Unemployed, hopeless, and losing my mind over it


Last February, I made a decision to quit my job because of disrespectful behavior from my boss. Insults, both polite and harsh, and public shaming were the norm in that environment. After a round of F-bombs and insults made about my work and character, I decided I’ve had enough of it and left. I was doing well financially at the time and thought I would have no trouble finding another job.

Five months later, I still haven’t found a job. I have applied at several companies, but only a few have responded. Out of those that have responded, only 2 have moved forward with the interview process. They gave me code assessment projects, which I completed promptly, and they said I did a good job. They brought me in for on-site interviews. They said I did well on those interviews, that I have the skills, and that I fit their culture. Even one of them told me that they wanted to extend an offer, but I never heard back from them afterwards, not even after following up several times. The rest of the companies to which I have applied, only a few have contacted me for a phone screening and they have resulted in nothing. I have applied at local companies, out-of-state companies to which I was willing to relocate at my own expense, remote companies, all ending in the same result: nothing.

As the gap between jobs increases, my chances of finding another job decrease. As my savings run out, I’m starting to lose my mind and wonder if I should continue to pursue opportunities as a front-end developer or just give up. Being a lot older than most fresh-out-college kids doesn’t help. Apparently, experience is a bad thing to have these days. Being of Hispanic origin makes things even worse because it raises questions about citizenship (which I have) and visas (which I don’t need because I was born, raised, and lived all my life in the US) that most people make the wrong assumptions. The thought of calling it quits breaks me because I have spent the last 12 years of my life learning stuff and getting better at what I do. I don’t know anything else other than software development. There are so many things I kept myself from doing that I used to enjoy, lots of missed opportunities, relationships ruined, all in order to stay competitive in my profession, and all to end up in the same position I was when I started. It’s even worse now because I have student loans to pay, car payments, I’m officially homeless, have no health insurance, and all my possessions are rotting in a storage unit. Thankfully, I don’t have children. I can’t imagine what they would think of me if I did. The only reason why I have not taken my life is because I don’t want my family and friends to remember me as a coward. My cousin has been kind enough to let me and my cat stay at her house for as long as I need. That is more likely until my savings run out. I don’t want to put her in a difficult position. People say I should persevere, stay positive, and something will come out. It is because of my perseverance that I am in this situation today, and I hate it.

I’m writing all this, hoping for someone to read it and talk some sense into me since I don’t have anybody who understands how I feel. I have suffered from depression since I can remember. I feel there is nothing I can do to make things better. I truly hope that I’m wrong.


If anybody reads this, thank you for reading. Any advice is very much welcome.

Hey. Just read your message and a little less than two years ago I was in the same situation as you.

After realizing that I wasn’t going to get another job about 4-5 months in, I partook in trying out a new field. Something else that I was good at. For a while, I thought that Youtubing/Twitch was the only other option for someone like me. I got encouraged to try tutoring and I am currently going for a teaching license now and trying to get my company off the ground. Yeah, teaching doesn’t pay as much, but you work far less daunting hours and you get vacation off as well, which is always nice.

Treatment I have heard isn’t great, but is probably better than most programming jobs, especially those I’ve been to. I used to have a love for programming and being in the career workforce and learning “agile” programming literally killed my love for it. I’m working on a project for my company, the project that I want to use to get my company off the ground, and I am having such difficulties doing it because I’m still traumatized from all the crap I dealt with in my previous jobs, nearly working myself to death, twice.

So my advice would be, seek out a new field. Get a loan if you have to. Some states make transitioning to a similar field easier in a way. I learned my state has an alternative path program that can get me teaching as soon as next fall, for example.

Hi. I faced a vaguely similar situation several years ago and have an alternative suggestions for the cause of your problems. I don’t know where you live or how large your local technical community is, but: At least in my case, after I was illegally fired for being ill, the founders and staff of the company that fired me actively slandered me to their technical friends and made it EXTREMELY difficult for me to find work. I wound up having to move out of product development/R&D and taking an IT support position at a monolithic bank for a couple of years, until a couple of people I’d worked with years ago called up and said they had a position open at the local office of a LARGE tech company.

I’m suspicious because you sound very confident (but not overly confident) in your skills, and you’ve have had multiple interviews that went well until the very final stages, which is probably when the companies you applied to contacted your previous employers. A manager who personally denigrates employees is EXACTLY the type who would deliberately give out poisonous dis-recommendations. You might want to consider talking with an employment lawyer on a contingency basis about your options. If you’ve been professionally slandered, you could be in a position to collect damages. I’m not a huge fan of the American litigation business, but I am a fan of little guys taking on big guys.

In summary, it could very easily be THEM, not YOU. It doesn’t sound to me as though you need additional skills or training. You come across as highly competent and professional, which leads me to think that this string of rejections is personal.

In the meantime, when you interview with other companies, you might want to mention that you severed your previous employment because of a professionally toxic management situation, and request that they either not contact your previous employer for a reference or that they take with a large shaker of salt whatever your previous employer says about you.

I also suggest finding a therapist. I realize this is probably difficult given your current financial situation, but there are community mental-health centers that provide reduced-fee or free services to people who aren’t able to pay. Your self-esteem has taken a huge hit, and you should take steps to believe in yourself again.

I know this is not an upbeat response, but I know from bitter experience that such things happen in the real world even though we’re all supposed to be adults. My advice is to fight back. Best of luck to you.