Today is the first day of my last week with my current company. My last day will be June 2 and starting my new position on the June 11.
It’s a very surreal feeling. This is only the second job I’ve resigned from, but I’ve been here longer than I was at my previous job. I grew to know and care about my teammates and colleagues. I became well acquainted with my work and I was good at it. I could be abrasive at times, to the point of starting arguments and disputes with my coworkers. Still, I was surprised by the amount of goodwill I still held with many of my colleagues when announcing my leave. They seemed to express genuine sadness that I was leaving, but understood why I had made my decision.
Given how awful I could be, I am sincerely grateful for all the kind thoughts and words from my colleagues. I will remember this place with great fondness for the people I worked alongside.
Still – there are many reasons that I’m leaving.
Network Operation Centers tend to be busy places. The main jobs of any NOC Analyst is to monitor the network for issues, and communicate with the people that have the power to fix it. But our NOC did much more than that.
We were in charge of monitoring and internal communication, as well as basic troubleshooting of issues, ticket management, outage management, documentation of fix actions for future reference, maintaining of such documentation, communication of issues to our customers and general public, benchmarking pre- and post-maintenances, answering and routing phone calls missed by our ever-absent receptionist, and eventually the development of monitoring tools we could not receive from our Monitoring Development team.
Any day in the NOC could be painstakingly boring and formulaic, or overwhelmingly busy and hectic.
Pay was unsurprisingly low for the amount of work I did. That’s pretty much guaranteed at any job. But it was the symptom of a bigger issue: my skills were not being used to their fullest extent. I have experience in software development and system administration, and yet for two years my job title read Network Analyst, and later Senior Network Analyst, leaving me to deal with the monotony of the NOC.
Despite repeated efforts to transition to engineering groups, such as our Monitoring Development and DevOps teams, I was unable to move up and out of Network Operations. Any offers that did exist required me to relocate to California, which I primarily rejected because I didn’t want to set the precedent for my office that the only way to progress one’s career was through relocation.
Thus, after months of fruitless frustration, I found another position and resigned.
Following my announcement of resignation, upper management asked to speak to me prior to my leaving. I thought they might try to counteroffer, which I figured I might as well hear in case of a better opportunity.
I still have too high expectations of this company.
I was told by my vice president that I could have come to him the moment that I had trouble trying to schedule interviews and temp opportunities with my engineering groups. Though painted with the tones and words of diplomacy, the core of what he was communicating was very clear:
You should have just come to me to fix your problems. It’s your fault for not talking to me sooner. I could have had this fixed if you had only told me.
This left a very bad taste in my mouth.
I was asked if there was any advice I could leave for management and upper management. There was plenty.
The NOC isn’t a whipping boy. It is full of good-natured, hard-working, intelligent people. If engineers are the bricks of a company, operations is the mortar. The NOC should be appreciated and rewarded for their hard work. Not chastised for small mistakes and made into visual spectacles for tours of visitors.
Let people exercise their abilities to the extent of their potential. Let them work on what they find interesting and what they believe they can improve. It improves morale and makes people feel that there is a purpose to their work, as opposed to making endless tickets on servers that will always break and circuits that will always overload. And when they do good work, reward them.
Lastly: approach your team. There is no reason an analyst should ever feel the need to approach the Vice President themselves to find resolution to their issues. If VPs are so inclined to know the issues, they should be approaching the analyst. If they are not so inclined, they need to rely on the managers they have appointed to manage the people they’ve hired. And if those managers are not performing in that regard, they are the ones that need to be spoken to.
I won’t say much about my next job. I neither know that much about coming responsibilities nor the horrors that await me, but that really doesn’t matter here.
I wanted to lay bare my reasons for leaving, as candidly as possible.
To those whom I’m leaving: I wish you the best. You all are very special to me and I am sincerely sad to be leaving you, especially with the state that the NOC is in. I hope things do improve following my leave. Hold on as long as you are able, and as soon as you aren’t, assure yourself of your worth, and quickly make your exit.
I care for you all deeply, and hope you all find success in all your endeavors.
Wish me luck.