Need work/life balance, career advice

Hi, I’m new to this forum. I desperately need some advice/suggestion on my current situation. I’m a UX designer and working from home since the COVID situation began. But I am always secretly wishing to move towards the programming path because I enjoy the aspect of both design and development.
The problem is my employer also pressurizes me to work on marketing and branding, which I don’t really enjoy as much as I do UX. However since I have a background as an illustrator, I help as much as I can. But my employer is absolutely insincere about time management. Only shows up with buckets of absurd changes end of the day before the deadline after being absent whole day. And for that I have to pull almost 11 hours shift every day. Overtimes are not paid. Whole day I put my head to ux and then at the end I scratch my head with changes for marketing. I never enjoyed it since it’s a lot of guess work about what the client likes and not thorough like UX.
No matter when I join work, I can never leave before 10.5 or 11 hours. To migrate to programming path, I need to invest ample amount of time on self studies and courses, which I can’t do because after pulling 11 hours shifts, I am literally dead tired. And two weekends are not enough. I am grateful for having a job in this situation but after 11 hours, I feel like being taken advantage of.
I’m not very sure about talking about it with my employer since I’m due for an annual increment, in a month and I don’t want to annoy her since she has not been not very considerate to begin with judging by the everyday behavior. Any idea how to pull my work life on track and make time for studies?
Any suggestion or advice are welcome. And thank you in advance and for going through the long post.

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Don’t leave your job. This is the worst case and things are bumpy in other positions too!
it’s so damn hard to get a good job.
Just figure out a secure and gradual transition. Don’t make a hasty move or you regret it for six months straight.

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Yes, I was not thinking of leaving either. Although it is indeed toxic, but now is not the time to leave. I understand that. I just need to learn some trick or life hack to keep up and find time for studies.

Follow two minutes rule. Just build block of coding skills one two minutes at the time.
Coding has been something that I have struggled for many years. consider that I have a CS degree and studied these concepts for 4 years. I started with just two minutes and add to that one at the time. Next day 2*2 minutes.
You are good with user interface and user experience, so you can pick it up easily.
start and warm up with the five final projects at the end of each section and try other codepen projects to sharpen your skills.
then work for a bit as freelancer to test out the water. Only when you are 80% certain of transitioning, do it.

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Even if you were perfectly happy with the type of work you are doing, it sounds like your work environment is extremely unhealthy and exploitative.

I do not know your situation or the people involved, so I am not qualified to give you advice. I would, however, beg you to consider what options might be available to maintain a reasonable 40hr work week. I don’t know if there is someone besides your direct manager that you can talk to, if there is a possibility to find another job (even if it’s just until you feel ready to move to a more technical role), etc. It seems like the problem isn’t related to not having the drive or motivation to study but the fact that your job is sucking your life away.

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Yes that is exactly what is happening! And it has been a complain of many other colleagues as well. But among them seems like I’m the only one getting used the most.
We are a small team, the employer is the only one in charge of everything. So there is no one else I can talk to. There are other issues too from favoritism to unprofessional behavior, but it’s the time-inefficiency that is eating me up. 65 hours a week.

That sounds interesting. Will try it totally.

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Sorry, blubug, it does sound like you are being taken advantage of. I would advise looking around the company first for solutions as to get the demands on your time being reduced. If you are doing far more than your job description, there may be a way to push back and set boundaries.

If not, instead of just quitting in this job market, begin making an exit plan. Start looking for another job, either where you can begin work in your new path, or at least one that will give you time to study off-hours. It is better to look for work while you’re still employed anyway, because you can say no to bad situations.

Just be very careful about your job search, because your boss may fire you if she finds out.

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Best of luck on your path. Keep us updated :muscle:

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TLDR: Dont quit the job, start looking for another place. Make time for learning programming, no matter what.

I’d suggest you to keep doing the job you are currently doing while hunting for another job in the same line of work that you are good at. The second part about learning programming is the fact, that you need to do it for your ownself. So, even if you get a balanced 9-hours job you still need to put in 2 hours daily in learning programming which circles back to the fact that you will still be working for 11 hours a day (9-hours job + 2 hours on self learning). Moreover, I would suggest you to stay quiet about the fact that you need to leave the job, since, your increment is due. You can make a good decision after the increment has been done and it shows you how much your company values your extra efforts (the work for marketing). Also, I would suggest you that you need to work on learning for YOURSELF, so yeah you need to work that out whether you do a 11-hours job or a 40-hours/week job.

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I. Brand new to freecodecamp. I too understand long hours. I was selling cars at a dealership, and never worked less than 50 hours a week (usually more like 60). I definitely wanted to learn a new skill but didn’t have the time and energy left after my long demanding days.

With only $5000 in the bank, I took a part time job at a restaurant just to pay my bills while I dedicate 30-40 hours a week to developing new skills.

Verdict is still out on whether this is a good decision or not. But just sharing youre not alone. Sometimes you have to take a chance to make changes. If advocating for yourself at your present employer to cater to your needs is futile, perhaps its time to find something more accommodating to your goals. I wish you the best of luck.