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How to Destroy Your Tech Career, Never Earn Another Raise More Than 10%, and Feel Like You’re Living in a Pressure Cooker

I know you don’t want to destroy your career. You want to UPGRADE your career and command a premium salary that reflects your supreme contributions.

Which is why I share stories of People Stack clients who have achieved amazing career outcomes. They inspire you. They show you it’s possible. And they show you HOW.

But, it’s also helpful to share what NOT to do. To tell cautionary tales. So that you can avoid the pitfalls that others have made.

This cautionary tale is about someone who I’ll call Martin the Martyr. He was a potential client who I talked with for about 2 hours.

Long story short, I did not make him an offer to join our program because he was not committed to upgrading his career. He was committed to slowly killing himself, one 12-hour workday at a time.

He’d fallen into martyr territory.

He was suffering for a cause. And that cause was being devoted to Career Mediocrity.

Martin was working 12+ hour workdays. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

And he’s (or at least he was) married.

But he never had time to really see his wife. They passed in the hallway occasionally as he shuffled from the front door to the kitchen for a quick dinner and then off to bed.

Backing up a bit, Martin was fired from his last job.

When we got into why, out came the blaming.

His boss is an idiot. His colleagues are ageist and don’t appreciate the wisdom of his years. He works 12-hours days but where the heck is the recognition?!

He blamed everyone.

Except himself.

Another reason that I didn’t offer him a spot in our program is because he wasn’t willing to take extreme ownership. To take a hard look in the mirror and ask himself, “What will I do differently next time?”

And so Martin did eventually land another job (a buddy got him in), but the same patterns were repeating themselves.

Boss → Jerk

Colleagues → Idiots

Martin → Committed to blaming others, not taking extreme ownership, and glorifying his suffering

We serve every single person who books a call with us, and I did that for Martin. I gave him a set of questions to ask himself and books to read and APPLY.

He was a bit taken aback — “Where’s the sales pitch?” — but when I explained that he’s not a fit for us right now (for the reasons I mentioned above), there was a long silence.

“Okay. Thanks. You’ve given me a lot to think about.”

And we ended the call.


Here are my questions for YOU:

Are you more committed to your dream career or to your excuses for why you can’t have it?

Are you ready to take extreme ownership or do you want to keep blaming everyone else for your career woes?

Do you want to be Badass Tech Leader Superhero or Martin the Martyr?

It’s your choice.

Want to learn more about how we can help you upgrade your tech career? Check out our webinar today at

We’ll craft a plan so that you can leave Career Mediocrity behind once and for all (even if you’ve struggled for years) and you can be our next inspiring case study full of amazing career outcomes including a premium salary that you 100% deserve.

Until next time!

Written by

Career Coach for Tech Managers. I help tech managers upgrade their careers, their teams, their paychecks, and their lives.

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