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I have been working for 8 months as an software developer intern in a small startup, my first job after graduating from Uni. I would say I had a rough start since I didn't find a good motivation the first couple of months but after switching tasks started to improve my work and motivation, I discussed this with my superiors and they agreed.

After that the company got some more people, senior developers, I was the youngest and rookiest always. And felt a little overwhelmed by my output compared to theirs. But my superiors still reassured me on my good job.

Now along these months there have been small situations between me and some of my superiors, nothing serious and we sit to talk and resolve it. I would consider them my friends outside of work too.

The problem is that sometimes I feel like that even though they want to apply cool company policies (work whenever you feel like, SCRUM, open discussion, horizontal organization structure...) I can't take part of them.

Some situations that make me feel like this are:

  • Getting a "you will be receiving a package today" notification early in the morning, asking to work remote a couple of hours, and not being forbidden to do so but getting a answer that makes me feel like a did wrong on asking. I would think this was because I notified with no advance, but other colleagues have instances of doing the same and I didn't feel like there ever was a problem with them.

  • Trying to explain a problem and being cut off before finishing, while I was stating the current situation so they had some context and didn't even began to explain the real problem I was encountered even.

  • Pulling long days and sometimes I don't feel that they recognized, I think my record is from 9 to 20 or 21 without lunch, because testing the product a day before release, pretty big bugs pop up and have to track them down and/or solve.

  • Just yesterday there was another instance of the previous point. Prepare release, test, big problem, all afternoon trying to find out what was the bug, 4 of us working on it for hours, nobody was sure the reason why it was happening, at 20 30 2 of my colleagues left because of appointments, remaining my superior and me, I too had appointments but was able to delay them indefinitely, was doubting between canceling them or just postponing a couple of hours. At 21 30 I left and I was asked if I couldn't stay longer. A little after I left I got a message from my superior asking if I had plans, when I answered yes, he asked me to come today a little bit earlier to the office (8 am), I did not answer because I was at a concert, no reception and when I finished went straight to sleep, today at 8 I arrived at the office and was the only one there, my boss probably pulled an all nighter, and I understand, but there was no message stating how things ended up, no message that noticed me that he won't showing up until late.

  • Something that happens quite often is that even though I can choose my own hours I find myself delaying or cancelling plans with friends because of work.

I know that the company is promising and if everything goes good in the short term in can be a pretty big thing, with people I can learn a lot from too. But I'm not sure if this compensates for the pressure I feel sometimes and not being sure what they expect of me, I have been told explicitly that "I don't have to pull ass many hours as them, that's not what interests them" But every time I leave with some unfinished task or in a situation like yesterday I don't feel like that statement is true.

Even though at first I was pretty sure I would like to stay in this company I'm not sure anymore. I think that some of this problems are caused because of my inexperience and being unsure on what I should expect from myself and from the company. I would like to hear some advice from people that has had more or similar experiences?

Edit: One thing I can read in the comments is that I should just take my time and leave or finish when my day is finished if I want to, another problem for me is that I can't quite enjoy the rest of my day if there's a pressing issue that needs to be done and because something unexpected happened(which happens more often than not) the goals and release dates can't be met.

closed as off-topic by Philipp, gnat, Masked Man, Dukeling, Draken Jul 13 '17 at 11:32

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  • Has there been any indication from management that you aren't pulling your weight? Have they directly told you that you need to work harder? It doesn't sound like it. Honestly, it sounds like you work a lot harder than most people I know would. – DCON Jul 13 '17 at 8:26
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    Welcome to Workplace.SE. But please understand that this is a question&answer site. We expect questions to clearly identify a specific problem and ask for a solution to the problem. "My job sucks how do I deal with it?" is not a question we can objectively answer. – Philipp Jul 13 '17 at 8:28
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I think you're putting the pressure on yourself:

not being forbidden to do so but getting a answer that makes me feel
like a did wrong on asking.

You weren't forbidden, you did nothing wrong. If you don't know they were thinking badly of you, assume they weren't.

Trying to explain a problem and being cut off before finishing

Did they provide you with a correct answer? Maybe they'd heard enough to make a judgement and you were over-explaining?

Pulling long days and sometimes I don't feel that they recognized

Then don't do it, Just go home when your time is up. Don't feel that you have to keep up with the guys earning 3-10 times your salary. You say yourself they have explicitly said that you don't need to.

he asked me to come today a little bit earlier to the office (8 am), I did not answer because I was at a concert,"

He then assumed you wouldn't be in because you didn't reply, that sounds like a good boss; there are plenty of bad bosses out there who would tear into you for not being there early even though you didn't reply.

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And felt a little overwhelmed by my output compared to theirs.

That's because they have more experience than you.

There are a couple of ways you can position yourself in respect to them. Some of them are unhealthy, some are healthy. You chose the unhealthy way where you literally compare your skills and work results with them.

As a healthy alternative, you can instead start to look at them with aspiration and gratitude:

  • gratitude you have more skilled coworkers from whom you can ask help when you need and from whom you can learn and better yourself. And learning doesn't necessary mean they teaching you, you can learn a great deal of lot just by observing how they work, with what tools they work, how they prioritize, etc. Try to always understand why they do thing they do. Don't be afraid to ask: "I see you chose to do X by using a Y approach. I would have thought of a Z approach. Can you help me understand why Y was more appropriate here?"

  • aspiration instead of "I feel overwhelmed because I am not like them" which implies you want to be like them now, you can say "In X years I want to be like them". Trust me, they had those X years to get where they are now, that's why they are seniors.

But my superiors still reassured me on my good job.

Then you are good. Seriously, you are good. Stop worrying about it. That doesn't mean however that you don't need to strive to improve yourself.

Getting a "you will be receiving a package today" notification early in the morning, asking to work remote a couple of hours,

This should be very very rare. You can almost always request when to receive the delivery, or as an alternate you can have it delivered at your work during working hours. You can also request to be notified at least a day in advance before the package arrives.

Trying to explain a problem and being cut off before finishing

It could be you are trying too hard to prove yourself and provide long unnecessary explanations. A good manager/team leader knows when to trust his team and deffer judgments to them. You are no longer in an education system where you need to justify what you did to prove you understand the material to get a good grade. You are a grown up being paid for your work. This comes with responsibilities. Part of this means you have the freedom to make decisions and then take credit if it goes well or pay the price if it goes wrong.

Pulling long days

Ok, this is a complex issue. In an ideal world, you do your job during the work hours. The real world might make you feel you need to work overtime: thinking you might get more noticed, thinking you advance faster, thinking you have a moral responsibility to help uphold the deadlines, feeling pressure to do so because others do. This depends heavily on the field of work, but the more you are hit with the real world, the more you might realize that ironically the ideal world approach is more practical. What sounded like advantages for you seem more and more like disadvantages: competent team leader don't care how much you stay at work, they care what results you provide and appreciate more if you can provide these results without exceptional means like overtime, the responsibility to meet the deadline is not really yours, it is the responsibility of the planning team. There is also the strong possibility of a burnout and damaging you health. And the most important of all: your time is your most valuable resource. Don't neglect so easily your you time, your friends and your family.

This last point is maybe subjective, but what you need to do is find a balance.

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