From the beach to a project — Getting to my first project

As I was saying — if you don’t know what I was saying, which is very likely, here is the link to the first part of this story — from the interviews I already noticed something was different. From the recruiter, which didn’t feel like an enemy or someone which was trying to take advantage of me, passing through the tech interview, which was completely different from many nonsense coding challenge/assignments I did in the past (it was actually a simulation of a pair programming situation). To the social change conversation, which is a moment in the recruitment process when Thoughtworks sees if the candidates are aligned with the companies values. Everything was just like differenta good different, you know? Unexpected, better saying. Made me sure I was joining the right company.

First week was also not familiar to me, a week fully dedicated to onboard us. During this week we had sessions to get to know the company, what does it mean to be a consultant, diversity & inclusion, social justice and so on. A bit overwhelming, maybe? Tiny bit, but as a colleague (friend if he allows me) from Thoughtworks once said: being overwhelmed sometimes is good, it might show us how much there is out there to learn (he was talking more about diversity & inclusion topics, but I allowed myself to expand his thoughts here 😂).

After that, I was on the beach 🏖 (like, what?) Do you know what this means? (I didn’t haha) It’s basically a concept that other consultancy companies also have, usually called the “bench”. As you can see in this article, it’s typically associated with something negative. Which is not the case for us, that’s why we renamed it to “beach”. During this time, we can work on our projects, work on internal projects, learn something new, do a course, etc. Basically anything you want to up-skill yourself, it’s your time to grow by doing what you are passionate about, this will lead to the company’s growth. At Thoughtworks we have a Cultivation Culture, and we believe that “we succeed by growing people who fulfil our vision”.

However, as not always things are a bed of roses, very soon I got some doubts. On my first days: lean inception? Stakeholder mapping? 4 key metrics? Path to production? Forecasting? No estimates? OKRs? SLAs? SCS? What is that? (I can’t say this sentence without having Cardi B’s meme in my head, and yes, I know a lot of memes, who doesn’t?) But you know, technical stuff, this doesn’t scare me usually, as we become Googling pros when becoming developers, everything is one Google search away, in the other hand, the worse question that also crossed my mind was: What am I doing here? In the middle of these awesome people? Do I deserve to be here?

Hold on, that I will go back to this crappy question later. I want to continue a bit the story now, as another very similar question happened again after a while: when my first opportunity appeared. YAY, I would finally live the consultant experience for the first time — very unnecessary sentence next, but here it goes: I was feeling very fancy — at the same speed the happiness and excitement came, the doubts also came: Consulting skills? Do I need them? Do I have them? How can I consult someone? Who am I to consult anyone?

Let’s pause here for a second, as this is a critical moment of the story, please. Please take time to read what I will write next, I want to go a bit deep on those doubts and feelings now. I am not a coach or a psychologist, and I hope I can express my thoughts, let’s try: We have to remind ourselves that we were not put on our jobs by accident, if we weren’t capable we would be there, right? Right? Yes, right! (it’s not because I’m here telling you this, that I also don’t have questions sometimes and don’t have to constantly remind myself of that).

When we don’t get a position or a job, sometimes the position was just not for you, which can happen, right? Don’t ever think when you get “rejected” by a company, that this is because you are not worthy or not capable of doing it. Most probably very experienced recruiters or people teams (or the famous HR) realized that you are just not a good fit for the role or company, this is neither good nor bad (this is just not supposed to be, or at least that’s what I believe). They are using their expertise to not waste anyone’s time, your very valuable time to grow and have experiences in places that are a match, and the company’s time that has its own metrics, revenue goals and others businessy stuff (which I don’t know much about haha).

Do we have a deal? Are you also going to purposely remind yourself when you catch yourself having those thoughts that you deserve to be there? I hope so, at least, and I will try to do the same. Going back to my first project, I did not only think it was fancy, there were other expectations as well, like being able to cause a long-lasting impact in the clients, support the client with their needs, learn new things, many many other stuff, what I was really not prepared, was for the differences between working in a product company vs working as a consultant.

These differences will come in part 3 of this series. I hope you are enjoying so far and leave a comment, or any feedback here below! I would appreciate that a lot. See you!