Why I Quit My Supply Chain Job in 2021

Yu-Ming, CHANG (he/him)
4 min readDec 4, 2021

It was on October 4th, 2021. I called my manager for urgent 1x1 in the morning and told her that I decided to resign from my current position.

Three signs of burning out

First

I was feeling overwhelmed for months. It’s hard to fall asleep at night, which seems to impact my physical health. I remembered one day I stood in front of the mirror, and then there’s a sudden headache that lasted for 20 seconds. It was the longest 20 seconds I had ever experienced. I could feel my brain vessels expanded with every heartbeat, and it hurt so much that it got my full attention.

Second

Besides, during the months when I had trouble falling asleep, I was impatient to the people around me. I lost my temper several times to both my colleagues and family. I was aware of me loosing control, so I always apologized for loosing my temper right after the conversation. The moment I apologized, I could seemingly heard my ex-boyfriend yelling at me that “apology is useless”.

Third

Last but not the least, I noticed that I lost my ability to focus on the positives. My attention was redirected to the messy work all the time. I tried to make a habit of thinking of the good things that happened around. It worked for a couple of days, and then it doesn’t. I was shocked for this situation. I perceived myself great at discovering the tiny little good things that people around me did. I’ll praise them with authenticity, that’s why people think me very genuine and encouraging.

I just couldn’t do it anymore.

The six ways I tried to deal with overwhelming in eight months

  1. I workout regularly but the new role requires a different schedule that makes me unable to do so for months. I was aware of me becoming overwhelmed all the time. I felt the need to find other ways to manage the situation.
  2. I bought a paper shredder in early 2021 so that I could write my thoughts on the paper and shred it. No one knows what I write so it worked as a safe zone to express the true me. I felt less anxiety for a week or two, and then I bounced back.
  3. I tried to shift my focus from work to personal life. I started my personal financial audit project. It works for another week or two, and then it bounced back again.
  4. I tried some supplements that helps people sleep. It works for a few weeks, but I was afraid of becoming addicted. I stopped using it. It’s not natural anyway.
  5. I went learning how to make pull-over specialty coffee, and how to appreciate the flavor of different coffee beans. It worked for a moment, but once it became a routine, I bounced back.
  6. I brought it up several times to my direct manager, trying to slow down the transition pace. It didn’t work out.

It was time for change

It was, and still is, very scary for me that after eight months of trying to get rid of my overwhelming, but it turned out I was becoming worse. I did not foresee any sign of ending. Actually, I expect my condition would be worsened if I stayed for another 6 months.

What happened, really

I was doing things I hate all the time. I could not write down one simple sentence on resume that could help get me another job outside the company even after six months. What’s the reason to stay?

I read the article I wrote back in June, which expressed four reasons that push me to rotate. Two of them were the force of push, one of them was increased salary, and the last was uncertain learning possibility. Four months later,

  • increased salary was not realized
  • there was no new learning stimulus; I don’t feel growing at all
  • the previous negative push bounced back again

My previous focus was mainly to walk away from the negatives. Without the ability to identify the positives in new role, my attention was fully directed to salary. None of them was moving toward the direction I expected.

The truth is, there was nothing attractive to me at all.

  • I was not in the environment where I enjoyed
  • I was not proud of my job
  • I won’t recommend any of my friend to work there

It caused me a serious cognitive dissonance that made me burnt out.

My motivation to make career movement was not clever. None of it was the positives so, obviously, it didn’t work out. To be fair, this job was only perceived as negatives from my personal viewpoint.

What’s next

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second one is now.

The work that I do every day is the key. I could pursue a career that I enjoy. I’ve been working as remote RPA & VBA developer for more than 18 months. I enjoyed that working style, and I could get sense of achievement every week. The feeling of picking up a new knowledge and applying it to job is just so exciting. That sense of growing made me feel excited and confident.

Therefore, I decide to spend eight months in 2022 to learning how to code professionally, and then land a job as backend developer.

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Yu-Ming, CHANG (he/him)

I enjoy the positive mind flow when writing code to solve a problem. This is my journey to become a software developer, though now working as a product owner