I came across this blog post by a fellow career changer on how to change careers gracefully. https://medium.com/architecting-a-life/639961f9210 Grace is something I work on and does not come naturally to me. They called me Caveman in the army. I like to attack problems and problem makers head on. That said I still grapple with choice.
More often than not the biggest problem maker in my life is me. With each opportunity comes a thousand obstacles in my head. I blame this on my near-term pessimistic outlook and years of training as a software guy where you spend a lot of time telling people why things won’t work. That said I’m internally and eternally optimistic for myself, for software, and for humanity, at least in the long run. This makes me good at being on the right side of trends in technology and life. (I took my entire life savings out of the market in 2006 with a net gain and put it back in later gaining another 50% in the process. )
Despite being rewarded for most of the brave moves in my life I still struggle with doubts. Rewind back to 2008 and I was a corporate shill at Microsoft. Despite climbing the ladder for 5 years I found myself unhappier than ever. Everything about what I was doing and where I was going and where the company was going left me less than compelled. Despite the many nagging doubts about leaving my cushy career I started planning. Eventually I was able to walk away from Microsoft and into an acqui-hire situation that saw me wealthier and happier than ever with more freedom than anyone should enjoy.
Alas, even this new job didn’t remain compelling but now I had an even bigger problem. I now required a lot more money to maintain my new standard of living. Money is a trap. It’s often easy to obtain and even easier to spend but what will happen when the money runs out? Your dependence on money is the main reason your trapped in your job but how much misery are you willing to endure to avoid the discomfort of standard of living decrease? Life is too short to be trapped in anything. I can guarantee that you, I, and everyone will look back from our death bed and regret every situation in which we hesitated to be brave.
We live in a time where access to life improving technologies, methodologies, and philosophies has never been greater. So why is everyone so damn miserable?! I personally think it’s because we’ve become trapped by modern life and we’re so damn busy with it we can’t even see our cage. What is the Matrix? It’s all around you. It’s everything you see and do.
Just like Neo I eventually saw my cage. While I can’t stop bullets I certainly no longer feel trapped. I have the power to change my life and can do anything I want and so can you. All you need to do is make one simple choice. Choose to live with the consequences of leaving your cushy job and happiness is yours. Everything from there is as they say, gravy.
By the way I’m hiring brave developers. 😉