My “PIP” experience

My “PIP” experience

Performance improvement plan that’s not scary
Published July 27, 2022
”PIP” stands for performance improvement plan. It's not an unfamiliar word for people working in tech, especially those who works for big tech companies. There are a lot of horror stories about it online, though I’m not particularly familiar or interested about them, I don’t plan to make the word sounds more scary as well.
As Naval points out,
In any situation in life, you only have three options. You always have three options. You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you would change it but not changing it, wishing you would leave it but not leaving it, and not accepting it. It's that struggle, that aversion, that is responsible for most of our misery. The phrase that I probably use the most to myself in my head is just one word: accept.
This is the exact dilemma that I faced during my last job, I was in a constant struggle that I literally lost all my motivation. The tasks assigned to me offer little to none growth. And there're all sorts of mundane stuffs(which I consider as drama or nonsense stuff at the time) that I wasn’t not comfortable with. I felt like I had no choice but leave. And so I did. I’m not sure if it qualifies as the “pip” by other’s standard, since it’s more a matter of storytelling under different lenses. But in my eye, it absolutely is, and here is why.
  1. All the struggles I have come from pains, and pains come from problems I have to deal with. To change them, I need ability. To accept them, I need endurance. To leave, or in another word, escape from them, I need nothing. The quote “You aren’t defeated when you lose. You are defeated when you quit” from Paulo Coelho puts it well.
  1. The experience feels devastating enough that I barely would like to come back or experience anything similar again. I even had a metaphor for it and shared it with friends, but I figured out it merely makes them laugh as a joke, so probably not a good one.
As long as I don’t intentionally stay blind to reality, I have to acknowledge that I was simply defeated. I was disappointed and angry, but it had nothing to do with the company, the environment or basically anything external. I was simply angry about my incompetence and that’s all.
Unlike many people fueled by envy, I’m fueled by anger. It’s my source of motivation that reminds me that I shouldn’t settle for mediocrity. And the pip experience is painful enough that vividly reminds me of my anger about myself, as well as the fact the need to change things usually boils down to the need to change myself. And this is exactly where my unlearning journey begins.
However, I can’t be an angry bird all the time. The more I look at the pip experience, the more I feel that it doesn't seem as bad at all. Even though I'm still confused about my severance package, do I forget about it, miss it somehow, or …