My programming journey: Should you leave your current job to pursue your goals?

alexgwartney profile image Alex Gwartney Updated on ・2 min read

So first I wanted to say sorry for the late post. I had other things come up this week. With that said let’s get started. So, something I have been wanting to bring up is when should you quit your current job to pursue your goals. I see postings all the time of how people quit their job saved up money for x time and begin working toward there goal of getting a better career. I want to talk about the other half of this for a minute of is this really a smart move? So, I would say this definitely is not a option for everybody. I myself am definitely not in that boat. I have bills to pay and am currently still in school ect. And let’s be honest here I know swapping careers is going to take time. I have to build a portfolio and learn a new skill ect. And for me personally taking the risk of leaving my recurring paycheck for a year or so. For me it is just way to risky.

I would say personally if you’re in the same boat as me. Take and learn to schedule your time around your job to get your goals. In fact, use your goals as motivation to get through. Because its going to be tough especially if you have a family school ect. And then coming home from a 8 hour work day to spend another x amount of time on your goal. I would also point out to make sure to schedule time for yourself. This is something that I tend to leave the weekends for to do nothing but relax go out to lunch ect. What ever I can do to get away from work.
Now there is another side to all of this. I would say that if you can make the calculated risk of leaving your job then go for it. Because ultimately it will give you more time to focus on your goal and make it happen much faster. But I would say definitely way the risks before you make the jump. As you do not want to set yourself further back. I also want to get your opinion on this. What do you guys think have you guys already taken this jump? If so what are your tips to doing so. Or are you in the same boat as I am? If so what are your tips for working full time and working toward your goals?

Lastly something I wanted toad into each post is a extra piece. Where I will be posting a link to my GitHub to show a current stuff that I am working on. No matter how small even if its just a simple exercise. This way you guys if you are interested can come check out the stuff I work on. With that said this week I have not been able to really work on one thing specifically but feel free to check out some of the projects I have been working on thus far in my journey https://github.com/gwartney21 and as usual thanks for taking the time to read my post.

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Alex Gwartney


Programmer|Gammer| Wanting to go far in life.|Documenting my process of breaking into graphics programming.


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Hey Alex. You’re a young guy. You have plenty of time. If I didn’t have recurring income I wouldn’t be able to live let alone pursue my career switch. Not everyone is in a financial position to quit.

You’ll be okay.


Hey Alex, I am in the boat where I work 8+ hours a day, have an active social life, in a super fun cover band, and going through a self-paced bootcamp (Flatiron School) and I always make sure I spend at least 1 hour a day coding during the week, and at least 2 hours in the weekend mornings. It's tough. Sometimes I wish I could just quit my job and focus on coding, but there is something to be said about those who are dedicated enough to find a way to teach themselves how to code and be able to balance their life without going crazy or hungry.

I am right there with you. Keep it up!


Not to long ago I was working construction and decided that I wanted to switch careers and become a software developer. I didn't quit my job until I had something else lined up. Definitely hard to learn to code while working full time in something else. But it was definitely worth it.

I did it all in less than a year. Once I truly made up my mind, I did a summer course (CS50) and started doing small projects on my own to build up my portfolio. A recruiter called me up after I updated my resume and gave me an opportunity as a contractor. That got my foot in the door with a reputable software company. I'm no longer a contractor and working full time for the same company.

You just need to put yourself out there and not be afraid of interviews. I failed several interviews before getting hired. I felt like they took a chance on me but I really impressed them once I started.

When you go from coding part time on your own to coding full time in a place surrounded by awesome coders, you learn a ton really fast. I loved it and still do. Best career decision ever.


Just over a year ago, I was in my junior year of college and was an assistant manager at a pretty large local electronic repair shop. Pay was okay but got almost 40 hours a week. I ended up switching to an internship where I was limited to a very low amount of hours per week and an okay pay. I will say that first thing I did was figured out the things that I was okay with sacrificing and not having anymore (Eating out vs cooking, Walking more to places than driver (lived in downtown was better that way anyways), and finally for extra money I would free lance, not only did that earn some extra cash but also gave me a way to build my portfolio. It was for sure a tough situation to be in but a year of sacrificing led me into a job that I really enjoy. I think with some planning you can do it.


I fully agree with you. Cool advice


Start your own company they said... it will be fun they said...

What they forgot to tell you is that you will have to work for 12hrs/day.. even some weekends.


At multiple places in the article you have written "defiantly" where it should be "definitely". Please correct this mistake.


Oops sorry about the mistake will correct it when I get the chance.