Categories
Maturity Work

Work | Life Balance

I have this problem.

I have 2 notebooks.

The first is one that I use during work hours to jot notes down throughout the day. I am a Product Manager by day, so there are tons of things I just can’t trust my brain to retain, so I write a lot of things down.

The second is one that is more or less a journal. It’s much more personal than just a list of task or project requirements. This is what I use when I’m taking notes during church, or while I’m reading a book.

It seems like a simple problem, but it goes deeper. I have this idea that there can be separation of work and life. Like you clock into one just after clocking out of the other. Some of this all steams from a season of gross imbalance in my life. My wife and I had just had our first baby and life was busy. I started taking on client work on the side to help cover my wife’s income that we were no longer getting because she was staying home with the baby. This ended up being about 6 months of me working nearly every night until after midnight.

The work was a blessing because it helped us get into our first home and helped provide for us financially for that time. Unfortunately, my relationship with my wife started to suffer. She was a trooper, but she was ready for me to be there…without my computer in my lap.

Fast forward a bit. I’m at an amazing company that meets our financial needs and even gives me the flexibility to work remotely a few days a week. I love what I do and the team I get to work with. I love my wife and daughter and the time I get to spend with them. It’s a pretty sweet setup. I still do little bits of side work here and there, but it’s a bonus and not necessity anymore.

I think because I worked so much before, I have become scared to work after hours. Like I’m going to fall down that hole again. Here’s the problem… I love what I do. I genuinely love it. I’m in a lead role, so sometimes that means I have to spend some time in the evenings fixing something or talking a team member off the ledge, but it’s pretty rare.

Sometimes creativity hits and it’s 8:30pm. Sometimes I just get the urge to work on something. I would typically rather be on my laptop than be playing a video game or doing the things I use to do in my free time. Sometimes that is ok.

I really don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. I guess the point is, I’m learning there must be balance, but balance doesn’t look like work from 8-5 and then shut your work brain down.

Someone I work with recently told me that there is no difference between work and life. He is probably right.

I think I just need 1 notebook.

Categories
Freedom Identity Work

Imposter Syndrome

As a web developer, my greatest struggle is believing in my knowledge and worth.

No matter how much my skill level may increase, it seems as though it’s never good enough. There is always someone out there that knows more than I do, or can do the things I do much better.

I have only really been in this field for about 3 years professionally, so in most cases, I’m a young gun. It seems everywhere I look I see guys that have been doing this 3 and 4 times as long as I have. There are days when I feel like I just don’t know enough and am not a real asset to my team and community.

I have been blessed with an amazing team. They have all been in this industry much longer than I have and have tons more experience. The best thing about them though, is their willingness and desire to help me grow my skill set and learn as much as I can from them.

I will admit, there are days when it’s overwhelming. It seems as though the world of development just keeps growing and growing. It seems almost impossible to keep up. I realized the other day that I’m not the only one who feels like this. I was talking with one of my coworkers the other day who has been working in the development world for over 10 years. He started talking about feeling like he didn’t know enough and that there were so many people out there that knew so much more than him.

I wonder how I will feel in 7 years…

I think there are positives and negatives to this part of our industry. I think allowing this feeling to fuel you into working hard and pushing yourself to be the best developer you can be is great! We just need to be careful about allowing this feeling to settle in thoughts of inadequacy.

Let’s make sure we are pushing each other to be better. And let’s not forget the way it felt to be the new kid on the block.