I’ve written about it before and I’m pretty sure it applies to most offices. If you want to be successful (or keep your job) you have to internalize the culture around you. It’s helpful if you like your environment, but that doesn’t always happen so sometimes you have to fake it.
By December 2010 faking it became really hard. Almost impossible. Fortunately, getting to that point took six months. More than enough time to find a new job. And by February 2011, I had a verbal offer.
Getting the offer was great. But it put me in a very dangerous “what the fuck” mindset because I didn’t feel like running around on a hamster wheel – doing shit that didn’t make any sense – anymore. I was fed up with gaming the system so I started playing things straight up by recording my real time. If I finished a file budgeted for 10 hours in 5, I billed 5 not 10.
This is not a good thing to do. It gives the impression you aren’t working because your utilization rate will be extremely low. And from the partner level it means you’re missing your billable hours targets – aka not working – which is against company policy and unfair to the people who are “working.” It actually screws you over a second time because you’ll end up juggling way too many files if you start requesting more work.
If you really want to change the game, be a leader and come up with a solution. This is a lot more productive than finding ways to prove the system is broken. Pointing out flaws is a waste of time and pisses people off.
Please don’t do what I did. It’s dumb. Sometimes you’ll be asked to do things that don’t make sense. Where you will have to say, “yes this might be stupid, but I need to go along with it for the time being.” These spots take a tremendous amount of patience and perspective to get through. Especially when you know you are killing time. I wish it was possible to avoid them altogether, but that’s naive. Sometimes they won’t even be stupid. You just won’t have enough perspective to see the value of what you’re doing.
I should have sucked it up for 2 more months, kept my head down and left on my on terms.
Like anything, this is a learning process. I fucked up and I’m trying to take as much away from this situation as possible. The above aside, things aren’t awful right now. I’ll get to that in Part 2.