I don't know where I'm going in life

After doing an unrelated degree, I ended up doing web development where I’ve been for nearly 15 years now.

The pay is decent and things usually start off fine. But after a few years in each job I just hit a mental wall where I gradually end up loathing coming in. I can’t get any work done at all. Everything becomes boring and pointless. Right now it feels like 90% of what I do is just writing a fancy UI over a database.

I feel like I let issues build up at work and don’t tell anyone about them (“I’m not getting work done because I’m fixing your computers all the time and sitting in the middle of a call center”).

I don’t know how much is lacking in self confidence/depression and how much is bad choice of workplace.

I get to a point where I justify to myself that things are terrible and just find a new job. Somehow the new workplace and new work acts as a reset switch and things are good again for a while. Right now it sort of works in my favour - if I move, I often get a pay bump. But this isn’t the way I want to carry on. It feels like someday the music will stop and I’ll be left without a chair while everyone else stays at a place and gets further up the ladder.

Oh well. That’s my ranting. Thanks for reading.

Have you perhaps considered doing freelance work and managing your own clients? This would enable you to work on a diverse range of project of your choosing.

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I am in a rather similar place and situation in life, though I have maybe kept a little bit more agency (possibly as a result of being really interested in relationships and steeped in the idea that everything can and ought to be improved upon), and have a kind of horizon goal of turning towards working on stuff I deeply care about. While much or all of what I just wrote here probably apply as useful ideas, I won’t ape that off here too.

As a web dev with a pedigree a decade and a half there are plenty of places to work that pay well, given that the values we provide can multiply well, to user bases a hundred million people large or more. This will remain the case for at least another while, which gives us some runway to find stuff that matter to us. I am in a similar place, where I am throwing myself at things (life situations, people, projects, ideas) to see if anything sticks, and what.

The past year, I have been in forced exile on visa changing bureaucracy, trying on a bit of isolation in Japan (within a week, I got lonely enough to fly in a girl friend and her daughter) and family life in Sweden. It will be interesting to head back and see if it turns out breaking that connection turns out to be a critically important thing I have to undo by moving back. Still, it’s a bit of a random walk, experimenting with where I want to go and be in life. I have pondered pitching an ambitious project I care about to GOOG, AAPL or FB (the places of scale where I could pull it off), but it might not be on enough philosophical foundation to count as a life goal.

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