Recently, I followed my gut feeling. And, as I have discovered, I was right to do so. For some period of time I believed I just had to suck it up; I shouldn’t pay attention to negative thoughts and should just push through in what I was doing. I was wrong..
Gut feelings (noun) - instinctive feeling, as opposed to an opinion based on facts. intuition.
Not listening to my gut resulted in me being stuck in a role at work which didn’t suit me as well as I liked. I’m a developer, or so I thought. At times, it felt awkward and bit by bit I started to feel like I wasn’t working in my own best interest. It took me ten years to find out where my actual strenghts lie; I’m a fine java developer, but no java architect and should be using more of my analytical and social skills. I should be using the mix of skills I have, instead of focusing my energy in my development skills. Although I do like to develop, I get even more energy when I’m also using my social skills: talking to people. This piece of self-reflection now led me into a new job, in which I can combine both worlds. As of september 1st, I’m a (technical) software tester.
As a software tester, cooperation with other disciplines is mandatory. Talking to business analysts, developers, managers and even sometimes actual end-users of the product makes my social skills the most important skill. Luckily, my role description is ‘Software Engineer (test analist)’, which means I’m also doing some coding. Except my coding will now be pointed towards test-automation. Code that is focussed on quality and to confirm that functionality is working as it should be, instead of cracking new features and squashing bugs (althought that might occassionaly happen as well). It takes some getting used to and it needs to prove itself, but I believe it was the right move for me.
Looking back, I have two personal take-aways from my previous job that I’d like to learn from:
I should try to identify negative gut feelings as early on as possible and act on it as soon as possible. This should prevent me from walking around in a state that’s not as happy as I’d like to be. Furthermore, I should discuss my gut feelings at work if there’s something that bothers me.
If I want something, I should say something!
Right now, I’m glad I eventually listened to my gut feelings. It feels like I’m more in my strenghts now. It’s great! Also, blogging about this subject gives a sense of satisfaction.