been a 4 months gap. When job consultants call me, they ask me why I left my previous company without any job offer in hand. I give them 3 true reasons that I wanted to work for product based company, project was over, and I was looking for a break of 2 months. They don't like these reasons. and some don't even send my resume to HR, I think.

it is putting me off. What is code of conduct in IT industry?

People don't do their share of work sincerely, leave project in between. get careless in work in their notice period. Is this acceptable? or may be I am surrounding by people who give me such tricks and it makes me feel that in general this is how people think. like a friend joined a company, worked there for 1 month, didnt like it and left it and didn't show it his resume and had other company waiting for him with their offer.

I am thinking if I should start working on some open source project, which might count as work.or if I should recourse to a lie (and update my resume accordingly) like I had a fracture when I was about to join a new company and so had to take break and that job offer elapsed or some other health issue (which is not long term like mental health or sth) or a problem in my family

consultants openly ask me if I am single or married. and some dont show interest because I am single(and of marriageable age as in India ,going by when I did undergrad) and so they think that soon I will get married and being a female is likely to relocate.some consultants openly ask if I have any other job offer in hand. Some say that companies give and set salary depending on if I am employed or not working.

I listen to people saying that it becomes easy to negotiate salary once I have other job offers in hand. Is that more ethical that what I have done? I mean , salary should be set on the basis of ones experience,compatency etc rather than competing offers. I feel its difficult to maintain ones ethics during job hopping, career advancement etc in this industry.

I am beginning to feel frustrated and am seeking advice from people who have undergone something similar.

I think software professionals all over the world may relate it to some degree. I am based in India, so if somebody also wants to chip in with India specific advice, please feel free.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by MichaelT, gnat, GlenH7, Doc Brown, Dan Pichelman Sep 30 '13 at 20:19

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Are those "job consultants" necessary for getting a job? Are there ways to get around those people? –  rwong Jul 2 '11 at 9:43
    
Not many companies/HR have talked to me yet. but even company HR will perhaps also nag me with sth similar. Didn't make it in Google. Once in my life, I wanted to give my best to get into Google. prepared for it, but didn't work out. had telephonic from Amazon. HR said they want to call me onsite and will drop an email to confirm time. She never emailed. I don't her email addr. Now, I am trying to get my resume fwded to HR by my college alumnis. –  SOfan Jul 2 '11 at 9:54
    
Now I want to try for Oracle,IBM known for flexible work env. Oracle was asking for Java profiles. I have C++ background. I am willing to pick up on Java and have some experience in Java -- mostly academic. that was mainly core Java with j2se. Oracle HR didn't email back.I dont have any exposure to frameworks like struts,hibernate etc. I am also unhappy abt my profile not being considered for java roles even though my total industry experience is 3+ years in C++.. –  SOfan Jul 2 '11 at 9:57
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Don't try to get into the big companies. Many of them are known (especially IBM) to overstress their employees. Take a look at smaller shops. They have sometimes great working conditions, you can get more responsibility and probably freedom, too, easier. –  Falcon Jul 2 '11 at 11:06
    
Actually after all the experience and struggle in life, I am not so keen on big brands and big salaries. I want a job which gives me enough money to get by and which I can keep.But I do want a flexible environment and facility to work from home now and then may be once a week, when it doesn't hurt the project. This will help me in keeping myself balanced over a long period.In India, it seems these facilities are only provided in big companies and so this was my rationale of targeting these companies first. –  SOfan Jul 2 '11 at 13:57
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5 Answers

One message I wish to communicate to you is not to let those interactions with recruiters and interviewing incidents undermine your mental and emotional balance and well-being. It's essential.

Try a trick on your mind. For each upcoming contact you set up a virtual machine in your brain, let it process this next dialogue or interaction, then you just delete it along with the emotional remainders of the dialogue it saved. Don't take what's happening personally and too close. This could break you.

Another trick for talking to recruiters: don't ever communicate the message that you are in urgent need of a job, is about to go homeless and die of hunger. Let them feel you're just fine and will only talk if it is of value to you. Don't think about hurting their feelings because they have none.

To the question why you left without another job at hand you can always say you needed time to educate yourself in new things to take a different role, so you took time to invest in learning. If they still don't like it, you can bluntly respond that you don't see the dialogue succeed when they don't understand the value of something that basic.

And yes, the industry is getting amoral and cruel, everywhere in the world. I've heard some US companies put it in their ads that people currently not employed should not bother to apply. Sad.

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I know how you feel as I've experienced similar in my career.

Therefor, this is how you can get over it:

Learn to take pressure. When you've had a lot of pressure in one job (and you probably had when you are "near burnout"), almost any other job seems like a cakewalk. Even if you think you can't do it. Become tougher, you need to fight. There's not the perfect job out there. In every job there'll be things/tasks you don't like about it. But you are not your job. Forget about it at home. Become a fighter and forget your ego while on the job. Then you will succeed everywhere.

As for the salary neogitiations. Don't let the consultants neogitiate for you. When a company wants to hire you, neogitiate yourself. It's always ok to ask for more, they won't withdraw their initial offer because they dislike your numbers.

Also, don't only go for the big companies. There're many small software shops out there with happy employees!

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Actually after all the experience and struggle in life, I am not so keen on big brands and big salaries. I want a job which gives me enough money to get by and which I can keep.But I do want a flexible environment and facility to work from home now and then may be once a week, when it doesn't hurt the project. This will help me in keeping myself balanced over a long period.In India, it seems these facilities are only provided in big companies and so this was my rationale of targeting these companies first –  SOfan Jul 2 '11 at 13:53
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There are a couple of ways to look at this ->

One: other peoples opinions do not necessarily reflect reality. The industry has learned a few patterns to cull the flock of potential employees, and this is just a system. They don't have the time to see each person as an individual, at least not when there are others applying for the same position, so this leads to ->

Two: learn the game. If quizzes and buzzwords on the CV is what is needed, then try to fill the gaps. When asked about your past work or your personality, tell a good version of the truth without lying, just try to find the "presentable angle".

Also, if you have "time between work", try to make something to show the next employer. I find it very impressive if the person I am talking to can show me some apps I can download and test, or some other service or software I can look at. And, you could potentially create a product that you earn money from.

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Negotiating from a position of employment rather than unemployment is neither more nor less ethical. It is a stronger bargaining position. Similarly for if you have other job offers in hand. The thinking on the employers part is that if you don't have a job, or offers, you will be desperate, and so they can make you a lower offer than otherwise.

Negiotiation is not immoral - both sides set out to get the best deal, and hopefully somewhere in the middle they find a good compromise.

Descrimination on the basis of your sex, however, is, and at least in the UK would be illegal.

Now, it's been a long time since I was job hunting, but I would say that you can give honest answers to questions that can also enhance your negotiating position. For example, I was asked if I had other job offers in hand, and I replied that I'd been interviewed for other opportunities that I was hopeful about, and waiting to hear back from. This was true, and it lets them know that they're not the only shop in town.

I would totally agree with Falcon's comment - smaller companies are often more flexible and with better conditions - but might not offer the same status and pay. That can be a good thing. I've found my mood difficult sometimes, and that's a trade I've made - seems to work out well so far.

Also, I've found that my feelings can leak out in ways that I'm not aware of. People understand more about how I feel that I'm aware of; I wonder if this is possibly happening for you too? It might be worth considering.

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Employers need reliable employees. Reliability (and similar "soft skills") are just as important as experience and competence. It sounds like you might be sending the wrong signals in that regard; asking after your marriage status might be a proxy for that.

You could try stressing things that make you seem reliable, such as staying through that one entire project even though you were not happy with the work environment. Basically try to think like a good manager and ask yourself what qualities you have that someone like that would want to hire you for, then stress those qualities, and downplay those they might want you avoid you for (or, better, make a credible claim that you're trying to improve yourself in that regard). You don't need to lie, just tell the truth in a way that helps you.

The problem with job consultants and large companies that have separate HR departments is that they generally lack the in-depth knowledge to judge technical competence and will not properly consider people who fail superficial tests, such as experience with a specific set of desired technologies, or an unbroken employment record. So yes, try applying with smaller companies where applications will be considered by the people under which new hires will actually work, or try to bypass HR through personal connections.

And don't take it so hard and personal. This is not an issue of "moral ethics" or everyone being dishonest. It's just people trying to do the best they can and avoid making mistakes, based on incomplete knowledge.

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