For the past 15 years, I’ve been a professional software engineer, web developer, programmer and other like terms. And in that time I’ve managed to steadily climb the corporate ladder from junior developer to lead developer to eventually CTO of a few startups.
It’s been an interesting journey, to say the least. And 15 years definitely seems like a long time. So you might be thinking that this secret to my career growth lies in the realm of consistency, dedication and patience. I would agree that those are all good traits to have.
But I’m going to throw a slight wrench into that formula. Because the best thing that I’ve done for my career is not at all related to consistency or patience. In fact, it has pretty much been the opposite.
On average, I’ve changed tech jobs about every 2–3 years. That’s typically enough time for me to essentially see and do everything that a company has to offer. Or at least anything that they are willing to give me as a software developer. After the 3 year mark, I’ve worked on multiple projects, joined multiple teams and attended enough daily standup meetings to last me for a good while.
But eventually you start to feel it. It’s in the air. And it’s heavy. The sense that the world is moving quickly forward away from you, and that you’re standing still waiting for the report to print out for your 8am meeting.
It could be boredom, burnout or simply just the realization that you haven’t really done anything new in a few years. Often times it’s a combination of all three. And you should never ignore those feelings, particularly when it comes to your career. Because they are there for a reason. They’re telling you to move and move quickly.
The only real solution that I’ve managed to find that cures pretty much all of these, is change. Change of scenery, change in career, change in life. Change into some unknown part of life that you haven’t yet had the chance to explore. And often times, that change comes with some level of fear and trepidation.
It usually only takes a few months before I feel prepared enough to commit to a career change. Though usually, it comes after a year or so of contemplation on the matter. But with new knowledge and skills acquired, the…