Something about my job. And some squats.

So remember a while back I was whinging about musing on being dissatisfied with my job/career, and personal style etc? I’m glad to report that things are better on the job front, although that’s come about by an usual way.

Late last year + earlier this year I was trying to revive* my interest in what I do for a living (I’m a developer) by signing up to meetups, mailing lists and conferences related to tech. I even went as far as doing a talk at a tech conference, which was fun-but-terrifying. People told me at the time that it wouldn’t be my last talk, I’d want to do more etc etc.

Well, I don’t. In fact, not only am I not going to talk at a conference again, I’m also not going to meetups any more (not even Codebar, which I admit I loved to bits). And a couple of weeks ago I unsubscribed to all the tech mailing lists I joined. All those things made me enjoy my work less – they had completely the opposite effect intended. Sure, initially I got all excited about new things, new people, new ideas; but then the new-new-newness of it all started to grind me down. One mailing list I joined in particular made me feel terrible about myself – it was allegedly for women working in STEM, but every single woman on it was a creative/entrepreneur, and I’m not.

I started to wonder what was wrong with me, that I worked in tech but am completely not interested in startups, or starting my own business & I don’t have “ideas” (I worked in startups in 1999-2003ish but I think those startups “don’t count” these days; most current entrepreneurs don’t even seem to have heard of the big dot.com names of my day!) I just want to write code & go home at 5.30pm every day; and these meetups & mailing lists made me feel like that wasn’t “enough”. In fact, many of the technical mailing lists I was on were filled with non-developer technical people (e.g. CEOs, marketers etc) who seemed almost hostile to developers and the reality of development (i.e. that it takes time; that it’s often a trial-and-error thing).

So, I quit them all. Seriously, I haven’t felt better about my job for AGES.

It was a good try, but I think the secret – for me at least – to feeling happy about my job is to just not expose myself too much to other people doing similar jobs. I understand the theory of things like Shine Theory (i.e. that women in tech should surround themselves with successful women in tech) but in practise it doesn’t work for me as the less I’m exposed to people doing similar things to me but more successfully (in whatever capacity) the happier I feel within myself.

(As a counterpoint, there are people who’d say I’m perfectly successful in tech, given I’ve been a developer for 15 years this month, have a good job and a nearly-paid-off mortgage; but those aren’t symbols of success in startup tech land. In fact they’re more likely to be seen as signs of stagnation, things to avoid.)

And so, recently I’ve been trying a similar thing with lifting – removing all the powerlifting groups I’m in from my Facebook news feed, so they’re still there but avoidable. I’ve never been one to read lifting blogs & endless articles about programming/techniques etc, so I don’t need to avoid those too (nutrition blogs have obviously always had no place either!) As a result, I feel a fair bit happier about my lifting, given that I no longer have other women complaining about their “pathetic” 250lb squats or “rubbish” 350lb deadlifts right in my face every day. I mean, I don’t begrudge them their hard work, but sometimes you have to step back from things for your own sanity.

(YMMV, as always.)

As for the personal style thing… You know how many women say that if they don’t wear makeup, people start asking them if they’re ill? Well, I recently started wearing mascara every day and sometimes even eyeliner, and now I have people saying, incredulously, “Are YOU wearing MAKEUP?!” Argh. Why do I always seem to get the opposite to everyone else? (See also: giving up dairy makes me break out).

* Obviously I had far more enthusiasm when I started my career (FIFTEEN years ago) but it’s definitely waned in recent years.

Monday: squats at BGWLC

  • Squats: worked up to 2 x 2 @ 92.5kg, then two singles @ 92.5kg

Fucking hell. 92.5kg is my competition best in the 72kg category. Barf.

  • RDLs: 40kg, 10 reps x 3
  • Pullthroughs, leg raises, hyperextensions
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2 thoughts on “Something about my job. And some squats.

  1. G

    This post hits home for me. Comparing myself to other people is so, so toxic and it leaves me miserable. Maybe some folks find that kind of networking inspiring, but I find myself happier when I’m content with my decent job and stable, comfortable situation.

    Plus sometimes those people are nasty! (“Rubbish” lifts?) I wonder about the motivation of people like that– it reminds me of thin friends who run around saying “I’m so faaaaat” and waiting for people to reassure them…

    1. lozette Post author

      I was paraphrasing about the “rubbish” lifts but yeah, some people really put themselves down like that and maybe they *are* looking for reassurance. Or sometimes I think that some people find lifting comes to them fairly effortlessly, and don’t realise that others may struggle. Reminds me of when I stopped reading Lift Big Eat Big because they said everyone should be able to squat 200lbs in their first year of lifting….

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