Having quickly jumped position ladders in the past, I always had that scary stare in the mirror: “I am not supposed to build new great stuff with my hands anymore”. In my own life, I was lucky to be facing the need to build companies — which is even more challenging. But for many, life turns into endless position hopping in the Dilbert comic.
Many of my peers struggle to the very day, so here you go:
I saw it way more times than I’d like to, I did roll through this cycle a few times myself, but there’s a shortcut for jumping from 1 to 5. And it’s not a pet project (though it helps). It’s gratitude.
One can realize that any environment which contributed to their own upbringing as awesome engineers was managed by someone sane. And every engineer dreams for sane environment, mentorship and boss that digs stuff. You can say “thanks” to those who helped you grow and those who work for you by contributing to environment where others can get better and get their job done well without getting slightly insane. And as a personal benefit - it teleports you directly into acceptance, with no suffering attached.
All of the suffering come from crisis of identity, while all of the perks come from realizing the opportunity to serve others better, this is the only reasonable shortcut I’ve learnt through the years.