I am miserable at my current job and want to find something fulfilling or start working freelance, suggestions?

Farmers Insurance IMOj71
Oct 14 21 Comments

I’m currently on my fourth year working for this company as a software developer, my title does not reflect what I do though. I feel like they just gave me a random job tittle that would match the salary grade they offered me. I’ve built over 5 applications from the ground up , tens of thousands of lines of code, and maintain and manage each one of them independently with no help from anyone else. I’ve gotten pats on the back in terms of recognition, but the reality is that I’m financially struggling to make ends meet and I’m extremely unhappy with my current role and life. I feel extremely undervalued and underappreciated and would have expected a bump in my salary grade and job title by now. The problem is that they have me mainly working on an outdated microsoft stack so my experience with more relevant stacks is starting to lag behind the competition. So 4 years in Im struggling to find any interest in me as a candidate, I also consistently bomb technical interviews because I am out of practice in terms of the fundamentals. I would love to study and work on my own personal projects during off hours but I end up spending 2 hours each way to commute
to this job, so my days are usually 12-13 hours long; by the time I get home Im extremely exhausted. The reason I live so far away is because I dont even get paid enough to be able go afford to live in the area, not to mention quality of life sucks around here anyways for what I would barely be able to afford (in the event of having no debt). I just want to quit at this point with 0 financial security and 0 prospects of any work in hopes that this will put me in fight or flight mode, and ill HAVE to try my hardest to secure something before running aground. I know it sounds stupid and unrealistic, but the amount of time my current job eats into my time is what I ultimately see as hindering my ability to find a new job or work hard on my personal projects. I know it would be unwise to focus on pursuing freelance work without building a network of contact’s and referral’s, but it circles back to this catch 22 of a situation I find myself in. I’ve consistently tried to stay patient and positive to do this the right way (i.e.: interview for a new position while actively working here, study as much as i can with as little time that i have to ensures success with any potential interviews, work on my own portfolio of projects and build up my personal business), but I honestly dont know if I can do it anymore. I am sacrificing too much of my own happiness playing this waiting game. So much so that I cant find the strength to make it happen “the right way”. Please share with me any suggestions you can give me, I need to find an escape route soon.

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TOP 21 Comments
  • Akamai Technologies / Eng __init__()
    What location and TC..? Try to reduce work and do LC regularly
    Oct 14 2
    • Farmers Insurance IMOj71
      OP
      Los Angeles, $95k. By LC do you mean LeetCode? Thanks.
      Oct 14
    • Akamai Technologies / Eng __init__()
      If you are not have immigration issue then take a gap of two months, prepare well and crack it out. This requires planning thoroughly and don't do it if you think there is not enough support
      Oct 14
  • Capital One
    aware_wolf

    Capital One

    PRE
    OSIsoft
    aware_wolfmore
    Wall of text much? How about a summary? TC or GTFO!
    Oct 14 2
    • Farmers Insurance IMOj71
      OP
      The summary is literally the title of my post. I posted TC on a comment. I’m new here, and didn’t know this was a thing. Have a nice day.
      Oct 14
    • State Farm Locandro
      Asshole
      Oct 14
  • Uber tvBN63
    Can you find a way to study at work (e.g. learn about testing and use what you learn on your projects) or during your commute (e.g. listen to audiobooks)?
    Oct 15 2
    • Farmers Insurance IMOj71
      OP
      Today I brought in Programming Interviews Exposed into the office to read on my downtime and off-hours. I'll probably end up staying a little later and begin forgoing my trips to the gym in an effort to try and study as much as I can. I am going to try to study a bit while at work, but ethically it feels wrong to not focus on my job.
      Oct 16
    • Uber tvBN63
      You could listen to the audiobook at the gym too.
      Oct 16
  • ABB bandito
    Question, you think you should've gotten a raise and maybe a change of title by now... Well, have you asked for one? You have to be your own champion in this world. That said, a two hour commute is ridiculous so I'd consider leaving anyway. Have you done the math? You'd probably be making more doing retail management or landscaping wherever you actually live after gas and other expenses relating to the commute, impacts on your health, etc. are factored in
    Oct 14 2
    • Farmers Insurance IMOj71
      OP
      Yea, I’ve asked for over a year at this point during our 1 on 1’s. He just tells me there’s usually only one person that can get this recommendation every year, and that he’s going to try and put in a good word for me during the annual review. I feel like he tells this to everyone else on my “team” though, they also haven’t been given any promotions or recognition in recent years. Side note: I work as the only developer in my team and department so my management has no idea how to manage me, measure the quality of work I do, etc... so ultimately I feel like they do not know how to value what I do at all, making me feel like I’m grasping at straws when I mention a promotion.
      Oct 14
    • ABB bandito
      I'm not a developer but have been in a similar situation. Manager didn't know our business (marketing) and felt threatened by everyone knowing more than her. Not saying you are experiencing that exactly but in general, your team not knowing how you contribute and what it takes is bad. I think you need to move on. Especially if you have been asking and are getting the run around. If you think you might leave, I would take a bit of an aggressive approach at work and TELL your boss you're looking BECAUSE you need more money. They obviously can't afford to lose you on the spot so the negative fallout to you is minimal and it ups the ante, lets him know you mean business. He may come back with that raise after all, or can be working to get it online for you when you come back to him with another offer (always give them a chance to counter a new offer)
      Oct 14
  • Snapchat Doodzad
    If you don’t have visa issue, quit and do full time preparation for interviews. Don’t waste your time where you are not paid enough.
    Oct 14 1
    • Farmers Insurance IMOj71
      OP
      I'm an american citizen, no visa issues. Actually it seems like people coming in on the H1-B visas in this company are the ones excelling and getting the most recognition. They are seemingly flocking to this company as it's very willing to provide sponsorship to people. I deal with a lot of contractors and respect everything they do for themselves and family though, so more power to them.
      Oct 16
  • Tableau Pcsxg
    I feel lot of times we get submerged into our everyday work and forget about the outside world and the opportunities it has. Stop being loyal to the company and see what's out there
    Oct 14 1
    • Farmers Insurance IMOj71
      OP
      Thank you for your reply, these words of encouragement to get out there mean a lot. I am trying to figure out how to float myself for a couple of months in order to make this happen.
      Oct 16
  • Uber tvBN63
    Take the Triplebyte interview and see what they say. I don't recommend quitting unless you're confident you'll get a better job reasonably quickly, and I don't think you're in a good position to judge your market value right now.
    Oct 15 2
    • Farmers Insurance IMOj71
      OP
      Thank you for the suggestion, I will checkout Triplebyte today. I can't even convince myself that quitting is a good idea at the moment, but currently the impact this job is having on my life just seems to get worse and worse every single day. I literally woke up this morning contemplating bankruptcy and homelessness as a more viable option than dealing with this crap anymore. I know my situation may not sound so dire on paper, but trust me when I say that I just can't take it anymore. I'll suck it up for as much as possible though, maybe I'll come back in an upswing and push through these bad times.
      Oct 16
    • Uber tvBN63
      If you're an Android user, The Stoic is a good app for helping you keep your chin up in trying times.
      Oct 16
  • Quit. The fight or flight mode is what you need. Try and pay up rent 2 months in advance or at least get a credit card that will cover up your bills for the next 2 months. Others might have a different opinion. But personally, it worked for me. I was working a job where I practically did 4 jobs for the pay of an intern. Quiting helped me put my life together. I focused on my interviews and got 3 offers in a month. Don't waste another day of your life working for this company.
    Oct 14 1
    • Farmers Insurance IMOj71
      OP
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I know that the fight mode is genuinely what I need to kick-start my motivation to study hard and get into the role I have desired since graduating with a degree in C.S. 8 years ago. But at the same time my conscience kills any realistic possibility of this happening, while obtaining a credit card to help cover my bills sounds tempting, I don't know if it's the right idea. Currently all my savings are going towards paying off my debts, which I've projected to be done with in about a years time. I wish I had the support from my family to try and make it happen, but they all feel like I should be grateful for having this job. (none of them have careers, or ever graduated with a degree so they have never had an experience similar to mine, and see me as very successful).
      Oct 16

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