Shaping My Career

Life: I got engaged! And my college bestie got engaged a week later!
– I flew out to the east coast for one weekend and had a small engagement ceremony at my parent’s house. I flew right back to California to attend an onsite interview.
– My mom is hardcore planning my wedding already. I feel like there’s a lot of miscommunication between my parents and my boyfriend’s parents as compared to me and my boyfriend. It may also be that my mom has a lot of free time to overthink things, gets stressed incredibly easily, and has (sometimes unreasonably) high expectations of everyone around her.
– We haven’t made our relationship social media official yet. We have to at least wait until my boyfriend calls or messages all of his close friends and relatives with the news.

Health & wellness: I didn’t work out at all in June. And I don’t have health insurance now that it’s July.
– I took advantage of being out of work to catch up on appointments with my doctor and dentist. I got a 6-month dental checkup and annual physical in the last week of June while I still had coverage. I also got a tetanus shot and had blood work done. I’m grateful for my health and won’t need any appointments till December/January, when I’m due to visit the optometrist and dentist.
– I have until August to elect COBRA coverage and have it be retroactively applied to July. The health insurance I had under my employer would cost $645/month. This is too much coverage and too expensive for my non-existent needs, so I’ve been meaning to look into Obamacare. I’ll spend more time on this towards the end of July after I finish my job search.

– I didn’t have any income in June and am surprised at how little I thought about money. I worried a little about cash flow after paying July rent before my roommates paid me back for their part of the rent, but things went smoothly overall. After my last paycheck of $4K gets deposited next week, I won’t need to think about money till mid-August.
– I’m still holding $6K cash in my brokerage account but don’t expect to need it until the end of August if I haven’t gotten my first paycheck by then.
– My portfolio could use rebalancing but it’s not urgent so I’ll wait till I finish my job search.
– Facebook announced a new currency called Libra which caused Bitcoin to jump in value. As a result I added my crypto wallet under “Other Assets”. It contains 2 ETH and I’ll keep it a static category going forward.

– I successfully navigated a dozen onsites so far and am fielding multiple job offers. I have more onsites next week and possibly the week after so I’m still practicing my interview skills this weekend.
– Now I’m starting to reflect on what I really want in a new role and whether I could picture actually working at various companies for multiple years. I’m also wondering how to shape my career. For example if I take a job doing a similar type of engineering as I have been doing, then will I become a specialist in a couple more years and have more generalist opportunities close as a result? (No.) Should I stick with public companies as I have been doing thus far in my career or am I ready to take the compensation risk to join late-stage startups? (I have enough net worth that I feel okay accepting a job at a startup I believe in.) Say the company I do want to join can’t match the highest offer I receive, then do I forget the money and join the company I like? How much do I hold out until a good company comes along that is willing to pay more than any other offer? (Depends on how much interview fatigue I have at the end of this month.)
– Another focus is to negotiate well and get a competitive offer that reflects the skills I’ve honed in the last 2 years. My best written offer so far is from a public company at $165K salary and $65K RSUs per year. While I primarily care about the team and type of work I’ll be doing in my new job, I still want to be paid well. If I can successfully convey this to recruiters then I could profit by hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.

The Importance of Having a Mentor

Happy Holidays! I attended a family wedding over Thanksgiving weekend and stayed at my parent’s house the week after the wedding, so I just got back to California this past Sunday. It was a pretty long wedding since I also attended dinner events for the couple’s close friends and family for two nights before wedding day, but mostly it went smoothly. My parents let me take it easy at home last week since they could tell I was really tired after traveling and attending the wedding. This had the added effect of going easy on my credit card balances. I stayed in my sister’s bedroom and raided her dresser and desk while home; we’re similar sizes so this turned up some nice “new” clothes she let me take. I’m thinking of going back for the last week of December.

Otherwise, I’m grinding away… I took the online traffic school course, just need to confirm that they’ve told the county that I passed. And I rolled over IRA into my 401K, which is why I can zero out the Other Assets category. Fidelity made this really easy since I could just photograph the checks on their NetBenefits app. I’m grateful! Now my remaining IRA is Roth and I will be able to do backdoor Roth IRA contributions next year. My boyfriend has no IRA so I’ve sent him various resources on doing a backdoor Roth IRA contribution and told him to do it THIS YEAR. He’s promised me he will open one by the end of this week.

I worked out 10 times in November, which is quite good considering I was gone for a third of the month. My nose is still alternately stuffed or runny, but I feel better rested than a month ago. The week at home really helped!

I made some progress on my two remaining quarterly goals, honestly I’ll be happy to even finish one of them by the holiday shutdown in two weeks. Speaking with other women in my org this week made me realize that almost everyone else has a mentor. Since I’ve joined my company, I’ve cycled between viewing multiple people as my mentors but circumstances have forced these relationships to deteriorate somewhat. One high-level engineer moved to Seattle, I only see him in person every few months if he visits California. Another mid-level engineer stopped meeting me regularly in order to focus on his own career progression, he’s the one who got promoted in September and he’s super-busy now. And finally the last high-level engineer to join our team became my manager, so she can’t mentor me anymore even though I see her every day. These are the three people at my company who I’ve tried the most to open up to, they know my vulnerabilities the best and they’ve given me countless tips. The guy from Seattle is in California this week and catching up with him helped me shift to a broader perspective. I’ve decided to set up monthly video calls with him. I feel like I’ve gotten into a rut and notice myself repeating the same mistakes. I hope some of the things he suggested me will help me grow out of it. I will take all the help I can get at work right now. How about you? What have you learned from a mentor?

All about family

I have shifted these entries later and later, to the point that this entry is three weeks late. No bueno. I will work on recording them earlier going forward. I also want to get to work earlier going forward. I’m really busy at work nowadays and I want to get more focus hours by being at work in the morning when fewer people are around. I also signed up to do a small dance at my company in two weeks. Going to dance practice in the mornings will be a good motivator for two weeks at least. Another incentive is that I will go home on time without feeling guilty.

I traveled and attended a family wedding last weekend. It was a nice ceremony and I enjoyed catching up with most of my extended family. At the same time I acknowledge that I have some less than pleasant family members who I don’t enjoy interacting with, namely one cousin who excluded me from performing a dance with her and our other cousins on the wedding stage. Most of my family members treat and respect me like a capable adult, I’m learning to ignore the select few who do not.

A new Staff Software Engineer joined my team last month. She came from the same company I was at before I joined LinkedIn. She and I are the two women in our team. Having her around makes me feel less alone. I also had a six-month mini performance review with my manager today where we went through the company’s performance guidelines and he told me I’m performing at my seniority level. I’m lucky to have a communicative manager. I’ve grown a lot in the past six months and I’m happy with myself for this. I have a good job paying an amazing salary where I can learn and thrive without burning out or completely trashing my health. I recognize I should be more confident in my abilities and push back saying I am exceeding expectations, I hope that will come with time.

I spent a lot of time with my parents over the past week and I’ve been pointing out and convincing them of small changes I’d like them to make. Often times my father says some small indiscretion aloud for everyone to hear instead of taking me or my sister aside to tell us individually. And my mother overcompensates for my father when he does this. This happened in August when my father commented, as he often does, that the skirt my sister was wearing was too short. That annoyed her, but she held it together. Then my mom commented that if my sister just got skinnier the skirt wouldn’t expose so much of her thighs. That pushed my sister over the edge and she stayed holed up in bed the rest of the night instead of coming to that important dinner with my boyfriend’s family. I hope my parents improve, I have more hope that my mom will than that my dad will change.

I lived with my boyfriend for over a week and it was glorious except for the last day when we fought and I stormed out. We made up that evening but I’m less confident in this relationship than I was in August. I’ve been having too many arguments with him and we’ve said a lot of hurtful words on both sides.

Other than that, I finally sent the last check from the old 401k to my new one. Yay for me I guess. Till next time!

Monthly Networthshare Entry: