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Lessons learned from changing jobs in a difficult time


Glad to see you again in a new post - or welcome if it's your first time reading me! I thought I would write this column about my new job, how it went and how it is going.

Disclaimer: I'm still a DevOps Engineer, I just changed the company I worked for. The previous company was in Media, I now work in FinTech (tech for the financial industry). I have been working in this field for two years now.

#1: Remote

As the situation imposes it, the company is fully remote. In my own opinion, and just mine, this made joining a new company harder. I know many of you will want to go fully remote in the future and it is not my case - at least for now. A mix of office and WFH when "things go back to normal" (whatever that means) would suits me best.

Joining a company, learning new things, it can already be a difficult moment. Add on top of that, the situation, the tiredness of December, the "English is not my first language" and sprinkle some Imposter Syndrome and you have a great mix.

#2: I don't know sh*t

As I've mentioned in another post (Kubernetes : how to deploy as a beginner and by yourself), I had a lot of responsibilities when I was just a junior/graduate. I felt "good" on the moment about it - you need something with Kubernetes? Call SkylerDevops. You need Terraform? Call SkylerDevops. (Yes, this is a shameless promo).

Looking back on it, I'm not sure this was right.

I joined this new team, with people who all have more experience than me. And boy.

Oh boy.

It’s only Monday and I’m already tired of struggling at work


— Skyler (@skylerdevops) November 9, 2020

So I started my new job last week

And boy
Oh boy

— Skyler (@skylerdevops) November 5, 2020

This is me. A lot.
I'm currently learning how to use my stress in a good way and not let me turn into mush.

#3: Doubts

Related to the previous point, I found myself in a team that was better than at, well, everything. Initially, I struggled with this idea a lot.

"What am I supposed to add", "They must be so annoyed with me".

Well, let me tell you something. If you arrive in a company, with 2 years experience, and you know more than them, you need to ask some questions (I know, there are exceptions).

The idea when you start somewhere, especially at the beginning of your career is to learn. Let me repeat.


It is not right to impose you to "figure it out" by yourself, with little to no mentoring. Believe me, I have been there. I used to think "I can do this, you see. I'm GOOD". I encourage you to read jesuisundev article about developer's ego, which retraces the story of many new devs with too many responsibilities. I will write my own story one of these days.

Within the first month of working at the company, I have written the best Powershell scripts I have ever written. I have been asked "why" and having to form a coherent answer, not just "she's devops, she knows".

You should learn to depend on your colleague and to not hesitate to send them "hey, I'm not quite sure about this, what do you think?".

I'm going to wrap up this blog post here, but I hope you got a few things from this. I would be curious to know other people's experience during these unprecedented times.

See you next time!

Top comments (3)

190245 profile image

Thanks for the great article (and very well timed, for me).

Re your first point, remote onboarding... what do you think your employer could have done better? I ask, because I'm hiring, and I'll learn from anyone willing to share their opinion.

Re your second & third points, to use your words. Oh boy. I remember switching from a Support job to QA, with the same company (but a different product subset). The language was absolutely insanely different. I still remember the first team Stand Up (which was in the staff canteen, with everyone eating their breakfast and sitting down)... and I walked away from it with a "WTF did all those numbers, letters and acronyms actually mean?"

You are certainly not alone in feeling out of depth at certain points. I call that "sink or swim time" - and given the content of this post, I'm sure you'll swim. :)

skylerdevops profile image

Hello, thank you for your comment!
Hmm... My situation is a bit “special” because my manager started the same day as me, so he has no knowledge of the company neither. I did wish I could have relied on them more (although it’s not their fault). Communication is key so I would suggest they/you pop a message every other day (and more than “hello how are you”).
Ahahah I do know the feeling indeed!
Thank you :)

hawicaesar profile image

Switching jobs always takes a toll... I heard that imposter syndrome when faced on is just you worrying if you will adjust to the new place, requirements etc. You are not an imposter!!

You applied, they interviewed you, they accepted you!! And now you are to help the team bring more sanity to their code. That's how to tame the idea of the imposter syndrome.

2...I think I'm with you completely...At my current workplace , I really started off knowing nothing. I have even been given tickets where I don't know where to start and I don't know anything OHHH MY ...but slowly and steady, you pick up a few things and it works out in the end.