Dealing with leaving my comfort zone

Oct 14, 2021 • 4 minutes to read

(not proof read - sorry for all the grammar mistakes xD)

Last week, I left my job at Microsoft as a Software Engineer.
In a few days, I start my new job as a Gameplay Engineer at Red Storm.

I had one week off between job, so my wife and I went to visit family and meet our new niece.
I filled my iddle time with prepping for my new role, playing video games and I started feeling a wide set of of emotions regarding what this new chapter in my professional life would be like.

I pulled up the “Wheel of Emotions” and started using it to recognize and understand my feelings. These are what I identified:

  • Fearful : [Anxious : (Overwhelmed, Worried), Insecure : (Inadequate, Inferior)]
  • Happy : [Interested : (Curious, Inquisitive), Proud : (Successful), Optimistic : (Hopeful)]

The two core emotions are Happy and Fearful.
I was not planning on making this public, but perhaps it can be of use to someone who may be feeling something similar at some point.


I am definitely happy.

Once I got the job offer at Red Storm, I was dancing around. I felt successful.

I had been doing game dev as a hobby for a long time. Making games is my favorite hobby and now, it is becoming my main daily craft. #fuckyeah

Even tho I already have some game dev experience, I mostly learned it in college (8+ years ago). I was curious about what books were out here now and what could I learn.

I started by getting two game design pattern books. One for general game patterns and another with a focus in Unity. I devoured them as if they were Sherlock Holmes or Perry Rhodan novels. I became more inquisitive about some details and I got two more books, one in Unity VR development and another in Unity Game Optimizations. As of this writing, I am almost done with these books.

I am actually not a big reader of tech books, but I am very interested in the topic of making software where the ultimate goal is to have the users enjoy and have fun!

Reading all these books made me very hopeful and proud! A lot of the patterns and optimizations described were things that I had done in my hobby projects. This made me optimistic about my decision of turning my hobby into my main craft.

However, reading those books also made me feel other things…


Reading all those books was great! I learned a lot!

I also learned that there is a lot I still don’t know and certainly there are many things I don’t know that I don’t know.

One of the take aways that I got from the game design pattern books is that, for constraint environments there is a decision to be made on performance vs abstraction. I have been heavily designing and building things with abstractions, extensibility, maintainaiy as the main aspects.

and so… those ANTs started crawling all over me and taking a lot of my mental cycles (ANTs = Automatic Negative Thoughts).

  • Will I do well in this role?
  • How will people judge me for not knowing X, Y, Z?

and the list goes on…

With those negative thoughts driving my mind, I started feeling anxious. After going through the “Wheel of Emotions”, I indentified that anxious feeling as being insecure, worried, overwhelmed.

My wife asked to read what I was writing and after she read all of the above she asked me if I felt anything like that when I joined Microsoft. The main thing I remember is feeling was insecure.

Thinking back on my 8 years of experience, I remembered things that have put away those fearful emotions and have driven all those ANTs from my mind.

What does this set of feelings tell me?

This set of happy and fearful feelings tells me that I am leaving my comfort zone. That brings fear and that is okay.

From my experience, people are mostly awesome.

  • When I told my team I was leaving, I was very anxious and then the response I got back was of love and well wishes.
  • Through out my career, I have learned so much with and from my peers. We helped each other to solve the problems we were facing.

The Adventure Ahead

You can never truly know what awaits you beyond the “now”, but I have gotten a good vibe from my future peers that have interviewed me.

If I can extrapolate based on my previous experience at Microsoft, that my new role at Red Storm is filled exciting challenges that will become opportunities to learn and grow!

In short,

the adventure ahead is exciting!


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