I left my company last week.
The last 2 weeks was a bit crazy, in the amount of handover that I have to do. I probably didn’t do a good job. I probably underestimated the amount of stuff I had my hand in. It is rather different from the last time I left my previous team to come over to this work place 6 to 7 years ago.
Back then, there are enough folks that know what I have my hand in, and the second in command (as well as those below) was just damn good (and eventually proved to be better than me). It is also a testament to good team planning back then.
A year ago, I thought of the day I would throw my letter. It will have to be after 21 June.
21st June was the day I joined the company. 15 years from that day would probably be a nice time to end that chapter of my life.
I been in “the IT line” with the same company. I have to add “the IT line” after reading this piece on some great IT career advice given by Jeraldine Phneah and her friend. Whenever I meet people, I have to be extra vigilant to let people know that I am not THAT kind of power IT engineer who graduated from a local university.
I worked in a cost center all my career. If we are not doing sales, we are a cost that should be minimized, unless we can come up with some “value added initiatives”.
I am probably not fit to give career advice, much less career advice in the IT field.
Perhaps take a look at this post, and see what you should NEVER do to trash your IT career.
Last year, I have a reader in the same field who is 20 years my senior, offering me some advice:
He means well. I am grateful for readers writing in telling me where I did well. And in this case, what I could do better.
I told him I will reply to him in a post. I never did.
Well I think it is a bit late but I do think this reply does count.
Honestly, what do you want me to say?
- That I only looked at my area of work
- I did not try to work well in my role and did not sought to
- My experience is only the same 1 year of experience x 15 years
- I didn’t do ISP (information system planning) on my own life
I didn’t reply because… you want me to reply to you I messed up my career?
Probably 1 year before I went to my last project, my manager in the project pulled me aside. Long story short, she let me know how much I was under-performing her expectations.
I was pretty shocked inside, because for the most part, I thought I was doing “all the right things”. It is also pretty liberating in a strange way, to know some hard reality that you are not as good as you think you are.
My Second Project
Shortly after “that conversation”, things got pretty tight in my project. My manager let a few of us know that they might be cutting the number of people in our project, so she is giving us more senior ones some options.
Out of all the options, one of them looks…. less dangerous. It is not a software development role, which for a person that hasn’t program in 8 years, feels a little bit deadly.
The one I chose was to go and work for a former user of mine. Probably one of the most demanding out there and for others, it will be a bit suicidal to go there. But I thought, it is a bit tough but at least you know roughly what kind of tough.
Turns out it was tough. Then he left. And then life got better.
I had time to think about things. I knew my IT career was over 1 year into it. When will it be over, I have little idea. What will I do next, I have little idea as well.
What I like about my Work
I think I was not cut out to be a man manager. There were a lot of situations where I have shown that to be the case.
I wasn’t a particularly good engineer as well. I have rather poor memory of things, can’t think critically well enough, cannot schedule things well, always let milestones slip.
What I like about engineering work was working with people. My first project team was great. We grew up from not knowing anything, to eventually leading our own teams.
At my second project, the nice moments where I was left on my own with another project team’s engineers, or users where we discuss about work, and things that are out of work.
They say that what made people stick around might not be the actual work itself, but satisfaction you get from certain “by-product” services you did.
I guess what keeps me going is being of service to others, whether it is to a co-worker, a boss, a user.
When there were too much “Why the fxxk” Moments
You know the same alone moments in the project where you were left to do your tasking without supervision?
If you have enough of those periods, and if you have enough technical problems, bureaucracy to deal with, you start going into that dark tunnels where you start mumbling to yourself:
“Kyith, why the fxxk are you doing this?”
Usually they do go away pretty fast.
Then you have another of those events, and you go down that dark tunnels again and you have more of those “Kyith, why the fxxk are you STILL doing this?” moments.
Enough of those moments and you can think of the result it will do to someone.
And honestly, if you have a little this, somehow those “why the fxxk are you doing this?” moments somehow gets magically imbued with greater bass.
Where I am off to
Late last year, my friend Chris from Providend ask if I would be interested to do some research in his Solutions team.
The idea is that since I have always been looking at some of these weird financial planning, retirement withdrawal stuff, why not do that as a job?
I thought about it, and decide what the heck, let’s see what this is about.
So this first week was honeymoon week.
I think there are enough people that say that I am finally doing something I am “passionate” about.
I think I should address that. The first thing people are assuming is that I will be going to a place to do investments. Providend does help the clients invest but not through active stock portfolios. And I am not a financial planner. I just do a support function.
Passion seemed to indicate a willingness to suffer and right now, I am not sure whether I really like to get into so much suffering.
Certainly you do not need passion to carve a career out of things. If I am being honest, for the past 15 years, I was never passionate about working with software, or systems. During the last year of my degree, I got so burnt studying my Information Systems degree that I went to look at what unit trust was about.
Since the start of my career, I was never 100% into it.
I think I accidentally found a liking for the customer service aspect of IT. So I actually stayed this long because:
- My bosses were good or OK
- My colleagues was good or OK
- My users were relatively good
- The compensation was fair (in my case)
- The organisation was not too shitty
- Not everyday of the work was grueling
- I could see a distinct wealth path outside of work
So what am I looking for? I have no idea really, but if I can find a lot of those things listed up there, I think it will be pretty OK.
Are there any changes to this Blog?
Probably not much.
I think they are understanding enough to let me continue writing. Just that, perhaps due to compliance reasons, there may be some stuff I can’t buy in the future and maybe…. I would write less about.
This is probably to let you know that despite what I would say, there will be some inherent bias as the reason I find it OK to work there is because I shared the same view points as Providend.
Every place I work, somehow I have some stories to tell. And since I now work in an industry that is similar in theme to this blog, I am sure that there are more content in this area to write about.
You will probably see some writings of mine over at Providend next time.
I do work with some partners currently that may be in competing fields and will continue to recommend their services. Those will still be recommended because well they are just good in my opinion. There is no need to change it, if they wish to continue working with me.
To everyone involved with my first project. If you read this, you know who you are for the help in the many system deployments we did, the many DOTA we had together.
Thank you to my first 2 project managers. Both of you set the bar high enough that, while I didn’t meet the expectations, both of you taught me how team culture is built, how to survive better in this world.
To all those involved in my second project, it seems that there were always some shitty situations that I often got into, but you guys and gals always bailed me out. For that, thanks a lot.
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