Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer writes about jobs and technology. He started as a videotape editor back when there was videotape to edit, then joined the news desk at Dow Jones News/Retrieval, the company's first online product. He produced The Wall Street Journal's first multimedia CD-ROMs and published his novel, "September," in 2006. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, their fierce terrier, and a schnauzer who wonders why she ever left California. He's a member of the Project Management Institute.

3 Tips for Reopening a Salary Negotiation

Posted In Job Hunting
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Your search succeeded: You found the right job, accepted the salary proposal and agreed on a start date. And then… another company makes you a better offer. While some people might tell you the better deal always wins, you’re actually in a delicate position. The manager who hired you has stopped interviewing candidates, and is certainly planning for the day you’ll start work. If you back out of your commitment, there’s every chance that others in the IT world (and… continue…

Why Haven’t You Started Your Job Search?

Posted In Looking in Tech
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The economy is improving and the unemployment rate in IT remains dramatically low—2.6 percent during 2014′s third quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Developers, engineers and security specialists are in high demand. For tech professionals, it would seem like an ideal time to look for a new job. So why do some hesitate? The reasons vary, recruiters suggest. Of course, some people are happy where they are; but others who’ve kept their skills current, worked on cutting-edge… continue…

Preparing for Real-Time Performance Reviews

Posted In Working in Tech
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Is the annual performance review on its way out? While it’s hard to say conclusively, one thing is sure: More companies are taking a fresh look at how they provide feedback and align their corporate goals with the work professionals do day-to-day. This is especially true within newer tech companies, where managers can often take a more flexible approach and younger workers expect to receive feedback a lot more often than once a year. In large part, the change is… continue…

Hate Your Team? Here’s How to Survive

Posted In Working in Tech
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Despite the stereotype, tech professionals don’t spend all of their time sitting by themselves in cubicles, communicating with the world via email and text message. Whether in software development, network administration or hardware engineering, IT jobs have an awfully large human element to them. Many involve budget and time pressures, which can be exacerbated by differences in personality and style between teammates. Sometimes it’s unavoidable that tempers will get short and email threads will turn rude. Much of the time,… continue…

3 Signs Your Perfectionist Streak Is Hurting You

Posted In Working in Tech
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You pride yourself on delivering work that’s as close to perfect as can be. After all, that’s your job, right? Well, yes and no. Organizations want quality, but they want it created within predictable time frames. That often puts you in the position of having to deliver something that’s merely “good enough.” “Building software is a fusion of quality and speed,” observed Ben Hicks, a partner at recruiter WinterWyman in Waltham, Mass. “Engineers who work too hard to be perfect… continue…

How to Explain Your Technical Skills to HR

Posted In Looking in Tech
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It’s tempting to minimize the importance of conversations with recruiters or HR staffers as you work your way through the hiring process. After all, they’re not involved in the nuts and bolts of software development or hardware engineering, so how much influence can they have over deciding who gets picked for a technical job? The short answer is, “a lot.” Click here to find developer jobs. While they may not be well-versed in a company’s technology, HR staff will provide… continue…

Preparing for a Challenging Performance Review

Posted In Working in Tech
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Sometimes a performance review can prove an occasion for out-and-out dread. Maybe your team’s struggled to meet its goals and everyone’s feeling the heat; perhaps problems at home have taken a toll on your work; or maybe you’re just not clicking with your new boss. Whatever the reason, you know the meeting’s going to be difficult and your scores are going to lag. What can you do to prepare? To find IT management jobs, click here. First, remember that performance… continue…

Confronting a Co-Worker Who Undermines You

Posted In Working in Tech
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What do you do when a colleague has an agenda, and doesn’t mind steamrolling you on his or her way to fulfilling it? There can be any number of signs that it’s happening: Perhaps they’re leaving you off email threads, or not inviting you to project meetings. They may be positioning themselves as the person behind your work, or telling others you report to them on a project when in fact you’re equal colleagues. You may even be getting signals… continue…

Why Millennials Won’t Be Like Your Old Boss

Posted In Working in Tech
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The Millennials are growing up. That’s not to say they’re changing their ways: They’re still hyper-connected, and still want flexibility, balance and meaning from their jobs. But after years of challenging recruiters and HR with their unique approach to the workplace, the older members of Gen Y are leveraging their experience into management positions. That’s right. Soon, you could be working for a Millennial. Click here to find IT management jobs. Like any generation, Millennials vary in their expectations and… continue…

The Key Traits of Small-Business Tech Specialists

Posted In Looking in Tech
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If you like the idea of being the technology leader at a small business, be warned: Finding that job will be tough. Research conducted by Dell and Intel last year discovered that just 15 percent of small businesses have dedicated IT resources on their payroll; the rest either rely on shared resources—someone who divides their time between IT and another job—or outside vendors known as managed service providers (MSPs). That means the more realistic path to a job in the… continue…