Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The price of changing job

I have recently changed company. I had the opportunity to stay as permanent, moving to another department with people I already knew, but I wanted to explore new worlds and also make some more money.

The change has been devastating, essentially for social reasons.

Humans are tribal animals, and to be happy they must build a web of trust and friendship around them.

Trust can be built only in action. You work with the guy, you know that he is responsible, helpful, skilled, he stops doing his work to come to your rescue. Only then you trust him and like him.

I don't trust someone for his smiles and handshakes and how are you. I trust someone because I know he will do his best to help me. The first thing I tell a new joiner is "whatever problem you have, please don't hesitate to contact me at any time". And if he has a problem that I can't solve, then I ask around until I find someone who can help. By no means a new joiner should be left alone with a problem.

IT industry is not a happy state of nature, where people spend maybe 5 hours a day chasing food, then the rest of the day socializing and having fun. This is a tough world, with tight deadlines, rough competition, people are always under pressure to get things done and acquire new skills. It's a permanent state of semi-war, unfortunately sometimes also internal to the same team. Sadly, some people will rejoice at your failure. Being able to build a team where everyone is really sympathetic to each other, is a real miracle that happens very rarely.

Don't expect a warm welcome. Don't expect to be helped. Most of the time you are absolutely on your own, in a new environment that you don't know. Getting to know the new environment (the 1000 "how to" that are different from company to company) is alone a huuuuge stress and drain on your energies, because you must constantly ask for help and expose you as a "weak" individual. Not everybody understand that it's absolutely normal that they have to invest some of their time to make you comfortable. Many people will consider you only a nuisance and a handicap. It's painful, very painful.

So, changing job is a jump in the dark. And don't believe to those who tell you "don't worry, everything will be fine". Sorry, this is not a Disney movie, this is Planet Earth, not all will be fine, there will be a lot of terrible stress, of shocks, of pain.

So, are you really really sure you want to change job? If you feel bored at work, or you feel that your skills are not improving, start your own project in the evening and weekends. Get certified on something. If you need extra money, you can join Toptal and get an extra part-time job.

But, think twice before you leave a company where you are trusted and you know the internal process. I did, and I am suffering A LOT.

No comments: