A friend from my last job and I met for dinner tonight after a couple months of not seeing each other. Since we last caught up in July, he’d decided to be bold and quit his job without anything lined up, mostly because he found the job and company uninspiring and meaningless. I always felt that way while there, in addition to anger and resentment about everything wrong there (which is pretty much everything), but I was never big enough to just quit without anything lined up.

He’s been searching and actively interviewing, but a problem he’s been encountering is that companies are finding holes in his skill set. How does the typically tech company define what a “data scientist” role should entail? Well, whatever it is, he clearly was not doing it at the last company, and so he’s been getting declined left and right. “I feel like none of my ‘skills’ are transferable,” he said to me tonight. He’s tried to expand his search as a result.

That was always my fear at my last company, that I learned nothing, that I wasn’t growing, that I was surrounded by and thus becoming a part of the complacency. It’s easy to be that way you get paid well and have flexibility, two massive privileges that I was fully cognizant of. And he was cognizant of them, too. Why else would either of us have stayed so long at such a miserable and growth-less place? It scared me that in future interviews, people would find out I was a phony and didn’t really know much at all, or I wouldn’t be anywhere as smart or skilled as the competition interviewing against me. I feel bad for my friend, but all I could do was tell him to keep looking and the right thing would turn up.

LazinessĀ  and complacency really comes back to bite you in the ass.

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