I have a few issues with my current job:
- I feel insanely guilty for not finding my current role to be the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I’m contracted out to a client, and I can’t officially say who the client is but there is just so much hype around this client for supposedly being the best tech company to work for and sometimes it doesn’t always match that hype. I find my work boring, a little repetitive and not exactly challenging me. However it’s meant to be the highlight of my career. And when anyone asks me, “how’s working at X?”, I feel like I should respond with, “it’s amazing…” and go on to list all of the amazing benefits.
- The scale of the Client makes it hard to feel like an essential part of a team.
- In my current position it would be nearly impossible for me to convert to a full time employee and I don’t even know if I want to pursue that path.
- My current employer isn’t as supportive of my conference speaking engagements as I’d like them to be.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I enjoy about the role;
- My favourite thing about my job is getting to tell people that I work on a product that nearly every one uses. I’ve always enjoyed working on tangible products.
- the free food/coffee barristers is pretty sweet too.
- Being surrounded by smart people who care about the products they are building.
- It’s an amazing thing for my personal brand
I also feel like I haven’t been in my current position long enough to really justify looking for a new job. I’ve only been on the Clients project for around 10 months. I know there’s a bit of a stigma for changing jobs too often. This thought also makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me for wanting to change. I’ve experience some mental stress in my current role that’s not really founded in much; from bouts of imposter syndrome to not being motivated to work.
I think I’ve come to realise that the following things would be important for me when I do look for a new job:
- Feeling a part of a well gelled team, I know this takes work and I always go the extra mile to build a team culture. My energy for work comes from other people. I’m not that type of “highly motivated self starter” person who is satisfied with the sit in the corner on a computer all day doing work type of role.
- Being in an environment where I feel comfortable being vulnerable. E.g. I’ve had struggles with depression so being open about mental health is important to me.
- Getting supported for community engagement, e.g. having speaking at conferences as part of my role would be an ideal thing to have.
- Be in a learning environment, there are many companies that say “we are constantly learning” but often don’t put that into practice. There’s often a disconnect between what companies say they do and what they actually do.
I think I’m in a really good position to be very picky about my next role. I can see 2 potential and appealing paths forward. Either get more technical or get more people oriented.
By technical I mean I could start leaning towards mobile app development, growing my interest in Data Science, picking up some more DevOps skills, get into test automation etc.
By people orientated I mean moving towards product development, maybe picking up some user research skills, maybe looking for something with a support focus etc. It would be awesome to incorporate some sort of outreach/education efforts as part of my next role.
While going through highschool/uni I worked in supermarkets for 7 years. I actually think that work was more engaging than most of my work in tech has been. I’m missing that strong connection to people in my current role.
So I’ll be keeping my eyes open to any new positions and I have a good sense of what I’m looking for.