Feeling like giving up my career as a web developer

Hi everyone, I’m a long time lurker, first time poster.

My name is Sebastian, and I’ve been a web developer for 6 years. I started off designing Myspace pages for local bands in San Diego, and have since worked with several large companies, created multiple startups, and done loads of freelance work. For a long time, web development was what I thought made me happy, but recently I’ve been sincerely doubting if it’s something that I want to continue pursuing as a career.

I recently lost my job as the lead web developer for a major corporation in Oregon, and have been unemployed for nearly 3 months. My savings are all but gone, and I’ve had to sell a lot of the other things in my life that gave me temporary, artificial happiness - my Xbox One and my TV are some of those things.

I’ve been too proud to try looking for work outside of web development, and have been investing every ounce of my being trying to find more work as a developer. I’ve applied to so many places that I’ve lost count. I’ve dipped into my savings to try advertising myself locally as a freelancer. I’ve tried cold calls and emails. Nothing has resulted in any work for myself, and I’m nearing the end of my rope.

Every day that I can’t find work just feels more and more like the world is trying to persuade me to stop trying, and to just give up on my career. I’ve just been getting knocked down so many times, that I find myself not even wanting to try and get back up on my feet.

Now, just to clear the air about this, I am in-fact diagnosed with bipolar depression and anxiety.
Recent events have in no way whatsoever helped that fact. I keep telling myself that this is my fault, and that obviously I’m not as great a developer as I once thought I was, otherwise I would have had a job by now.

That may not be true, and I may just be acting out against myself because I have no other outlets, but it’s really difficult for me to think differently right now. I’m completely jaded, and am not really sure how I’m supposed to feel right now.

I’m not necessarily looking for advice. I mostly just needed to vent to someone who might be able to relate to me so I can feel less alone and scared for my future.

Thanks to anyone who may have read this. This is a great site, and I really appreciate the developers who put this together. You guys made a great site, and I’m sure it’s helped a lot of people.


Hi sebastianinman, thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear you are going through this. I know you said you are not looking for advice, which I totally understand. While I am currently employed, I have experienced the frustration of not being able to find freelance work. I also have passively looked for other full-time work to see what is out there, and despite my experience I have a hard time getting interviews.

It seems that as the development field grows, the bar is getting raised to an unreasonable level as far as what employers are looking for. Everyone wants a superstar who can do it all and in no time flat. They also expect someone who spends all of their free time thinking, breathing, and sleeping coding. With less time spent on the sleeping.

I don’t know if this helps, other than to say it’s not all your fault. I hope that things work out for you.

Hey Sebastian, it’s obviously not your fault, you haven’t been even given a chance.

You started doubting your career only after you’ve lost your job? It kind of sounds like it, and it sounds like it did make you happy while you were still employed?

Maybe you could find some temporary low-qualification job while searching for a better on? You wrote about your pride, and I get that, I would be the same, but I also would probably regret it later.

You may find helpful the replies that people will send to this topic:

I’m sorry that you’re experiencing this:( I’ve definitely spent substantial chunks of time unemployed so I know what it’s like. Can I ask where you’re applying? Perhaps it’s harder to get hired in your local market, but if you’re wiling to relocate places like Chicago are suffering for devs. (Yes, I’m from Chicago).

Also, have you tried freelancing? There are several freelance websites from which you could get a little bit of income while you are looking for a full-time job.