I think I just ruined whatever little reputation I had

Long story short, I currently (still) don’t have a job but while on my new ADHD medicine, I’ve been feeling confident enough to talk to some people about jobs… and failing to deliver on all accounts. The last I had was a person I met accidentally while on one of the meet-ups in the city (I live in the countryside; no job/no jobs circle kind of a thing) and it all went well for a while - I gave him my phone number and e-mail, in a week he called me asking for whether I’m interested in doing front-end web-dev work for him (I have a huge HTML5 sticker on my laptop); I thought, hey, I can do this.


He asked me about any portfolio I might have, but since the perfectionist in me was really not thinking much of the code I had for my static-site generated personal website (Gulp, LESS, Jade, Babel, so on) I had taken it down at the time and was in the middle of doing a rewrite. Hey, I thought, I’ll wrap up my rewrite, submit what I have, send him the links.


It did not happen. I failed to meet the self-imposed deadline – guess I just work extremely slow by any sane standards. I eventually gave up and got really depressed; the rewrite is about 90% finished, but now I think that is really crap too, so going to build something different next, I guess. I’ve been working on small scene in Three.js (just 250 lines of TypeScript for the main thing) and it’s consumed my last two weeks - again, working super slowly - and my phone ended up breaking down somewhere between then and now, and I never ended up calling him back, nor do I have the number now. And it’s so late for any of that anyway. I feel like shit.


I’ve been trying to build up some credit by doing community tasks for the meet-up organizers; implementing features for the community website (we’re on GitHub) and so on, but I’m afraid going like this - taking on opportunities I think I can deliver on but in reality, can’t or just fail to, is ruining all the progress I’ve made. It’s been like this for several times in a row… what the heck do I do? Get quiet, stop going to the meet-ups? I dread the next one, after the Christmas break, as I might run into that person if he’s around. For the better or worse. I just dread it. Do I keep quiet and practice because, seriously, I’m just not good enough? I don’t know any more.

What can I do to remedy this?

P.S. I feel that going for nearly a year learning web-dev and still being jobless is kind of “marking me” as a failure too. There’s that too. Part of me wants to start everything from scratch, but I’m afraid I can’t.


Hello Radiance,

Perfectionism is a trait that most of us share. Most of the work I do is not up to the standards I internally have. The problem is when the procrastination cycle starts to establish. I honestly do not know how much your ADHD affects you, but I would try to really go against your gut and finish your previous generated personal website. I would even try to send him the work, even though you missed the dealine. What do you have to lose anyway? Also, you would have another entry in your portfolio.

Do you realise would much crappy code is running in production in our industry? I am not saying we should not strive for improvement and perfection (although I would say that “perfect” code does not exist, most of the time we develop software that works and respects the requirements).

Look at the issue trackers of many open source libraries and dwelve into the code. Most of the time you’ll see design flaws.

Keep going, act against your habits. There’s a job for you and there’s always gonna be margin for improvement and progression.