Many clients are requesting candidates with 3-8 years of experience because some employers consider them to be more affordable, coachable, energetic, driven, willing to travel, and equipped to implement new ideas related to web technologies.

If you are in your mid 20’s and have developed skills and produced results in Sales, Sales Engineering, and Professional Services in just a couple of years since graduating college – you are in very good situation.  However, the next five years of your career may contribute most to becoming “what you want to be when you grow up”.  It is recommended you not make a decision based on compensation alone or the personalities of your courting employer. Instead, review your work experiences since graduating college, and determine when you were most satisfied and productive.

Variables to consider:

1) What industries do you find interesting versus boring?

2) Do you get jazzed at the thought of another trip and the adventure behind it, or is it purely a necessary evil? Are your home life objectives prepared to absorb extensive travel?

3) Do you enjoy working alone, performing lots of technical work, or are you cooked on slinging code or writing reports, and instead desire more people interaction?

4) Do you enjoy working with the same group of people, developing deep and “dialed in” work relationships, or do you prefer constantly meeting new people?

5) Do you like the risks and excitement of working in a company or role where the tasks are not defined, and the mission is always changing; and where you enjoy the change and adaptation? Or do you prefer reaching excellence at executing a more predictable and constant set of work items with stable objectives?

6) Do you enjoy the greater stability of working with an established company, even at the risk of having more limited financial gain? Or do you prefer (and can afford) the higher earnings or equity potential of a smaller start-up?

The above considerations also apply to professionals with 8+ years of experience. Hopefully you have taken the time to consider them throughout your career – or you have been lucky with good instincts. It is never too late.

If you do have more than 8 years of experience, it is important that your resume and interview/networking dialog include experiences and interests (personal included) that reflect a high energy level, exposure and use of current day technologies; and a history of successful adaptation to rapid changes in mission, goals, working relationships, and work activities.

Employers may want to consider candidates who have the above traits, regardless of whether they are 26 or 52. As recruiters we have met plenty of 25 year olds who don’t have these sought after traits, and 52 year olds who do.

Great career options don’t have to be “wasted on youth”, it’s up to you as a youngster or more established professional to discover – and promote – where you and your experiences align with available career options.

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