So this is a very specific post, but I’m hoping it helps just a few.
We’ve all gone though so much change since March 2020.
From lockdown, to shutdowns, to market explosions, to the Bloom of 1,000+ Unicorns, to Market Crash, to a Semi-Downturn, and back to a few IPOs now again in the back half of 2023. So, so much change.
As part of that, the very way we build SaaS companies has changed multiple times. We’ve gone from somewhat efficient through 2018 or so, to less efficient into 2020, to incredibly inefficient in late 2020 and 2021, to layoffs seemingly everywhere in 2022, and now to Efficient Growth. It’s so much change. To OTEs, to job specs, to how teams are staffed, and more.
And if as part of that, your job stinks, well I get it. Make a change. Even now, find a way.
But what I’m also seeing is a big unforced error: folks unhappy at home … taking it out on work.
The reality is, most of us truly excel with Happy Home, Happy Work. If you’re in a pretty good environment 24 hours a day, that’s a special thing, to be cherished. Almost all of us excel in that environment.
If both are bad — Home and Work — we tend to be truly miserable. I see folks here go into a spiral that sometimes they aren’t able to pull themselves out of. Go talk to your trusted friends. Go make some big changes. Make some new friends, fast. Because I don’t think most of us can take it if Home and Work are both bad.
Now if just one is bad, Home or Work, you can still do OK IMHO as long as one is truly good. Maybe not great but still OK. In fact, what I’m used to seeing is folks overcompensate when Work is Good but Home Isn’t. I had a top engineer in my first start-up that did so many amazing things. And he’d always be the last one out the door at night. Every night, I’d try to get him to go home when I did. But he just wanted to stay. And often he’d be there all day Saturday, too. The reality is I Iearned he loved his job — but just didn’t want to be home. He wasn’t happy there. So he threw himself into work even more.
But since March 2020, I’ve seen the opposite happen, for whatever reason. It’s probably all the change. But I’ve seen more and more talented folks unhappy at home … take it out on work. Maybe working remote is part of it. But they basically blame work for things that aren’t so bad at work.
And I see that lead to a lot of wrong career decisions. Folks jumping to new roles that are worse, not better, especially. And realizing 6-12 months later, actually, they had it pretty darn good.
My only advice is this: if you think you’re unhappy at work, but the job and your boss is good, just make sure. Just make sure the real issue is at work.