EDIT: How can I evaluate my options in a realistic way? What are the factors that I should consider?
I feel that I am in a mid life crisis, as many others..
I work for a corporation as software engineer. Few months after I started my boss told me that he sees my future as having a team that I will lead within three years. Now things feels a little bit different and last time we spoke about it he said that it could take five years. The team expanded and the number of things I am asked to do is less and less. I rarely get to talk with my boss*. I feel that I am not really doing anything that important / useful in the company and that nobody can really notice what I do as there is as much I am given to do.
I am working on a very specialised area which means that in the short / medium term it is going to be unlikely that there will be opportunities to have more responsibilities in the company. I had asked to another senior member of the company to do more work for free (unpaid extra hours) in order to gain extra experience but my boss told me that it was best I didn't do so as he is worried that I enjoy the new area more and neglect my current responsibilities.
I feel very confused as this makes me feel that there is no real opportunities for me in this corporation. I just don't know what to expect and what I can do to improve my chances to do something more meaningful.
What I don’t like of my current situation is:
- It feels that I am doing things non optimally (I could do more)
- I don’t feel empowered
- I am not learning as much as I used to
- What I am doing is not really important so some days it feels that independently from what I do I am making zero difference to the end goal What I am doing has not been properly defined (I am trying to push to define this)
- Some of my colleagues seems to be doing more interesting things
The options I can think of are:
- A: Should I stay and work as software engineer and hope that one day I'll be given more strategic tasks and try to do my job the best way I can?
- B: Should I start doing something outside working hours that helps shaping my CV to be hired as strategical project manager?
- C: Should I try to move horizontally within the company and change career path to a more specific managerial one?
My concerns for each option:
- Pros: It is the safest path as it means keeping my specialisation (the more years I spent as software engineer the higher the pay). Little effort.
- Cons: This may not happen and it feels as a very slow path.
- Pros: it could be useful when applying for a managerial role
- Cons: It depends on the hiring manager and company size, I really need to be passionate about whatever I do in order to sell it properly, lots of effort
- Pros: it could be the quicker way. It would look good on my CV. I could use the company knowledge that I have developed so far.
Cons: I would need to stay within this company for a long time to validate the career change. I could piss off my current boss which could potentially get me fired or block the transfer / move if unhappy -> this could burn some bridges.
How can I evaluate these options in a realistic way?
- How can I distinguish between the way I feel and reality?
This is the way I feel about my current career choice:
- I need to find a job where I can communicate, be creative and have an impact
- I like technology but I also like media production
- I have always had a variety of interests but never one single strong passion (e.g. be an architect)
- Working as software engineer is a certain job which pays the bills, If I change the career path then it would be difficult getting back into it if I will need (IT skills expire soon)