I need a new career. Special snowflake factors: I like my current career, I've been very successful -- but I've been diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder and can't take the stress anymore. Details very slightly obfuscated.
posted by sock puppet du jour to Work & Money (21 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I've been in a small subset of the tech industry for about ten years. I've basically risen to the top. There's nowhere for me to go but:
- lateral moves within the industry or stay steady where I am -- in a very high-stress, perpetually-on-call situation. I'm prone to becoming emotionally involved (yes, I'm in therapy).
- move up and increase responsibility -- more stress, more on-call, more everything.
I do like it -- it's fulfilling and I'm very well compensated (I would be pulling in over six figures this year, if it weren't for my unpaid FMLA leave). I manage a lot of people and I like most of them. I feel that this job, more than any other I've worked, takes advantage of all of my skills.
However, I was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder earlier this year. I had a major manic episode last winter and I've been continuously cycling ever since. I've been hospitalized three times. Jesus, the people who knew me back when I was more... normal would have NEVER believed this -- I was always the super high-achieving, most-likely-to-succeed stone-cold bitch. And now I'm in a fucking mental hospital, screaming at everyone that I'm normal and don't belong there (when clearly I do). My doctor seriously recommended ECT! I'm 30! You don't give ECT to successful 30-year-old professionals, do you?! (Yes, I've seen -- that show you're about to talk spoilers about. I also found it terrifying.)
Looking at my mood charts, there's a clear pattern of calm and euthymia on weekends and (the very rare) vacation, and a psychological clusterfuck during each work week.
So, AskMeFi, what else can I do with my time? Primary criteria is LOW-STRESS and PART-TIME or 40 hours/week. No weekends. No on call. I want to leave work and be GONE. And... it would be sweet if I made even close to as much money as I do now. I know that's a long shot.
Big picture skills:
- I have truly excellent triage skills. I have great research skills, a great memory, and I know everybody and most everything to do with my project. I can juggle five things at once, take the initiative to research the salient points with the appropriate parties, prepare a report, and submit recommendations in less time than it takes the management to finish their coffee. Well, almost.
- I can take vague directives from management and turn them into completed tasks un minimal time, delegated across an entire team, broadcast with whatever spin is needed to turn it into a "that's a stupid idea, management sucks" to "that's awesome and I can't wait to work on it!" And then they do, and it kicks ass.
Small picture skills:
- I have good to great people management skills. I manage a very large team right now. My people love me.
- I'm a pretty good technical writer. I have a pretty good eye for graphic design. I make good-looking reports (Word and Excel -- in new versions, it's possible!).
- I have actual work experience generating Tufte-style metrics reports. I can make not-so-great infographics (Illustrator).
- I know scripting languages well (Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP) and relational databases very well (well, MySQL and PostgreSQL). I can set up and code a simple website very easily.
- I'm as organized as they come.
- Umm... I'm a gifted photographer.
I'm mature, confident, strong, and calm. Socially, I'm a nerd. In terms of demeanor, somebody called me "Zen" last week (not the first time!). Only trouble is... I'm actually totally fucking crazy and need some serious coddling at home to perform to those standards, and that's why I want to get somewhere else with lower standards or something. It's a lot of work to live up to all of the above. Like I said, I think that the vast majority of the people who work with me would be blown away if they knew about my mental illness. I swear, I'd be voted Least Likely to Be Institutionalized Three Times in the Past Year (and it's true! and they want to give me ECT because I'm still not fucking better! Oh my god).
I currently live in Austin, Texas, and am not very mobile (right now). I have no problem working remotely and flying into wherever every few weeks.
I just have no idea where to start looking. I've had my head down in my own small corner of the tech field, and I'm pretty sure I'm done with it -- it's unstable as hell. But I don't know much about anything else. I used to know web development, ages ago. I'm moderately familiar with mobile technologies. Help me. I feel like I don't have anywhere to go.