Come May, I will have had three different jobs in the space of 6 months.
An impressive statement, if it weren’t for the crap I have had to go through within those 6 months. Let me elaborate.
I was a Front End developer for a travel consultancy for 16 months, and it was great. Enjoyable work, pretty good benefits (their pension scheme was epic!) and the people were really nice. I enjoyed my time there, but after a while, on each project I was facing the same sort of problems. Not exactly the same, but similar problems. The problems were becoming monotonous, and me plus boredom? Doesn’t end well.
My fiancée, Kate, mentioned that there were some opportunities going at her place of work, the job was a Web Analyst. This was quite different to what I was currently doing. I would still code and stuff but I would also have to analyse data, make presentations, deal with clients, and the way they presented the job sounded great. I just thought, “Why not? I have nothing to lose, and if I don’t get it, I still have a job” so I said I was interested, she told her employers this and then they approached me after hearing about what skills I have.
I went through the process, two interviews, a test and a casual meet and greet with the current team and a few other people who would join the company at the same time as me. It was great, the job sounded interesting, the people were also nice and it was new, different, a new challenge and I thought I would get the variety that I was currently yearning.
I got the job. Hurray! Congratulations to me, right?
I joined, got a few good qualifications like the GA IQ and GTM certification, which is great and makes us look better to clients. At first, it was interesting because it was all different and new, but then things started to change.
My manager decided to go in a new direction, and automate the process which would eliminate all the coding I was looking forward to doing. This irked me ever so slightly.
It was shortly after this that I discovered that I did not enjoy analytics. I like the end result of analytics, the reports that say “From the data, we can tell you that if you do this on your website, your traffic and revenue will increase. Your main audience are men between the age of 18-25 who enjoy travel”, that sort of report. The fact that you can get that sort of data just from someone visiting your website? Freaking awesome. The process in which to get that data and make the report? Dull as doo-doo. And when my work is dull, I am bored and when I am forced to do work that I think is dull, I stress out big time.
This is also when I learnt that I get stress related migraines. Yay!
Migraines suck so much ass, that I cannot even begin to tell you how much I hate them. Luckily, I have warning signs (even the fact that I have had so many of them that I now know the warning signs annoy me!).
I mean, I had migraines before, but really rarely I thought they might be triggered by being too tired, or looking at a screen for too long, or even that my glasses need replacing. But when I started working as an Analyst, it went from having two or three a year to having over six in three months.
So, I started applying for new jobs… a month after starting as an Analyst.
Good news: I found another job as a Developer again, for a great company. They are small, but they have huge clients, they have a great attitude and I got a nice little pay rise as well!
People might ask me “Do you regret leaving such a great job and going through hell?” and I would say this:
Honestly? Aside from the migraines which laid me out for a day at a time, no I do not regret it. It was an experience. I learnt a lot about analytics and implementing Google Analytics and Google Tag Manger on websites, which is now a service I can offer any future employer/client. I would refer them to other people to do the actual analysing of the data, but I can implement the stuff that would start analysing the data.
But the main thing I don’t regret is this: I learnt very quickly that Analytics is not my cup of tea when it comes to jobs. And it made me realise which cup of tea I want when it comes to jobs. Doing something I didn’t enjoy or find interesting made me realise what I did enjoy and what I find interesting.
Most experiences are good experiences, because you learn something.
I sit here now at my desk at my new job thinking about this journey and where I find myself. It feels good. Not only am I doing something that I really enjoy doing, I am working on projects that I find interesting and that I am passionate about. Not only this, but I haven’t had a migraine in over a month which is actually a record for 2016! Sounds terrible, I know, but it is progress!
I end this with a message. If you don’t enjoy your job, change job. People put it off because they might feel some sort of commitment to the company, or it would look weird if they left a job too soon. To this I say: forget the company! Forget what other people might think. You need to look after you first! Your happiness is paramount. Forget the job you don’t like, and find a job that you do.
Everything will be alright in the end, and if it is not alright, then it is not the end.