My “work husband” jokes that I ought to just say “loop” every time I text him how frustrated I am and that I need to get a new job. He often texts me similar sentiments in return so we put up with each other’s recurrent complaints, and both share the same frustration with the many things that don’t make sense with constantly-changing goals and lack of opportunity to focus on doing anything meaningful beyond the creation of a quick shiny object before moving on to the next. So, here I am, loop.
But leaving this job is no longer a question of if, but when. It’s more — what do I do next? I recently retook a Myers Brigs type test and I tested clearly as an INTP (no longer an INFP.) That tells me I’m fed up with bullshit and more appreciative of fact and logic in my old age. What a curmudgeon I’ve become. And I like it that way.
I feel like I have two paths here — one where I continue on my “business side” road, where I’ll never be a fit. I’ll have a few wins here and there because I can use logic to come up with ideas that make sense — but they will frequently be sabotaged by people who communicate better than I do and who think they know better. So everything I do will be some watered down or altered or not at all what it was supposed to be version of what I wanted to do. Even though for the most part I don’t even like what I want to do because I can’t get to it in a rational manner. I keep asking — WHY THE FUCK ARE WE DOING THIS — and if I can’t solve for that then it’s hard for me to do anything at all.
And in all my queries over the years I keep looping back to that I need to KNOW things. Not just any things. But I need skills. I need to understand programming. Not that I would be a programmer. Maybe I would be. I doubt it. But I need to understand how things work. To better communicate with the people who make things. So I can also make things. Even if I’m not, well, making them myself. This opens up paths to product management, data science, UX in collaboration with developers, and other roles that I could see being fulfilling in allowing me to build things and doing things that make sense.
The only problem is my focus is non existent. I’ve tried to go down this path before, and I don’t get very far. It’s not even frustration as I just feel like I have no ability to commit to anything whatsoever. It’s a problem. But here in my old age I know I need to. And I have this luxury of time that I normally don’t have where I could, if I get my darned act together, set aside some hours in the day to take a self-paced course and learn some things. I have a lot to do for work, but given I have a goal to move on soon, I don’t have to do anything above and beyond for my current job. And there are definitely times when I have downtime so I might as well put those to learning something useful.
I really like the idea that to get anything done in life you have to make a list of the 25 (or in my case 200) things you want to do and then pick the top 3-5 and cross out all the others. I haven’t quite made the list, but I’d say at the top of it would be 1. learn the fundamentals of coding (probs python since that seems to pop up everywhere) 2. build something even if it sucks 3. clean my house (/get a kitchen table set.) 4. exercise 4x a week 30 minutes a day and don’t order takeout; 5. prioritize work to-dos by day over the next 12 weeks and get that shit done (and repeat as needed.)
I think this is a reasonable and healthful list where if I can accomplish these things by the end of 2022, ongoing, I’ll be in a MUCH better place going into 2023.
I imagine applying for jobs would look much differently if I can say I completed a certificate for programming and/or built something. Because there are two types of people in the world, people who build and the people who try to make everyone see the value in what has been built. Ok, then also people who don’t want anything to do with building things and just want to make sure everyone is doing ok in the process of building those things. So maybe three types. I’m 100% a builder. I need to figure out how to be where I’m meant to be. I have 20-30 years of work left, which isn’t much time, but it’s quite enough time to either go batshit crazy or to be part of building something meaningful that I can be proud of. I prefer the latter.