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Glad to be, somehow, helping you :)
During the time of posting this and seeing all the feedback, I re watched a video that will definitely help you out.
First the video will "destroy" you. The old you. The "you" you are fed up of. Then it will build you up and get you ready for the world you deserve.
For what I understand, you don't have much free time, but try to watch it or at least listen to it. It's worth the almost 50 minutes.
Now, to give you a better understanding of where I've been trough:
Almost 10 years ago I had my first job as a Designer. I did websites for clients, from the ground up, front end and back end, made designs for magazines Ads, UI for software the company I was at made.. I was doing everything design related in the company. But somehow, everything I did was never enough. The long days from 9 to 3 am wasn't enough. I was on a mental breakdown and still it wasn't enough.
Then I got invited to Forrst and when posting my work, I was hearing "that is cool!" instead of "you suck. Do more." And that got me fuelled up. So I decided to quit. I was so "bad" that the company asked me to stay 2 months more because they couldn't find anyone that could do what I was doing. 6 months later, I was still receiving calls to help the new guy and to do jobs as freelancer for them.
I was without a job for at least 3 to 4 months, but then I finally managed to get one. A better one. With an amazing team and a line manager who was absolutely awesome - He called us the Dream Team. I grew, I learned, I became a better person.
Then the company decided that we were having "too much fun" and divided to conquer. So people started quitting and from that Dream Team, only my line manager and a few others where left, spread out through the companies different departments. I got separated from that awesome mentor and started working with an art director that had all the bad influences that I hated. He built his career believing that long hours and having no opinion is the right way to do stuff, because there is no other way and that the Big Man was on his right to step on him and do as he pleased.
Little time after that, he started telling me that I was really good at coding, but my visual design wasn't good - Side note, I wasn't doing any visual design - and that I needed to up my level on visual design or the company would hire somebody else. And I heard that almost every single day. And that I had to give more to the company - I was doing a 9-18 schedule and not a single minute more. I've learnt that I didn't have to comply with management errors.
After a while, he came up to me and said that I was going to be switched to a new department to do "support" and nothing design related, because "I wasn't good enough at visual design" and I panicked. I went on another mental breakdown.
Then I decided to go to my mentor and an ex-college of mine saying that "I'm not a good visual designer, what do I do?" And the most helpful words came from them like a truck: "Of course you're not. And you don't have to be. You are a coder. A Front-end developer and a fucking good one".
So I got my inspiration back and the next day I said to my Art Director "I won't change departments. I was hired as a Designer and will stay as a Designer. If you don't like it, you can fire me." And they did nothing. Because I was good and they needed me.
I started looking for a new place to work outside my country - unfortunately there was no way I would get paid more in my country (Side note: Every time I got a new job, my pay check doubled), so I moved to England and started from 0.
Long story short: The community, the people around you and YOU are the most helpful help you can get. Almost everyone is going trough or went through what you are feeling right now. And there is no better help than someone who went trough it and survived. Hang on an carry on :) We are here for you
Where the design community meets.
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