Why did I leave my stable job in the middle of a pandemic?
In my previous post, I mentioned there is a long story about why I stopped working on my side project.
It's tough to write this post. I changed my mind several times about, should I write it or not. But it keeps poking me. You know, when something always tickles you in the back of your brain & doesn't let you sleep. So I have to dump it to be free.
I was introduced to programming - exactly to Visual Basic - when I was 15. My father is a programmer, so as you can imagine. I love to talk to the computer through code.
My first job was at a multinational company - even before I graduated from college - for over nine years. I loved it.
Close to where I live - I could go to work by bicycle every day, even in winter.
Family-friendly - I could be at the home office with my children if needed - like when they were ill.
Smart colleagues - There was always an opportunity to learn.
I always preferred a better working environment and the fact that I can learn a lot over the money I get every month.
We could happily live with my family of 4 - that is what matters to me. I did not want to change anything.
So, you could ask.
Why did you leave it?? Are you mad?? There is a pandemic outside!
It all started with an idea: start a side project. I love to learn & create things with my bare hands, so a side hustle is perfect for me. I am figuring out what an application should look like, what components it should have, which database fits it better, which frontend/backend frameworks to choose, etc. Love it.
After a year or so, I decided to try out something new with it. Offered a paid version of one of my open-sourced apps, which was a privacy-focused visitor analytics service.
At that time, my father stopped doing any business in his company. It was a small local IT business, with only 1-2 customers. As I needed an official entity to start selling, I decided to take it over from him.
Do you start seeing the problem? It's getting a shape.
In most - if not all - multinational companies, you have to report if you would like to have a second job - to not have any conflicts of interest. I agree with this. I've filled out all the required papers, and talked with my manager, and everything needed from my side was done as quickly as possible.
After a week of processing all the documents, my manager told me that it was approved, with no conflicts.
I was so happy, having a cool daily job but still having a side project where I could unleash my imagination.
Aaaand here comes the black soup...
After 2-3 days of the approval, I got another email that told me that:
I'm not allowed to do anything outside of office hours, on my computer, in my free time, which includes coding - do not even think about it - because I could be a massive competition to the company - without any further explanation.
If I asked why that happened, I did not get any answers to my questions. All I got back from everywhere - "You should not ask any questions; otherwise, there could be consequences."
I was outstanding during those nine years - at least from the feedback I received. My salary went pretty high during these years. Always received the highest ratings from the yearly feedback. But after this, I realized how much the company owned me and did whatever they wanted with me.
I can't describe in words how I felt. I had no idea what to do next. It was shocking & depressing. My motivation dropped to zero - for the first time in 9 years. I barely talked to anybody - even though I'm not a chatterbox.
I don't judge anybody or anything for the decision because "it's in the deck." They have - probably - the right to do so, but it should have been implemented more amicably. I felt abandoned, and futureless & it affected my work enough.
So, what's next?
There is only one escape from these feelings. Look for another job. But yeah. COVID-19 is in the pantry. No school. No kindergarten. Everybody at home - days full of challenges.
There are no other IT jobs nearby where I live. The closest one is 60km away. There is a lot of it, but I'm a family-centric person. I prefer to be with my family instead of traveling for 3-4 hours daily. I could do it if I must, but not it's not something I desire.
What to do in this case?
Kick everything up and search for a fully remote foreign job. #yolo
I was fortunate because I only applied for two jobs, but the first one escalated pretty quickly. The position is already filled; they just forgot to delete it from their website. So basically, I just tried only one & got accepted after some interviews.
I felt relieved.
I only had one interview before, so to get through the first one after nine years made me confident that I was doing the right thing.
After four months of working at my new job, I knew I was right. I did the best thing I have ever done in my career. I am working with very talented people at CodeSandbox to shape the future of web-based coding.
Work on my side project as much as I can in my free time!
If you would like to follow my journey, follow me on twitter.
If you are unhappy with your current job, change.
If you feel yourself locked up, change.
Even a pandemic should not stop you from doing what's best for you or your mental health.
There is always an opportunity, a light at the end of the tunnel. You need to be brave.