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Worried about getting fired


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About a month ago I took a leap a faith and accepted a 6 figure offer from a very large company doing software development.

Needless to say things aren’t going as smooth as I would have wanted. It feels like the team I was put on is not really helping me much and there is a lot of internal tools to learn about. 

I’ve pretty much just been reading documentation for the past 2 and a half weeks straight. The code base is um, one of the most complicated that I have ever dealt with before. 

Even know I have made a lot of progress in the past two weeks, I still feel like I have a mountain to climb and my boss pretty much just expects me to figure things out.

I feel like I did terrible in the interview process but I was probably the most qualified for the job out of any of the other candidates and I had a feeling the other person interviewing wasn’t very excited about having me on the team.

I think I would feel better about the situation if I didn’t have so much pride as a developer. But everything is just so fast paced here, I feel like even the devs on my team struggle to keep up with the speed and there are so many people working on one project that making any mistakes can have an impact on 20-25 people...

There is so much pressure here. I feel like I’m not sure if I’m struggling from imposture syndrome or if the team feels like I’m going to hold them back. I feel like they will eventually just fire me if I don’t figure things out and start contributing, but I feel like I’m so out of my depth, ugh this is so frustrating.

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Is your boss available to ask any specific questions? Start somewhere and build your understanding. What you don't understand ask specific questions, not vague ones. You sound overwhelmed. It takes time to adjust to a new position. If they hired you there's a good chance that you know how to do this job.

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ok...

I think any time we start a new job, it's a lot harder than we expected. Take some deep breaths and try to stay out of your head about it.

The  reason it's hard is because it's hard! not because you aren't qualified. 

One thing I do when I fear the worst. I decide if the worst happens, what I will do.  Then I let it go because I know what I will do in the situation. 

So in this case... you get fired.  Then what? 

Or

Will you just get fired? Is that how this company works? Or will you get put on notice?

If put on notice, you will have a chance to voice your concerns and what you need help with.  So have that ready to discuss so you don't get blind sided.

My other advice is- figure out what you CAN do and do it well. have some wins in the positive column. This will help your confidence.

You can adjust to this job. Many high paying jobs, do not come with a lot of warm fuzziness. The praise is just not part of it.

I've experienced this in my career. Staff and front line managers get praise and treats. As you move up the chain and earn more money, no one has time for your ego and feelings.  It's generally assumed you will meet your deliverables. it's your job.

Hang in there.... everything is life is a journey.  All our wins & our challenges, they shift and change as we go through life... The best thing you can do is find a way to hold on to yourself through the tough times.  Observe what happens, learn as you go, but also recognize none of this defines you.  You are still you and better days will come.

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Ask questions when you have them.

I started a new job in an industry I'd never worked in before about 8 months ago. I asked lots and lots of questions. I figured, what would they rather have happen, me asking lots of questions or me doing everything incorrectly?

You may find they are much more open to questions than you think they are. Just come prepared with specific, actionable questions and take notes.

I've had managers tell me they appreciate and respect me for asking for help when I need it. In fact, today my supervisor scheduled a meeting with me and several of the engineers based on a valid question I had brought up.

Good luck. I hope it works out well for you.

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Welcome to the six figures salary club.  You just will have to do whatever you can to learn things on your own.  There will always be more accountability. More demands.  Higher expectations.  But take a deep breath.  Keep plugging away, and do the time to get there. And you will.

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13 hours ago, junebug123 said:

It feels like the team I was put on is not really helping me much and there is a lot of internal tools to learn about. 

Is your boss aware of this?  That you've just entered a new business and feel all the pressures/expectations?

IF you don't feel comfortable enough soon, may be a good idea to just bow out of this position.

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Thinking that you can master a complex job in just 30 day is an unrealistic expectation on your end. Give yourself 3-6 months to start to feel more comfortable and even longer until you feel confident.

Basically, when your expectations are unrealistic, you are setting yourself up to fail and then will fail because it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy as you focus more on your insecurities and anxieties than on what you actually need to master the job. It's toxic thinking and something you need to figure out how to step away from.

As for mastering your job - reading is good, but also try to identify some team members who are good at teaching/showing things quickly and are wiling to do so and then learn to ask concrete questions to speed things up.

Entry level employees get proactive training and hand holding. When you reach six figure levels, you have enough experience to figure it out and should be able to communicate well enough to get the info/help that you need without others having to check up on you and lead you and manage you. That said, nobody said that a job that pays that is going to be easy. It won't be and you should not expect smooth sailing. In fact, you should expect it to be challenging and constantly so.

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1 hour ago, DancingFool said:

Thinking that you can master a complex job in just 30 day is an unrealistic expectation on your end. Give yourself 3-6 months to start to feel more comfortable and even longer until you feel confident.

Basically, when your expectations are unrealistic, you are setting yourself up to fail and then will fail because it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy as you focus more on your insecurities and anxieties than on what you actually need to master the job. It's toxic thinking and something you need to figure out how to step away from.

As for mastering your job - reading is good, but also try to identify some team members who are good at teaching/showing things quickly and are wiling to do so and then learn to ask concrete questions to speed things up.

Entry level employees get proactive training and hand holding. When you reach six figure levels, you have enough experience to figure it out and should be able to communicate well enough to get the info/help that you need without others having to check up on you and lead you and manage you. That said, nobody said that a job that pays that is going to be easy. It won't be and you should not expect smooth sailing. In fact, you should expect it to be challenging and constantly so.

You put this very nicely. I think part of the problem is that I found in prior positions that I could figure things out in a timely fashion or not worry so much if they did let me go, because I felt like I was over qualified for that they were paying me anyways.

It sort of feels like I’m going out with a hot girl and paranoid that the next dude that steps up is going to take her away from me. I think I feel even more out of my element because in most places I’ve worked before, I’m used to feeling special or smart.

Here, I’m just an average person... There are a lot of people that come from Ivy League colleges, and at times I feel like I’m just that new person that nobody notices or think will last.

Its really depressing. People just work like non stop here, everyone is trying to prove something and maybe I’m getting in my own head but it’s hard not to when you are put in these environments.

There isn’t really much my boss can do, I am sure that I am just one of a few teams that he is coordinating and he’s busy in meetings like all day almost everyday. Many of the managers are sort of working with multiple teams to coordinate things.

In the past I would work on many different aspects of an application but here it’s sort of just like people specialize in either middle end (me), frontend (web/mobile) or backend (dB). Anyways, I’ll take into account everything everyone has said. 

I appreciate the responses.

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As for the employees. Maybe your right, I should reach out more. On the few occasions I’ve reached out, I got sort of a brief explanation on things and they felt like that was enough, not talking time to ask if I understood anything. A young girl who never mentored anyone been at the company a year and a half and probably struggles at lot herself.

I got the impression she knows how to make things work, but doesn’t have a deep understanding of what any of the code is doing and probably leans a lot on the other members, so nervous in general.

The other person was pretty much like, “don’t bother reading the docs it’s pretty self explanatory”. Doesn’t bother to show up to meetings at times, I’m pretty sure he is a contractor who doesn’t really want to waste their time helping me.

The last and most knowledgeable person on the team is probably burned out from helping the first two I spoke about earlier, and was the one who interviewed me. I never bothered reaching out and my boss didn’t even bother telling me to ask him for help at all. 

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I worked in multiple environments like this. The money and prestige were worth it to me back then and it paved the way for more success. Did this sort of work for 15 years. Never again but no regrets. I wouldn’t rely on your boss as you’re right he’s busy.  
And assume if 6 figures is a lot for your line of work that there’s no free lunch. You’ll work more and unpredictable hours for it and you’ll be expected to be available constantly.  I’m sure that’s not a surprise !  No you won’t be a big fish in a small pond or special.  As my mom says your thank you is your pay check. It’s totally fine if this isn’t a good fit or worth all the extra time and stress!!  You know yourself best. 

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My recruiter pretty much told me upfront if I have any problems, just asked to get switched to another team. I can probably find another job for equal or lesser pay, but I just left a job to get this one and want to make it work here. Also the process for the background screening on this company was a nightmare and don’t won’t to go through that again.

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1 minute ago, junebug123 said:

As for the employees. Maybe your right, I should reach out more. On the few occasions I’ve reached out, I got sort of a brief explanation on things and they felt like that was enough, not talking time to ask if I understood anything. A young girl who never mentored anyone been at the company a year and a half and probably struggles at lot herself.

I got the impression she knows how to make things work, but doesn’t have a deep understanding of what any of the code is doing and probably leans a lot on the other members, so nervous in general.

The other person was pretty much like, “don’t bother reading the docs it’s pretty self explanatory”. Doesn’t bother to show up to meetings at times, I’m pretty sure he is a contractor who doesn’t really want to waste their time helping me.

The last and most knowledgeable person on the team is probably burned out from helping the first two I spoke about earlier, and was the one who interviewed me. I never bothered reaching out and my boss didn’t even bother telling me to ask him for help at all. 

I’m gleaning that you expect more hand holding and guidance then you’re getting.  Was this promised to you ? Everyone seems very busy.  Are there people outside of work you can ask ?

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/28/2021 at 10:18 AM, boltnrun said:

 

I started a new job in an industry I'd never worked in before about 8 months ago. I asked lots and lots of questions. I figured, what would they rather have happen, me asking lots of questions or me doing everything incorrectly?

You may find they are much more open to questions than you think they are. Just come prepared with specific, actionable questions and take notes.

 

Weren't you afraid to be looked down on? Like as a sign of incompetency? Because many people will assume that. It's something I'm always weary of - asking too many questions.

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36 minutes ago, Tonight.majestic said:

Weren't you afraid to be looked down on? Like as a sign of incompetency? Because many people will assume that. It's something I'm always weary of - asking too many questions.

What would be more "looked down on"? Asking insightful, relevant questions or trying to do things on my own and making a bunch of mistakes that would be caught by the higher ups?

I had a review with my manager and that was one thing he brought up that everyone had praised me for...that I was unafraid to ask questions. They preferred that to me doing things wrong.

No, I am not afraid to ask questions.

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Hey there, I just stumbled across your post. I see a more recent post from you that said you were fired from a high paying job, I'm assuming it's the one you were talking about here. I'm very sorry to hear that, but glad your old job took you back in. 🙂 

I just wanted to give you my input, because I am actually a software developer, too! I largely do web programming. I've seen it all and done it all. Now, I have not personally worked for any massive corporations like that, on any teams larger than 10-15 people, and certainly not for any six figure salary. And that is largely for the reasons you posted about.

 

I am at a smaller company I absolutely love. The people here are the kindest people I have ever worked with in IT, period. They were definitely paying me a lower than average salary for having the software dev role. I had a lot of massive expenses and home repairs this year, and considered (and did) interview for a few much higher salary jobs. I never formally got an official offer, but may have come close a few times. I ultimately decided to not pursue a new job at this time. I'm glad I was patient, because low and behold, my current company is now giving me a massive raise, I'm very happy. 🙂 I actually am bringing them in huge revenues and helping the company grow, and they really are recognizing me for it.

We're in a pretty tough and vicious career field. Even at my current job, it was very stressful when I first started. Being a software dev is nothing like any other job. You never know what kind of can of worms you're gonna get into with someone else's code, version control, coding practices, and etc. You never know what expectations or standards people above you hold you to. Some people expect us to walk in the door and work miracles. The reality is, it takes time to learn how things are done at different companies. 

 

Now, back to the fancier jobs. What others said here is right. The higher the salary, the more demand, stress, and expectation is going to be put on you to perform that job. Personally, I could never work somewhere like this job you described. Teams of 20-something people, being a kind of corporate slave. I've had other jobs in the past, too, where I worked for some absolutely miserable people that treated me like garbage, so much I had to go to therapy over it. I'll gladly work somewhere for a little less pay that isn't going to treat me that way. My current company is growing, too, so if it were to ever come to that size, I would have a much higher role going into the company and more leadway. 

There's so many software dev jobs out there. I see you took your old job back. But, you can always keep looking. There are good people and good companies out there! You just have to find them. Places that aren't going to just see you as a number on a spreadsheet. 

 

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