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Search - "work life balance is not what you think it is"
So, my wife is in the hospital with two of the kids for an annual checkup. Should be nothing to worry about but still it's stressful and I want to be there.
I'd booked the day off (until the end of the week) and last week I got told, you've taken too many holidays, just the Friday is approved.
Ok, fine, I'll do some extra hours work from home and be there for the appointment. But fuck no, they schedule an "important" client meeting this morning and I'm required to attend.
TWO FUCKING HOURS and I contributed a sum total of 2 sentences which could have been filled in just as well by the other developer on the call
Just another reason I'm happy to be interviewing at other companies.6
I started saying 'yes' to every opportunity in life. Long story short, I have 3 websites, 2 logos, a couple of leaflets and 2 non-profit websites due yesterday. Whiskey with cereal never tasted better at 8 AM!5
I'm basically an introvert. I've lived most of my childhood with my mother alone with few friends and the ones I had betreyed me real hard at some point. So how come that I'm now founding a startup, speaking in front of a big audience at meetups and have a nearly 60/40 work/social life?
At some point I decided to be more social. Making that decision alone had a huge impact. It took several years though, to implement this decision. Some day I cut off my draining social bounds and found energyzing relationships by simple doing what I wanted to do. I started to reach out and experiment with a lot of hobbies like bow casting and going to board games evenings. I made little steps. E.g bow casting is a sport where you don't necessarily interact with others within the sport, but you have the opportunity to interact about the sport.
A physiologist once told me the neat fact, that being an introvert is just an attribute that does not contradict the skill being socially involved. So it is possible with training and decisions to learn how to be more extroverted. For in introvert this is more exhausting and challanging, but definitely possible.
So today I balance my social life and work by visiting meetups, playing board games and all that stuff that makes me comfortable. There I get to know people with similar interests and similar struggle ;)
At some point the work was just not enough to be happy, I identified my missing social interactions as the root cause so I decided to change that.
On the other hand, don't think you have to be social. Don't think you have to care about everything others expect you to care about. It's bullshit. Don't care about that. Rather ask yourself what you want for yourself. Certainly a social life is part of that, but you alone decide how this will look like. E.g. After I decided hey I just don't give a fuck if you like cuddling your cat and when it's birthday is, several months or years later I started to be interested in these things from my own, not because some dippshit society construct expects me to care about it.
So to wrap up:
Introvert is an attribute, social life is a skill.
Deciding for yourself and giving a fuck about others is key.
It takes a shit load of time. But it works.
Dont become a dev if you:
- Cant sit in the office for 8-10 hours a day
- Dont know how to google information/ errors, instead you interrupt your teammates with stupid questions every 5 minutes
- Are a perfectionist and don't like constant change.
- Are neurotic and give up easily. If you get triggered about broken or messy things to the point where it ruins your day to you and everyone else around you. You need to separate your work from your life.
- Don't have good communication skills. Worst I saw was a guy who speaks with a stutter(nobody understands him) and also writes very poorly (nobody understands his emails). Also he gets very angry when you ask additional questions to clarify what he said. How can you work with someone like that?
- Are very sensitive to critique. I prefer someone telling me that my code is shit and telling me why, instead of feeding me delusions and false validation.
- Dont know how to balance working in team and working solo. Nobody likes lone wolfs who are arrogant and not in sync with the team. But also nobody likes to drag teammates who cant think for themselves and even after years of spent in the field are required constant spoonfeeding because they are unable to google and teach themselves with trial and error.15
So at the beginning of the year I took a new job at a large, stable company. Leaving a failing startup, toxic leadership, and an absolutely stellar development team in the process. Given what's happened in the world since then, I'm overall pretty happy with the decision to have some more stability for me and my family.
That being said, I'm super bummed out (and weirdly burned out) now because I feel like I'm becoming a worse engineer.
I've worked for large organizations before (single digit thousands of employees), but never have I experienced a personification of enterprise memes like this. Leadership too out of touch, lots of bullshit work just to make worthless reports look good, horrific legacy codebases and infrastructure, you name it.
My biggest problem are the expectations are shockingly low. I went from a hyper demanding work environment where the fate of the entire company seemed to hang in the balance each and every week, to an environment where we literally invent arbitrary, bullshit deadlines and requirements so we have something to feel some stress about. And even still, most of the deadlines are laughably far away. The pace of work that's not only accepted, but praised is so slow that I find myself procrastinating more and more. I spend so little time doing any work, and even less time doing things that would pass as "interesting", that I feel like the engineering and problem solving part of my brain is starting to rot.
To make matters worse, the culture is weirdly confrontational despite the pace being so slow. The people here are _incredibly_ pedantic and will launch into 15 minute arguments over the tiniest incorrect details in a story title. Interrupting someone just so you can say what they were going to say is a daily trial. And most ridiculous of all, _repeating_ word for word what someone _just_ finished saying like it was your thought and you didn't even hear them. I don't even know what the motivation for this could be because it makes them look like total clowns.
I've tried to bring up some of the things I find ridiculous, but most everyone has just accepted them at this point and there's virtually no effort to try and make things better. I only get stupid non-answers like "obviously you've never worked at a large enterprise before". Yes I have. Twice. We didn't partake in half the bullshit that happens here.
Honestly this was all just a passing frustration for the first month or two, but 7 months in I'm starting to see myself become complacent. My current output would be absolutely _shameful_ to myself from a year ago, and even my personality has started to shift to the point that I just go with the flow and don't challenge anything.
I've stopped keeping up with tech trends. I've stopped experimenting with new things. I've tried to do more work on personal projects, but the burnout is starting to affect my life outside of work. In general I've just completely stopped trying, and I absolutely fucking hate it.
I also feel like a total tool for complaining about having a cushy, stable job where I barely have to do anything given the current world climate. But I'm more miserable now than I think I've every been in my career. Has anyone else experienced this and found ways to combat it? How do you get your motivation back once it's lost and there isn't even any pressure to regain it?
I totally blame myself for becoming part of this joke. That's totally on me for not continuing to push myself, but I never realized how much of my "drive" from the last job was coming from the high stakes we were operating under. I really just want to get back to being proud of my work and pushing to be better.
Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post. This turned out to be a weirder rant/self-roast than I intended. But I'm hoping this will be the first step to kicking my own ass back into shape.6
How do all you other devs deal with sleep? Because I am losing my fucking mind I work for myself so I don't go to work at 9am leave at 6pm.
I normally work until 6am and then sleep till 12 drink 3 strong coffee to start functioning again try and do something productive which at the moment involves catching up on the NBA playoffs and then starting work at 6pm.
Due to resent baby I thought shit my life is fucked I haven't left the house in 3 days I need structure routine I need to work 9am to 6pm become human again but I just can't FUCKING sleep it's now 1:30am and I'm trying to sleep.
I know what your thinking why are you on devRant but I've been trying to sleep for the past 3 hours but all I can think about is work code, refactoring, new languages, security, support shit that can wait but I can't get it out my head, keep thinking "ah your not tired you could work", and YES I have a list which get bigger every day wish I had a drug dealer or was still in contact with my old mates so I could get some Valium but it's hot milk and sleeping tablets for me, life is so much easier when you can just fuck of home at the end of the day and forget about work, not having your laptop next to you trying to trick you into opening it. How do other people who work for theirselves deal with the life work balance?4