Reflecting on one of the hardest times of my life career-wise -- from a new mid-level developer with 2 years of experience to interim director of technology. No bueno.
These past few months have been very hard on me. Nonetheless, I’m learning a lot of different skills, about myself, and how much my work colleagues appreciate me. At my work, I lost half of my team, one of whom was our beloved principal director. Along with one of the remaining team members, I stepped up my game to keep everything running. We both worked so many more hours, and I myself kinda became the interim director. I got recognized for this with a promotion to lead developer, and we’ve slowly been rebuilding our team. Some observations from this time:
- Apparently I’m a naturally good project manager.
- However, I tend to trust new people’s abilities too much based on the recommendation of someone else whom I trust. I need to better onboard new people and have those people gain my trust themselves.
- Imposter syndrome has run incredibly high in me, but there are many times when I have to give myself credit for knowing X and Y much more than the new developers we hired, as well as giving advice to our more “veteran” team members.
- I’m very reliable and dependable.
- Many times employees in general (not necessarily at my work) care too little about their work. My problem is I care too much, to the point where it negatively affects my personal life.
- While I may be good at some things, I may not necessarily like doing them. It’s very easy for me to trick myself into thinking I like something or can put up with something just because I’m good at doing it.
- I am learning a lot about what it means to project manage, be a mentor, be a go-to person for a team, and being the only woman in an increasingly-male department. Thankfully for the most part, on the last point, I think I am well-respected, but I still feel drowned sometimes by… uh… testosterone.
- My work-life balance had mostly been terrible, but it is starting to pan out. While I have been learning a lot about management and things outside of development, I’ve missed learning more about development–and especially computer science and math.
- I’ve gotten to know more people at my work on a personal level and learn just how highly they think of me. I had no idea.
Outside of work, I’ve been managing to do these things better:
- Commit to violin
- Just be consistent
- Commit to Spanish
- Unlimited Spanish notes
- Other notes
- Speak better, work on having more confidence
- Just this weekend, dive back into algorithms
- Grokking Algorithms
- Want to get back into Khan Academy!
- Be more attentive to my husband
- Start running and weightlifting more regularly again
- Decorate and organize our apartment more
In other words, my life is starting to come back to how I liked it before. It’s not quite there, but yeah…