Changing Job

Earlier this year, I left my previous job after seven and a half years. It was a very difficult decision for me to make. I was leaving a very comfortable position where I knew how to do my job, where I had a very well established reputation and a very good group of friends. This was my first time changing a job as an adult, I was quite scared. I had very little idea of what to expect of my new workplace. Of course, I had some idea during my interview. But there are so many unknowns, not to mention, I will have to start from scratch to build my reputation again.

So, I asked myself, why do I need to change this job. Even after accepting the offer, it took me more than two weeks to accept the reality and decide to move on.

One big reason for the change was the tech stack. I was working on a really old code base with a lot of old technology. There were some challenging problems initially but as I dabbled more, the codebase became familiar and the challenges were getting easier. For the last two years, most of the challenges were fighting against the existing architecture, which is no fun for sure. Also, the rate on on-the-job learning got slower. And I also found out that the tech stack was not helping me to gain some transferable skills. Even though I was learning things on my own (the ones deemed transferable), outside of the job, I was not getting enough opportunity to get real-world experience. When I decided to move, I was pretty sure that the new place is going to offer a lot of new learning opportunities.

The second big challenge was career growth. My previous workplace was a very stable large corporation. The downside of this stability is the lack of opportunity for internal movement. I tried to move both laterally and vertically to various positions but I was denied. I was never given a clear explanation. What I found out through grapevine was that there was some uneasiness in letting me move without finding a suitable replacement for the critical things that I was maintaining. Also, my group’s tech stack was much older and different than other sibling groups and those group leaders were less willing to take a chance with me. For the last two years, I kept thinking about the social capital that I had amassed there and hoped that pretty soon I will be able to cash in and will be able to climb a new step on the ladder. When I made my decision to leave, I got convinced that this is not going to happen within an acceptable timeframe for me.

Thirdly, the compensation and benefits were back in my mind but I would not say I was unhappy about it. Surely everyone likes to get paid more but I would not say I am getting a lot more richer here.

Three months into my new job, I would say, so far everything is going great. I like my team. There is an enormous learning opportunity. My team also wants me to work on some interesting problems which help me to develop a better portfolio and learn a lot of new transferable tech skills.

The next question I can ask myself is how long I will stay here. Well, for me , I can come back here and ask back why in the first place I came here. As long as these reasons are taken care of, I think I am going to stick around.

Published at: 04/04/2020