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Should I Quit My Job? What’s Next? Part 2

nicksaiz65

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This is kind of an embarrassing story, but I want to share it anyways. I don’t know what’s next, and wanted to decide.

I was working on an issue and my boss had said that I was spending too long on it. I randomly got called into a meeting today. He basically told me “We’ve had this issue in the past, but you’re taking too long to get your work done. The speed you’re working at is unacceptable. I really like having you on my team and I want you to succeed. But we’ve been going very easy on you, and if this keeps happening, you’re not going to have much of a future here. Let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to help, my door is always open.”

This really sucked and it makes me want to quit, and not write code anymore. Also, that promotion I wanted is gone.

What can I do from here? I had some ideas:

A.) Forget code and join an orchestra instead. Music is my “true” passion.

However, this would be a ton of work. Preparing for an audition is a full time job and then some. That could take time away from my programming, which puts me in danger especially after that meeting today. Yeah, I’ve tried this in the past, but I think I would be more prepared a second time.

B.) Ask to transfer teams and try to get somewhat of a fresh start. It seems I’ve basically tarnished myself on this team. Although, it does seem like my boss wants me to succeed, even though I’m on really thin ice.

C.) Accept that I won’t get promoted. Study for a new job and get a fresh start.

By the way, I have two years of experience in Software if that’s relevant.

TL;DR: My boss chewed me out today about my work speed. Should I quit? How do I react to this?
 
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SW15

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I've had days in my career similar to yours. I've had a lot of the feelings you've had. We're men though. It's not good to let feelings dictate actions.

You want to stay employed. I'll let your quotes dictate my responses.

My boss chewed me out today about my work speed. Should I quit? How do I react to this?

I was working on an issue and my boss had said that I was spending too long on it. I randomly got called into a meeting today. He basically told me “We’ve had this issue in the past, but you’re taking too long to get your work done. The speed you’re working at is unacceptable. I really like having you on my team and I want you to succeed. But we’ve been going very easy on you, and if this keeps happening, you’re not going to have much of a future here. Let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to help, my door is always open.”

What can I do from here?
There's no future for you in your current role at your current company. When direct supervisors have this conversation, they are planning to lay you off or get rid of you in some way.

Employment is somewhat similar to seduction. Iron Rule of Tomassi #1 applies in employer-employee relationships. You want to control the frame of the interaction.

I have gotten fired before from a white collar job without a formalized performance review or even a conversation about bad performance. That can happen but won't happen here because the conversation already happened yesterday.

C.) Accept that I won’t get promoted. Study for a new job and get a fresh start.
You can't even be thinking about promotion. You need to think survival.

Getting promotions is a challenge to achieve. There are plenty of employees who never get promotions. They get more responsibilities at work by changing employers. Changing employers is often the way to get promoted in white collar work. My field is a little bit different than yours.

You need to update your resume and find a new employer right now. This could also help you in moving to a bigger city with more women and more seduction opportunities.

B.) Ask to transfer teams and try to get somewhat of a fresh start. It seems I’ve basically tarnished myself on this team. Although, it does seem like my boss wants me to succeed, even though I’m on really thin ice.
How realistic is this? If it is realistic, it's your best option. Everyone I know trying to look for a new job is struggling to find one. The employment market feels weak, although official unemployment is low. I don't know anyone in your field looking for work right now though.


You are able to pursue Option C and Option B at the same time.

A.) Forget code and join an orchestra instead. Music is my “true” passion.

However, this would be a ton of work. Preparing for an audition is a full time job and then some. That could take time away from my programming, which puts me in danger especially after that meeting today. Yeah, I’ve tried this in the past, but I think I would be more prepared a second time.
This is the worst idea. The lifestyle of a classical musician is a more difficult lifestyle than the lifestyle of a white collar worker. There's more demand for software coding workers than classical musicians. You also worked a lot to get that bachelor's degree.

You have a bachelor's degree and 2 years experience in the field. You are also currently employed. That has value in a labor market at the moment.

Your future is in software coding.
 
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I absolutely second @SW15 :s answer.
Priority one is option B and priority 2 is option C of looking for a new employer. When you have 2 years of work experience after bachelor's degree, probably the most effient move career-wise is to find a new place to work anyway. The important part here is monkey branching eg never ever quit your job before having next one lined up.

I would also add that this experience hurts when you are still inexperienced, but understand that these things happen and next time you are in this kind of situation it hurts much less.

Also don't let this situation go to waste, use it as a really valuable life experience:

First understand that your bosses primary interest is to keep team productive. Ask yourself:
- Did you communicate the problem to rest of the team and boss early enough when it started to seem to take longer than expected?
- When you got stuck did you ask help from your colleagues? Especially if its already known issue for someone else and you are stuck, ask help ASAP!

Most probably you boss isn't actually concerned whether you were knowledgeable enough, it was about being inefficient and wasting time.

If it feels like a blow your ego to ask for help, learn to ask it so that person that helps you feels good for helping you.

And if asking for help still bothers you, start learning and getting better at your job!
The difference in career development is huge when you compare someone who just works from 9 to 5 and a someone else who actually spends few hours every week improving his competence in addition of normal work. Check Udemy for starters.

Actually I would prioritize learning from this experience highest. You don't want to have the same issue yo come up in your next position.
Instead of sales (=looking better in your bosses eyes) I would concentrate on improving the value of product (= your skills and more efficient way of working).
 
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FlirtLife

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In an earlier post, you claimed to learn there are no quick fixes in life. When I remind you of that, are you sure you want to quit your career because your boss said you are working too slowly?

I think some additional context is needed.
(1) Your boss said this has been an issue in the past. What does that mean?
(2) It's normal to have a performance review near the end of the year. Was this same issue raised at your performance review a year ago?
 

jaygreenb

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This is kind of an embarrassing story, but I want to share it anyways. I don’t know what’s next, and wanted to decide.

I was working on an issue and my boss had said that I was spending too long on it. I randomly got called into a meeting today. He basically told me “We’ve had this issue in the past, but you’re taking too long to get your work done. The speed you’re working at is unacceptable. I really like having you on my team and I want you to succeed. But we’ve been going very easy on you, and if this keeps happening, you’re not going to have much of a future here. Let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to help, my door is always open.”

This really sucked and it makes me want to quit, and not write code anymore. Also, that promotion I wanted is gone.

What can I do from here? I had some ideas:

A.) Forget code and join an orchestra instead. Music is my “true” passion.

However, this would be a ton of work. Preparing for an audition is a full time job and then some. That could take time away from my programming, which puts me in danger especially after that meeting today. Yeah, I’ve tried this in the past, but I think I would be more prepared a second time.

B.) Ask to transfer teams and try to get somewhat of a fresh start. It seems I’ve basically tarnished myself on this team. Although, it does seem like my boss wants me to succeed, even though I’m on really thin ice.

C.) Accept that I won’t get promoted. Study for a new job and get a fresh start.

By the way, I have two years of experience in Software if that’s relevant.

TL;DR: My boss chewed me out today about my work speed. Should I quit? How do I react to this?
You have to learn to be able to take critical feedback without having an emotional response and going nuclear, especially if you are going to be working for someone else but really this applies to everything. EVERYONE has things they need to tighten up and work on especially when you are young. If you want to do well, ask to sit down with him and go over all the specifics of what he thinks you need to improve on and from that create actionable steps and metrics to show you are making progress. Have a good attitude about it and actually put in the effort to improve and also make sure you continue to communicate about it. If your boss is a reasonable person and you stick with the plan, over the next 6-12 months he most likely will look at you in a completely different light.

As someone who has been in management and had employees for over 20yrs, there is nothing more annoying than not being able to talk to someone about what they need to improve on or adjust. If it is a pattern of someone who works for me I usually start planning on how I can get rid of them. On the flip side, when someone works for me and genuinely wants to do a good job and is willing to be receptive to feedback I will really go above and beyond for them.
 

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BackInTheGame78

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What have you been working on doing and how long have you been at it so far?

I need more details to figure out if your boss is full of crap and has unrealistic expectations or if there is some merit and I can give you some tips and try and help you out with some suggestions.
 

nicksaiz65

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Ok, I had to cool off a bit before I wrote an update on this, but here it is:

I was so annoyed by being called out like that, that I decided to just finish the project in one day. I stayed up until 2 AM working, and I was able to get it done. I pushed my work and then my boss pings me the next morning saying “Wow, you got that done super fast. I see some really late times on this commit log, kudos to you for doing what needed to be done!” He then walked me through a few fixes that we wanted to do, and helped me on the next task too. I then finished the next task in one day as well.

Since I’m working over the holidays, my boss wants me to use some of the training hours we have to become more proficient in JavaScript and be able to work faster, and just have a better understanding of that since it’s a big part of our tech stack. He wants me to build a few projects, and fix a few nagging issues on my laptop that have popped up.

So although I will work on my resume and get a backup plan going into motion, it *sounds* like I can take him at face value. Knock on wood, I’m still going to hang on as long as I can regardless.
 

nicksaiz65

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I've had days in my career similar to yours. I've had a lot of the feelings you've had. We're men though. It's not good to let feelings dictate actions.

You want to stay employed. I'll let your quotes dictate my responses.



There's no future for you in your current role at your current company. When direct supervisors have this conversation, they are planning to lay you off or get rid of you in some way.

Employment is somewhat similar to seduction. Iron Rule of Tomassi #1 applies in employer-employee relationships. You want to control the frame of the interaction.

I have gotten fired before from a white collar job without a formalized performance review or even a conversation about bad performance. That can happen but won't happen here because the conversation already happened yesterday.



You can't even be thinking about promotion. You need to think survival.

Getting promotions is a challenge to achieve. There are plenty of employees who never get promotions. They get more responsibilities at work by changing employers. Changing employers is often the way to get promoted in white collar work. My field is a little bit different than yours.

You need to update your resume and find a new employer right now. This could also help you in moving to a bigger city with more women and more seduction opportunities.



How realistic is this? If it is realistic, it's your best option. Everyone I know trying to look for a new job is struggling to find one. The employment market feels weak, although official unemployment is low. I don't know anyone in your field looking for work right now though.


You are able to pursue Option C and Option B at the same time.



This is the worst idea. The lifestyle of a classical musician is a more difficult lifestyle than the lifestyle of a white collar worker. There's more demand for software coding workers than classical musicians. You also worked a lot to get that bachelor's degree.

You have a bachelor's degree and 2 years experience in the field. You are also currently employed. That has value in a labor market at the moment.

Your future is in software coding.
You’re right, at the time I wrote this I was definitely emotional. I’ve cooled down a bit and I can see that.

I’ll set the precedent that on this particular ticket, the issue was on me. I was definitely fvcking up. However, in the past, I’ve definitely been blindsided by how long they expected stuff to take. But for the most part, the issue is with me.

I spoke to some other people about this, and they said that this is basically the nicest way that my boss could have done this. There wasn’t a HR Rep in there, and I wasn’t put on a PIP.

As stated in the update, I now know what it takes for me to personally be a successful software engineer. I just have to put in more hours than the “average” engineer if I want to be a top performer. Trying to be Overemployed with two tech jobs at once is a complete joke. I just need to choose one tech job, and do it really really well.

That being said, I will take your advice and start to look towards other jobs. One of my biggest shortcomings right now is that I don’t really have a good resume. My resume is complete trash. To give you an idea, my college internship and senior capstone is still on there lol. At a minimum, I’ll be taking my AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam before the ball drops for New Years. That alone will beef up my resume.

I’m going to spend the entire month of January using those training hours, and every free second other than that will be spent building personal projects so that I have a nice resume. Two years of experience, several certifications, and a nice resume has value.

But, the job market is awful right now so I want to hold on for as long as I can, knock on wood.

And you are 100% right about the music career. Totally unrealistic, I bring it up every time my job annoys me lol. I won’t bring it up anymore, software is my future. It could be considered “golden handcuffs” in a way though.

If I want to be a musician, it’s either a hobby, or I somehow retire early and chase that career then lol.
 

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nicksaiz65

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I've had days in my career similar to yours. I've had a lot of the feelings you've had. We're men though. It's not good to let feelings dictate actions.

You want to stay employed. I'll let your quotes dictate my responses.



There's no future for you in your current role at your current company. When direct supervisors have this conversation, they are planning to lay you off or get rid of you in some way.

Employment is somewhat similar to seduction. Iron Rule of Tomassi #1 applies in employer-employee relationships. You want to control the frame of the interaction.

I have gotten fired before from a white collar job without a formalized performance review or even a conversation about bad performance. That can happen but won't happen here because the conversation already happened yesterday.



You can't even be thinking about promotion. You need to think survival.

Getting promotions is a challenge to achieve. There are plenty of employees who never get promotions. They get more responsibilities at work by changing employers. Changing employers is often the way to get promoted in white collar work. My field is a little bit different than yours.

You need to update your resume and find a new employer right now. This could also help you in moving to a bigger city with more women and more seduction opportunities.



How realistic is this? If it is realistic, it's your best option. Everyone I know trying to look for a new job is struggling to find one. The employment market feels weak, although official unemployment is low. I don't know anyone in your field looking for work right now though.


You are able to pursue Option C and Option B at the same time.



This is the worst idea. The lifestyle of a classical musician is a more difficult lifestyle than the lifestyle of a white collar worker. There's more demand for software coding workers than classical musicians. You also worked a lot to get that bachelor's degree.

You have a bachelor's degree and 2 years experience in the field. You are also currently employed. That has value in a labor market at the moment.

Your future is in software coding.
I think the only other point I had about this is, (although it’s probably not a good look considering the context of this thread lol) that people keep telling me I should forget software and go into management instead once I have a few more years of experience.

I don’t know if I’d want to chase people around and have to call them out like I got called out today. And I need to research this more, but don’t software engineers make more?

Plus, management in a few years sounds like a lot of corporate ass-kissing. I’d almost rather be on the technical side.
 

nicksaiz65

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I absolutely second @SW15 :s answer.
Priority one is option B and priority 2 is option C of looking for a new employer. When you have 2 years of work experience after bachelor's degree, probably the most effient move career-wise is to find a new place to work anyway. The important part here is monkey branching eg never ever quit your job before having next one lined up.

I would also add that this experience hurts when you are still inexperienced, but understand that these things happen and next time you are in this kind of situation it hurts much less.

Also don't let this situation go to waste, use it as a really valuable life experience:

First understand that your bosses primary interest is to keep team productive. Ask yourself:
- Did you communicate the problem to rest of the team and boss early enough when it started to seem to take longer than expected?
- When you got stuck did you ask help from your colleagues? Especially if its already known issue for someone else and you are stuck, ask help ASAP!

Most probably you boss isn't actually concerned whether you were knowledgeable enough, it was about being inefficient and wasting time.

If it feels like a blow your ego to ask for help, learn to ask it so that person that helps you feels good for helping you.

And if asking for help still bothers you, start learning and getting better at your job!
The difference in career development is huge when you compare someone who just works from 9 to 5 and a someone else who actually spends few hours every week improving his competence in addition of normal work. Check Udemy for starters.

Actually I would prioritize learning from this experience highest. You don't want to have the same issue yo come up in your next position.
Instead of sales (=looking better in your bosses eyes) I would concentrate on improving the value of product (= your skills and more efficient way of working).
Yeah, I did not ask for help, I just kept banging my head against the wall with the hopes that I would eventually solve it. And there is the true issue, right there.

For me to be a good SWE, I need to work more hours, upskill, AND ask for help. I’ve done Udemy for my AWS Certifications, but it’s time to start seriously upskilling AND get that resume together. Like I said above, this will be my focus for the full month of January.

I love being able to work remote here, but I’m *almost* about to say it’s worth the office hell/commute if I can get paid more. Amazon pays $180K to starter engineers. My coworker said, “I’d chain myself to my desk for $180K.”

Out of scope of this thread, but one of my main focuses too is going to be eliminating some bad debt that is keeping me broke. Once I get rid of that, I can use my money to get back my time, and then I can funnel the majority of that time into being an excellent software engineer.
 

SW15

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management in a few years sounds like a lot of corporate ass-kissing. I’d almost rather be on the technical side.
There is corporate ass-kissing in middle management.
 

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nicksaiz65

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In an earlier post, you claimed to learn there are no quick fixes in life. When I remind you of that, are you sure you want to quit your career because your boss said you are working too slowly?

I think some additional context is needed.
(1) Your boss said this has been an issue in the past. What does that mean?
(2) It's normal to have a performance review near the end of the year. Was this same issue raised at your performance review a year ago?
Basically, although my code quality is good, I’m not giving them the deliverables as fast as they’d like. Maybe it’s different in other workplaces, but we don’t really seem to have hard deadlines here. It’s just, “get it done as fast as you can.”

He briefly brought it up, but not to this extent. The moral of the story is I have to ask for more help.
 

BackInTheGame78

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Ok, I had to cool off a bit before I wrote an update on this, but here it is:

I was so annoyed by being called out like that, that I decided to just finish the project in one day. I stayed up until 2 AM working, and I was able to get it done. I pushed my work and then my boss pings me the next morning saying “Wow, you got that done super fast. I see some really late times on this commit log, kudos to you for doing what needed to be done!” He then walked me through a few fixes that we wanted to do, and helped me on the next task too. I then finished the next task in one day as well.

Since I’m working over the holidays, my boss wants me to use some of the training hours we have to become more proficient in JavaScript and be able to work faster, and just have a better understanding of that since it’s a big part of our tech stack. He wants me to build a few projects, and fix a few nagging issues on my laptop that have popped up.

So although I will work on my resume and get a backup plan going into motion, it *sounds* like I can take him at face value. Knock on wood, I’m still going to hang on as long as I can regardless.
As you get more experienced you will start to figure out that when you take longer to plan things out versus jumping in to code right away, you will actually end up speeding things up since your coding time will be reduced and the number of times you have to "back up" and redo things will be reduced.

What libraries/frameworks are you using in JavaScript?

I'd recommend learning stuff like ngRx, rxjs or more specific framework related stuff. JavaScript in and of itself it rarely helpful on its own since it's kind of a crap language unless it's highly doctored and molded into something more useful via these other frameworks and libraries.
 

nicksaiz65

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Looks like you’re on a PiP, nobody comes back from that :(
I hope not man. Regardless, my new priority is to finish up this certification, build some personal projects and beef up my resume.
 

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nicksaiz65

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Why not just ask your boss how you can best improve?

Swallow your pride, man.
He even mentioned that when talking to me, he was like you have GOT to ask for help.

At the time, I freaked out cause this is the first time I’ve been torn into this badly at work. He is right though…
 

BackInTheGame78

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Basically, although my code quality is good, I’m not giving them the deliverables as fast as they’d like. Maybe it’s different in other workplaces, but we don’t really seem to have hard deadlines here. It’s just, “get it done as fast as you can.”

He briefly brought it up, but not to this extent. The moral of the story is I have to ask for more help.
Personally, this doesn't sound like a place I'd want to work. If they have no expectations other than "get it done as fast as you can" what standards do they have? Does that include writing unit tests? Other type of tests?

There is no measurable standard of what this means and as such it's completely subjective and liable to be not very useful for much of anything other than playing favorites and people rushing to write code that is not very good and that causes them to spend double the time in fixing bugs and rewriting the code eventually.

If you were to ask them "how do you measure performance" and their response contains anything about how many lines of code you write or how fast you write code, this is not a place you want to work.
 
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nicksaiz65

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You have to learn to be able to take critical feedback without having an emotional response and going nuclear, especially if you are going to be working for someone else but really this applies to everything. EVERYONE has things they need to tighten up and work on especially when you are young. If you want to do well, ask to sit down with him and go over all the specifics of what he thinks you need to improve on and from that create actionable steps and metrics to show you are making progress. Have a good attitude about it and actually put in the effort to improve and also make sure you continue to communicate about it. If your boss is a reasonable person and you stick with the plan, over the next 6-12 months he most likely will look at you in a completely different light.

As someone who has been in management and had employees for over 20yrs, there is nothing more annoying than not being able to talk to someone about what they need to improve on or adjust. If it is a pattern of someone who works for me I usually start planning on how I can get rid of them. On the flip side, when someone works for me and genuinely wants to do a good job and is willing to be receptive to feedback I will really go above and beyond for them.
Ok that’s a relief to hear… we can talk about this when I demo my projects.

I was worried I had completely screwed myself. Job hunting takes time.
 

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nicksaiz65

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What have you been working on doing and how long have you been at it so far?

I need more details to figure out if your boss is full of crap and has unrealistic expectations or if there is some merit and I can give you some tips and try and help you out with some suggestions.
These days, I’ve mostly been in the frontend. We work in React/JavaScript. I’ve done some other stuff but I’ll mention that in regards to your other post.

The issue was that it had been a couple of days of me banging my head against the wall with nothing to really show for it when I got called into the meeting. I think on this ticket, he’s right… but there have been times where I’ve been called in in the past and I was shocked because I was working the whole time.

I’ll add the remainder of the details in your next post.
 

nicksaiz65

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As you get more experienced you will start to figure out that when you take longer to plan things out versus jumping in to code right away, you will actually end up speeding things up since your coding time will be reduced and the number of times you have to "back up" and redo things will be reduced.

What libraries/frameworks are you using in JavaScript?

I'd recommend learning stuff like ngRx, rxjs or more specific framework related stuff. JavaScript in and of itself it rarely helpful on its own since it's kind of a crap language unless it's highly doctored and molded into something more useful via these other frameworks and libraries.
So our main work is in React/JavaScript. Lately, I’ve been exclusively frontend. However, I’ve done backend work too using Java/Spring Boot to build an API. I’ve also written a few Lambda Functions in Python, but this was pretty rare.

Never looked into those other frameworks but I will since I’m going to be upskilling hard next month.
 
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