It takes me about 7 months to warm up to people at a new gig. It sounds like a long time, but those months give me an opportunity to really assess the business and where it’s going, not to mention the interpersonal relationships between coworkers and teams. 7 months is also around the time I start feeling like looking for a new gig.
I’ve been at my current gig now for 7 months. So….
I realize that the reason I want to leave this job doesn’t really have to do with the job at all. Or the people. Or even the work I’m doing. I actually quite enjoy the projects I’m working on — they’re challenging, yet familiar, and they’re allowing me to stretch myself in interesting ways. If I could just focus on the work, I’d be fine with that. It’s all the other shit with work that I could do without. It’s just not the experience I want at this stage of my career.
I don’t know if this is me or if this is just a Black elder millennial trait, but I really only show up for work to work. I don’t care about the off-topic Slack channels or the after work game nights (where they always play Dungeons & Dragons, ugh). I notice that the white people I work with fall all over themselves to congratulate each other on the work they’re doing. But whenever the men and women of color on the team do something (myself and my direct report), the entire team is thanked, but we’re not thanked individually. This is some bullshit.
I didn’t realize how broken the hiring process was until I worked for a company and realized how utterly trivial companies are when it comes to hiring. Companies will have a public facing job application system that systematically rejects 99% of applicants. Companies will put up a job listing, take hundreds of resumes, conduct interviews (sometimes), and then not hire a single person for that role. Companies will quickly shuttle someone into a role, fast-tracking them past any sort of internal hiring processes, just because they have a personal relationship with the hiring manager or because they have a hiring quota to hit by the end of the month or quarter. Companies will make a huge public ado about DEI efforts and hire white person after white person silently while claiming they are “doing the work.” Sometimes, even a personal recommendation from a company’s CEO to apply for a gig means you’ll still get rejected for said job when you apply for it. Hiring is fucked, y’all. Especially at tech companies. Doubly so if it’s an early stage startup.
If you’re in an interview, and you’re asked about your salary expectations, say this: “I’d love to hear more about the role and expectations before considering compensation. Can we revisit this once I get a chance to speak with the team to see if I’m a good fit?” This does two things. 1) It lets the company know you’re serious about learning more about the role than what’s in the job listing. 2) It buys you some time, hopefully extending you over to more interviews. If you have to give a number, give a range instead. And if you think you lowballed yourself, don’t be afraid to say something like this: “Based on the conversations I’ve had and the scope of the role, I would like to adjust my compensation from [number or range you gave before] to [new and higher number or range].” Never be afraid to negotiate.
I recently went through five rounds of interviews with a company, only to have them reject me with a two sentence email. To add insult to injury, the company’s recruiter left me a voicemail message coddling me by saying that I shouldn’t cry about it and that I will go on to do great things. Bitch, fuck you.