Am I a horrible person? I'm thinking about quitting my new job after just week. I'm coming from fast paced startup life. But now I'm working at a company where things move very slow and have a ton of overhead process. Every decision is being critiqued by the PM before it's even a flushed out idea to the point of frustration. Now I'm torn if I should stay at my super slow job where I make great money and have tons of time for a single feature. Or do I leave to join another offer I already have at a startup.. I feel like I already know the answer but I'd be curious what you guys think.
Every decision is being critiqued by the PM before it's even a flushed out idea to the point of frustration.
That sounds like a very bad reason to quit and be frustrated. Designers have to be good at dealling with push back, evangelizing their ideas and convincing stakeholders.
UPDATE: I’ve decided I’m going to stick with the team for the foreseeable future. I think I wrote my original post while I was still in a bit of a culture shock phase. I came into the company with this idea in my head on how it would play out, and when it didn’t I felt uncomfortable. But I over the last 24hrs I’ve been reflecting and I think I am going to stick with the team and learn the process. It’s slower than I’m use to but I’m looking at it as a different type of design challenge. Thanks everyone for your input, it definitely helped while while reflecting.
"I came into the company with this idea in my head on how it would play out, and when it didn’t I felt uncomfortable."
This is way too mature for the internet
Self-awareness is a great trait to have
I think you made the right choice but 3 thoughts I wanted to add:
1) They hired you because they like you and your thinking but that does not mean they trust you yet. That will take time.
2) You are comfortable with your old method of working; this is new to you. That does not mean it's bad it's just different. Commit yourself to it and then once you understand it then you can break it down and judge it to see if it works for you.
3) In any situation like this down the line, I think it's best for you to stand up and have the hard discussion with your leaders and tell them how you are feeling and try to resolve it before just bailing. You're not helping them or yourself by being one foot out the door; you're not building resolve.
If you do quit - and it sounds like you will - give that company one-month's notice. I say 1 month because, presumably, they will have to start their search over again. Giving more time is also a good way to say 'it wasn't a good fit' and move on without burning any bridges.
But 1 Month is extremely short, don't you think? I'd give my company a year. Just making sure that my work is able to be picked up by a successor would take me a few months to prepare.
If it takes a year to hand over your work, something is very very wrong with how you're operating.
A few months to share your designs? Your company is fucked..
Design is more than just files.
what a foolish answer. If you are the one person that is responsible for 400k lines of CSS alone, including Markup, Frontend Tools and Frontend Architecture and you are dealing with 13 year old legacy codebase that has never been touched by a frontend person, and you are educating 30 people about the value of design and what the difference between a brand and corporate identity and design, and you find 125 slightly varying differences of the same color and completely varying print versions of that color and if that company's CI consists of literally three colors, the rest is only implied, and if you are supposed to be the person responsible for all this but these responsibilities are still distributed across 3 teams and 5 people, then yes - these things can indeed take a while.
Not every result comes down to sketch files. Some of us are Designers that work in a variety of domains including programming, content strategy, branding and UI/UX Design. I'd say the majority of designers does not have a one-dimensional with defined edges. Many of us do many of those things at the same time. Facilitating growth and understanding in an already existing culture that is growing takes time and needs to be navigated with empathy. It's as simple as that.
Try making a pattern library as an implementation of a design system that is organically growing, as an interpretation of a brand that is barely defined and growing at a slow pace, in a context where kind of everyone but kind of only one person is responsible for facilitating said growth. It's like trying to sew the leaves on a maple tree in autumn when it's storming.
guy has only been there a week. i doubt there's much to transition.
James is spot on here.
If a company of that size (30+ employees) stands to lose so much from you leaving it...it's a poorly run company.
People leave. People get sick. People die. It might hurt our egos to understand this, but a stable well-run business is one where the processes & decisions are well defined and documented so that employees can all be easily replaced.
This sounds like stuff that you should have been consistently doing DURING your employment so that such a hand-off would be easy. Any well-organized team should be able to withstand a sudden loss of someone because things should be documented as they are built.
whoa this is some real psycho level stuff, you don't owe them anything - give them 2 weeks, write up a little handoff doc, and get on your way
I'm in a very privileged position, because I really like what I am doing and I find great satisfaction in facilitating organic growth in such an environment. Processes are not yet defined and there is great value in taking things slow.
"Hey... so.. uhhh.... it's only been a week... but I don't feel like it's working out... not really a great fit... so... uhhh... I'd like to give you a year's notice."
How would that year go?
"This is Steven, one of our designers. He's been with the company 8 months now, but he also quit a week after he arrived."
"What? Why's he still here then?"
"Oh, he was just really thoughtful and gave us a year notice."
I maybe should have taken his short time at the company into account lol. I completely overlooked his context by mistake. Now that this has blown up it doesn't make a difference anymore. :D
"from Steven Lamar, CDO of Apple"
Hm... Is this a a pen name or a subtle Apple satire? Both?
You're not horrible but a week really isn't much time to give anyone a chance especially if you've knowingly jumped from a throw shit out the door as quickly as possible and see if it works culture to a more "considered" slower paced approach and feels a little unfair on the company who've taken a chance on hiring you.
If you're willing to hang around and perhaps try to bring some of your ideas or process improvements to the table then if it were my company I'd prefer you just went asap and I could get someone who was a better fit and no hard feelings as the hiring process doesn't seem to have flagged that you might not be right for the workflow/process of the new place.
This. I definitely started a couple roles in my career that I didn't like after the first week. But I say it's worth it to stick around for at least 6mo to a year mainly because you might create some really amazing relationships. Working with awesome people can make a lot of the other shit seem way less important.
Just a sidebar…
To give an idea life you FLESH it out. To FLUSH it out would be to discard it completely.
this. Too often I see "flush", and cringe.
Like Mary says, if it doesn't bring you joy just let it go haha. To be honest everywhere I worked it was the same. Tried lots of different approaches but none worked. It's even worse if the managers, etc. have super strong egos. If you have another offer and feel like where you are is crap just do it. We have only one life and sadly work is not everything but still takes most of your day. So better to enjoy it than feeling shit. Oh yeah, you can always wait to see what happens, but if it's a big company I doubt it will really change. I know most people think that's the challenging part, try to evangelize, convince etc but wtf really, they hire you to do X and are not willing to listen so you have to find a way to convince them? It's like super counter productive. ✌️
I think it would be wise for you to not think of your experiences as fully representative for both types of employment. There is innovation and movement in regular companies outside of the startup-bubble too. And there is enough staleness and ignorance in the startup culture too.
What I am trying to say with this is, that this is not a starup-culture vs regular companies thing, it might be just that specific company that is not right for you.
I would be hesitant to let your expectations be more important than what this experience has in store to teach you.
Sounds like patience might be something you'll be learning in this role. Fast doesn't always mean right.
Do what you think it's best for you!
I was in the opposite position, coming from a huge, huge bank with tons of designers and different projects, to a small startup, where I'm the only designer.
I'm still struggling with the pace, with the workflow, the unstructured design process, the lack of other designers, but I love every bit of it and I wouldn't change it for anything.
Just be professional with your current employer and always leave on good terms.
I recommend giving it at least 1 month before making such a decision. Your first impression might be wrong and you can find things you enjoy in your current company. If not, you can always leave.
It's pretty simple. Do you want to a) Save for something so need the extra money b) Learn and grow as a designer
if: a) Deal with not being able to see instant results and save the money.
b) Go back to start up world and create kickass shit but neglect some goals.
c) Not on the list he-he... go freelance and achieve both.
Design should be a team sport and critiques by PM, devs, other designers or stakeholders are an important part of the process. The challenge is managing that feedback and making sure it's valuable and not just added noise. A week is hard to determine that as everyone on the team is still ironing out team dynamics. I'd suggest giving it a month and if things aren't improving, give feedback to the team and wait another month or two to see how things adjust based on your recommendations.
I think you should quit before you/company gets more invested and then it'd be "harder" to quit. I say because I've never worked at a place where I felt the need to quit after a week...not even after a few months....to feel like you need to quit after a week is pretty bad in my opinion. If what you're saying is true where everything has a lot of red tape, I don't see that changing overnight thus I don't see it getting better if you hang in there for a bit longer.
People make it a big deal about quitting so soon, but when was the last time you've known someone that quit so soon and you're still mad at them? I've known a handful of people who stayed at their places for a really short period but it shouldn't all be their fault. It's also on the company for not showing the entire culture during interview process. Most people are busy anyways and there's so many other things to occupy their mind. A few months from now, most people won't be fussing over someone who left- they'd be worried about meeting their project deadlines, or picking up their kids, or planning their next trip to their hometown. I always ask myself "how much will this matter 1 month from now? 3 months from now? A year from now?". Most people forget and move on.
Honestly, when I've work somewhere much slower and less engaging than I'd like, I just take a step back and go with the flow. Work on passion projects or freelance to fulfill me in the downtime or at home.
I won't comment on how long you should stay, but I've learned to trust my gut. I've left jobs after 3 months and it never haunted me. I've stayed in bad jobs for too long, and it's always haunted me.
I don’t do well at companies that have too much process. I feel creatively stultified. Most decisions I’ve experienced in business aren’t so irreversible that they require that much proofing (and I’ve rewrote banking legal for a consulting gig!). If you’re producing excellent work under a traditional waterfall method of work that’s great. But it’s not for me. Moving too slowly kills my drive.
I have side projects on the go too which I use to take my time and learn new skills (game dev and carpentry).
I would leave if the startup is a product that you believe in. Startups have issues of their own and who knows if that company will be around in 2 years.
Probably my biggest fear if I ever move from agency to a corporate position... I have been on those projects before and it's mentally draining especially if you are used to a faster pace. I would say, enjoy the time to learn new things. At worse, work on making a new portfolio and chase after a better job.
Sounds like a dream. Want to trade?