It’s my last day doing UX at the bank. My heart actually aches to leave, which is perhaps the strangest sensation I’ve ever experienced at a place of business. Usually it aches to see coworkers still bubbling around restaurants I visit after quitting, or when social media tells me they’re all out together wherever we used to spend time after shifts. In this case though, it’s the sadness of knowing I might never have this same team dynamic, caring director, or encouraging environment again. Me. Missing coworkers in an office. That has never happened, in all my years of working in offices.
I had a phone interview recently that went very well and in spite of a few red flags that popped up as I learned more about the company’s needs, they want me to come in for an on-site interview next week. It is located well east of town, at least a 35 minute drive but likely more in rush hours (which is off-putting, I’ll admit, I’m spoiled with a 15 minute commute now). I have four more resumes out there and no rejections from them yet, so next week may prove to be a busy one for fielding what may come. In spite of red flags, I don’t feel like I can pass up any opportunities. I need all the experience in many fields and ways of working as I can get, after all it’s my lack of experience that’s preventing me from staying at the bank (as far as I know).
If you’re new to UX and are a team of one, my advice to you is to get out and get on a team ASAP. Knowing how to work on a structured team is more important than skills, in a lot of ways.
It’s really an amazing thing, growing up and getting healthy in the head. My work environments have been largely unhealthy. They’ve been either very passive aggressive, non-communicative, had no boundaries and procedure, or had poor leadership. What I’m leaving is the opposite of all of that, and that’s hard to walk away from. I keep thinking about that whole “better to have loved and lost” thing but I’m not so sure. I realize this place is a rarity on all fronts and I just don’t think I’ll find it out there in the world so easily.
That translates also to some of my friendships, now that I have a chance to look at them from a distance. A friend, acquaintance really, was in town last night for a musical gig. I was a maybe for attendance but as I felt the pangs of friendly obligation to support, I also realized that this friend never speaks to me except for the one weekend a year that we see one another. Matching effort for effort, I decided to stay home. I have no idea if that makes me a jerk, but it feels like the right thing to do, in light of how some of my relationships have changed since our move out of state. It’s good to put the best efforts into things that will feed us and that ideal lead me to part ways with the recruiters who found me my first few jobs here in town. Their behavior at times was unprofessional at best and made them liars at worst. The frustration wasn’t worth it and with that in mind, I head back out into the world of job searching with new recruiters and a new list of what to look for, ask, and seek to find.
Wish me luck and happy new year to you.