Considering abandoning my career

I’ve been working as a web designer for 5 years. I like my job but sometimes I get not very pleasant feedback from random people. Now I’m thinking of abandoning my career and trying something new.
Things get worse when I realize that I’ve been developing one and the same project for more than a year. I think I’m just burning out. Here is that project . I got a bit tired of those identical page structures.

Can you advise me on what to do with my career?

Hi David,

This is a good question. There are a few points to breakdown here, and possibly some questions to ask yourself in time.

  • Unpleasant feedback - This one I have a lot of experience with. I came out of a customer facing role last year myself. It’s hard to get over negative feedback, but I will say that it is important that you do eventually. My mentors advised me to always look at it constructively first. If nothing they provide is of any value, or if they are just being rude, I would suggest ignoring it. With that being said, it is always important to aggregate customer feedback and apply learnings to push your project forward, ultimately you are the master of your domain and like or not people need to accept your judgment. In my personal opinion your project looks great by the way :slightly_smiling_face:
  • Long Projects - This I do not have much advice on, long projects are rough, I have experience with a few that took about that long as well. I found that, given my capacity, taking on smaller projects that might or might not interest me helped to stave off the tedium of the larger project.
  • Switching Careers - I would like to ask: Do you enjoy programming? I’ll follow up later on what I am thinking when I ask this!

Hey David,

I can totally relate to your concerns.

First of all I would take deep breath and ask myself these questions:

  • Is the feedback about you as a human being or about the stuff you do? I think it’s an important skill to have personal boundaries to separate these two things. I think everyone has the right to think the work you do is shitty.
  • Do you like the task of sitting down for 30-40h per week and coding?
  • Do you need the rush of doing new stuff or do you want to do this primarly for the money?

Hi David, this may or may not be immediately helpful. But if you setup a system to help you navigate through your career / life, then you will less likely care about what other people say and you will less likely burn out randomly. Because you know where you are going. Because the system tells you where to go and it has its schedule. So all you have to do is to follow the system and its schedule. Of course you always adjust your system. But still you will feel more proactive and less reactive this way.

David, sorry to hear you’re feeling burnt out. I think your site looks pretty good!

To address the unpleasant feedback part, I am a writer and in that field, many writers make a point not to read reviews of their work. It’s not about avoiding feedback–because feedback is vital–but about avoiding the wrong kind. “Random” people don’t necessarily have anything constructive to say. A writer can get feedback from editors or other authors, too, or just look at their sales.

You may want to look into structuring your life so you don’t have to get feedback from random people, but rather from people in a position to help you improve without impacting your mental health.

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