As I think back on my experience working as an engineer over the last couple of months, I realize that it has taught me a number of valuable lessons. For starters, I have learned that the corporate world is not always kind to those who work within it. No matter how talented, ambitious, or adjective one might have attached to their nouns,two options remain; thrive or phase out. It can be a harsh reality to come to terms with, but it's an important one to keep in mind as we navigate our careers.
During this time, I have witnessed colleagues being let go due to tech recessions, friends struggling to cope with the demands of the job, bouts of burnout, and even some giving up on their careers and lives altogether. It's a sobering reminder that the work we do can have a profound impact on our lives and well-being.
I have also witnessed the great things one can achieve by being consistent and purposeful. I have cheered on those experiencing successful career growth spurts, murmured with the founders in my circle, and dared to be human enough to fail trying - a reminder that even in the midst of uncertainty and chaos, there is still hope for success and fulfillment.
Over the past two decades, software engineering has evolved from a niche field to a space where everyone wants to be, and to some, a way to make quick cash. But as we've seen from financial crises, healthcare system crashes, and housing challenges, bubbles come and go. Nature filters indiscriminately, affecting the lives of individuals across the board.
At the end of the day, it's up to each of us to decide how we want to approach our careers and lives. We can choose to sit on the edge of sacrifice and resilience and witness what we can achieve, or we can ride the wave and see what sticks. It's not an easy decision to make, but it's one that we must all make at some point.
Through it all, we must attain a balance. Not one of life vs work but one that encompasses what is truly relevant to you. An understanding that work is just a component of a bigger picture. Asking yourself what would be left of you if you did not have that 9 - 5.
“For what purpose humanity is there should not even concern us: why you are here, that you should ask yourself: and if you have no ready answer, then set for yourself goals, high and noble goals, and perish in pursuit of them! I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
For my part, I choose to dare greatly. I choose to take risks, to push myself beyond my comfort zone, and to learn from my failures. I know that there will be losses along the way and expect them to be there, else, I am not learning. I also know that those losses will make me stronger and more resilient in the long run. I dare you to join me on this journey of growth and self-discovery.