Monday, 15 April 2013

Rought waters

The next blog post is two-fold: the announcement for me attending the EuroSTAR Testing Conference as a speaker and the reasoning why I chose the topic.

So yes, I have been chosen as a speaker to EuroSTAR 2013 in Gothenburg. I thank everybody who has congratulated me so far and it is most likely that those people that have congratulated me have actually given me strength to keep on pushing and get my topic to be accepted. So, THANK YOU all who have supported me during these tumultuous times.

Some might be baffled why I talk about “supporting”, “strength” and “hard times”. That difficult time is the key to both my talk in EuroSTAR and to my life for the past few months. Here’s a summary about my future talk at EuroSTAR – Testing me:

During 2012 November I had a nervous breakdown: I was overwhelmed both professionally and personally. I did a job that I did not like too far from home. I wanted to be the most prominent star in the Testing scene. I wanted to be admired. But instead I burnt myself out. And I did it for the sake of my testing career.  This is a story about hard decisions made to boost career over family and health.

I will tell how I felt before the melt down and what I did, the hard earned reputation and life-altering decisions about career, and how I started to buckle under the pressure. I will tell about the days I thought about quitting my job, what it took to get back to work after two months of sick leave.

This is “Testing me” - a reality check of the worst kind.

The topic is as personal a story as any. I didn’t speak much about my burnout to anyone mainly because I was afraid of their reaction. My closest family was aware of the situation to some extent but the full scale was revealed only after 3 or 4 weeks to my sick leave.

This talk is a therapeutic self-analysis on what went down during the burnout, and also a "come clean" kind of talk about why I was absent from all events and discussions lately. It is an experience sharing so that other people wouldn't have to go through what I did.

So, I encourage you to come and listen to what I have to say about my experience from stress, career and family, and the balance of those things. I don’t have the ultimate answer to all the questions about career moves, stress handling, etc. but I will share my thoughts on how I sailed through the rough waters. You might pick some pointers on what I did and how I handled different situations.

Even though the topic sounds distressing, I am now working full time and in a job that I enjoy doing. I also live closer to the office. The sky seems to clear a bit. A good sign, I think. I will also share what has happened during the time before the conference about my career, thoughts, etc. One could say I will try to make a full circle with the talk from the beginning of my career to the present day.

Anyway, hopefully I can manage a few blog posts about testing topics in near future to regain my status as a professional tester. ;)

Until next time,


James Marcus Bach said...

I am one you can talk to about this. I have had burnout a couple of times, and had to learn to know my limitations. I feel for you, man.

-- James

Pekka Marjamäki said...

Thanks, James. I will at some point. Good to know I have friends around the world.

- Peksi

Sami Söderblom said...

I've not yet experienced this challenge thanks to people who openly talk about their problems and "point out the mines".

People like you.

The most important lesson I've received from the pain of the people dear to me is that you should allow yourself to be happy. I'm not happy when people admire or follow me. Stars are lonely and wide apart. I'm happy when I've helped people and they respect me for it.

You help people and we respect you for it.