Impostor syndrome?

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I posted… and I feel the need to share my thoughts and feelings about starting to work at a big company.

Ok so after many months of job hunting and several interviews, I received two job offers in one day. That moment I was feeling great, you know, actually 2 companies wanted to hire me, my self-esteem was high. I signed a contract with the company I felt had the best culture and benefits. Lesson for the new developers: Never Give Up! :muscle:

So what’s the problem?
I’m not actually enjoying it… is this normal?

I mean, the company is great, working remotely is great, the freedom is great, and the perks are great, but I’m just not fitting in, there is too much freedom and I think I’m not ready for that yet.

It’s been a month and all I’ve done is write tests and documentation. Some of my friends say it takes time to get used to. But at the end of the day, I’m not feeling so good right now. Maybe depressed…

Maybe it was my expectations of the job, they called it an “academy” but there are no instructors and no career plan.

I would like to hear your thoughts. Has this happened to you on your first developer job?

This sounds about right, doing these things are low risk, and give you some insight into how the pre-existing code/work is being done. That way you have some context before working on end-user code.

Do you have any guidance/training of any kind? Even something as simple as being able to reach out about your manager about these topics could be leveraged.

The thing about imposture syndrome is usually you feel like you’re not qualified for the job at hand. However it sounds like you feel like you’re “overqualified” for the job at hand maybe? Writing tests isn’t the same as writing production code.

Overall it sounds like the job might not be what you applied for, or at least so far. This might not be fully all under imposture syndrome, but I’m also not sure if there is a better term to apply.

The term “academy” for a job is interesting. Is it some sort of job-training or something?

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Hi brad :slightly_smiling_face:
Thanks for taking the time to read my ‘rant’ and respond.

Do you have any guidance/training of any kind?

We have a Tech Lead who will guide you only if you ask first. Most of the team is always willing to help when you have a problem. I would not consider this a “training” but what would I know, I’ve never worked in a big tech company before, maybe this is how it’s supposed to be, they let you loose and see how you react.

I’m guessing they put new people here to test them out, and see if they are fit to work on a client project.

So I guess… the lesson learned is “be careful of what you wish for” :sweat_smile:

I don’t think I consider myself overqualified, to be honest, on my first day in the company, I started to notice everyone had sooooo much more years of experience, and that really put me down.

I think if you have never felt inadequate you are probably in more trouble.

Sure imposter syndrome can get debilitating if not kept in check, but the opposite is just a sign of delusion, which is far worse if you ask me.

Are you getting tasks assigned to you and learning some “domain” knowledge specific to what you’ll be working on more full-time?

Having resources/access to people who will help you out is nice, but that still leaves it up to you to know when/where to ask for help.

Depending on the situation, it could be expected for you to “reach out when needed” but otherwise learn on your own. Other companies specify vastly more on-boarding and process to get you started. Big tech or not, things differ from company to company.

One disadvantage of remote work is this on-boarding/learning processes. Being in person means being able to see/interact with your coworkers at any time. Being online means essentially sending chat messages “out into the void” to an avatar of a coworker with a green dot. It’s a big difference.

This is textbook imposture syndrome. Don’t worry, it’s a very common feeling, especially if you’re just starting :slight_smile:. I personally try to frame it in an “I have an incredible opportunity to learn lens”. If everyone around you knows more than you on a subject, leverage that and ask questions how you see fit and get more comfortable. Being “new” means you’re expected to be asking questions to get yourself “engaged” with how things are going.

If you’re able to “bridge the gap” between what you currently know, and what your co-workers know, then you’ll feel more comfortable about the situation. You might end up still needing to learn new things, but by understanding what you need to learn you can get a road map for learning what you need, so you can “catch up”.

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HI eze,

I am interested in your experience because mine was the exact opposite. For my first React job, I took over a React project from a senior dev who left the company. The setup had a lot of complex and non-standard things that took me forever to get my mind around. I felt like I had been thrown into the deep end of a pool as a way of learning to swim. There was a lot of pressure on me to proceed faster and close more tickets every week than I was doing. Part of me is happy that this is how I started my React career because I had to learn a lot, but I could have done without all the pressure (and condescending attitudes from certain managers).

I can imagine some of the frustrations that you are having. I imagine the days can be rather dull. But if I designed an ideal 30-year career trajectory for myself (and could have that kind of perspective in my mind), I think I might start out with a position more like yours than my “sink or swim” experience.

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