As of this writing, I have been in my new role at Expedia for a month and have really enjoyed it. It has been a wild ride leaving the only company I’ve known to embark into a new company culture with new responsibilities. Through that journey into uncharted territory, I have made some observations. My goal with these observations is to help those of you considering making a switch to a different job or company. Not knowing what it was like, this was my first time doing so. I feel the next time I make a jump to another company, which I’m not planning any time soon, I will be much more equipped to do so. Here are my observations:
- Work is… work. This seems like the most obvious statement in the world. I am defining a word using the same word - how does that make any sense? What I’ve noticed after being at Expedia for the past 30+ days is that work, no matter what company it is for, is still going to feel and act like work. There are meetings, there is corporate bureaucracy, there are challenges with technology, etc. It exists regardless of where you go. No company can possibly eliminate all the negative of your current job. While I really like the company I work for now, it still holds a lot of similarities (both good and bad) to my old company. Keep this in mind if you are considering a jump externally. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. In fact, it is usually a similar color green, just a different sized lawn.
- Meeting new people is challenging. It requires a lot of effort to meet new people at a new company. It requires a lot of proactivity and persistence. I am looking to build connections with my new colleagues. In order to do so, I need to go out of my way to meet people. I am “the new guy” and everyone else knows one another pretty well. It is up to me to fit into their circle.
- The learning curve is steep. Coming to a new company and new industry, I’ve had to learn how the industry makes money, how the organization is structured, and what all these acronyms stand for, amongst others. There is so much information to absorb. It is tough for me to ask educated questions because I lack context on the company and industry. This has forced me to ask basic questions so I can create a base layer of knowledge for myself. This has been frustrating, but will pay off, leading us to…
- Patience, patience, patience. I am a naturally impatient person. I want to be up to speed now, I want to succeed today - why should I have to wait for those things? But at a new company, patience is critical. I have had to slow down and be more patient with myself. It is unreasonable for me to expect that I will be up to speed or delivering value at this point. I first need to understand what my projects consist of and who the key players are and then I can start to deliver value. Patience has been a challenge, but it will all be worth it once I am up to speed.
It is easy to compare experiences between two companies, but I’ve found it important to look at them not as comparative experiences, but just as different experiences. They both have and will provide me wth a wide amount of learnings. Pitting them against one another serves no purpose to me or the companies. I am looking forward to the next 30 days and beyond to see what other observations I have in my time at Expedia.