First Few Weeks at the New Job

So, the amazing month of unemployment ended, and I got a job. I'm the new girl. Again. In two teams of all boys. Again. And again I don't know anyones names, and I'm still trying to get a handle on all the things they've done and wrap my head around all the things they haven't. They have a process. It's a great process. It's a by the seat of your pants, speakers up to eleven, let's GO kind of process. Which is to say, it's bizarre mix of controlled chaos.

And they don't really know what I do. There's this great idea that they know what a UX person does is great and they should have some kind of UX stuff happen, but on a day to day basis... they drew a bit of a blank as to how I was meant to fit in. There wasn't a slot for me to slide into, it's been more of a hack my way in, carve myself a space and I'm learning how to be louder, how to negotiate, willing my ux-ness into an all development process.

I've already heard things like "We don't have enough time for user testing" or "Nah, *I* would do it this way. Let's do it like that" and "We use drive, why do we need a wiki?" and "Nah, you don't need a Thunderbolt display. Here, have one that makes your designs all blurry" and "you need to put your leave in RIGHT NOW cause it's URGENT! And it's URGENT just in case your line manager might leave" (he's not leaving) and just... I'm standing on the edge of chaos, with all the people and all the loud things and all the opinions and all the politics.

I'm slowly convincing people that there is a good way to do things ("but *I* do it *this* way"), and then there's a better way ("let's test and see!"), that we should not just talk about solutions right out, but ask 'what's the problem?' first. That there is learning to be done, me learning their ways, and how to be more effective + efficient with all of their tools, and who I need to talk to to get a decision. And some by them, with solutions I know work quite well (oh hai confluence!).

I've introduced Confluence as a way to keep track of things in a central location. There are wireframes, and talking about the problems (and not introducing problems in the form of solutions). I'm going to ignore the politics as not my problem, until it is, and I shall deal with it then and not before.

My high fidelity designs have gotten the thumbs up, and we're moving fast, but now there are reasons and thoughts about the direction (much better than being directed by the loudest voices). My rusty html/javascript got a shake off and after a wobbly start we're moving forward.

I'm finding the close by lunch places, and I know the nearest place to get cash out. I've sort of got a bike route from home down, and I've joined the running club, and the push up club (40 a day, over two sets, 4 x 5 reps. My muscles didn't even know what hit them, and no shit, first time I couldn't even do the first five).

When I first got here, I mostly wasn't sure I wanted to be here. I wasn't sure where I wanted to be, full stop. I wanted to work on my own projects, and sleep in and sit in beer gardens and drink pretty pink drinks with umbrellas. I wanted to rage at a company that made me redundant.

Instead, here I am, and I kind of feel like I've been thrown in the deep end so they could see how I swim, and low and behold swim I did. This new job... it's not the job I had previously (oh Social apps team, I miss (most of) you), or the job before that (which I don't miss at all), but it's the one I have, and they're keeping me on my toes.

It started out as me, and them, but, in rather soppy manner, I think it's becoming an us.

I think it's going to be okay.