In October, I jumped at the opportunity to (voluntarily) relocate to Chicago to help my company bootstrap their Chicago office. At the time, they were interviewing and hiring a team of engineers to function as a satellite portion of the product team. I knew several of the team up there, and was excited because I could not only help start the new office, but also move to Chicago without the stress of a new job. It was a real win-win, especially with all the traction our product team had been picking up.
3 days after I started working out of Chicago, our CEO was swapped out. A few weeks later, our CPO and recently hired CTO were swapped out. A week before Thanksgiving, I, along with most of engineering and a significant portion of Operations were all let go with a one-day notice.
It’s been a ride, and stressful and frustrating to say the least. Though I’m sad to say that I won’t be working with many of my wonderful coworkers at my next job, I’m excited to be joining AvantCredit’s Chicago team, working inside their engineering core to help build out their product. Excited, nervous- and extremely thankful for the many awesome people who helped me interview and eventually get the job.
This round of interviewing, six months into a new career and in a new city, has been very enlightening. I’ve been trying to process it all in a little-a ‘agile’ manner, intending to use the overall experience as a retrospective for my first steps into my career, and I think it’s been enlightening.
There’s a lot of talk about entitled engineers in the software space, and I always shook my head in this invisible force in disgust- how can you take for granted the perks and pleasures of a stable job and high salary? What kind of inhuman monster ends up like that?
Well, only six months into the field and I already found myself spinning down that rabbit hole of entitlement. My expectations were unreasonable, and I definitely believed myself to be more skilled, savvy and employable than I actually was. I still recognized that I was a junior developer, but not one of those junior developers. I was better, more aware, and overall more valuable than others of my cohort.
Bubble burst quick: people started saying no, and I was left wondering how I could have gotten so off base. Instead of being grateful and excited about the opportunities before me, I was disdainful and whiny. I had lost perspective.
It’s been a humbling experience, and more than ever, I’m thankful for the grounded and loving people in my life who help me to remember that I’m not hotshit and I’m not world class- at least not yet. This experience has given me the opportunity to reexamine my values and my goals, to learn from the last six months, and to enter into my new team with a fresh, ambitious and realistic attitude.