Thursday, March 3, 2016

Say 'Goodbye' More Often

I really should leave teams and companies more often. Or at least pretend to do so, write a goodbye email and enjoy all the kind words that people write back. For someone with an impostor syndrome it's the best remedy. In fact, we should have to write 1-2 lines of feedback for each of our teammates at least once a week. Instead of having to write pages every six months without even really remembering how it was to work with this person, given the speed and velocity at work. And, although, we can proactively ask others for feedback, honestly, that's one of the scariest thing to do for an impostor. However, receiving unsolicited feedback is actually pretty great.

In some cases, the kind words don't come unexpected, given that I worked very closely with these guys and they themselves are kind, brilliant, and incredibly hard working and they said things like that before. In other cases I'm just blown away by how I managed to be this person at work that I myself cannot really identify with. I never thought I did an exceptional job. And I've never been very ambitious. I do, however, work incredibly hard, easily understand complex issues despite not being too technical or analytical, and, most importantly I care a lot about my work, my colleagues and about everyone who is affected by the work I do. And, I do understand them. I can empathize with their joy, or more often, pain when having to deal with the output of my work.

Now, having severe doubts about how good of a job I do and not being very ambitious as well as being busy with work instead of talking about it is the worst combination for working in my industry. When it is your responsibility to ask for a promotion when you think that you suck at your job, you won't get far. On top of that, I hate fighting and politics. I just don't get why people don't get common sense and just want to push their own agenda without being able to see what's important and the obvious solution. I know, the "obvious solution" is a very subjective thing. And it's vital to hear everyone's point of view, ideas and concerns in order to provide the best solution. However, in my experience, a lot of time gets wasted just because a number of people need to justify their existence and title. And, quite often, the one who talks the loudest and the longest wins in the end. Because everyone is exhausted and doesn't want to argue anymore and just wants get this over with. Even though they know the talker is not necessarily right.

Luckily, this usually only happens with certain types of personalities and above a certain level hierarchy and seniority (by that I mean the length of time the person has been working for the company vs. the actual experience and knowledge level). I've had plenty of experiences where small groups of people worked perfectly together. Interestingly, women were the most pleasurable to work with in Tech. And this coming from me, who always had problems with other women and used to work and play better with men. But I must say, women in Tech are amazing. Brilliant, humble, hard working, absolute team players incredibly pleasant to work with and always happy to give and share praise. Once more companies in all industries are run by women, the world will be a better place. Yeah, I know, what a fucking feminist I am. But it seems to be true, at least according to some studies. And I can only confirm that all my projects were more successful and more efficiently run, when more women or only women were participating.

All of this gets me thinking that I probably should do my own thing. And not work in someone else's business anymore. Do something where I get to make all the decisions, of course with the right amount of input from relevant people. Establish a framework where senior members grow junior members and not restrain or discourage and bully them. And, most importantly, hire women.

However and wherever I'll end up, I will always be very grateful for everything I've learned and every single person I met at work.

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