Work transition

I’ve been passing through one of the roughest work transitions in my life lately. I recently resigned from Oracle and joined The Jakarta Post Digital as a Lead User Experience Designer. The Jakarta Post Digital is a spinoff company from the oldest English daily in Jakarta, The Jakarta Post. Its main goal is to steward digital products from the daily, including the existing, and produce new digital properties under its name.

This is my first work transition after spending four and eight months of very comfortable years in Oracle as a Designer for its corporate citizenship programs (which included ThinkQuest and Oracle Academy). It was a superb many years I thoroughly enjoyed!

One of my main considerations to take off to a new venture was to test my design skills and expand it further. I was also aiming to ‘taste’ a bit of startup culture, which is exactly what lies beneath The Jakarta Post Digital. With the spinoff from the large ‘mother ship’, it enables itself to start anew and fresh, and provide new opportunities and create new working culture. I was excited to join, after an offer made directly through its CEO.

Turned out, it is a tough world out there. Startup life is not easy, and not for everyone. The pace is tight and with a small team, everything is agile. You are being supervised very tightly. Processes are swift. Long gone has the days of careful, structured product design requirement documents and passing through multiple signoffs and approvals. Everything is fractured, modularised and has to be produced at a rapid speed. You don’t work from the top to bottom, but bottom to top. You don’t get to see what the large vision is, everything I am doing is piece by piece.

I am not trying to judge which process is better, I am just learning along the way. Every project deserves its own process, more so for every company and management.

What I think I missed is meeting people and nurturing them, something that I’ve done extensively in Oracle. I was working in corporate citizenship area and it was an eye-opening experience to be able to help people use technology in education. I want to do something more of this in the future, I just realised. Nurturing people and making them believe in themselves and creating the tools for them to do so. The new work doesn’t seem to involve this, and I think I made an oversight when I decided to leave.
Working for Oracle Corporate Citizenship gave me opportunities to maintain my design job description and at the same time, explore other areas, which is nurturing the community.

I was just thinking about what I could do better in terms of my textbook skills, which are design, design and design. I wanted to believe that my education should reflect what I do in real life. True, it should come up in some extent, but it shouldn’t be the main factor for career decision.