Currently in this situation and the first three months has been rewarding while scary. The timing in my life worked out well as I needed a break from burnout and to spend time with family on hospice. I've since been able to catch up on all the things in life that were on the back of my mind; I've re-established an LLC contracting business and have been able to invest in that, I've pruned and polished all of my online accounts and resumes, I've spread out my income opportunities to places like upwork and patreon, and now I feel like I'm just sitting back in my chair waiting for the next big thing to come my way.
I think it's really important to have side projects or passion projects that keep you on your game. I took a 2-month burnout recovery break from coding and spent my time being productive in other ways. I've been able to make time for practising interviews and meeting with low potential employers to get a feel for where I'm at and what has changed since the last time I was looking for work -- ahead of the more important interviews. And I've been able to travel and enjoy myself as well during this time, which is an absolute miracle.
I think it all comes down to timing and the time had come, the universe decided. I am lucky that I had savings to carry me through the first couple of months instead of feeling frantic to get work by next week to pay the bills. If I had left my job and had no options, feeling felt pressured to make ends meet more than I currently do, I know that would make things more challenging.
Ultimately, the biggest factor that lead me to this situation was the salary. I just wasn't being paid enough to be on-call 24/7, working the long hours and weekends that I was working, and feeling like I wasn't being valued at the end of the week. Inevitable burnout is something I charge extra for, but there are a lot of places out there that will underpay and overwork you. Nice desks and monitors, unlimited snacks, company outings with free booze, and a foosball table are awesome but if I can't pay rent can I sleep on the couch at work? No. My time was worth more than I was being offered, it turned out.
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