Just a couple of days in on the job, people suddenly wanted to talk to me about sickness, their personal problems, vacation days, being stuck in their jobs, etc. A lot of these problems could be met with a healthy dose of common sense, but the stories I sometimes heard really stuck with me. I was really unprepared for any of these stories. I started to make the problems my own and instead of taking proper distance, I let my empathy get the upper hand. Being the person that I am, I started to process these problems unconsciencely during my sleep and dreamed about them. This even led to a mild form of sleep deprivation at which point I had to actively take distance. Although I really felt like helping people with their problems, I couldn’t be the superhero they needed. All I could be was a listening ear and perhaps make it a little easier for them to be a part of the team. This was a harsh lesson for me though.
Things I was unprepared for as a lead developer
I've been a lead developer for 2 years. It has been quite a ride and there were a lot of things I was unprepared for. I've always been a software engineer, mostly involved with the actual code. People tell me I have a very natural way of leading, which is probably why I was asked for the job.