reflecting on four years

reflecting on four years

Two days ago, I wrapped up my last day at LinkedIn.

When I started in 2016, I felt thrilled walking into the campus on Stierlin Court. Sitting through the corporate orientation was humbling - I immediately felt like a fraud and that I was lucky to be sitting there. The one thing that stood out to me was the corporate exhortation to "transform your career." I'm usually quite cynical, but I figured that in this case forced optimism about oneself wouldn't be too harmful.

I spent the first few months floundering as I slowly came up to speed with the new working environment. I had intense imposter syndrome. It didn't really get much better. Many of the people I was working with were clearly on another level from me. I assuaged my discomfort by viewing my presence as performing the necessary service of backfilling out the left half of the normal distribution of talent.

Over time, my self-assessment improved, putting myself at "about average" for an SRE at LinkedIn. Thanks to some help from teammates and managers, I was able to work on some projects, steal some tricks, and level up. I did get better in some ways, even if I still felt inadequate. The person who started in 2016 would be impressed by the person leaving in 2021. My career did end up transforming after all.

Now, I'm looking forward to see what further transformations I'm capable of.