Time flies so fast. In the blink of an eye, it has been half a year since I came to Byte, and I successfully passed the probation period assessment last week.
Recalling that Byte HR contacted me in October last year, and there were many rounds of interviews and communication, by March this year I made up my mind to accept the offer and leave OPPO. During this period, I also had a lot of entanglements and thoughts about job-hopping and, on a larger level, my career development.
I started working in 2016 and had three jobs during this period. The types of companies I have worked for include foreign companies and domestic companies, state-owned companies and private companies, physical hardware products and the Internet. I hope my few job-hopping experiences and lessons learned can inspire readers.
1. My several job-hopping experiences
Do you want money or love?
My first job choice was actually not to change jobs. It was around May 2016. At that time, I had already signed a contract with Fiyta Group, a subsidiary of AVIC International, and successfully passed the pre-defense of my graduation thesis, so I went to Shenzhen for an internship in advance.
One day I received a call from my tutor, telling me that a senior fellow was working as an investment director at a fund company under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Guangdong Province and wanted to recruit an assistant. The tutor could help recommend students. The senior brother promised his mentor that the first year’s salary would be 200,000 yuan, and the year-end bonus should be 300,000 yuan guaranteed. The instructor thought of me immediately and wanted to recommend me. He also revealed to me the senior brother’s annual salary and asked me to work hard with him, and I would definitely not be bad in the future.
I was very happy when I heard about this job opportunity recommended by my mentor. However, I somehow got it wrong at the time and asked my mentor to give me a week to think about it.
Over the next few days, I was debating whether to accept this opportunity or not. So, every day when I got home from get off work, I would go out for a run. I think my mind is clearer when I run, which should help me think clearly about this problem.
But after running for several days, I still couldn’t make up my mind. One afternoon on the weekend, I went out for a run again. While running, I suddenly realized a problem.
The opportunity provided by the tutor, the salary is two or three times what I found, and the senior brother personally takes care of it. No matter how you look at it, it is a better choice. Why should I still struggle?
It suddenly dawned on me that the reason why I was struggling was that this option didn’t appeal to me.
I went to the official website of the fund company recommended by my tutor, and saw a golden page that said how many billions of funds they manage and how much they earn every year… In short, I feel that their official website talks about money, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with me. Whatever the relationship is, it doesn’t impress me.
I majored in marketing as an undergraduate, and continued to study consumer behavior as a graduate student. The reason why I chose Fiyta when looking for a job on campus was because they were the only company I saw recruiting user researchers and explicitly required graduate students in psychology and marketing.
I don’t want to end up switching careers to finance because of income reasons after what I learned in the past 7 years.
After realizing this, I called my mentor back and declined the kindness of my mentor and senior brother. I would not go.
Choose comfort or pursue growth?
In this way, in July 2016, I officially joined Fiyta and started my career journey.
Fiyta was the first listed watch company in China. It was listed around the same time as Vanke in the early 1990s. It was a star company of that era. The phrase “Fiyta will tell you the time” before the news broadcast was even more well-known at that time.
Onboarding training, the first time I saw a million-dollar watch, the first time I went on a business trip to work on a project… everything was new to me. I was also very lucky. The head of the department happened to be a senior who graduated from the same department in our college, and he took special care of me.
But after about half a year, I had the idea of leaving.
On the one hand, the watch industry belongs to the fashion industry/luxury goods industry, and the market is basically monopolized by some European brand groups . The well-known Rolex, Omega, etc. can only be regarded as brands from the waist to the shoulders on the watch brand pyramid. Not to mention that domestic brands are stuck at the bottom of the pyramid, and their market is very limited.
On the other hand, Fiyta’s job is a little too comfortable for me. Colleagues are very friendly with each other. Often when I finish a project report, everyone applauds and it ends. There is no need to work overtime, you can leave when you get off work (many times you are actually waiting for get off work).
I think I have just started working and I can’t stay idle like this. At that time, I was thinking about making myself more professional, so I came up with the idea of hopping to Party B.
So after the Spring Festival of 2017, I started sending emails to foreign market research consulting companies such as Nielsen and Ipsos (similar to the Big Four in the accounting industry), telling them why I wanted to go to their company and how my background met their requirements. etc.
Soon, I received their interview notice. After several rounds of communication, both Nielsen and Ipsos gave me offers. But Nielsen asked me to go to Guangzhou, and Ipsos happened to be opening a new office in Shenzhen, so I chose to join Ipsos.
Looking back now, I’m really glad I didn’t go to Nelson that year. This once the largest market research company in the world has been split up and acquired many times in recent years. It has been in decline in China, but Ipsos has become the domestic leader. It makes people sigh.
Is it a human or a machine?
Ipsos is where my true professionalism began.
The company’s online learning platform has training courses in various fields of market research/user research; the company’s network disk has information and documents on various projects done by various teams around the world; the Shenzhen office also holds lunch meetings every Friday at noon, inviting colleagues to share their recent work research project.
I am like a sponge, soaking in it, absorbing nutrients and growing. Many of my current working habits and tools were learned at Ipsos.
Because the Shenzhen office is newly established, the dozen or so of our early partners are all about the same age, and the atmosphere is particularly good. I also met many seniors in Ipsos who have been in the industry for more than ten or twenty years and are still passionate about this industry.
In Ipsos, I can get in touch with customers from different industries, work on different projects, travel to different cities, and get recognition from customers and leaders after reporting. Everything seems perfect.
The turning point occurred in the second half of 2018, when I had been working at Ipsos for about a year and a half.
During that time, I felt very strongly the isolation between myself and my work.
I have always believed that work has “good quality”. I hope that when I deliver something to others, they can also feel my intentions. However, the assessment of our team is based on the amount of orders received throughout the year. This means that I need to consider taking on the next project before this project is over. This causes me to often end up thinking about how to hand over the report quickly when writing a report, instead of thinking about how to write a better report.
My mind is not on what I am doing at the moment, which makes it difficult for me to have a state of flow.
In addition, I also feel the alienation of people from work. Because we don’t have to clock in, it means we can work anytime, anywhere. Work and life have completely lost their boundaries.
When traveling in Malaysia, I got up to work early in the morning while my friends were still sleeping; when traveling in Yunnan during the National Day holiday, I was working on the car back to Kunming from Dali…
Even sometimes, when I leave the office around 8pm after working overtime, I still feel guilty when I see that other colleagues in the office have not left yet. But it’s normal to get off work at 7 o’clock!
Finally, the most important thing is that I noticed something was wrong with my body. Some time ago, a colleague resigned and her project was temporarily handed over to me. It was a project for Shell, and I needed to deliver the report in time for the overseas client’s Christmas. The time left for me was very limited, and I had no involvement in the early implementation of the project. For more than half a month, I got up at 6 a.m. every morning to go to the company and worked until 7 or 8 p.m. When I couldn’t move my head, I took a taxi home. I lie in bed and squint for a while until I get up around 10 o’clock, and then continue working until one or two in the morning.
In the dead of night, the only sounds in the room were my typing on the keyboard and my own heartbeat. I was really worried that I would die suddenly.
We can’t go on like this.
It just so happened that one day I was chatting with a colleague in the office and she said that her senior brother worked at OPPO and their department was recruiting people and asked me if I wanted to give it a try. So I gave my resume to my colleague, and after communicating with her senior brother and the supervisor who recruited me, we all got along very well, so I joined OPPO at the end of 2018.
Seek stability or embrace change?
The more than four years I spent at OPPO were a period of growth and accumulation for my career.
After joining OPPO, although my department has been adjusted several times, the area I am responsible for has not changed. This allowed me to delve deeper into a field and really get started. Moreover, since the experience research/experience management I am responsible for involves various business areas of the company, it also gives me the opportunity to interact with many business departments of the company and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the company’s operations.
With the support of my leaders and colleagues, my development at OPPO has been relatively smooth. In the first year of the establishment of the OPPO Strategy Center Consumer Insights Department in 2020, I received the highest performance A; in 2021, I was selected as one of the top ten lecturers of the year by the OPPO Communication Institute; many people will think of me when OPPO mentions the NPS project…
OPPO advocates a culture of responsibility and values long-termism. There are many colleagues in the company who have been with the company for 5, 10, or 20 years. I also identify with the company’s culture very much. I never thought that I would leave the company one day. I just turned 30 last year. From a young man in a small town to buying a house, a car, and getting married in Shenzhen, I gave a pretty good answer to secular standards.
However, the global economic downturn last year caused the mobile phone industry shipments to continue to decline. The company has also begun to tighten its belt and take various measures to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
The most direct thing is to optimize the redundant personnel in several rounds. Although I know that the optimization will not be on my head, I also started to think about whether to change the track.
Furthermore, I have been working in the field I am responsible for for more than four years, and I feel a little tired myself. The ministers, supervisors, and colleagues who work with me are all very familiar with each other. If my output is delivered a week early or a week late, and the quality is better or worse, no one will have any objections to me. I have also considered whether to change directions and try new areas, but due to the very clear division of labor in our department, it is unlikely that I will take over the tasks of other colleagues in the short term.
I want to seek change and break this situation. I don’t want to wait until I am 35 years old and rely on my qualifications and connections in the company to survive.
Just as I was thinking about it, some opportunities came to me from outside.
It started in July last year when a R&D VP of NIO came to me. He had worked at OPPO before and remembered some of the things I had done and wanted to invite me over. Later, in October, a friend in NIO’s mobile phone business recommended me to join their team, and I had a long conversation with their team leader, former Meitu President Yin Shuijun.
In the end, both NIO teams asked for my salary flow and advanced it to the salary negotiation stage. However, due to the impact of the epidemic in the second half of last year, the overall economic environment was very poor, and the HC and salary of Weilai recruitment were severely reduced. The automotive team has been unable to make offers, while the mobile phone team can only offer flat-salary offers. Considering that NIO’s mobile phone business is not their main business, it is just a strategic defensive business. It wasn’t too different from what I was doing at OPPO, so I didn’t move forward.
At the same time, in October, Byte’s PICO team contacted me through headhunting. During this period, I chatted with my +1 and +2 separately twice, and then the three of us chatted once together. At the end of December, I was invited to Beijing again, and the three of us chatted together for an afternoon. Finally, HR sent me an offer verbally before the Spring Festival.
After the Spring Festival, when I returned to the company, I told several close colleagues that I might have to resign. After learning that I was leaving, the head of our department and the heads of several departments we had worked with before advised me not to leave, and even invited me to transfer to their departments.
However, considering that I stay in the original department, my work content and working status will not change substantially in the short term; if I transfer to other departments, my own professional path will basically be cut off. I can only work wherever there is a need and opportunity in the company. Just go wherever you go. My career is deeply tied to OPPO.
And if I don’t leave now, I’m afraid I won’t have the courage to go out in a few years.
Back to PICO, the biggest concern at the time was whether the XR track could develop. Overseas Meta has burned tens of billions of dollars in this industry, and there has not been much improvement. At the beginning of the year, there was also news in China that Byte’s PICO team was laying off employees and Tencent’s XR team was being laid off.
But considering that the XR track is actually in the field of hardware technology, even if I fail, I can still find a way out in this big track.
And in an entrepreneurial team like PICO, on the one hand, I am responsible for a wider range of business, which can broaden my professional field; on the other hand, I can participate in the entire process of product planning, development, and launch, and get closer to the product. This is What I lacked in OPPO before.
In this way, I officially resigned in February this year and joined the Byte PICO team in March.
The above are the career choices I have experienced in the past 7 years. Thank you for reading this.
2. My Enlightenment
Over the years, I have seen many people come and go in the workplace. Finally, I will summarize some of my personal insights on job-hopping. I hope it can inspire you.
Revelation 1: Power is greater than people
We are all in the torrent of the times, and individuals are very insignificant in the face of the times.
In the 1990s, foreign companies were popular; in the first decade of this century, with the rapid development of China’s economy and rapid urbanization, real estate ushered in a golden age; after 2010, the smartphone industry and accompanying The emerging Internet industry has created many wealth myths…
The words “choice is greater than effort” and “go with the flow” are correct to some extent.
If the industry is the surface, the enterprise is the line, and the individual is the point. When choosing a career/changing jobs, you must first look at the trends in the industry.
On the one hand, from a material perspective, industries that are above the general trend are more likely to have excess returns. For example, when I was at Fiyta, I saw that the company’s annual financial report revenue was less than 5 billion, and the annual salary of the chairman and several vice presidents was only more than 1 million (of course it is also related to the fact that it is a state-owned enterprise); but in a company like OPPO In a company with a size of 200 billion+, many grassroots managers can reach this income level. You can imagine which one is more challenging: being the chairman and managing a company with thousands of people, or being the supervisor leading a team of more than a dozen people.
On the other hand, and more importantly, in industries that are above the general trend, resources and talents will be more intensive, and personal growth will be faster. For example, OPPO has many experts who have switched jobs from world-renowned manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung, and they often have opportunities to communicate and cooperate with manufacturers such as Google and Qualcomm. In the field of user research where I work, I have basically dealt with all the well-known research suppliers and technology suppliers in the industry; the same is true in Byte.
Of course, this does not mean that everyone should chase hot industries, because hot spots often mean that competition will become more intense.
In short, we must realize that we should not join the national army in 1949.
Lesson 2: Don’t change jobs just for money
Many people will think that I don’t work just for money? If you don’t change jobs for money, why change jobs?
I am glad that I became aware of this problem not long after I started working at Ipsos.
When I switched jobs from FIYTA to Ipsos, my salary was negotiated based on the standard 30% salary increase, and Ipsos also gave me this increase. At the beginning, I got two to three thousand yuan more every month than before, and I was quite happy. But I soon discovered that the extra two to three thousand yuan would not have any essential impact on my financial status and quality of life.
On the contrary, because Ipsos’ work is very intensive, in order to make myself a little more comfortable, I rented a room near the company for a monthly rent of 4,000 yuan. Every day when I’m too tired from work, I take a taxi home. Since the company is located in the core area of Shenzhen city center, three meals a day cost a lot of money.
Finally, I found that at the end of each month, there was no balance at all. I just broke the jar and smashed it, and I thought it was the power of love.
But it is this mentality that allows me to calm down and focus on the work itself. I also learned a lot from Ipsos, which will make me valuable later.
Therefore, I don’t recommend that you change jobs just for money.
Especially in the early stages of career, due to the low wage base, even a 100% increase may be difficult to change the nature of our poverty.
After seeing this cruel reality clearly, stop worrying about which offer has more money, and choose and invest in things that are more valuable in the long term.
Revelation 3: Job-hopping cannot solve your personal problems
This is also a misunderstanding that many students who are new to the workplace will fall into.
Especially now it is popular for post-00s to reorganize their workplaces and fire their bosses if they disagree.
But according to attribution theory, if a person changes jobs frequently in a short period of time, there must be something wrong with him/herself.
Either they have not thought clearly about what they want, or they are deficient in ability or other aspects, resulting in their inability to do the job.
Changing jobs can at best change the environment, but the personal problems we need to face and solve will not disappear with it.
Don’t jump ship to avoid problems.
Revelation 4: Establish personal influence and cherish personal reputation
After my second job, I never submitted my resume to look for a job through a job search website.
When I switched jobs to OPPO, there were nearly 20 people in the Ipsos Shenzhen office, and that colleague chose to recommend me instead of others. I thought there must be something about me that made her think I was worthy of being recommended.
When Weilai’s R&D VP found me last year, I guess he must have remembered me on some occasion and thought I was good. Otherwise, no one would ask for my contact information.
Because the cost of recruiting people for companies is actually very high. Recruiting an inappropriate person is very costly, both in terms of time cost and economic cost.
So many times, for some high-level positions, everyone is willing to trust the recommendations of acquaintances around them.
How can I give myself more opportunities? In companies and industries, it is necessary to establish personal influence.
Subsequently, and more importantly, one must cherish one’s reputation.
Because at the end of the day in every industry, the circle is too small, and good things don’t go out and bad things spread thousands of miles.
I encountered a negative case last year.
We hired a user researcher last year, and his boss at his previous company happened to be my former colleague. We actually know his past performance very well.
After he joined the company, he was very conceited and bookish, as reported by my former colleagues. He boasted that he graduated from a QS top 100 university with a doctorate, and believed that the classic textbooks and papers in academia were not as good as his own research, and that people in the industry were not as good as He is professional. Within two or three months, he resigned because he could not integrate into the team.
What’s even more coincidental is that when he went out to look for a job later, I remember friends from at least two companies came to ask me what I thought of him.
In this way, he narrowed his path.
Revelation 5: Old club, not old enemy
Finally, if you decide to change jobs and leave, please be sure to get together well and leave gracefully.
I have seen some people block and delete all their former colleagues after leaving their jobs, as if this would erase the fact that they had worked there.
I have also seen many people complain about their old club, as if this way they can attribute all the problems to their old club, and they have no problems at all.
In my opinion, this is actually completely unnecessary.
Because denying the past is actually denying yourself. Without those experiences in the past, you wouldn’t be who you are now.
Although I left Fiyta, Ipsos and OPPO, I am still very grateful for everything I have experienced. In Fiyta, there is a national industrial design center and a group of excellent designers, where my aesthetic taste has been improved; in Ipsos, the curiosity/curiosity represented by the child on their logo is also Inspired me to always remain enthusiastic about life and work; at OPPO, the culture of responsibility and long-termism advocated have benefited me throughout my life.
Finally, I would like to say that job-hopping is not the only option for career development. To this day, I am not sure whether my job-hopping choices over the years were correct.
But there are no ifs in life. It is every choice in the past that defines and determines who I am. I have no regrets.