Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
Last night I quit my job.
Well, technically I put in notice a while ago, but last night was my last night on the job. Without going into specifics as to the original reasons behind the transition, I’d like to make an important point: I was angry… Angry at my employer. This is important because regardless of my disdain for my boss, I still felt an incredible sense of loss and longing the moment I stepped out the door for the last time.
Everyone knows that quitting a job is akin to breaking up with a long-time partner. However, this was far more severe. Last night I walked out on a career; not just a job or an employer, but an entire profession. So as I turned in my company property, I was effectively handing over my identity. While it’s true that I’ve moonlighted as a freelance developer since ~2008, it’s always taken a backseat to my career field: Transportation & Logistics. And last night I walked away from that industry to follow a dream.
To be honest, I had been looking for reasons to leave the field. I just didn’t expect things to happen quite as fast as they did. After my heart attack last year, I no longer felt comfortable driving an 80,000lb missile down the road. Granted, I had learned firsthand through the miracles of modern medicine and technology, that you can survive a heart attack. However, my confidence in my ability to survive a heart attack (should another occur) whilst driving a semi-truck at 70mph was a bit lacking. This led to me taking a very substantial pay cut in order to move to an office position.
Now that I had more free time, as I had now gone from working nearly 80hrs/wk to working just 40hrs/wk, I started to rekindle my love for coding. As time passed, and I became confident with my skills again, an old contact of mine reached out to me with a few small freelance jobs. With these small odd jobs behind me, we started to talk seriously about the possibility of him needing a full time developer at some point in the hypothetical future.
Honestly, I didn’t really put too much stock in anything happening in the foreseeable future. However, after venting to him about the plight of my situation at work one day, he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. And now, here I am. One foot leading the other, down a path I’ve never wandered. Leaving all that was secure and comfortable behind me in search of a dream.
I rarely make new friends. It’s an unfortunate side effect of being anti-social and having a general dislike of people. However, the handful of people with which I had formed friendships at my past employer are going to be deeply missed. I certainly hope that they don’t become strangers.