my career story
Once upon a time I was a college graduate with no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. After taking an internship at a marketing software company post college, I grew to love what I was doing and found software development and especially product management exciting. I worked hard, loved what I was doing, and was well known in my friend group for working long hours but being passionate about the job. I was your run of the mill over achiever and I loved every minute of it. But over time I came to realize that working with clients gave me anxiety and I wasn't enjoying my work quite as much as I once did....which led me to leave for another company that would give me more formal product management experience.
Boy was that an interesting change. I went from a drinks-after-work, everyone-is-friends kind of environment working 45 - 55 hours a week to working 60 - 85 hours a week. They had warned me about the hours, but what no one had told me was that working hard on a product you cared about for a company you enjoyed was MUCH different than working hard on a product you didn't love for a company you actually kind of hated. I was completely miserable. Looking back, I can't believe I even lasted the 8 months that I did. It was soul sucking work and everything in my life suffered for it - my relationships, my physical health and my mental heath. After months of debate, I decided I had to quit. I was terrified of being without a job, but staying was worse. Lucky for me, I landed another gig the week I put in my notice.
I was THRILLED I had found another job at a smaller company that seemed to be the perfect combination of culture and experience. I was working from home, almost completely autonomous, and running multiple products myself. About 3 months in, I started quietly wondering why I wasn't over the moon about my new job. 6 months in I was wondering what the right move was. 9 months in I new I had to leave.
Hear me out - I had a great job working from home that paid well, so why would I leave? The bottom line is that when people asked me how work was going my answer was always fine. Never terrible, but never great either. And I was sick of that answer. I was tired of just fine. In the back of my mind I knew I was made for more and that there must be something different (if not better) out there for me.
So I did. I put in a months notice, finished out my service and as of July 2018 was free. More to come on what that freedom means to me.