Details on how I failed at work. This should also shed some light on why I hate my work too I think. They are connected. Maybe more on that in another post however – lets focus on the topic at hand.
I am close to 40 years old.. People at my age have titles such as Director of Software Engineering, Head of Backend Engineering, Software Architect and so on.. People sharing the same title with myself are around 25 years old. People interviewing (and rejecting) me are much younger than me.
I am at least 15 years behind, and I am not moving forward a bit.
In 2019 I was hired at a relatively good company and the day I started 2 other software developers had started. We shared the same start day. They have been promoted not once, twice in 2.5 years. They are both Staff Software Engineers now. They are leading teams. I have been promoted not once but zero times. Yes zero. I am not sure if there are any developers in the company who have not received any promotions for that long in my company. I am still at where I started. 👨💼 The company gives a bonus between 5% to 15% annually based on your performance. You guessed it right – I am also constantly getting only 5%.
My progress stopped more or less when I had my children. My wife had a very difficult pregnancy. We constantly had to go to the hospital. That was a very difficult 5 – 6 months for us already.
After the birth.. slowly I started not being able to find any time to improve out of work hours. There was constantly something. Then I started being tired at work and not being able to focus for 8 hours. These days I cannot even work for 8 hours. Usually I work for 6 hours a day only. I am literally a thief. I am stealing money from my company. I am also getting what I deserve – nothing. I also tend to always do the most basic tasks all the time. I receive no recognition because there is nothing to recognize.
I did not accept my faith so easily. I was trying to go to the library on weekends. Around 3 years ago, again one morning I wanted to go to the library telling that I was going to do some reading on some new technology – I guess it was Java streams back then or maybe Java concurrency. My wife told me she was feeling very tired and wanted to sleep and if it was ok I stayed. I had to baby sit. That day I realized the situation was hopeless.
For this summer we were looking for summer camps for our children. We have been discussing options with my wife. Summer camps are from 9am to 4pm. I told her it was not enough it would hardly work. She asked me if it was not normal. I got extremely mad. The idea that this is perceived normal made me furious. How am I supposed to drop them off at 9am and pick them back up at 4pm (which is only 7 hours long) and work for 8 hours, given I also need to drive back after dropping them off and need to leave around 3:40pm to pick them up? How can I do this?
Truth is – I have been sacrificing my career greatly since my children were born.
Now there are many more details that can be discussed. I need to clarify I am not blaming my wife for anything. I am not blaming my children either. They are not to blame.
On the other hand it feels horrible to be stuck literally at where you were 5 – 6 years ago. I did progress in my career for a few years – been learning – improving – growing. Then I hit a wall. A wall made from diapers, baby formula, toys, daycare, emergency room visits, hours spent in parks, birthday parties, various courses like swimming, arts and craft and so on.
Nowadays I am doing so little work, I am ashamed of myself. I literally do not have the time. I literally do not have the energy.
I sometimes look at career opportunities. There are interesting jobs that I would be interested in. But I am unable to work in them even if I were hired. It is interesting that I do not have time to work. I am not even discussing if I have the time or energy for any sort of hobbies or personal time. I am in a situation where I am complaining about not having enough time to actually work.
Well you may be saying – as usual – why are you complaining? You could/should have seen all this and have a plan. Well we have been in the wait list for before and after school for 15 months now. It is that easy – they just say there is no room available. Well you can hire a nanny. How can I hire a nanny for 2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening? Who would work like that? How much would that cost?
I told my wife not to work – she did not accept. Now she is working full time – thanks to the fact that I am dropping off the kids and picking them back up from school – and that I will be doing so in the summer.
Today was not any different – I got home around 9:05 am and I left by 3:10pm so I could pick up kids from school. We wake up around 7:00am. The first 2 hours of my day drains all my energy already – repeating the same things over and over again to the kids.
I feel demotivated and demoralized with very little to no hope on any improvement any time soon in this situation. I envy the developers around me working on much more complicated stuff in contrast to me working on same things over and over again.
It is too late now – I can't make that change now. I actually did try but ran out of battery and accepted the defeat. I feel like a fallen soldier. It was probably not possible to achieve both – and I made my choice.
Now – one must be careful what they wish for – it may become real. I would not trade my kids for anything in the world. I wish the best for them. They are precious. They are innocent, full of joy, with so much ahead of them. All the potential – it is unbelievable.
I am grateful for what I have. I will keep pushing. I will keep trying. I will keep working with the limited time and energy I have. I will suck up the truth that I am in teams with much younger people only and will not be able to work on more complicated tasks for a while. I do not have the required knowledge. I could not build up the required experience. I will keep moving forward where in my case I think moving forward means just being able to keep what you have. I should at least be able to keep what I have – I wish to keep what I have. I am scared of falling even more behind – I wish to be able to at least keep what I have.