Questions

Can you relate to my personality and would you recommend a career change?

I've been always attracted to technology but I'm feeling that my life feels so miserable that I'm taking two heavy drugs (one to sleep and one anti-depressant) I worked as a graphic designer, marketing coordinator and now project coordinator. I'm feeling miserable because my job it's all about tracking projects, documents and doing math reports (project coordinator). I like having ideas, being creative, and thinking about the future, digging a subject to understand the why of things, solving problems and helping people. I have an idea for product a week (I'm ADHD) when I'm feeling relaxed. I'm driven by solving an issue and learning everything I can to solve that issue, almost like a doctor does, rather than doing something mechanical and structured. The only job that I've done that felt a little inspiring was when I was graphic designer for 2 years at a software company and was promoted to specialist to manage a new designer (not in a sense of giving him stuff to do but we worked together to recreate all the branding and website of the company). The owner who used to be a micromanager also trusted me more and left me alone to do things. I also felt happy when he was improving his skills and everybody was going above and beyond. But I've always wanted to do something larger so I moved to a larger company hoping that I could create the app that would save them - wrong choice, I focused on "building a resume with a good brand and career". Being a high achiever in that company was not doing what was right for the customers but what your director wanted. Everybody says that I should be an entrepreneur or working with something creative but I'm not a guy who is driven by business, money networking and growing a business, I'm not shy (I love listening to people) but I really like to spend a lot of time thinking on how to solve an issue, however I do have some hard time finishing projectss (I try to control myself and cut the number of projects). I tried the "strategist" career path in agencies but after talking to people I realized that it was a lot of bullshit. I still believe in building web products that work, which benefits society and people and are real. I'm mission driven and I need to believe in what I do, I worked for a not for profit and when I realized that I was just making money to maintain the our salary because we were not solving any issue I lost all the motivation, (I've tried starting some projects to solve some core problems with the organization but they refused because of hierarchy, even though the people on the bottom liked the idea). I just realized that passions are bullshit too, you should do what your personality fits you and do what you are, like for ex. my wife loves food but she would never succeed being a chef, she is good with people and writing and she is happy doing PR for corporations. I only have one question, does anybody relate to my personality or have seen someone like this in the tech industry? Some people suggested me to be an interaction designer or UX/HCI researcher, but I just wanted to get an opinion.

3answers

I can relate to where you're coming from for a couple of reasons. One, I love technology, yet I define myself more as a creative person who loves to write. As an employee, I was on both sides of the fence. For many years I was a software developer and systems analyst. And I've also been copywriter and a merchandise assistant in the fashion industry. I was always looking for the place where I fit.

I've spent time in corporate--ended up hating the bureaucracy and politics. And contracting/volunteering in non-profits, which have their own challenges.

Running a business isn't for everyone, so it's good that you realize it might not be the path your want to take. A lot of people do it because they believe it will lead to freedom. But it can be another trap if running a business doesn't fit your temperament.

My suggestion would be to take your time right now. Do some work within yourself to be honest about what you're drawn to, and what is a complete turn off. Don't just run to something to get away from something else.

It might take a while for you to define the right move. I'd start by writing out what you dislike and what you like when it comes to work and self expression. Sounds simplistic, I know. But you'd be surprised how much comes out if you take the time to write it out. Or speak it into a recording device--whatever it takes to get it out of your head.

Don't be afraid to make a mistake while you're figuring it out. Every new opportunity doesn't have to be the "be all and end all." Once I made the move out of IT, I became a contractor and also did freelance writing. Not being a full-time employee allowed me to have an income while not being committed fully to a company or job.

Perhaps your ultimate answer will be to do something on the side, while you work full-time in an environment that allows you to grow and do good work. Or perhaps the freelance/contractor route will click. You'll have to give yourself space to figure out what's right--what makes sense for your peace of mind and for your financial needs.

It's okay if you follow your own path. It just may take a while for you to figure it out what's right for you and how to create the fulfillment you're seeking.

For myself, I accept that my path will not be a straight line. In corporate I had a career path, and I knew what every step would be. That's not true now, and sometimes it can be unnerving not to know. But I've found that it works better for me to have the flexibility, and I'm wiling to accept the "uncertainty" that comes with it.

That's why you have to have an idea of what you want and what you're willing to live with, so you can express yourself in the world and feel good about it.


Answered 5 years ago

You're in great company if you're an ADHD Introvert :)

I can see by what you've written, that you have some insights into both areas.

Here's the thing. Success really is an inside job first.

I've watched many people get the things in life they "want" only to still be depressed and unhappy.

Before changing careers, do some inner work. Maybe start with gaining a greater understanding of ADHD (and the plus's we have because of ADHD) and being an introvert PBS had two series I recommend. ADHD and Loving it and Dr. Amen's ADHD program.

There are some excellent books on celebrating being an Introvert. Susan Cain is GREAT! I have her TED talk on my blog www.MarketingWithIntegrity.com just do a search for introvert.

NOTE: the fact that you're a good listener is a good thing IF you want to go into your own business. However, from what I read, it sounds like you'd be better off, right now, being part of a team... for company that appreciates you.

Getting back to your question... Would I recommend a career change?

If you're not happy I would start with inner work first before you find your ideal career and "go for the brass ring".

Because if you were to change careers now, you'll be adding stress to your life. Good stress is still stress.


Answered 5 years ago

Yes, yes, and a little more yes.
I can relate to you but in a different field. I am a psychotherapist and wilderness guide.
I can recommend an approach: whatever you do, don't be a spaz about it. I think you know what I mean by spaz, I certainly do because I've been accused of being one many times in my life.
Pick a project that you think has merit. Talk to mentors, advisers, friends, and get their feedback. Listen to what they have to say. You don't have to follow all of their advice but allow yourself to really consider it.
Then pursue it.
Remember an enormously important thing: when you're hiking on a mountain never look up. The horizon is constantly receding and you'll get discouraged. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other and celebrate your small successes.


Answered 5 years ago

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