Post-tech Burnout Career

Real-talk. I’m probably going through some professional burnout, and it doesn’t have anything to do with being on leave. It’s been a while and there are layers to it. Anywho, not too long ago, the idea of leaving the tech industry crept into my mind, and I didn’t shoo it out. I really did think about leaving. This is the time when people like me leave, after all. When we’re all marching along, looking towards the future, and the glass pane suddenly smacks you in the face (but not them). I really did wonder, hey, maybe I’m just okay at this, and that’s it. Like, not even middle-management good. That the feedback and praise I’ve gotten for years might just be encouragement for me to keep my head down and not quit–but nothing more. Ten years of making wireframes and mockups is getting old.

The funny thing is, working on the web, in design, or in tech, *is* my backup plan. An incredibly lucky one too. Unlike in 2009, when I bounced from academia into something that was already familiar, doing it again with the life I have now…I may not be so lucky again.

All of this is written in the past tense not because I snapped out of it, but because I’m going to wait and see what happens. I really do love the web, and this ridiculous industry that’s come out of it, but I won’t stay forever if this is all there is to it–for me.

Wage Gap Whoa

Ok, so, ever since I joined the workforce ten years ago, my salary has tripled. I’ve been fortunate to receive regular compensation boosts along the way, for both performance and promotions, or inflation. I make a comfortable living.

Once, when I found out that as a contractor I was making 60% of what a federal employee made, I quit and found myself a job that seemed to fix that. It seemed like I was dodging the wage gap throughout my career (even though I should not have to). I felt lucky.

Very recently though, over a conversation discussing a female, woc, design executive who was being paid half what her male counterparts were making, I asked my friend, “Ok dude, real talk, how much do you make?”

And I found out I was making $45,000 less than him for the same job when we were colleagues. Same (if not better 😌) level of performance. At a place that proclaimed its diversity initiatives! Not quite the Latina wage gap, but geez, $45,000 is an annual salary for some people in the first world. I couldn’t get mad at him; it was the system.

The wage gap is real.