11

So at the beginning of the year I took a new job at a large, stable company. Leaving a failing startup, toxic leadership, and an absolutely stellar development team in the process. Given what's happened in the world since then, I'm overall pretty happy with the decision to have some more stability for me and my family.

That being said, I'm super bummed out (and weirdly burned out) now because I feel like I'm becoming a worse engineer.

I've worked for large organizations before (single digit thousands of employees), but never have I experienced a personification of enterprise memes like this. Leadership too out of touch, lots of bullshit work just to make worthless reports look good, horrific legacy codebases and infrastructure, you name it.

My biggest problem are the expectations are shockingly low. I went from a hyper demanding work environment where the fate of the entire company seemed to hang in the balance each and every week, to an environment where we literally invent arbitrary, bullshit deadlines and requirements so we have something to feel some stress about. And even still, most of the deadlines are laughably far away. The pace of work that's not only accepted, but praised is so slow that I find myself procrastinating more and more. I spend so little time doing any work, and even less time doing things that would pass as "interesting", that I feel like the engineering and problem solving part of my brain is starting to rot.

To make matters worse, the culture is weirdly confrontational despite the pace being so slow. The people here are _incredibly_ pedantic and will launch into 15 minute arguments over the tiniest incorrect details in a story title. Interrupting someone just so you can say what they were going to say is a daily trial. And most ridiculous of all, _repeating_ word for word what someone _just_ finished saying like it was your thought and you didn't even hear them. I don't even know what the motivation for this could be because it makes them look like total clowns.

I've tried to bring up some of the things I find ridiculous, but most everyone has just accepted them at this point and there's virtually no effort to try and make things better. I only get stupid non-answers like "obviously you've never worked at a large enterprise before". Yes I have. Twice. We didn't partake in half the bullshit that happens here.

Honestly this was all just a passing frustration for the first month or two, but 7 months in I'm starting to see myself become complacent. My current output would be absolutely _shameful_ to myself from a year ago, and even my personality has started to shift to the point that I just go with the flow and don't challenge anything.

I've stopped keeping up with tech trends. I've stopped experimenting with new things. I've tried to do more work on personal projects, but the burnout is starting to affect my life outside of work. In general I've just completely stopped trying, and I absolutely fucking hate it.

I also feel like a total tool for complaining about having a cushy, stable job where I barely have to do anything given the current world climate. But I'm more miserable now than I think I've every been in my career. Has anyone else experienced this and found ways to combat it? How do you get your motivation back once it's lost and there isn't even any pressure to regain it?

I totally blame myself for becoming part of this joke. That's totally on me for not continuing to push myself, but I never realized how much of my "drive" from the last job was coming from the high stakes we were operating under. I really just want to get back to being proud of my work and pushing to be better.

Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post. This turned out to be a weirder rant/self-roast than I intended. But I'm hoping this will be the first step to kicking my own ass back into shape.

Comments
  • 1
    Oh and some additional context I forgot. I took a signing bonus that has to be paid back in full if I leave within the first year, so I'm trying really hard not to just jump ship. But fuck, maybe it's worth the financial hit at this point. I don't even know anymore...
  • 1
    @soggybutter it's nice that you found something stable at least for the time being since almost everyone else is taking it up the ass in a way or another. Besides there's something (good or bad) to learn in every company.
  • 4
    Welcome to enterprise. There's a new startup every day, life isn't worth wasting away in a bureaucratic failboat.

    If you're in the US, the full repayment signing bonus isn't legal. That has to be prorated as part of taxable compensation. Just because it's in a contract doesn't make it legal.
  • 1
    @SortOfTested had no idea about the prorated repayment. That might actually change things a lot, so thank you! 😄
  • 2
    @soggybutter
    You might have to fight for it, but that's usually the reason they'll "forgive" signing bonus clauses that are legally invalid without even asking.
  • 0
    @SortOfTested I really wish if companies included illegal statements in the contract they had to give you a stupid amount of money to compensate for the lie (e.g. 10 years).
    You could debate everyone makes mistakes, but this s.... is a constant around the world :/
Add Comment