As the end of 2021 looms, its time for a bit of self reflection.
Over the last few months, I've been enjoying my new role at Moneyhub. It's a very different way of working than I'm used to, but now I'm starting to find my feet, it's time to tell you why I made this change.
As I'm sure you are all aware the pandemic has a lot to answer for a lot of people, myself included and as a fully remote worker during this time, albeit slightly forced, I found myself enjoying it a lot. It suits my personality and I have a great home set up which I can fully utilise which makes me more productive. The sense of freedom it allows me is so beneficial, I can't imagine ever going back to an office full time.
Having this newly discovered freedom was rather empowering, it made me assess many life choices and forced me to re evaluated my career thus far. I wasn't enjoying my current job, I felt miserable, burnout and often unheard or invisible. I had to give myself the chance to succeed on my own, so I asked myself,
"What can I do to make myself happy again in my career?"
Reflection on agencies
Reflecting back, working as a junior in an agency still is to this day one of the most stressful parts of my career and honestly, you'll either sink, swim or a little of both. Being booked by the hour can feel degrading after a long time working in the same environment, so I found myself trying to gain value in other ways which either never arose or I was never given adequate time to find. Agencies don't have an endless stream of cashflow to help you train or better yourself for the next client, and my personal development was suffering as a result.
Agencies need you to be on the top of your game to thrive, you need to ship quickly and rarely get time to refactor code you've rushed or struggled with. It's an environment that suits well established developers, those that have the experience to write good code the first time because they've written something similar before or are experienced enough to pick up concepts quickly and adapt them for the client's needs. You can only work in this way for so long before something starts to slip.
So after feeling well burnt out, undervalued and often quite teary. It was time to address my self-worth, and I gave me the chance to see if I was able to get through a few interviews.
I went in with an attitude of, "Let's just see how far I can get if it doesn't work out it's all great experience" which seemed to be the right way to go and led to a good number of lessons learned.
In amongst those job candidates was Moneyhub, a SaaS company. Right off the bat I got a really great vibe from them, and after nailing the interview and being very interested in what they do, I got the job.
Wait?! Agency to Fintech?
Yes indeed, what a jump and I honestly can tell you it's the best decision I've ever made. I've always wanted to work for a SaaS company, I have many close friends that do and were honestly pushing me to do so for many years. I never truly understood the benefits they talked about until now.
Likewise, I just wish I had done it sooner.
Here's what's improved for me since getting my new role:
- Better pay
- Better holiday
- Fully remote but can work in the office if I choose
- Close nit team
- Better benefits
- Feel empowered and my voice is heard
Note: This isn't to show off these are facts and ones worth considering.
So agencies are awful?!
I've met some of the most talented people in my previous agency, and some of those people taught me so much. They can be incredibly creative places, for those that want to try a vast range of technologies for that they offer much experience, and they can be a cool place to be a part of. They are super collaborative, projects can be well run, and the clients you get the opportunity to work with are often top tier companies that you can add to your personal roster. Plenty to brag about.
But they can be stressful and not for the feint of heart, so make of them what you will.