In my four year carreer, I recently started my third job. This may make me come over like someone who very quicky changes jobs but I never changed job for the money or some other better deal I would get at the new location. I have always decided to leave based on the work I was doing at that time, altough I must admit that in no circumstance I have ever changed to a job that was offering me less then what I had. My quick passage at jobs may sound like switching could have been the wrong choice and that the previous job wasn’t that bad after all, this is what I will elaberate on during this blog post.
As the saying goes: the grass is always greener on the other side. This is definitely something that happens at your job, you will see things that go wrong, you will get frustrated by certain things and you can’t imagine that it is the same in different companies. This is something that mostly affects young people who don’t have a lot of experience with multiple companies. The hard truth however is that almost all companies struggle with certain things, a lot of companies even struggle with the exact same things such as communication.
For me personally organisation and communication has been an issue, I do however feel that these are more imporant within a small company as everything that happens affects you much faster than with a big company. This could also be cause by the fact that with a small company people expect you to be more involved in different things, which may not be necessarily your primary job.
About the content of the job itself, other companies are often very vague about their internals and what the contact of a job really entails, only after you join you will see and feel what it is all about. It doesn’t help that there are many buzz-words used for no good reason, as many people tend to have a different understanding or usage for the same term. No matter how hard you try on an interview, you will never reach the point at which you will know what your day-to-day work will be.
I have now shown a couple of reasons why you may think switching jobs/companies is a good idea, but they come with some risks. But that doesn’t mean you should just accept your current situation and assume every other company will be the same, there is nothing more sad than someone who is bored or frustrated about the current situation.
My personal experience has been mixed. My first job learned me a lot about the real world, real software development and many new technologies. I did a lot of research myself and tried to learn as much as I could, I was very thankful because of this, but I was getting bored of the work which became more maintenance then new feature development. My second job gave me the new challenge I was looking for, but the processes were less development compared to my first job, this was mainly because the company and software team were much smaller.
As a software developer, all of a sudden I came into much closer contact with release management, Continious integration and even the customers themselves. Even though it was a bit of a shock for me, I stayed there for quite some time, and I learned a lot more about how a company works and the whole structure that entails it. I also discovered that even with my limited experience, I already have advanced knowledge in some fields. Because of the freedom I had, I was able to decide more things on my own, and experiment with a couple of things. In the end I was able to deepen my knowlegde about certain topics and learn a couple of new things all together.
It is still early in my third job to say how things will be going, as with any company there are a couple of things I would like to see changed, things I want to see improved. But what I learned from my previous two jobs is that if you are unhappy about something, you should speak out, and do whatever you can to change it. Of course the company must give you the freedom to try to change it, and the mindset needs to be there, but if you do this you can not blame yourself if the changes don’t happen.
What’s even more, is that it aren’t just my jobs that teach me new valuable lessons, but all of my job interviews as well. Just by talking to many different people from different companies, you will learn what options there are out there, what the state of the art is, and maybe you are looking for something that doesn’t exist. It is an explorative way to gain new insights. The chance of finding the perfect job, the perfect company that does everyting the way you want it, is almost non-existing. The only option you have to achieve this is to start your own company, and even then you may take short-cuts due to a pressure to deliver.