Although, it would help to know what my job really is. I call myself a software engineer, which is sort of vague as it is. I write code. Application level code. At least, that’s what I’m best at (best being a relative term. Other people are better at me than this, but compared to everything else I’ve tried, this is the one thing I’m competent at).
Today proved my skill set is not meant for the job I do. Since my boss left, I’m the highest ranked person (of two people) for a system. The details of the system are technical and not software based. I can’t explain why things work the way they do. I can tell you about the software to turn stuff on and off, but that’s it. People are trying to use this system and integrate it and try to assess tradeoff, but I feel so useless sitting in the meeting. It “my” project, but I know nothing about it. A technician knows more about the details than I do. I feel so useless, and I’m supposed to be in charge.
And that’s just one example. Everything my group produces is nothing I can take true understanding of. Software is a support tool. I was ok with that when I started working (yay job!), but now that I’m being ranked against my peers who can contribute in much more meaningful ways, I’m afraid I don’t have a future. Or if I do truly want a future there, it won’t be in work that I care about or really understand.
Problem is, I’m too afraid to leave. What if I get a a job at a software centric place and find out I’m just not that good? Then what? Am I stuck with no career goals or opportunities? I’m timid as it is and any serious criticism would probably break me. At least here, I’m good at what I can do, but what I do isn’t important.
I hate fear. I wish I didn’t care.