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Hello HN,

I would like to ask your advice here. I graduated 3 years ago with a degree in computer engineering, with a focus on software. I then spent a year jobless, due bad health and social skills. I was 2 months ago diagnosed (after an assessment) with autism spectrum disorderd and bipolar disorder type 2. Since 2 years I have a job at an electronics assemblage company. However there are some problems at work. There are just 5 people who do some design/programming.

In September, I was transferred from the design department to the production 'test' department due bad performance at my job. Projects being over budget, while I wasn't aware of what the budget or expected timespan was. A lot of things to went wrong. At the same time, I did a lot of programming work during my free time for the company. During April 2020, I was officially on unemployment benefits due to Corona, but I did work 10 full days anyway. I feel like a scapegoat at my company, because I'm the programmer at an electronics production firm and they are the electronics people. My boss didn't like that I did software must of the time, but that's what my team asked from me.

Now I have to do manual, repetitive work like testing: taking a PCB, check if it works and put a label on it. That has been my life last months. I haven't seen a schematic or oscilloscope closely the last months, while they said that I will 'learn electronics'. I feel miserable and depressed at work. The only thing that kept me reasonably sane was a 'hidden ear piece'. I use this to listen to podcasts about cryptography, programming, bioinformatics, finance, electronics, just anything that interests me.

My question is: how I could pivot myself away from this job into some other job/career? I started contributing to a Qt open source project during my weekends. The idea of going freelance seems alluring, but it also something new. One thing I find hard is that I feel numb most of the time.