Today makes it a year since I left my first job out of university.
This was a hard decision for me, but I knew that it was something that I had to do. I had spent the last four years prior to this at university, studying for two degrees in Computer Science. This was not an easy journey and I was looking forward to the many opportunities that were waiting for me outside the four walls of my second home (my university lab).
Halfway through completing my master’s degree, I got my very first postgraduate job offer at a company that I liked and of course I accepted it. It was settled. No need to fret about what happens after graduation.
Fast forwards a few months, I had completed my degree and I finally started my new job. It was amazing. It was in the city, an awesome location and a very easy commute from home.
I enjoyed all the new things I was learning, the joys of being a working professional in tech and finally seeing all the real-world application of some of the things I had learnt at University.
"Literally everything was
good except for the fact
that I wanted more."
However, about a year into the role, I realised that my learning potential in terms of technical skills was almost reaching its peak. The only thing left to learn was how to develop my personable and communication skills.
I began to think about my time at University and it suddenly occurred to me that I took a lot of modules and if you live or study in the UK, you know that there is an average of 8 modules per year. So, 4 years of university meant I had gone through 32 modules of Computer Science related content. Out of these modules, I realised that I was only using two and a half of them to do my job! That's 30 modules that were slowly becoming useless to me because the longer those skills were dormant, the harder it would be to remember and put them into practice.
I thought long and hard about my situation and I was at a crossroad. I enjoyed my job and the company, and it would be insane for me to leave especially as I was working on a very important project. However, I could not in good conscience deny myself of building on the other things I had learnt at university.
"I could not in good conscience deny
myself of building on the other things
I had learnt at university."
To move forward, I decided to spend a couple of months of researching the other roles available at my company but I realised that there wasn't a role that was suitable for me in terms of giving me the opportunity to put all the unused skills I had learnt at university into practice.
So, I made the decision to start looking into other roles available in the industry to see that this was what I really wanted and just like that I started applying for jobs. My main reason was that I wanted to do more things.
During this process, I remember that I was constantly going on google to find reasons to leave my job but none of the search result were unique to my situation.
Most common reasons that came up were:
Not enjoying the work
Not being valued
Going to self-employment
Getting laid off or fired
However, none of these were happening to me. I loved working with my colleagues, my manager was amazing, it was not a toxic workplace. Literally everything was good except for the fact that I wanted more. The fact that nothing on the internet was helpful in terms of giving me the peace of mind that I was doing the right thing made this period even more stressful, but I had to keep reminding myself that I was doing this for me. Thankfully I had friends who were supportive of me and made the process easier (thanks, girls).
I had to keep reminding myself that I was doing this for me.
Eventually I got two job offers and I was able to pick the one that offered me the most opportunity to apply a lot more from my degree as well as improve on my technical skills. Even better, I was offered me money, so I put in my resignation letter. Handing in my resignation was a different story on its own for another post, but I am pleased to say that it all worked out in the end.
If you have found yourself in the same position as I was and you need a sign that it is time to take the plunge, here it is - do it. Do it now! Your future self will thank you for it.