Quitting two times in 2017

And it was quitting my job — not bad habits. Actually, if I look at it this way, I left a bad habit.

When I told my parents-in-law in December that I’ll quit my job and will start at a company in March for less money, they looked weird.


Less money

One reason for their astonishment was that I was actually switching for a salary 90% of what I earned. Money is not everything, and the opportunities sounded real good that time. For a good project and a good company, I am willing to accept less money too.

I’ll be honest, this depends really on my current private plans too. If I am building a house, then I’ll surely not go for a job to earn 50% of my current wage[1]. If I have loans to pay back, I’ll try to keep my current salary level or get a raise.

But I was offered less money with the explanation, that I was already earning too much according to my age and qualifications. Because this was my second employment, I thought it can be true so who cares?! I can go along well with less money.

Quitting jobs

Some time ago it was a big thing leaving your job and looking for something else because after a time you weren’t accepted for a position because you were too old. It was safer to stay in the company where you started and established a position — and retire after 40 years in the same company.

Now in the IT, I think, it is unusual to stay at your company right from the start till retirement. You are mostly working on projects, and they end after some years. If you work at a bigger company, you may be working on a product which runs a bit longer, needs maintaining, and this makes your position more secure. I know you can do byte-shifting magic and code obfuscation while writing. But products end too and then you have to look for another project or level-up and get a position in the middle management because in the last 10 years the technology changed dramatically and you cannot come up with it to be highly productive. And even though you get along as an architect I think you will design a terrible system because you do not know the current tools of the trade. Trust me, I have seen this.

But products end too and then you have to look for another project or level-up and get a position in the middle management because in the last 10 years the technology changed dramatically and you cannot cope with it to be highly productive. And even though you get along as an architect I think you will design a terrible system because you do not know the current tools of the trade. Trust me, I have seen this.

So, quitting the job nowadays can be seen lighter. It is not a show-stopper, and you won’t end unemployed — at least you do not have to.

Quitting the second time

So why did I quit my new job too? Well, after some time I realized, I am doing something I don’t like (Eclipse RCP, but this was really a minor part). I think, the worst was my lack of knowledge of the application and the domain: never did any project with OSGi, and I didn’t find the concept useful. It is like modularization with Java 9: you can easily shoot your feet away with your modularizations.

The work itself would fit a developer better, who is keen to learn RCP applications and has less seniority and experience as me. Naturally, my experience gave a significant boost on my productivity because I found the parts of the code to edit fast and learned the domain quickly (but not fully in these almost 6 months).

One solution would have been to change projects — but I didn’t see any options on good Java projects at the company. I think this is a general problem in Austria: having great Java projects is hard because I have a peculiar taste for greatness: new technologies, clean architecture, a good description of the project, small development cycles, QA and BA in reach and working closely with DEV… It is not easy to find something like this.

Shall we always quit?

Hell, no! It is not a rule of thumb that you should leave after X years from a company. If you like your co-workers, the company, your managers, the projects, then you should stay.

Naturally, in some people, there is longing for change. Some people, like me. I like to know what can other companies offer — not just money but career options, training, slack time, telecommuting options and so on.

The bad habit

Well, I am terrible at mentioning my opinion because I never needed it. Or, when someone was asking for my opinion it was too late and I was not accustomed to it.

And my bad habit rooted in this: I quit without mentioning it to my boss that I am thinking about leaving. This is something coming from the new lifestyle we have: if something goes wrong, we discard it and buy a new one. Even with our significant other: if the love vanishes (or is vanishing), we quit the relationship looking for a new one.

Instead, we should try to fix these things. And this goes for jobs too. If you are a valuable employee (you work thoroughly, don’t drink during the working hours[2], give your best to finish your assignment, and so on), then your boss will think about keeping you. If it is possible, she/he will look for a new project to let you work on, and perhaps a salary raise can be in the game, or you can get your dream workshop/conference paid by your employer.

In return, you should be working happier and commit yourself to the company for a longer period of time (1 year at least, perhaps more). Naturally, if the circumstances can not/won’t change, or you get an excellent offer, it is OK to quit your job in this period too. But do not play the “I’m about to quit, boss!” game because after the second time your superior gets annoyed and you can leave freely.

I promise myself and my boss that I’ll talk to him ASAP, I get these thoughts on leaving the company because the project I’m working on is a pile of crap. My salary is excellent, so I do not think I will change because of this. And by the way, we get perfect perks at the company, like conferences, workshops, and books. That’s one of the reasons I am coming back.

And I have plans. A lot of ideas on how to improve me, my position, and also my working conditions. All I need is time and motivation. And a lot of support!

Conclusion

Quitting your job is not an easy thing — at least I think so. Nowadays this option is used to gain a rapid salary-raise, but I wouldn’t do this often because you can reach the ceiling and hit yourself hard (even on the floor).

If you have some problems with your current project, instead of quitting without a word, try to talk with your managers. They surely will have an open ear and will be happy to think out a solution which will benefit both of you.


[1] Well, this can only happen if I switch to a startup, or start in an entirely new field where I have minor or no experience. For example as a Ruby developer. I have a minimal knowledge of the language, did one mini-gig and I surely wouldn’t earn my current wage.

[2] This is not so common, but happens. At the university, I did some coding while drinking, but it was not at the office. Remember this: https://xkcd.com/323/