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There’s always been an mix of excitement and fear when starting a new job for me. There are many questions that you cannot know the answer to until you’ve experienced it: Will I enjoy the work? Will I get along with my new colleagues? Will I pick up the new tools, languages and processes quickly enough not to be an annoyance? Will the company be everything I think it is?
I tend to have these questions floating in my mind for every new position I’ve started. I’ve never had to throw in a heady new mix of relocating to a new city, a new country, at the same time. I’ve travelled abroad for work before, but I’ve never relocated. The few days before and after starting at Pivotal were filled with that particular doubt that comes with things that are very difficult or impossible to undo: Had I made the right decision?
A close friend of mine said it sounded character building. That’s probably very true and certainly the most polite way I can think of putting it.
As it turns out, I needn’t be worried. My new team-mates were jovial and bright. They made me feel at home and were very patient with me while I fumbled my way through unfamiliar tools and frameworks. Although I did feel like a bit of a dead weight on certain things, I felt immediately at home with the pro-agile processes and good engineering practices that I had worked within for most of my career.
The first few weeks were intense and fast moving. It felt like going on holiday with a basic grasp of the local language only for everyone to speak at a hundred miles an hour while you try and keep up, trying to keep your head above water. Most nights I would go home drained, feeling like I’d completed a mental marathon. I found my feet a little more each day, and felt like I was chipping away at the burden/contribution ratio.
A month in now and I feel I still have a lot to learn, but that’s an environment I enjoy being in. I regard software engineering as professional problem solving and if I’m not learning I feel like I’m standing still. Standing still makes me feel like I’m solving the same problem over again. Looking for opportunities where I can learn more has always been a big motivating factor for me when choosing a new job, and there are great opportunities here.
That early doubt about moving to the US, to New York and joining Pivotal has been soundly banished. Had I made the right decision? Definitely.