Time to quit

Hooray, I am writing again! I honestly thought I will never come back here again to write more. But here I am, so let’s go…

Some time ago I caught myself thinking about a possible pattern that I found in my career history. It’s simple — everytime I changed my job, I picked a smaller company. Briefly: 7 years ago, I was working for a huge corporation (100000+), after 2 years I started to work for a medium (?) corporation (approx. 14000), and then, after 4 more years I finally joined a company that is small (250+). At least back then it was small for me. It only took 1 year for me to get moving again and today, for more than a week, I work for a small startup (20).

Looking at the size of the companies, the pattern is pretty simple: everytime the company my next steps lead to is smaller. I don’t think that the size is that important, it’s about the culture that comes with the company of such size and history. Now, I don’t want to imply that all big companies are bad. Nope. But the bigger and older the company is, the bigger the chance that it just another “evil” corporation (for better understating on what I mean by that you can browse through some dilbert comic strips).

Why am I writing this? It’s because of my latest experience that I want to share. As stated earlier, a year ago, I joined a company that was 8 years old, and had roughly 300 employees. Since it was relatively young and small I came to expect that it will be a modern company (for better understating on what I mean by that you can check how they do it in Spotify). Not just in a tech way, but also that the culture will not yet be inspired by corporation practices. I formed this expectation before I joined the company and it was probably based on a gut feeling only. However, the difference between my expecations and the reality in the end was bigger than I wanted to accept.

For some time, since I joined the company, I kept ignoring some indicators that were telling me how much I don’t like this, or that. But, my role was to do something about that. And not only about what I didn’t like, but also what people in the teams I worked with didn’t like. And people around them didn’t like. I worked as a scrum master. That is a job where you are supposed to help the change and I gave it a shot. It didn’t work out.

Maybe I suck. Maybe the situation in the company suck. Maybe combination of both. The important thing is that after a year, I looked back. I looked at what my journey in the company was like, what I achieved, who I helped, where we moved with the teams. It’s not about who I tried to help, and where I tried to move the teams. It’s about the actual impact. And I was very disappointed with my impact. It was low, or none, I don’t know, but it was not good. Soon, I came to a conclusion that it is time for me to look elsewhere. Mainly because of the following reasons:

  • I started to feel that the role of a scrum master is useless
  • the impact I made and the vision of impact I could make if I stay was very small
  • I didn’t agree with the way of working and behavior of some people (especially the ones from the leadership) and those became a principal obstacles for me (shouting on meetings — WTF???)
  • I didn’t agree where the leadership wanted to take the company as a next level (“oh, I know, let’s do it like this, it works in all corporations” — was the most common excuse when bringing in more processess, and I really can’t stand this)
  • one would say I wanted to stop fighting, stop hearing “no”, “don’t”, “can’t”
  • and many more…

To sum it up — it was not place for me. Many people had seriously different opinion on how to behave, how to work with people than me. So I quit. And found myself a new job in a startup company that is going to change the world (don’t they all) of security cameras. I have a very romantic idea about the startup culture, so I am very curious about the reality. But now I am improved — my expectations are different. I only expect an impact from myself. But about that maybe next time.

So, my advice to the world is:

Look back and see how satisfied you are with the impact you made.

Do it often, do it seldom, but do it. Just trying is not enough. It’s nice, it’s admirable, but not enough. Not for the company, not for you.