Why are employees coming back? Stories of departing and returning
If you work long enough in one company - for example, eight years (like me, haha) - inevitably there will be a desire to go and see what is on the other side of the usual walls. It happens that you sit in the office kitchen, pour tea and start thinking that somewhere, probably, the tasks are more interesting, and the cookies are tastier, and career growth, and in general it’s time to move somewhere to new horizons ... But this the moment comes a man whom some six months ago escorted just to the same new horizons, and he treated everyone with pizza, promised to write and looked at everyone with some degree of superiority. Like, I’m somehow moving. I'm moving to a new job! Now this is waiting for me, wow!
And here - hello, come! He is here again! But what about new horizons and wow?
You will approach such a person, ask what is how, and he will tell you a funny or sad story about where he was, what he saw there, and why he decided to return. And there were already twenty-one such people who returned to the Veeam office in St. Petersburg from various departments - from development to marketing. After talking with them, I decided to set out what I heard in the form of an article, somehow summarize their experience, and at the same time try to figure out why people decide to return.
“It is a great honor to work in our company”
Let's start with the story of Katie, an employee of our technical support service. Now Katya performs the functions of support manager and escalation team lead in support, but there was a moment when she got the chance to completely change her business and try herself in a world where huge investments are spinning, concrete mixers interfere, and serious adult uncles walk around the office heavy looks like that concrete and the same strong handshakes.
Katya is not one of those who miss the chance, and it’s interesting to see what happens outside the IT industry! Therefore, she took and went into the construction business. However, she practically didn’t have to work directly with serious adult uncles, whom they usually refer to exclusively as “Arthur Vladlenovich” or “Stepan Sergeevich” - she got a job in a fashionable youth department, which was created in this company and looked like a startup, brought up in bowels of a large corporation. But even there, the difference between an IT company and non-IT was felt very distinctly.
First, in that organization, the relationship between management and subordinates turned out to be much more hierarchical and strict. This is an IT company, you, as a rule, can easily go into the office of your boss and talk with him about any matter you are interested in. But on the way to Arthur Vladlenovich, you will first find a “waiting room” with secretaries, then you need to enter “as expected”, modestly lower your eyes, do not embarrass your bosses with your mind and all that jazz. And none of these your hipster “greetings”, “Misha, but I’m thinking ...” and other informal conversations with people who have the word “director” in the column “position”.
Secondly, there you had to deal with the bureaucratization of everything and everything, when you understand that the issue is solved in ten minutes, but you still have to go through seven circles of hell, collect six approvals, make five phone calls to different people, and maybe a week in two, the desired solution will be received. Separately, it is worth noting the need to call for any reason, because e-mail in such companies is still considered an unreliable means of communication, and only a good old telephone (preferably a disk) will never let you down. IT introverts are in shock!
Thirdly, there was a tight schedule when you need to work strictly by the hour, although there is no reasonable explanation why an employee who is not involved in direct work with clients should definitely arrive at 9:00, and arrival at 9:20 is already fraught with penalties. sanctions. It’s just “so it should be with us”.
All these differences as a whole can be reduced to the fact that, firstly, this is another area - construction, where they work with, so to speak, material objects, and also break spears in the battles for tenders and orders and bear a very big responsibility. Secondly, the company employed mainly older people who belonged to the very generation X, which looks with bewilderment at the tricks of generations Y and Z. And the other generation is different values. Such companies operate according to the strict rules worked out over the years, and attempts to change this towards the traditional “fashion and youth” are usually met with bewilderment and resistance, since this business is tough, harsh and managed by completely different people than they rule in the IT industry. Those who work in such places know that there is incredible rigidity in large Russian corporations,
In the end, Katya returned to Veeam, although this decision was not easy for her. She worried that it was impossible to enter the same river twice, and perceived the return as in a sense a defeat. But the technical support team was only too happy to see her again, and during her work in the construction business, she accumulated a large amount of energy and ideas that she immediately rushed to implement, for example, organized a hackathon, a report on which can be read here . Maybe in the future Veeam will also become ossified and turn into a clumsy corporate dinosaur, where initiatives are introduced with creak and resistance, but now, in the phase of active growth, any employee has the opportunity to express himself and develop both vertically and horizontally.
Among the positive aspects of work experience in large manufacturing companies, one can note, for example, an understanding of how to build processes. So, Alexandra, one of our returning HR employees, left at one time for a real brewery and said that everything was fine-tuned, verified and worked like clockwork from the point of view of processes and procedures. While fashionable youth IT people tried to clear the chaos that reigned in them and invented all kinds of bicycles and crutches for this, there for a hundred years everyone had come up with, organized and organized.
“Why didn’t you stay there?” I asked.
- And they have everything there cyclically, understandably, slowly and ... boringly. She answered, “We have a little movement here, we are constantly running somewhere, changing the old, learning the new, and all this is very addictive. And then go and try to change something ... In general, we have the freedom and the ability to do something, make some changes, somehow influence. That's why I came back, but this vision of how to organize some things turned out to be very valuable.
When asked about doubts about returning, she replied that not only had she no doubt, she also lured one of her colleagues from that job to Veeam!
Well, and to end the series of reviews of large Russian companies outside the IT sector, I would like to direct, with an uncensored quote from our designer, who had the “happiness”, to work with one large and fabulously rich Russian corporation:
“Nightmare micromanagement, good taste and total failure in time management. It is unclear how these people generally work, and how they function. ”
A little contradicts the previous statement about the processes built up, but what to do. Different places, different departments, different people.
So different IT
Okay, with big companies outside the information technology industry more or less sorted out, but what about other IT specialists?
In fairness, I’ll say right away that there was a person who, when asked about how his intermediate job was different from Veeam, answered: “Nothing. About the same people, about the same tasks. Unless the office is a bit simpler. ”But there were more interesting stories.
For example, we have a team lead (C ++ and C #) named Misha, and after working for Veeam for several years, he decided to test his professional demand and tried to get a job in one of the largest Russian IT companies (the same one where many dream to get). Misha went through a series of interviews and test tasks, and they took him! A dream came true - now he worked in a company with a big name. This is working at Veeam, every time I have to explain what we all do here, and if you were taken there, then it’s enough to casually call That same Name to cause enthusiastic sighs around you.
However, after working a little over a year, Misha returned. And it's not that the company turned out to be bad, it just turned out to be completely different there. And then it's time to talk about the difference between an enterprise producing B2B solutions and a company developing a service for the end user.
So, Veeam is an enterprise, which means: big release cycles, planning and deadlines. A lot of time is devoted to a deep understanding of the product and its code, it is very important to catch all the bugs and generally know how and what works, because you can’t roll out a raw product in B2B - customers will go to competitors for such tricks.
And in a new place, Misha ran into a completely different campaign. They were engaged in the development of services for the mass user, and it was necessary to issue something new almost every week, moreover, in afterburner mode. More functionality to the functional god! You give a maximum of gold in a minimum of time! This led to chronic overwork, high pace, heavy workload, and a lack of a clear understanding of when this would end. It’s almost like working on a conveyor belt, when tasks are in full flow, and there is no sense of completion, just as there is no balance between work and life, in which people outside the office have other hobbies. A great place to work for enthusiastic fans of their craft, willing to give up the profession to 146% of themselves (I know a lot of such people, and they are great guys),
Another difference was the rotation of employees. Misha got used to the fact that the development teams are welded together by common projects. These are people whom you know, you are together with them from the first release and are responsible for everything you do together. In the new company, employees were often thrown from one project to another, as a result of which strong and stable teams simply did not have time to form and work together. All this created a feeling of a certain temporality and instability. It’s like everyone came to the company for a while, to work out a period, squeeze out of it what’s possible, while it squeezes what’s out of you, and go somewhere far away beautiful, tinkling gold guilders in your pocket and painting over those that appeared from sleepless nights gray strands.
A year later, Misha weighed everything and decided that the measured pace of enterprise, solidity and reliability fit him better than the gambling pursuit of maximum features in minimum time, despite the alluring glitter of golden guilders. And he came back.
The next “returnee” from another IT company is Vlad Internet, a specialist in Internet marketing, who came to us as a student, and Veeam was his first job. Well, here God himself ordered to go see “how it is in the wild”! And Vlad went to return in three months. One of the St. Petersburg IT companies involved in the development of the web platform acted as that “will”.
“So what turned out to be wrong there, so quickly you faded from them?” I asked. - They seem to be responding well.
“The workflow is organized in a completely different way there,” Vlad answered, “or rather, it’s not organized.” I’m used to that you clearly know what needs to be done to get some kind of result. You know who to turn to, what to read, what procedure to follow, and so on. I would say that the Internet marketing department with us is generally an ideal first place to work, because you learn how the workflow should be organized. And there was no clear process - everyone just running around, scurrying around, nothing is clear. Go there, I don’t know where, in short. As a result, a lot of time is wasted, you have to linger, you start to get nervous, and all that jazz. In general, after three months, I realized that their style did not suit me, and went to ask again.
Alas, none of the employees went to gamedev or to the defense industry. I can imagine what juicy stories would bring from there. But if someone suddenly appears, we will record a separate interview with him! Among the other reasons for returning were such: for some, the new employer promised managerial positions and ambitious tasks, but in the end did not give either one or the other. Someone was in a company where tasks were generally tight, and watching YouTube all day was quickly tired of it. The girl working as a system administrator went to a complex and interesting project, but as soon as it was over, it turned out that there were no longer any other similar tasks, and those that remained were frankly dull.
Toward the end I’ll tell you about my personal experience. For eight years of work, I myself, of course, went to interviews in other places - at least not to lose my tone - and I saw what they were offering and how they would have to work there. For example, at an interview in one major state sector, a potential leader said:
“I would describe our work as follows: Imagine that you are traveling in a train that is late and burns. Here we are here every day riding this burning train!
Sounds enticing, doesn't it? Hey guys, don't you want a ride on a burning train? It is considered normal here for us to write work letters at four in the morning, sit daily from eight in the morning until ten in the evening, and yet we still have no time , haha! E - efficiency!
One gets the impression that all the employees there developed a “Stockholm syndrome”, and they seriously believe that people only dream of working in such a regime.
As you can see, the reasons for leaving the new employer (or not going to him at all) were different, but it is interesting that people then decided to return to Veeam, and did not go to new horizons. Therefore, at the end of the interview, I asked everyone:
- Why did you decide to return? Why didn’t you try to leave somewhere else?
And, answering this question, everyone was talking about the same thing (now there will be a certain minute of Veeam advertising, but we are on the corporate blog, it relies here):
- A professional and friendly team - everyone said this at all, using such words as “family”, “friends”, “second university” and so on.
- There is a feeling of stability and reliability. One girl even described it as “there is a feeling that I’m meeting old age here, in a good way.”
- Interesting tasks, the ability to change something and somehow influence the state of affairs.
- There is room to grow and to learn from.
As for me, after I talked with all those who left and returned, my desire to change my job only diminished because I “sat up”, and those beautiful pictures that I painted before these interviews faded and became closer to reality . In general, for today I made this conclusion: I need to value my tits and choose the right cranes, my friends, because the wrong ones can lead you to a burning train, to a conveyor belt or to a factory of heavy machines and destinies, and from there go out and then .
And on this happy note, I end this article.
Although no, one last thing.
If it became interesting to you, and you are brave, dexterous and skillful, then the list of Veeam vacancies can be found here - careers.veeam.ru .
Now for sure.
See you again guys and girls!
UPD: By the way, share how many people returned to your company? It is interesting to know how common this practice is.