I’ve been on Lobsters for a while now. My profile says “3 years”. Wow, holy shit. If I could list off all the ways I’ve grown since then, I’d need quite a lot of time to do it. A sizeable portion of it could probably be attributed to this website. People that come around here. Random individuals on the internet, that I haven’t met face to face, but I’ve appreciated all the wisdom and help they’ve lent in their free time, even if it wasn’t always particularly meant for just me. I’ve come to a crossroads in my “career”, and I couldn’t think of many better places to ask for this kind of advice, granted a few of you don’t mind reading through this and maybe even sending me back a word or two, if you have the time.
I think I’m going on around 5 years as a Web Developer. Yes, the kind that’s wired up Google Analytics for companies to track people, that’s had to suck it up and throw JQuery and some bullshit 800lb plugins at your browser because who’s about to argue with the boss. I don’t have a college degree, and believe me I gave a go at it. But I’ve suffered from attention deficit problems (to count one problem) for my whole life, and school is the first kind of place where the chances of making it through are way more slim with that kind of luggage you’ve gotta carry into every lecture, through every study session, and it’s unfathomably more difficult when you don’t know what’s wrong, and you don’t have any kind of treatment to deal with it.
Well, here I am now, healthcare hasn’t gotten any less expensive, and after getting laid off from my latest job, I’ve gotta figure out some way to keep the bills paid to keep my head from going under water. Up to here, it’s felt like I’ve struggled every point along the way. I can’t figure out which direction to go. Every manager I’ve worked under has lauded me for my “acumen” with quality code, figuring my way around problems, learning when I need to (I’d sure like to believe they’re right). But every manager has also brought up issues I have with productivity, focus, and when it’s getting hard to sleep, and everything’s getting to me, and I’m coming into the office around noon, my tardiness.
Do I give up?
Should I try to seek out a simpler job, that may not pay nearly as much, but one that won’t eat me up and throw me out? Do I try and switch tracks to a related work, like IT? Although I’m young, there are people that depend on me, I can’t just keep rolling the dice when every firm will tell me I’m not good enough, when with this dissatisfaction my employment hangs over my head like a cloud. However much I love how programming makes me feel, I just want to be able to come home one day and not feel afraid that the next day my manager will pull me into their office, that when unemployed I won’t find new work in time. I just want to be able to make it, at this point, and I don’t know which direction to turn.