Essay–Leaving the job…

When I’m not writing or venting my spleen into a microphone, I actually have a dayjob. I design software. I code. I solve problems. I mentor. I advise.

I’ve been writing software since 1996. I’ve worked for so many companies that listing them is impossible on my resume. I’ve been laid off four times. I’ve quit companies when it was obvious to me they were either going down in flames, or the politics made it impossible for me to perform. I’ve left jobs and taken serious paycuts to work on projects I found interesting and challenging.

My present gig has lasted more than 22 months. I love the people here, by and large, and have really enjoyed working with them. But I’m unhappy. Due to certain, um, issues with politics and personalities, it’s become impossible for me to do what I’m being paid for. And rather than make everyone else unhappy, as well as grinding my teeth to nubs, I decided it was best I entertain other opportunities.

Leaving is always tough. There are folks I work with whom I love. They keep me grounded and we have fun working together. The idea of just ditching all that is scary to say the least.

Every time I’ve chosen to leave a company for another, the same questions/concerns materialize in my brain:

  • Will I enjoy new job?
  • Can I hack new job?
  • Will anyone like me at new job?

Strangely enough, these fears are remarkably similar to those I experience when I am days away from publishing a new book. I worry about whether or not I’ve made it the best I can. I worry no one will want to read or listen to it. I worry I’ll never make the money back for the editing/artwork/layout. I worry the audio will be shit and no one will think it’s quality.

I worry. I have problems believing in myself, which most people find hilarious, given my personality. But the concerns are always there and I guess that’s why I’m so damned motivated to try and make things work and work hard to make them successful. I’ll miss the target. I’ll fail. And when I do, I eventually pick myself up and try again.

I’ve never worried about “job security.” In fact, I do my best to put myself out of a job through automation, clear documentation, and thoughtful processes. The bottom line? Whenever I finish one project, I’m always given another. And that’s my job security right there–getting shit done.

So as I leave this current position for another, I’m left facing the old fears again. I’ll get past them. I always do. We’re putting out a shit-ton of content starting November 22nd and that has me scrambling for perfection as well. We’ll get as close as we can, but it’ll never be perfect or what I want to be.

Just like art, jobs are never “finished.” They are abandoned. And when it comes time to move on, you have to move on.

3 comments on “Essay–Leaving the job…
  1. Antowan Batts says:

    Congratulations, starting a new job is always hard, but in the end it id the work that speaks for itself. And Mr . Cooley you are a hard worker, so nothing to worry about. Right, unless they’re a secret cthulhu cult or something. (Watch your back he hides with in the shadows.)

    But seriously congratulations on your new job. I wish you great success.

  2. Lucie Le Blanc says:

    I hope this new place offers you better working conditions. It was apparent the last one didn’t make you happy. And who doesn’t like you, dear? 😉

  3. Aleleeinn says:

    Congratulations on the new job. I went thru a parallel situation–I kept my old job but got a new contractor to pay me. Not sure how this will end. But that’s my situation normal.

    Do hope the new job gives you flexibility to allow you to keep cranking out the fiction. I hate waiting. Good luck.

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