Recently, my life experienced several significant changes in a very short lapse of time. While I probably don’t know all the long term consequences of these changes, I have been reflecting lately on them and change in general.
The changes I experienced recently are:
- Changed companies
- Changed job position
- Changed from on-site to remote
- Changed city
- Got engaged
These changes had positive and negative impacts on me; let’s dissect them.
The most emotional, got engaged
This change is probably the one that will have the least impact on my day to day life, but the one that has had the most emotional impact.
On the day-to-day side, most things stay the same (other than the wedding organization, which is a subject in and of itself). But both my fiancee and I know we are committed to each other knot tying or not.
There has been a significant change on the emotional side, and we both get butterflies when we think that we are getting married.
All in all, I would say that this is the only change with all positives.
The wanted change(s), job positions (and company)
By the start of 2021, I knew I wanted to switch job positions; I was acting as CTO of Study; we had two legacy products and a rapidly growing one.
Although the position I was in was very comfortable:
- One exciting greenfield project
- Two projects that I knew very thoroughly
- A team I understood well
- A ton of confidence from and towards the rest of the leadership
I felt that I was experiencing some growing pains:
- Managing people was taking more of my time than I wanted.
- The processes we had were too informal.
- I was the more senior engineer, so I had little opportunity to be challenged and grow
- I felt a bit of impostor syndrome and that I was child act-playing as an adult.
As such, I was able to move to a more technical position. An opportunity at Seraphin presented itself, and I decided to take it.
The change was made rather quickly, but I felt at the time (and still feel) that it would have been complicated to operate the change without changing companies.
As I said initially, this change has positives and negatives, although I believe the positives outweigh the negatives.
- I am now in a position that is more clearly defined.
- My responsibilities have lessened, which has allowed me to have more mental space to grow as a developer and to handle the rest of the changes.
- I am no longer the go-to problem-solver, which again, has given me time to focus more deeply on engineering problems.
- I am no longer the technical authority, this allows me to challenge and learn from the rest of the team.
- I am learning a lot from my new colleagues in terms of ‘pure code’ and product/project management
- I am no longer at the steering wheel.
- I have to adapt my way of working to a team that has different processes and coding practices
- Convincing people now is more complicated (I have less authority than before)
- I went from a fast-paced environment where we ran experiments fairly often and where rules were informal to an environment with more established roles, procedures and inertia.
Location changes, remote + city
This is the change I had less agency in (but still a change I had a say in). My fiancee had to change location for professional reasons, so we ended up in a small mountain town.
I have always lived in a big city, so this was going to be a significant change (I don’t even have a drivers license yet).
New city, spending much more time at home and without the opportunity to meet people at work, all of these have precipitated many actions on my part:
- I started playing football and crossfire to meet new people in this city.
- I set up a rotation of virtual coffees with several people at work.
- I started a small apartment garden.
I find the adaptation of this new life has gone relatively smoothly.
Football and CrossFit have gotten me in reasonably good shape (although I would still like to lose around 10 kilograms).
The virtual coffees allow me to have social interactions that are not solely work-related with my colleagues and keep a close pulse on what is going on at Seraphin.
The gardening is enjoyable (although I am rather bad at it)
I thought that I would have more time to game in a smaller town, but I am gaming less and less (although I am reading more).
The negatives are mainly focused on a less active social life and less day-to-day friendships (for now?)
I am thrilled with the general trend of changes happening to me recently.
Change is always a bit scary, and not all changes are decided or desirable to us at any given juncture. But we often have more agency than we think, and we can adapt to many situations.
Most changes are opportunities to learn and grow. It’s up to us to make the most of them.