Just wrapping up orientation at dream company and completely overwhelmed

Dec 5, 2019 26 Comments

I think Ive been in a panic attack for the last 24 hours and I dont know how to deal with it anymore or what to do.

Basically, I got out of school a year and a half ago and started working at a startup. While I was there I thought I was a 10xer. Id complete all my sprint tasks no problem, owned and built the backend for “huge” features and thought I was working my ass off.

Our process was basically, CEO talks to customer and finds out what they want, we discuss how that can be done, product guy does a wireframe design, I write an API spec for everything the frontend should need, we verify that with our frontend contracting team, I build API, they build frontend, we write some loose testcases, merge to master, we manual test, and then ./deploy.sh and its live.

In the end while money was tight I did a little bit of frontend as well, but I mean barely anything. More like maintaining, but I knew what every API does.

I just got an offer from my dream company, almost 3x what I made before. I excitedly accepted the offer. And started orientation this week. I wasnt even remotely nervous about working, I was more nervous about having to socialize at orientation.

Orientation has basically been nonstop engineering school, and ho.ly.shit. The processes are insane. theres a giant monorepo, they dont use any open source tools its all internal tooling. Github? nah internal. Cassandra? Nah, internal. Kubernetes? Nope, internal. Review tools are internal tools, deployments handled by internal tools, etc etc. Want to use an instance of this? see this team. Want to use an instance of that, see that team. See this helpdesk, see that helpdesk. Its just insane.

Then I start digging into my teams slack and jira and holy shit, these people are 10xers. They are pushing tons of code all the time, even the guy who joined the team a few months ago and just out of school is pumping out so much work, he makes the guy I looked up to at my last company look like he didnt know shit. I was suddenly hit with the realization that Im maybe a half xer at best and have just been surrounded by really poor talent.

I cant sleep, I cant eat, I cant even think straight. its like I have 1000 voices in my head screaming at me. I got off work today around 5 and wanted nothing more than to sleep, but I couldnt. I went and got dinner with my gf and met her brother for the first time and I could barely eat a spoonful or keep a conversation going.

When we got back my gf was excitedly trying to talk to me about stuff and I was literally just closing my eyes trying to drown out everything until I eventually snapped at her. And I never snap. She was horrified. I told her how I was feeling and she just didnt get it.

When I do sleep, I dream intensely about the company Im working at and wake up hundreds of times in the night. Everyone else in my orientation, seems totally chill and unphased by everything we’re learning but I feel completely buried. I feel like Im not gonna be able to produce any work and its making me extremely anxious and depressed. The only thing giving me hope is that my team is taking 2 weeks off for christmas and I figure I can spend those 2 weeks getting ahead without letting anyone know so I can seem at least on par with everyone.

Has anyone who moved from a small company with no processes to a large company felt like this? Im sure given time Ill adjust but I dont know how to deal with this in the meantime. I feel physically ill. I feel mentally disconnected from reality, like this is all a dream. I just want to shut my brain off and sleep but I cant. I feel like a schizo or something.

YOE: 1.5
TC: 210k


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TOP 26 Comments
  • Dell / Design

    Dell Design

    Charles Schwab, Dell
    So you’re not gonna tell us where?!
    Dec 5, 2019 2
    • Thoughtworks kemosabe
      It's google. You didn't read the description?
      Dec 6, 2019
    • Microsoft aaaaaaa
      Not Google. Slack and jira wouldn't be used
      Dec 6, 2019
  • SAP


    Guessing Amazon or FB... Google and Microsoft have soft rampups for new hires, and Netflix doesn't hire newbies.

    OP: first make things right with your gf. Second, don't worry about your coworkers, just put your head down and grind it out. You'll make sense of things eventually. Keep long work hours at first but take frequent breaks to keep yourself sane.
    Dec 5, 2019 2
    • SAP


      And congrats. You've made it far. This is your starting point, not any sort of destination.
      Dec 5, 2019
    • Amazon broke&dumb
      Amazon is nobody's dream company
      Dec 5, 2019
  • Amazon / Data DEcL21
    What company
    Dec 5, 2019 3
    • Amazon jаw
      Sounds like Albertsons.
      Dec 5, 2019
    • Optimizely / Admin thanxk
      Nah. OP definitely gets more than one free banana a week.
      Dec 6, 2019
  • New / Eng Fron Tend
    I'd say take it slow. There is no reason to be thinking in such downward spirals and comparing yourself to other employees. You might be thinking they are 10x, but then really find out they are just normal. Don't let your mind get the best of you
    Dec 5, 2019 0
  • Google Krepton
    It is called imposter syndrome. We all suffer from it. It will be painful and it can either depress you and make you fail or motivate you to work harder and be successful. It is up to you how to handle it.

    But regardless of what happens next, don’t go down without a fight.
    Dec 5, 2019 0
  • Microsoft / Eng GCYz04
    Step 1: Do what matters first: apologize to your girlfriend for snapping at her.
    Life is already difficult, employers will come and go, but the right people won’t. This is most important.

    Step 2: Don’t worry too much.
    It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. You made it this far, you got this!

    Step 3: find an experienced ally/mentor to get you started
    I went from a 15ppl startup to a 100k+ one and I was also overwhelmed with processes, tooling etc. Having a person teach you the ropes as you onboard is a great way to offload some of that overwhelming feeling.

    Step 4: don’t work on weekends or pull 10+ hour days.
    Mental health is crucial plus the company doesn’t give a damn about the time you’ll never get back. Needless to say that studies show your work degrades as your mind gets tired. Spend that time with your gf/friends/family on fun activities. You’ll only regret not having spent more time away from work when it’s too late.

    Good luck! You made it this far, you can do this! Know it will get easier.
    Dec 5, 2019 0
  • Uber / Eng itsdara1
    Probably FB
    Dec 5, 2019 2
    • Amazon vydbvrh
      FB doesn't use Cassandra?
      Dec 5, 2019
    • Peloton vMKz75
      Yup they don't lol , even though they built it
      Dec 6, 2019
  • Amazon / Eng escaflowne
    This is really normal at large companies. You'll get there.
    Dec 5, 2019 0
  • Amazon Sleepy Cat
    What guides me through these situations is to tell myself “if they can do it so can I.” You’re a smart person, give it time and learn the tools. You’re going to be fine. Maybe 10+ hour days aren’t a bad idea.
    Dec 5, 2019 0
  • Microsoft kapps
    You'll get used to it brah
    Dec 5, 2019 0


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