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Time for a change – I finally quit my job after 8 years

To be perfectly honest, I knew in April that I’d be quitting soon, but I’m stubborn… Truth be told, I wanted to see the project through to it’s end, and I’ve done that.

After 8 years, it’s a difficult decision to make, but in the end, it came down to two things:

  1. How much am I enjoying the job?
  2. What’s the opportunity for growth?

I wrote a blog post years ago (How to know when you need a new job) in which I agree with Seth Godin’s idea in his book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us that the question “How was your day?” is the most important question you can be asked. Frankly, when I realized that I’m starting to look forward to weekends, I knew the writing was on the wall.

Don’t get me wrong – I still love certain aspects of the job, but at the same time, the second point has been weighing on my mind. Unfortunately, I have made myself redundant. The project I manage and work on is feature complete and stable, which means that right now the only thing left to do is maintenance (and not even much of that). Because the maintenance at the moment is pretty simple, we outsource that to a couple of developers that work on our project for about 10 hours a week.

This leaves me to do what I have always been great at – dealing with any other critical issues that we do not have the resources for. Right now, we have a stable product which we now need to sell, which means that digital marketing is the critical issue we need to solve.

Since that was the case, I took over managing the website design and development and fixed up the biggest problems on our main website (http://coretalk.co). While I’m still not entirely happy with it, that was the best I could do in the short run, and over the last 2 months, we’ve had 83 people fill in the contact forms on the site, which is an order of magnitude bigger than what we had previously (I can’t say exactly how much as there was no management of these contacts and the notifications was only emailed to the CEO, but it was definitely less than 10). I also developed a completely new website (http://coretalkreporting.com) for a new marketing initiative in less than a month. All of this was done when I had no experience with digital marketing and very little experience with building websites.

This is exactly why I loved it so much. The other night my wife called me a knowledge vampire, which I think is fairly accurate. I love learning new things or better ways to do existing things, and that is why I both loved and excelled at these projects. However, at the same time, I know that continuing with this is career suicide. I had to decide whether I want to change my career to marketing (and figure out a career path in a field where I would definitely have results to show, but no formal education), or whether I wanted to continue doing software development.

Now as much as I’m enjoying the marketing, I don’t see myself turning that into a career, and as such, my only option was to look for new opportunities.

I have seen some interesting attitudes while I’ve started job hunting. The first is that people have been very surprised at the fact that I resigned before I had a new job lined up. I can certainly see their point, but it seems a bit unethical to me to look for a new job on the sly while still working for your employer. How do you deal with taking time off for interviews etc, without telling him? Obviously people consider resigning a risk (What if you can’t find a new job in time?), but frankly, I know I’m good enough to find a job that I’ll love before my notice period is up.

Another interesting observation is how different the various recruitment companies are. One company told me that the fact that I’ve worked for the same company for 8 years is great, while another was horrified by it. Personally, I’d much rather employ somebody that stays with the same company for at least a couple of years over somebody that finds a new job every year.

So it was with a heavy heart that I tendered my resignation, but at the same time, I am thrilled at the opportunities that this has opened up for me. I am very excited about the coming year.