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你是怎样得知自己什么时候该离开现在的公司的?

你是怎样得知自己什么时候该离开现在的公司的?

原作者:Edmond Lau,  Quora工程师

如果你看到了这样的一些信号,那你就应该考虑一下要不要离开自己现在的公司了,包括:

  • 没有得到公正的待遇。
  • 被虐待,被低估或者没有被尊重。
  • 你不认同公司的根本策略和做法,而且你没有权力改变这些。
  • 不能跟你的经理和团队成员好好相处。
  • 无法适应公司的企业文化。

如果你想跳槽的话,以上都是些正当的理由,而且它们也不难找出。

但如果你在现在的职位上能够学习到的东西不断减少,到达了瓶颈,也是可以考虑离职的。这样不起眼的一个离职理由可能很多人不会意识到,但是它却对大多数的人都有影响。跳槽到另外的一个工作团队或者公司就意味着你有机会接触到完全不同的学习曲线,从而加速你的学习过程。

通常来说,我们都应关注自己在职位上能够学习的东西,这点对于职场新人来讲尤其重要。学习不仅是对你自己未来的一项投资,同时它也是一个积累的过程。知识不仅能产生新的知识,而且有更多的知识作为基础可以使你更快地获得知识。这就是为什么大多数人在大学学得比高中多,在高中学得比初中多的原因。所以理想化地来看,离开了大学之后,我们更应该努力学习比以前更多的知识。

帕兰提尔技术公司[i]的联合创始人斯蒂芬·科恩(Stephen Cohen)在一次对“为什么大学毕业生应该在创业公司而不是知名公司工作”的讨论中重点讲述了学习累积效应的重要性:

如果22岁的你在斯坦福毕业之后被谷歌聘用了,你将会投入朝九晚五的工作当中。不过这样的工作时间已经算长的了,因为更多的时候你的工作时间是11点到3点。他们会以优厚的薪酬换取你轻松的工作。但这份薪酬实际上是你要接受一个更低的知识成长速度的补偿。当你意识到知识是不断累积的时候,你已经为错过长期积累的机会付出了巨大的代价。他们给你的并不是你一生中最好的机会。接下来还会出现这样一件可怕的事情:有一天你可能会意识到你的锋芒已被磨平,你已经不能再造辉煌,不再对新鲜事物充满热情。在这样的地方一切都显得那么唾手可得。于是你变得安于现状,止步不前。

创业公司不一定适合每一个人,不过不要小看你的知识增长速度这样的一个观点仍然适用。

对现在工作的热情这一点呢?对自己公司的使命和自己的工作充满热情是你保持快速知识增长的关键。热情和有意义的工作为你的长期学习提供了动力,同时也使得你可以更经常地保持极佳的工作状态。米哈里·契克森米哈(Mihayli Csikszentmihalyi)先生是世界上首屈一指的积极心理学的研究员,他发展了一个叫做“流动”(flow)的理论。“流动”是一种你充分享受你手上工作的状态,在这种状态下你甚至不会意识到时间的流逝。他同时也发现了更多的“流动”状态会带来更多的快乐。除非你真心认同和享受自己的工作,不然你将会很难保持学习的积极性,也无法进入“流动”的状态。当然如果你真的喜欢你的工作,想不渐入佳境的很难呀。

想要评估自己的学习率,首先你需要知道在工作上可以有哪些类型的学习。

针对你工作职责的专业技术。以软件工程师这个职位为例,这样的技术可能包括学习一门新的编程语言、熟悉新的编程工具、提高自己设计新系统的能力等。熟练掌握这些技术可以使你更加专业,成为一名资深的员工。

优先级判断。很多时候,你手头上都会有数十甚至数百件任务需要处理,每一件任务都有自己的价值。在任意时间内能够根据不同任务的价值来定义它们的优先级是很难做到的,但这可能也是你在职业生涯中能够学到的最有用的技能。

执行力。你要学习如何建立自己的产品或者服务,还有如何持续高效地完成它们。

下级管理技能。一个企业组织的发展速度越快,你也可能越快成为团队的资深人员。你的资历使得你有机会指导或者管理其他的团队成员,打造企业文化和发展理念,以及影响团队的发展方向。

团队领导能力。领导团队变得更加高效所需的技能跟管理个人不一样。应该怎样设置团队目标呢?怎样与其他团队成员高效合作以及减少交流成本呢?你怎样去维持团队凝聚力呢?

在职业发展的不同阶段,你将会对这些能力有不同程度的重视,而且应该寻找可以发展这些能力的机会。这些能力中的大部分都是可以在你的工作中总结归纳的。你可以把这些能力带到你的下一份工作中。

你也可以学到一些对你职业成功很重要的东西,不过有的可能就不那么容易转化到另外的公司。而这就是对于做好一家公司的某些流程的规范化学习:怎样获得关键决策人的赞成、怎样把自己喜欢的项目提到更高的优先级、怎样在公司的资源分配过程为自己的团队争取到更多的资源等等。其中有一些是你需要做好的,也有一些是对你未来会有帮助的。不过因为这些类型的学习是针对特定的企业官僚或者你需要处理的过程,所以这样的学习价值就低得多了。

刚刚加入一家公司的时候,你的学习曲线一般都会非常的陡峭(希望如此,如果你的选择是好的话)。你会沉浸在新的技术、新的产品以及新的团队中,同时你也会有机会学习到多个方面的知识。我大学刚毕业加入谷歌的时候,前六个月我都学习到了很多。谷歌在谷歌教育(GoogleEDU)的训练材料中做得很好。我沉浸在了研究核心抽象存在的原因及其工作模式的代码实验室中。我学习到了可以引领我到达最好的产业应用的代码风格。我阅读了关于搜索索引的设计文档以及其他内建的可扩展工程系统。我学习了如何建立以及发布在google.com上每天被上亿网民看到的内容。

你的学习速率可能会由于组织本身的问题而下降(可能是工作流程过于官僚化,限制了你进步与快速成长的能力)或者由于团队发展速度赶不上产品的复杂程度。第二种情况让你很难去转换项目来尝试新的东西。

我在谷歌的时候还是有一段时间意识到了很多项目都没有一个具体的发布途径,或者没有透明的决策流程,我都不能够看到或者控制它们,这时我就知道开始出现不好的苗头了。能够发布新产品对我来说是很重要的,因为我想要学习如何打造伟大的产品。而且快速、相互的反馈是学习的必要基础。我预计了一下在谷歌多留一年能够做出的成就,我并不满足于此,所以我辞职了。当然如果我留在那里也能学到很多东西——我可以潜心研究更多主要系统的内部细节,但是这样的话,我的学习速率就不能跟我刚刚开始时相提并论了。

我以相似的理由离开了Ooyala[ii],因为我感觉到在公司的学习遇到了瓶颈。我在那里学到了如何建立和销售企业产品、flash视频的细节与分析、项目估算和团队管理等等。我清楚地感到我能在工程师的岗位上学到更多,尤其是在小型且快速成长的团队中建立产品的时候。我在Ooyala工作了一段时间之后才发现自己对建立面向企业的产品不是很感兴趣,我反而更想去做一些我每天都会用到的消费者产品。

我在Quora工作已经两年了。我很高兴自己仍然在高速持续学习当中[5][6],当然我们的产品主要是面向学习这一点对我也很有帮助。

我大三夏天在微软实习的时候,我从朋友的导师那得到了一个非常好的建议:至少每隔两年就对你自己的工作进行重新审视及反思。即使你对自己的工作十分满意,这样做就能迫使你自己去检验自己确实是享受这份工作以及学到东西,而不是仅仅感到舒适而已。

[1] http://blakemasters.tumblr.com/post/21437840885/peter-thiels-cs183-startup-class-5-notes-essay

[2] http://qr.ae/1vcv2

[3] Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 2008.

[4] http://qr.ae/1vcnu

[5] http://qr.ae/1vctP

[6] http://qr.ae/1vct9


[i] 帕兰提尔(Palantir):一家提供数据库分析平台服务的公司。

[ii] Ooyala:一家提供网络视频技术服务的公司。

原文地址

英文原文:

A number of red flags should cause you to reconsider your position at your current company, including:

  • being compensated unfairly.
  • being mistreated, undervalued, or disrespected.
  • disagreeing with the fundamental strategy or practices of the company and not being in a position to change them.
  • failing to get along with your manager and your teammates.
  • failing to fit in with the company culture.

These types of reasons aren’t too hard to identify and provide concrete justifications for trying something new.

It’s also time to leave when your learning rate at your job tapers off and starts to plateau.  This is a much more subtle reason for leaving that’s harder for people to recognize but likely affects a much larger group of people.  Transitioning to another team or company provides an opportunity to switch to a different learning curve and to accelerate your learning.

Paying attention to your learning rate is important in general but particularly important for young professionals.  Learning is an investment in yourself for the future.  It also compounds — knowledge not only begets knowledge, but more knowledge gives you a foundation upon which to gain knowledge even faster.  This is why most people learn more in college than they did in high school and more in high school than they did in earlier years.  Ideally, out of college, you should set yourself up to learn even more than before.

Palantir co-founder Stephen Cohen captures the importance of the compounding effects of learning, in an argument for why college graduates ought to work at startups instead of established companies [1]:

If you graduate Stanford at 22 and Google recruits you, you’ll work a 9-to-5. It’s probably more like an 11-to-3 in terms of hard work. They’ll pay well. It’s relaxing. But what they are actually doing is paying you to accept a much lower intellectual growth rate. When you recognize that intelligence is compounding, the cost of that missing long-term compounding is enormous. They’re not giving you the best opportunity of your life. Then a scary thing can happen: You might realize one day that you’ve lost your competitive edge. You won’t be the best anymore. You won’t be able to fall in love with new stuff. Things are cushy where you are. You get complacent and stall.

Startups might not be for everyone, but the message about not shortchanging your intellectual growth rate still applies.

What about a passion for what you’re working on?  A strong passion and excitement in your company mission or in what you’re doing is critical to sustaining a steep learning curve.  Passion and meaningful work supply the motivation for long-term learning [2] and allow you to stay in a state of flow more often.  Mihayli Csikszentmihalyi, one of the world’s leading researchers in positive psychology, developed the theory of “flow,” a state where you enjoy what you’re doing so much that you don’t even notice the passage of time, and found that more flow generally leads to more happiness. [3]  It’s hard to stay motivated to learn or to enter a state of flow in the long run unless you believe in and enjoy what you do, and it’s also hard not to be getting better if you love what you’re doing.

Assessing your learning rate first requires identifying the many different types of learning can happen on a job:

  • Technical learning specific to your job function.  For a software engineering position, for example, this might include things like learning a new language, getting familiar with new tools, improving your ability to design new systems, etc.  Getting better at these skills makes you more proficient as an individual contributor.
  • Prioritization skills.  Oftentimes, there are tens or hundreds of things that you could be working on that might generate value.  Figuring out the highest leverage activity that generates the most value for the least amount of work at any given point is hard, but it’s probably the single most valuable lesson you can learn professionally. [4]
  • Execution.  Learning how to or how not to build and deliver a great product or service and how to do it consistently and on time takes practice.
  • Mentorship / management skills.  The faster an organization grows, the sooner you become a more senior member of the team.  Seniority provides opportunities to mentor or manage other teammates, to shape the company culture and values that develop, and to influence the direction of the team.
  • Team leadership skills.  The skills needed to make a team function effectively differ from those needed to be productively as an individual.  How should milestones be organized?  How do you coordinate effectively and minimize communication overhead?  How do you make sure a team gels?

At various points in your career, you’ll value these skills differently and should seek out opportunities that develop the skills you value.  All of these skills are mostly generalizable beyond your job at your current company.  You take those skills and experiences with you to your next job.

There’s also a type of learning that’s important for career success but that is less transferable to other companies.  And that’s institutional learning on how to function well within the specific processes defined at the company: how to get the approval of key gatekeepers for decisions, how to get projects you believe in prioritized on the roadmap, how to negotiate for more resources for your team given the company’s resource allocation process, etc.  Some amount of this is necessary to do well, and some of the negotation and persuasion skills will help in the future, but to the extent that much of this learning deals with the particular bureacracy or process that you need to deal with, it’s significantly less valuable than other types of learning.

When you first join a company, the learning curve usually starts really steep (hopefully, if you’ve made a good choice).  You’re immersed in new technologies, in a new product, and on a new team, and there are opportunities to learn along multiple dimensions.  When I first joined Google right out of college, I learned a lot in my first six months there.  Google’s done a great job with their GoogleEDU training materials.  I soaked in all the codelabs that discussed why core abstractions existed and how they worked.  I studied programming style guides to learn best industry practices.  I read design docs about search indexing and other scalable engineering systems being built internally.  I learned to build and ship something seen by tens to hundreds of millions of people per day on google.com.

Your learning rate might decrease due to organizational issues (maybe processes have become too bureaucratic and limit your ability to iterate and launch quickly) or due to maintenance issues where the team doesn’t grow quickly enough to scale with the complexity of the product.  The second makes it hard for you to switch projects and work on new things.

Warning flags for me at Google started to appear when I realized that many projects either had no concrete launch paths or depended on non-transparent approval processes over which I had little visibility or control.  Being able to launch products was important to the extent that I wanted to learn how to build great products, and quick, iterative feedback is a necessary foundation for learning.  When I projected what I could accomplish and reasonably launch by staying an additional year, I didn’t feel satisfied, so I left.  There was certainly more I could have learned by staying — I could have dug into the internals of more major systems — but my rate of learning no longer mirrored what I encountered when I first started.

I similarly left Ooyala when I felt that my own learning rate at the company began to plateau.  While I was there, I learned about building and selling an enterprise product, the intricacies of flash video and analytics, project estimation and team organization, and more.  I left when it became clear to me that I could learn much more on engineering and on building a product by joining a smaller and faster-growing team.  A contributing factor that I only discovered after working at Ooyala for a while was that I wasn’t nearly as excited and motivated to work on an enterprise product as I was to work on a consumer product that I would actually use everyday.

Having worked at Quora for two years, I’m happy that I’m still continuously learning new things at a good rate [5, 6], and it certainly helps that the product itself is also so learning-focused.

When I interned at Microsoft the summer of my junior year in college, I received a good piece of advice secondhand from a friend’s mentor: always re-examine and reflect on where you are in your career at least every two years.  Even if you’re perfectly happy with your job, the exercise forces you to check that you are actually enjoying your work and learning on the job rather than just being comfortable.

———-

[1] http://blakemasters.tumblr.com/p…
[2] What motivates an early employee to work in a startup?
[3] Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 2008.
[4] What’s the single most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your professional life?
[5] http://www.quora.com/Edmond-Lau/…
[6] http://www.quora.com/Edmond-Lau/…


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