Sorry if this seems like a rant. Trying to collect my own thoughts.
I have been at my current company as a mid level backend engineer (a startup - around 10-12 years old, went public recently) for around 4-5 years and have a total of 6 years of work experience.
I feel like there has not been much career growth. Got my first promotion after an year of joining the company and not much thereafter. Thus, feeling very lost about where to go next from here.
In the current climate, we had our recent round of layoffs in the organisation. Also, I don't feel very good about some of the things in the organisation such as the stuff I am working on. I don't feel I am learning enough. It is just business requirement - one after another, that too often getting cancelled. Last project I worked on for 3 months, got cancelled after that due to changing priorities. Stock price is plummeting as well. I feel like the best way forward is to restart my own learning journey - what are your thoughts? I used to be one of the top performers in my current and past company and even got awards around 3 times in last 6 years. I tried to work hard for promotions as well, but even after multiple rounds of my manager asking me to do things such as leading the team, multiple XFN projects, infra level revamps etc. - I did not get a promotion. I asked my manager if there is a list of things I should do consistently for a good enough time and if then, we'll be able to make a case for me. He said, that I am trying to gamify the system, but I was only trying to set goals for me. Now, I feel somewhere midway, I have lost my motivation. Feeling a little depressed and often evade work, just coasting to get by.
I want to take charge of my life again and be positive. Quite often I think about other career choices, but have always been in love with CS (and math in my childhood, particularly due to them being intellectually challenging). Just want to make up for the time I lost, and want to do some things I am proud of. I often think of my life being pointless in last couple of years. And want to get a renewed sense of motivation and be excited for the things I work on.
I feel like joining a fast paced place or somewhere I can learn a lot (even outside of work) might help. Don't feel very happy about my current situation though.
Hey, really sorry to hear about your current situation. I hate it when managers spin career ambition as some sort of negative: It's a toxic way to deflect their responsibility of fostering career growth for their reports.
I have always been able to find fulfillment outside of work, and this was especially important during my first job where I pretty much wasn't doing anything. My strategy to find that fulfillment was:
This leads to the following goal of "Building stuff that helps people", which is pretty much my side projects. This is why almost every app I have ever made is:
Whenever I was feeling down career-wise, I would read some of the 10,000+ 5 star reviews I have gotten across my side project apps.
So if you think side projects could be a good outlet for you, check out this playlist: [Taro Top 10] Building Impressive Side Projects
There's also more direct ways to help people within the Taro community if you want:
If you want any more information on these, just DM me in Slack 😊
Do you have enough personal runway if you quit your job? If you have a good safety net, you can consider the dramatic move of simply quitting your current job.
This kick-in-the-butt may be very valuable for you to find a new environment where you can really thrive and feel energized.
This will force you to be uncomfortable (in a good way!):