Three months ago, I started a new job. This happened at the end of a long and difficult job search, and while I was optimistic, I was also cautious, because my previous job had not turned out to be the great experience I was hoping for. Things started out pretty great, and one month into the job, I was definitely happy. Two months later, that's absolutely still the case. Things are not perfect, but I have more good days than bad ones (even though some weeks don't feel like that), and I know that with time I will continue to feel more comfortable and confident in my work.
I have noticed that I'm getting more comfortable with my work. I still need help sometimes, especially now that I've been popping into our backend code base now and then, but I find the times when I feel completely overwhelmed fewer and further between. I've not only learned our codebase, I've learned a lot about Typescript and a little bit about state machines. I've also learned more about testing and about code quality. I've learned to work with a design system and to make my code match mocks from my team's amazing UX designer. The past three months have been a fantastic learning opportunity, and I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to learn new things and begin to level up my skills.
I've also found support in my personal professional goals. One of my goals for 2020 is to become more comfortable with public speaking so that I can share my knowledge through talks. I mentioned this in a meeting with my manager, and he suggested that I start small and work my way up to larger crowds. We discussed my potentially giving a talk at our front end engineering meeting (which we do every other week). A few weeks ago I did this, facilitating a discussion about documenting our tribal knowledge. The discussion went well (I was so glad that my teammates participated), but I still felt extremely nervous before, during, and after the meeting, so I'm not sure that I'm ready to move on to the next step.
Even though things are mostly going well, I still have my struggles. Every time I write code, I worry that I'm going to break the app. Every time I put in a pull request, I'm afraid that one of my teammates will point out something major that I did wrong or forgot. Even though the one time I merged code that broke something it was caught before it could cause any problems (and I fixed it easily), I still fear that I will eventually break the app, a fear that I think comes in part from the fact that this is my first job where my focus is on writing code for a production app (at my last job, I was primarily working on an internal tool). I still don't feel entirely comfortable speaking up when I'm not comfortable with the way things are done. Even though I know my contributions are valuable, I still don't feel like I'm doing anything of substance.
And then there's the social aspect. I still don't always feel like I fit in. There are days when I bring my lunch to the kitchen and eat with my teammates, but there are also days when I'm eating alone in the kitchen or eating at my desk. Occasionally I'll go out for coffee with my teammates, but I don't always get invited, and I haven't really yet felt comfortable inviting others for a coffee run. While I get along really well with my teammates, I still don't feel like we're "work friends", and I'm not even entirely convinced that my team likes me or my work.
While things at my job are not perfect, they're about as good as I can expect them to be after 90 days. I've been learning and becoming more comfortable with my work. I'm starting to speak up in meetings and help ensure that my teammates and I are able to work effectively. I'm even starting to spend a little time with my coworkers, occasionally eating lunch in the kitchen or joining teammates for a coffee run. I still have work to do before I feel fully comfortable, but I believe that I'm on the right path, and 90 days into the job, that's the best I can ask for.