I’m contacted daily by IT recruiters; I have a pretty versatile skill set and there are a lot of jobs open in my area. Lately, I’ve noticed an uptick of what I call “super jobs” hitting my inbox. These are positions where employers try to cram multiple roles into one in order to save money. Here’s a good example of a super job I recently received. After the example, I’m going to break down for you what it really means. It is an altered version, as I removed all of the company’s identifying information:
Specific tasks may include but are not limited to the following:
• Managing development and assessment of inventory for machine connected locations
• Reporting on planned demand against projections for machine connected locations
• Capturing product metrics and reconciling by region and by data plan
• Regularly connecting with appropriate Telecommunication contacts to determine if there is back billing, Client status of payments, billing information corrections
• Examination and reconciliation of billing and financials related to application
• Understanding of application fees charged by the vendor that are related to signal strength or quality, develop reporting
• Execute audits of orders and disconnects
• Examination of data usage, and development of reporting
• Examination of connections and gateway alignment, and development of reporting
• Developing dashboards and reporting
• Enhancements to work trackers
• Addition of workflow to reporting pages
• Automating metrics capture and reporting from trackers
• Integration with Excel for dash boarding
• Monthly metrics and status reporting which includes: tracking of deployments across the Enterprise, capacity of critical infrastructure (Controllers and licenses, PI hardware and license, MSE hardware and license), demand forecast across the Enterprise
• Development and publishing, updating information for monthly operational updates
Skills & Capabilities:
• Advanced Excel expertise pivot tables, formulas, charting
• PowerPoint expertise
• SharePoint Developer
• Data Collection, Data Analytics, Data Manipulation, Metrics Generation
• Highly self-organized and works without constant supervision
• Network background and experience.
Could I do it? Sure, I have experience in all of those areas and I have the skills listed. But for you non-IT people, this is what they’re really looking for:
• A Sharepoint admin/developer (often two roles, but we’ll be nice and say one),
• A BI developer/report designer
• A data analyst
• An application support analyst
• A billing/collections analyst
• A server/network admin
• A level 2 (or 3) help desk analyst
• An inventory asset manager
Count those: that’s a minimum of eight roles for one person. EIGHT. Each would be a full-time responsibility at a reasonably staffed company, requiring a seasoned asset manager and IT professionals with advanced skills or certifications in these very separate areas: Networking, Databases, Business Intelligence, Sharepoint, Excel, and Programming. I know IT people who are advanced and/or certified in one of these areas. Maybe even two or three.
But I don’t know any who are at this level in six, let alone eight. They contacted me because it’s on my resume, and I do have a level of proficiency in those particular IT disciplines. I’ve been forced into doing this “super job” thing before, and I know exactly what it means: 10-12 hour days at the office, logging in every day when you get home from work, working all weekend every weekend. You get to be awakened in the middle of the night for emergencies, and no real time off because “you’re too important to be out of contact,” so they bother you the whole time you’re away.
I had one company give me an airtime USB with the expectation that I would carry it always and pull over to work on the side of the road if called while driving around on the weekend. I wish I was kidding. That amount of work for one person is neither reasonable nor sustainable. I think companies know this, and they don’t care. It’s not like the days of yore, where they would bring in talented people and groom them for the future. In today’s workplace, they want to bring you in, load you down, and burn you out. And once you’re gone, or dead, they shrug and bring in the next one.
But maybe you’re up for the challenge, if the price is right. I mean, they must be offering a six-figure salary to put up with all of that, right?
Nope. Try $40 an hour (83.2k yearly) as a contract to hire (so no benefits or PTO). It says three months, but in my experience, that always gets extended to between 12 and 18 months. If you’re lucky enough to survive that, and they eventually bring you into their company, expect that pay rate to drop to under 80k yearly. Oh, and you’ll be salaried, so kiss all that time and a half you were getting for the insane overtime hours, goodbye. In fact, now that they don’t have to pay for it, expect the demands to increase.
“Thanks, but no thanks”, I replied to the recruiter. Y’all ain’t killing me.
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John Spencer is a technology professional located in a blue city somewhere in deep red TX. He himself is best described as “purple”. He has a bachelor’s degree in English but works in technology and is best described as a jack of all IT trades but a master of none. He is currently working to correct the latter and is studying for a Master’s degree in technology while working full time.