Dino Cajic on the Career Killer

Are you ready to end your career?

Test scenario: for the next 3 months bring only problems to your boss. Talk about all of the imperfections in the company. State that the organization would be drastically better under different leadership. You won’t last 3 months. Only try the above if you really are striving for unemployment. Get ready for the ultimate Developer Career Killer.

Your Concerns Could Be Legitimate

That’s probably the best case scenario that could have happened. Most of the time, you’ll just be ignored and the meeting will stay on topic. What’s happening? You saw a problem and you voiced it. You expect the situation to be taken seriously. After all, this is a legitimate concern. It’s affecting your work and that of your coworkers; they’re just too scared to say something. You know that you won’t get fired for it, or will you? Now you’re starting to question yourself, but you decide to pursue the topic further.

During the next meeting, you politely ask your boss if they’ve “had time to think about the problem that was presented to them.” They brush you off again by saying something like, “I haven’t had a chance to. I’ll get to it shortly.” The discussion never happens.

Over the next x amount of time, you approach your boss with new issues and your boss dismisses each of them. “Does this company even care about whether they’re making or losing money,” you ask yourself. The more you bring up new issues, the more distant your boss seems. Each time you speak now, he seems irritated. If this path continues, there are two roads that lead to the same outcome: you leaving the job. Either you’ll be laid off or you’ll quit.

No Solution

Being in a leadership position and working with the various teams in the organization can be exhausting. Each team, whether it’s marketing, sales, or finance, have their list of priorities and want them prioritized over the others. This is where workplace politics runs rampant, but we won’t get into that.

If presenting problems is not the solution, then what is? Just tweak the previous sentence slightly: present problems with solutions. If it involves you solving the problem, that’s even better. As long as you can solve your problem without forcefully attempting to transition yourself out of your current role, you’re gold. The issue will be resolved and your frustration will be over. You’ll get the recognition from management. Suddenly, you’ll hear leadership state that “they can’t afford to lose you.” Each time you speak with them they’re eager to talk. In a short span of time, you’ll see your career advance.

Providing Solutions Could Also Be Hurting You

Frequently, people in leadership positions tend to feel attacked. They’re insecure and want the people working for them to just do their job and “stay in their lane.” If you’re working for an individual like this, I’d suggest moving on. There’s no path outlined for you; your ideas will not only go unnoticed, they might even cost you your job.

Other times, you may come up with solutions for other departments. These are rough waters to navigate. First, make sure that this problem is actually something the other department cares about. They might not see it as a problem to begin with. The more you start voicing your concerns, the more alienated you’ll become. If you have a good quality relationship with another coworker from that department, it might be beneficial to discuss these topics with them first or speak with your supervisor briefly. If they want to pursue the topic, they can.

Problems and Solutions at the Wrong Time

Here’s one scenario that I’ve personally witnessed. Your have leadership presenting company stats: marketing, sales, IT, etc. Last month’s sales weren’t so great; naturally, the CCO wants to get through his presentation as quickly as possible. While they’re presenting you notice something that was overlooked. You know what the problem is and you know how to solve it. Intuition will tell you to say it for everyone to hear. It doesn’t work like that.

To start, you’re from a different department and your expertise don’t revolve around sales. Although your solution might actually be a game-changer, it’s more appropriate to speak to the person one-on-one, and even then, do it carefully; there might be ego that you have to contend with.



At the end of the day, your company will thank you for finding solutions to problems. Just be mindful of your approach when speaking with the various individuals. Want to really shine? Provide MVP solutions.

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