The people who know me best are rarely shocked when I take a new job. After all, I work in a highly volatile industry, and it’s never long before something potentially more enticing than my current situation shows itself. I like to think this is true for everyone, with the possible difference being that I tend to react to these new opportunities, whereas many people do not.
And why should they? Changing jobs sucks, almost as a rule. People get attached – it’s what we do. Whether it’s to another person, a pet, or a job – we get comfortable, and time passes. Before we know it, what was new is familiar, and what was current has become nostalgic. The seemingly simple act of leaving a company is a challenge unto itself. I’ve felt relieved after leaving bad companies. I’ve felt neutral when I left better companies that were sorry to see me go. I have never before felt bittersweet to leave a company I enjoyed working at.
I’m feeling that for the first time right now, and it’s teaching me two things: first, figure out your dream job, and second, find a good reality job. If dream jobs are the jobs you want, reality jobs are the jobs you get, and I got hired for a really great reality job 8 months ago. I’ve honestly had a blast, and it’s been very rewarding. It also helped position me to be able to accept my dream position as a software craftsman with ThoughtWorks. I’m grateful to be in such a privileged situation, and I’m very grateful to have had a reality job that helped make my dream job, itself, a reality.