Take Your Time or Someone Else Will

Can’t believe that we’re almost halfway into 2017. Insane! I said that I’d write but so many things got in the way, and time was better spent doing other things. You know, working, exploring, more working…

A bit has happened since I last wrote in December. I was back home on the East Coast celebrating the holidays, and it was my first vacation since I started working in 14 months.

Anyways, back to the big updates. We moved down the street from our old apartment on Sunset Blvd into a tiny studio. Still at a really great spot, it’s our first time living without roommates! We’ve been on a ton of adventures. I lost my job. A bit more on that…

I feel like I’m another victim of the endless cycle of schmucks who regrettably gave more of my time to work than anything else for a while, as usual, allowing everything else that was important to suffer. It was worth it (and remained a fair tradeoff for a really, really long time) when I was working with like minded people who wanted to achieve.

The takeaway from how I lost my job is pretty much because of something I’m really bad at: self marketing and taking breaks. My participation and momentum waned; I was burnt out. The big factor that led up to it was a performance based raise, a bargain which I came through on my end, all to be given the short end of the stick because I let it happen.

In addition to that, to the higher ups who aren’t in the day to day of things, accountability reflected on the percentage of code commited. Ugh. There were people who came on who literally spent days writing up powerpoints to explain concepts to the person who was sitting across the table. Productivity reduced to regurgitating facts about technology in LinkedIn posts. I feel like the trajectory of our growth is not as great as it used to be.

Collaboration on my part was scarce since I stopped waking up at 2AM to catch up with the rest of the devs in Europe. I collaborated with my other colleagues only if they needed help and focused on tackling large tasks alone (a bit understandable, given I was one of two devs working in the same time zone). When it came down to it, to the higher ups, I was the weakest link.

Knowing that everything I put into this startup reduced to this, I really wish I took the time to “look” better to the big wigs more than I wanted to do better for all of us. No place is perfect, but it sucks to think about because it really was close to it.

Apologies. This is not a blog post to defend why I was let go, or to bash anyone at my former employer. Seriously. Everything is still a learning experience; I’m still moving forward and I loved working with everyone. I guess work is just all that I can talk about since that’s what most of this year consisted of.

As someone who’s never had a gap in employment for more than a week in the past ten years, I’m so used to excelling in my work and being focused on something.

At this point it’s been just over a month since I’ve been unemployed. I’ve learned a good amount about myself and other things that I want to focus on (marketing, photography, writing, devops, etc), but I’ve also never fought with myself internally more than now. I’m going back and forth between trying to find the next gig as soon as possible to being Zen and taking things at a more normal pace. Thank goodness that Tiff is here to remind me to chill, that she’s here for me. She’s my rock.

The numerous job rejections I’ve gotten has been both inspiring and discouraging. It’s been amazing to see how many people are looking out for me. From references and recommendations to job opportunities, I’m just not used to having help like that. I still have very long nights hacking away on things, but the HUUUUGE upside is that the time investment is all for my benefit. This point is exactly what I’ve been building up to:

The really freakin deep title of this blog post comes from a sign at a bus stop that I pass on my morning coffee run. It hits my feels right in the feels man, and while I do believe that everyone must pay their dues to accomplish anything, I’m realizing more than ever how powerful momentum/hype is and how important it is to be more loyal to myself.

With all the time taken to achieve and get shit done, I can instead get so much more of a return from my effort in producing stuff by redirecting some of the energy in learning how to market myself better and build hype. In return, I’ll still be able to create quality content + look really good doing it + take more time for myself for the things that are important to me.

I hope that makes sense. As always, there’s much more to say and do, until next time when it’s 5AM and I’m procrastinating on programming again.