on adversity…

Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Have you ever been so frightened that your insides shook? No?

Have you ever been so cold that your insides shook? Ah!

That's what severe anxiety feels like. I should know. I spent the first half of 2014 shaking inside.

Actually, it started in November 2013, when my boss gave me six weeks to find a new job. Those six weeks were awful. I started looking around for work, but could not find anything. So, I tried to negotiate a new role at my current employer. They didn't have anything for me. I was so anxious that I could literally feel myself shaking inside.

The axe fell the first week of January. That was hard. I was so scared that I'd not be able to find another engineering management role. I feared my skills were inadequate. After all, I'd just been fired, hadn't I? Who'd want me?

I spent the next several weeks in panic mode. I had no idea what to do. I sent resumes all over the place. But, I wasn't getting any traction. I was so tied up and twisted inside that I could never put a good foot forward, let alone my best foot.

Eventually, the anxiety gave way to depression. I just sat around watching television and playing games on the computer all day, completely ignoring my predicament.

Then, finally, in April, I began writing software again. I started slowly. I took as many online tutorials as I could. I passed all the coding tests and was accepted at a local code school - one of the bootcamp style programs. I declined their gracious offer, and started looking for a job as an engineer.

I found a job in the middle of June. But, even then, I would still get bouts of anxiety. What if my new employer finds out I'm not good enough? What if I get fired again? What will I do?

Well, here it is March 2015 and I'm still there. Not only that, I got a 10% raise after only six months! So, I did something right!

Looking back on it now, I was working in a terrible environment. The company had a toxic culture. I tried to stay because I was so afraid of not being able to find work elsewhere. But, ultimately, I'm much happier at my new employer where the culture is more supportive than competitive.

Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.

Posted on