Oct 31, 2012
My name is Joan and I’m 31. With a master’s degree in German and computer science I have spent the past five years as a systems developer in the field of language technology.
I used to feel that this was the best job in the world and never questioned the many hours I spent on it – after all, I was being paid to learn something new every day, what more could you want?
Consequently I knew it was serious when my enthusiasm faded and I started feeling stressed at the prospect of going to work in the morning. It sort of snuck up on me: Colleagues came and went, and I began to notice permanent chaos around me instead of the usual room for improvement. I tried working more, then I tried working less. I focussed on healthy food and on going to bed early. I was even allowed to redefine parts of my job description and change my working hours. It didn’t work. I no longer felt the same pride in my accomplishments as before, and I didn’t sleep well.
Still, I didn’t have the courage to quit my job until my partner asked me directly to do so. I knew that he was right. The next morning I handed in my resignation, with two months’ notice. My boss was unhappy, my mom was worried (“what, in these times of crisis?!”) but I am relieved. Soon I will no longer be someone else’s employee. My life belongs to me again. I can do anything.
I haven’t yet decided on my next steps, but the more I think about it, the more I am determined to try to be brave about it. Hence this blog.