Resignation letter

I have recently been preoccupied with some thoughts which may sound trivia to someone, but they actually wear me down.

First, I don’t feel I am doing a good job. I feel like a near-average programmer at best. Sometimes, I don’t know if I should ever pursuit this programming careeer. Switching technologies always make me lag behind, which is inevitable in any tech companies. Am I good at front-end work? No. Am I good at back-end work? Neither. How come? The frameworks built by others take care of them. I add bells and whitsles here and there, and fix bugs as well. I don’t blame any one, the point is I should have been better.

Second, if I stay for a few more years, I fear I will be in the same position, having the same work experience for n years instead of n years of experience. To be honest, the lines of work (on-going and potential projects) are limited. And the heads of the lines are always taken care of by senior guys. That’s the best option for the whole and there is nothing wrong with that. So, wait for my time to become a senior? It’s very unlikely that time will turn me into a golden goose or a talented painter. Become a domain expert? The pre-sales and consultants know how to use the product better, because they work with the real users and real use cases. Anyway, heading that way means avoiding the main responsibility or competency of a programmer.

Am I being too negative? Am I painting it black? Here is the dark part. These thoughts creep up on me all too often and suck my attention and energy. I feel fatigue, forgetful, difficult to concentrate, low self-esteem, hard to pick up conversations or small talks, emotionally detached, socially disconnected, etc. It is not hard to tell they are symtomps of d*****ion. I fear the word as my sister had it very bad. She got over but is never normal again. I feel so consumed by the waves of thought that I want to find something else less demanding to work with, and I haven’t found any viable alternative which I can do well enough to support my family. This, in turn, consumes me even more :frowning:

All in all, bad news. No manager expects an employee this terrible. As I write this, I feel I cannot carry on my work without overstressing my mind and being a burden to the team, so I ask for my resignation. For the rest of the time, I wish to work on maintenance, and hope the ending is at least not worse.

FYI: Out of college, I have worked here for 5 years, mostly with the same product which has become mature. My managers are very close and supportive; therefore, I am writing this to share my thoughts with them as I don’t want to leave unreasonably (I believe they won’t have to tell everyone every detail).

Thanks for hearing me out. This forum has been a friend to me for a while and I really appreciate it.

I really identify with the idea of being bogged down by these types of thoughts. It can be such an energy drain to combat them at all, let alone on a regular basis.

From what you’ve described, it sounds like all of this is internal or stemming from yourself. Have your managers or coworkers actually approached you at all with constructive or negative feedback?

How do you feel about potentially moving on to a different company? Is there a chance it’s less about being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ skills-wise & more about the monotony at this point?

Maybe you can have a discussion with your managers about other potential solutions specific to your responsibilities.

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Please consider the following things

  • You might be experiencing impostor syndrome: defined as “individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud”. Most people may experience that at some point in their careers. I think that if you have managed to be in the same firm for 5 years, and your managers are close and supportive and not providing negative remarks or putting you on a performance improvement plan, you might be doing well according to their expectations.

  • Engineer seniority is highly arbitrary: Some companies define it as little as 3 years, others 5 years, others 8 years, others 10 years. There is no standardization on what makes an engineer senior. And some senior engineers in some companies might not be on par with senior engineers in other companies. I would not spend too much focusing on this part.

I joined a large company recently and also felt stuck and lacking in autonomy. A solution to that is to join a startup where you will have more autonomy and room for learning/growth. Startups also are more likely to be early technology adopters, and you will be more visible as well.

In addition, you can attend meetups about the topics that are of your interest and want to learn. You will meet new people, learn, and even find job opportunities. Also, get a feeling of where the industry is going, develop an informed opinion and help influencing your company.

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