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Does your current job fulfill you?

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I have been hopping jobs for over 5 years now. I can't seem to be able to find the one that I am looking for.

I am always dissatisfied with the company's culture (no vision, no leadership), the engineering culture (no process, no proper management, no test suite !?!?), the product (really? another Uber for X?!?).

So, I have been wondering:

Do you enjoy your current job?
Do you find your self as aligned with the product's purpose?
Are you looking for such a job?
Is it even out there somewhere?

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I felt the same way. I hopped SEO startups, then I put 6+ years at an enterprise-level medical device company with the same problems you mentioned. Then I was at a big-name software company that had the engineering culture and products, but had (since the great transformation in the 90's) started to lose its way, and today it's a shell of its former self where the big part of the culture is "Will I be laid off this month or next?"

Now, I do a lot of things. Run a consultancy, act as a CTO at a startup, even trying recruiting. I don't always agree or align with everything, but, with the exception of pay, my professional life is fulfilling right now, because:

  • I can work from home
  • I can be there for my family
  • I can do things outside of tech in my free time
  • I don't like being told what to do (and no one does now)
  • I'm not doing anything arbitrarily
  • I can do things my way instead of second-guessing myself

It's highly unlikely I'd find a job that would offer all of these. It's hard--sometimes harder than just working full-time--but it's what works for me.

 

I run a dev community filled with thousands of really great people. It's hard work, but very fulfilling.

 

Would you say that running your own company is the only way to find a fulfilling job?

 

I don't think so at all. For most I'd say it would probably suck. There's a lot of bullshit and for a software developer it generally pays less.

 

One of the characters in the movie That Thing You Do says the following about playing music and bands, "Ain't no way to keep a band together. Bands come and go. You got to keep on playin', no matter with who." I think this applies to programming as well, companies come and go but you got to keep on coding.

It's great when you enjoy your job and align with the products purpose. The problem is that this doesn't last long for many of us. Things change. For example, management changes can quickly make a wonderful place to work a living hell. A company's fortunes can change and you get laid off.

The best thing you can do is to try to make sure you only take jobs that you can align well with personally to some degree and where you feel like you can work with the people you will be interacting with on a daily basis. For example, I took a job one time because I had worked well with the IT director there in a previous job. Once I started the job I was teamed with a world class bully and found that the product (related to the mortgage industry) did not meet my ethical standards. I left that job very quickly.

 

This is a great standpoint. I love how it explains so much with simple words. :D Thank you.

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