A friend who recently started in tech from another industry posted about…well, what sounded like a pretty normal week in tech. I had a response I thought I’d share. And I wish someone had shared this with me 6 years ago when I was crazy deep in the weeds. They probably tried. Anyway, my response to this friend is here. Maybe it’ll help someone.

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I watched this great master class with Pavarotti, you know, back in the day. And a student asked “what would you tell a director who cast you in something that wasn’t right for you?” And he said “the director is right. You trust the director. The director hears things, knows things, you don’t know, you can’t hear, sees things you can’t see. You have to trust the director.”

Tech is hard. It’s fucking fast, it’s insane, it’s exhausting, it’s ego-destroying, demoralizing, and insanely rewarding, especially if you’re the kind of person who is motivated by working on OMFG cool things with amazing, amazing people.

YOU ARE one of those people. You are one of those amazing people. YOU CANNOT BE MISCAST BECAUSE YOU WOULDN’T HAVE MADE IT THROUGH THE INTERVIEW PROCESS, LET ALONE 7 WEEKS without being right for the job. *I promise you*. I still have days like this after 13 years in tech and nearly 3 years on my team. Because it’s FUCKING CHALLENGING. It’s never comfortable.

But you are NOT in the wrong role. You can’t be. You were not hired for your knowledge of tech; everyone knows that. You were hired for your brain, your unique take on things, how you view the world and your work, your character. I don’t need to talk to your hiring team to know that; I know that. The ONLY thing that will kill this for you is if YOU allow these thoughts to undermine you. Because when you second-guess yourself, your character, whether or not you belong there, you undermine the very character and qualities for which you were hired. So *don’t* do that. Have faith in not knowing. Have faith in the process. We’re all learning. How you handle this part, NOT how much you know, is what will decide your future. So go strong. Remember why you are here. And, if you need to remind yourself, come back and read this thread.

The hardest, hardest part of the rehearsal process is the first time through off-book. In front of people, you test your memorization of the role. It’s HUMILIATING. It’s wrong, and you know it, and everyone who is looking at the score knows it. But YOU aren’t looking at the score. You’re face-first into the fire, you’re DOING it. And, before long, you’ll be popping off APIs and SDKs like a fucking pro, and if you remember why you were hired, you are going to be a rockstar. You ARE a rockstar. As said above; you’re still learning the songs.

I love you. You’re not miscast, because that’s impossible. You HAVE THIS. And this is PART of it. The suckiest part. But a part that, the more comfortable you get with it, the more you’ll grow. I feel like this *a lot* and, every time I feel like this, my career takes another shot forward. Deep breath.

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