Author Topic: Am I burned out or just lazy?  (Read 1068 times)

Tester

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Am I burned out or just lazy?
« on: September 14, 2020, 12:11:35 PM »
I don't know what is happening but I feel like I am going downwards in my career/work/abilities.
I feel like I lost my "spark".
For the last 4-5 years I did not have a lot of re ognized success at work, although I had some highs. The general feeling is that I am doing average work and that my performance is average.

I still like my domain - I am a software tester - but lately I am not getting to write any code and it is a required part of my job... So I am also losing my abilities and my interest for coding.
I was never a 10x developer but I really enjoy finding solutions and improving things.

I am finding myself thinking that I just want a job which is not so demanding/with clear criteria for doing it right/with the right projects for my interests and strengths.
Lately I got into some not so nice events where I feel my contibutions are not welcome and my knowledge is dismissed even when I get backing from senior developers or support my opinions with science.

What is worse is that I think I would not pass a coding interview as I got rusty plus I already said that I was not a super programmer.

Right  ow I am trying to find  QA Manager job (I have some experience as a QA Manager) but it is quiet, not even rejection responses.
I really like improving people and systems. Besides my official management time I continues mentoring people with seemingly good results...

I am also trying to get myself back to speed with my coding skills but I keep finding excuses for not doing it (Covid WFH is hard with distractions, let's try finding a job which I can do with current skills, oh I am having a hard time solving this problem so I get stuck on it for days...).

Please let me know if you have a silver bullet where I can just quit working and do whatever I want...

If not, just face punch me until I realize how lucky I am to have a job which in theory pays me for a thing I am realky good at (I am still really good at finding problems) and tell me to just do my best...

eljefe-speaks

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Re: Am I burned out or just lazy?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 01:39:03 PM »
I feel much the same way. I am totally burned out and I am pretty sure I had something adjacent to a panic attack the other day. I was totally unable to do the day's assigned mundane tasks. I took a (mentally) sick day and that seemed to help. The job also carries an unhealthy dose of chronic stress. I have been doing a lot of thinking about whether the job itself is breaking me down or if it is stress brought on by COVID. If it is the latter, it's probably temporary. There are no easy answers though. It is just a seemingly endless slog.

I guess my response is just to let you know you're not alone!


Mr. Green

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Re: Am I burned out or just lazy?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 02:02:57 PM »
You sound like....me. entered the workforce as a software engineer but was never a bangerang coder. I ended up in testing, but was working with large systems that required integration work too. It's a different beast but it suited me better. I was still able to code a little but it was a much smaller focus of my time. It's definitely tough to keep up coding skill in that situation because you just aren't doing it as much.

However, if you don't enjoy coding and aren't great at it, perhaps trying to keep that a main focus is not for you. I know that's where the big money is but those jobs were where I was most unhappy.

Spark is important too. The last few years I could barely stand to go to work. I was taking 400 hours of time off a year, and they weren't vacations. It was 2 hours here and 3 hours there where I couldn't bare to be in the office anymore. I think I only held on as long as I did because I was FIREing at the end. But if that timeline is far enough away for you it may be time to explore other options.

I don't know what concentration of software you're in but maybe there are integration type jobs in your field? You'd get a bit of everything. Coding, testing, bug fixing, reverse engineering. That was my wheelhouse, the 10,000 foot view where you were asking why a product or process should be a certain way or how it would meet the customer's needs but also still deep enough in the weeds that you deal in details.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 02:05:02 PM by Mr. Green »

Tester

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Re: Am I burned out or just lazy?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 03:21:58 PM »
Thx.
MrGreen, I was usually at the level you are talking about. Involved from the beginning, asking questions about the requirements, design, implementation, definition nt the test plan, running it, manually or writing automation....
I was also contributing to initiatives touching more teams and sometimes the whole company.
I was good at it and getting good vibes from Directors, besides the people I was working with directly.

Now I am kind of only writing test plans as there is too much work to do everything and the idea is the Developers will do the testing based on my test plans and even more, soon I will just be reviewing their test plans and the testing...
I am fine with this as it is the only way of multiplying impact.
My problem is that I do not seem to get through to the (newer) senior manager when I am trying to change/improve things across multiple teams/can't seem to please him.

I like coding, as in I like it when I am able to find and implement solutions to either make testing easier/enable tests impossible to run before/report on interesting facets of data or quality.
I have designed and implemented solutions which are still used years later, some are even features deployed in production to enable testing...

I think I am mostly missing a team I can trust plus some self motivation.

Regarind FIRE I am quite far from it.
Started saving 5 years ago... Went from 30k debt to net worth of 350k.
I will try to focus on finding my spark again, now I am looking in changing teams/changing job to Management.
 I think too much focus on "when can I fire" contributed a little too.

cincystache

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Re: Am I burned out or just lazy?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 06:50:41 PM »
I'm in a similar situation just a different field (chemistry R&D at the same company for 10 years). You sound exactly like me in many ways. I don't have an answer but I'm working on it. I took some career assessments and found some leads on different career options that might be a better fit with my personality. I have also gotten into weightlifting and I find that is a good distraction from my never-ending list of mundane tasks that I constantly procrastinate on. It also gives me a feeling of control and builds confidence even if it isn't directly related to my job. I would encourage you by saying 1. you aren't alone at all, a lot of people feel exactly like you, and 2. having a 350k net worth gives you a lot of options.

I'm at a similar NW and I feel like I can pretty much COAST and we'll be FI in 10-20 years even if I stop contributing at this point. This has given me the confidence to explore jobs that are less stressful and that don't require as much competition or jockeying with co-workers for promotion or worrying about getting fired etc...

Mr. Green

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Re: Am I burned out or just lazy?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 09:41:35 PM »
Thx.
MrGreen, I was usually at the level you are talking about. Involved from the beginning, asking questions about the requirements, design, implementation, definition nt the test plan, running it, manually or writing automation....
I was also contributing to initiatives touching more teams and sometimes the whole company.
I was good at it and getting good vibes from Directors, besides the people I was working with directly.

Now I am kind of only writing test plans as there is too much work to do everything and the idea is the Developers will do the testing based on my test plans and even more, soon I will just be reviewing their test plans and the testing...
I am fine with this as it is the only way of multiplying impact.
My problem is that I do not seem to get through to the (newer) senior manager when I am trying to change/improve things across multiple teams/can't seem to please him.

I like coding, as in I like it when I am able to find and implement solutions to either make testing easier/enable tests impossible to run before/report on interesting facets of data or quality.
I have designed and implemented solutions which are still used years later, some are even features deployed in production to enable testing...

I think I am mostly missing a team I can trust plus some self motivation.

Regarind FIRE I am quite far from it.
Started saving 5 years ago... Went from 30k debt to net worth of 350k.
I will try to focus on finding my spark again, now I am looking in changing teams/changing job to Management.
 I think too much focus on "when can I fire" contributed a little too.
I don't know what your company does or how many others there are like that but I was a defense department contractor and there was tons of work for people like you and I. Didn't like the team? Find a new one. I ultimately wasn't a good fit for office work. I need to be outside. But the work you describe is ubiquitous from my perspective and I would think it shouldn't be any trouble finding a better fitting job. Maybe the work is the same but the team chemistry ends up being better. I also had my fill of working in shitty places, largely due to personalities, where even if the work was interesting you either had to suffer the people or find another job. If you aren't beholden to this company I would consider freshening your resume and putting feelers out on LinkedIn or whatever other popular networking platform your corner of the SE world might be using. You never know what might turn up.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 09:43:16 PM by Mr. Green »