An enviable CV doesn’t make you immune from feeling inadequate. Under pressure to work harder and longer, talented young coder Maxim Cramer, 25, transformed the way she lived, resulting in a healthier, happier and more productive approach to her career.

“There is so much pressure on young people today to present their lives as perfect – especially when it comes to their careers. It seems like there is always one more task you can do, one more hour you can work, and one more skill you can add to your CV.

“I enrolled on my first computer class at the age of six. By eleven I’d learnt how to touch type and by twelve I’d built my own website. After university, I launched my first iPhone app, Beauty Geek, and then I landed an amazing job at UK start-up SwiftKey, where I helped to build an app that got one million downloads on its first day. But I wasn’t content.

“Soon after starting work for another company, I was struck with a deep bout of depression. Some days I barely managed to get out of bed, never mind be productive. And in response, I pushed myself even harder to meet expectations. I was eventually rushed to hospital with what turned out to be a severe panic attack.

Maxim Cramer photographed by Greg Funnell in London, UK, 21st March 2016.

“It turned out I wasn’t the only one imploding from the mental stress of work. After blogging about my experience, I received hundreds of messages of support from people with similar experiences. The majority were victims of a growing work culture that promotes long working hours, while frowning upon any signs of weakness.

“I’ve since turned my life around. I now work my dream job as a programmer and designer for art collecting website Artsy, a company that nurtures its employees and values productivity and creativity over long hours. I’m still happy to pull an all-night work session but I now have a more balanced approach to my career.”

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 This article originally appeared in Huck 55 – The Freaked Out Issue. Buy it in the Huck Shop now or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.