Out of my comfort zone

Its been a while since my last blog post. The reason for this being that I had recently changed my job and have been busy settling in. When I say recently, I actually mean that it was 2 months ago. And also that I have been lazy 🙂

Everyone changes jobs at some time or the other, yet we all seem to forget how much effort it takes to change and settle into a new job. Finding a job that you actually want to move into can be quite difficult. I ‘ll write all about it in a different post as I want to concentrate on what happens after you have actually got that dream job!

I look back to 2 months ago and wonder if it was actually me who went through a range of emotions during that period. I’ve tried to list a few them here:

Elation 

I got that job, didn’t I?! Yay, go me! I would be working under a great mentor and had much to learn. This would be the right way for my career to progress. I was very happy and quite contented. I was looking forward to the day I would start.

Anxiety 

This probably kicked in a day or two before my first day. I still remember being unable to sleep, unable to eat and constantly being told by others to stop worrying so much. And yet I was anxious. About everything. I wanted to ensure that I turn up on time on my first day and was quite anxious about this all through the the night before and in the morning. This anxiety lasted well into my first couple of days. I even had a nightmare about missing my train and then realising that I forgot my laptop at home!

Confidence 

I finally made it to the new office(well before time). I parked my car and walked into the lobby with an air of confidence. By this time I talked myself out of anxiety and was feeling quite proud of myself that I have managed to land a great job. I reminded myself of all my strengths and skills. I told myself that I will perform to the best of my abilities and that I would be happy here.

Self-doubt 

Did I say that I was proud and confident? Yeah, that didn’t last long. The first day was purely information overload and I was beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to understand any of the words that people around me were using. These words sounded like they were in English but I didn’t have a clue what they meant. How on earth will I test something when I don’t even understand the words being used to describe it? Will I be able to fit in? Will I meet their expectations? Was this a mistake?
Thankfully, everyone that I interacted with were appreciative of the fact that this was a new system to me and that I had a steep learning curve ahead of me. Also, there was another tester who started on the same day as me. It greatly helped to know that I was not alone in this situation and that we could bounce thoughts off each other. I have to admit that I was happy to a certain extent that am not the only one unable to comprehend everything that was happening 😉

Tenacity 

The only way I could regain my confidence and excel at work was through sheer perseverance and determination. The steep learning curve ahead meant that it was time to put all my efforts into it. I am not at all good at reading and learning. For me its all about practical learning. During the first 3 weeks, I and my co-new tester were given a couple of small projects where we had to learn a lot about the product as well as learn new tools and technologies. This helped me greatly in understanding the core product. Before I knew it, I could actually understand my colleagues during the daily stand-ups. Previously my usual statement during the stand-ups used to be ‘Today, I will continue to pretend that I understand you all’. But as days went by I started contributing to the stand-ups.

Conclusion

There were times when I went through a roller coaster of all of the above(and more) emotions in a single day. Equally there were times when I was quite calm and composed. These are only some of the feelings that a new starter goes through. 

Most importantly, I would not have been able to cope with all of this had it not been for the support I had received from all of my colleagues. Special mention and thanks go to my immediate scrum team members, test team members, my manager and last but not the least my co-new starter. I dread the thought of having to face a new job where the atmosphere is not conductive, colleagues are not helpful and the company culture is not what I had anticipated. 

Overtime, I have become more and more confident with my abilities and understanding of the product. I do realise that this is just the beginning and there will always be aspects of the product that will baffle and surprise me. There will always be more tools and technologies to learn. There will always be new processes to adapt to. In short, learning never ends. 

I can finally say that I am back in my comfort zone.

I wonder what the hiring managers and team members feel and have to go through when they have to adapt to new starters joining the team……

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/5229017560

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