Three times during my career, I worked in big corporations.
1. Intel – Haifa, Israel
First time, I worked in the Intel design center in Haifa, Israel. At the time, unlike today, the operations in Haifa were small.
I left work to pursue my M.Sc. after five and half years, during which time the operations in Haifa grew to employ hundreds of people.
With hindsight, it turned out that there was also a manager who wanted me out of Intel due to his own reasons.
2. SanDisk – Kfar Sava, Israel
Second time, I worked in SanDisk, Kfar Sava, Israel.
I noticed that I feel anxious all the time while I was working there. I left the job after half a year.
Among other things, I got into a serious disagreement with a manager in another unit about a problem, whose solution was critical to the success of an assignment that I got.
Before accepting the job offer from Google Ireland (see below), I reviewed my experiences in Intel and SanDisk and made a list of recommendations how to improve my chances to be successful in Google.
One of the recommendations was to identify a high ranking manager, who is interested at helping smart deaf people succeed in their jobs in Hi-Tech companies, and who can advocate for me in case of misunderstandings among me and managers in remote units.
3. Google – Dublin, Ireland
Third time, I worked in Google Ireland. No high ranking manager was available to advocate for me as needed. I again was anxious all the time. I left the job after three and half months.
I chose to leave the job in lieu of accepting a demand that I apologize for a harsh but non-personal expression, which I said during a discussion about an accessibility problem in an American bank, which worked with Google.
I knew, without using the term psychological safety, that if I apologize I would not be able to feel psychologically safe if I ever have to point out problems with proposed plans or designs.
The unending anxiety that I felt while working in SanDisk and Google was about fear of offending managers in remote units, whom I did not know personally, but with whom I had to interact to fulfill my work duties. I could not be confident that I would have the support of my own bosses if there is any problem with remote managers.
Now there is a research pointing out what I was missing during my work in SanDisk and Google. Ironically, the research was performed in Google about a year after I left the company.
An earlier version of this article was published in LinkedIn as: Psychological Safety – the reason why I did not survive in big corporations