|I am reaching out to HN because I am in a rut.|
Long story short, I worry I’ve chosen the wrong profession given my desire for meaning, social interaction and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
My experiences as a software engineer (~4 years) have been:
1. Meaningless - I don't feel as though I've really helped anyone other than to build some stupid widget that might make some money one day, but doesn’t contribute anything to the world.
2. Anti-social – I’m behind a computer all day and don't have much human interaction with clients or coworkers. My coworkers are eccentric and hard to relate to.
3.) Unhealthy - Bad posture, sedentary lifestyle, RSI, eye strain… the medical evidence essentially says that the average software engineer is slowly killing himself. I'm crawling in my skin every day that I have to go in the office.
I've considered jobs where I could leverage my technical background towards my interests - health, photography, music etc., but I'm worried I'll end up in essentially the same spot, just writing software that happens to deal with one of my hobbies. I've also considered a career change to medicine, athletic training, film, even construction to get me away from being chained to a desk as a software dev.
- Studied CS at a top-5 college, did well and found it challenging, exciting and fun to learn and teach. Software in the real world has lacked the things I loved about it in college.
- Worked as a contractor, at a startup and a large corporation. Probably liked being a contractor the most, but there is little room for career growth as a contractor.
- I crave personal interaction, helping others and talking about things like ethics, policy, sports, technology.
- In my late 20s and could conceivably go back to school or go without income for a year or so if it put me on track towards a career that I found more fulfilling.
I'd appreciate any advice, thoughts or wisdom if any of you have been in a similar place. Thanks!