I've noticed a funny thing in the last year or so. The vast majority of the time someone I know leaves a job (or is fired) two trends seem to recur:

  • A sense of relief: "I'm so glad I'm not at that place anymore."
  • A complete loss of "spare" time: "I'm busier now than when I was working full-time!"

Maybe everyone should change jobs once or twice a decade? Maybe people should ask themselves a bit more often one question: What Should I Do With My Life?

Who knows...

Posted by jzawodn at March 09, 2005 01:11 PM

Reader Comments
# Bob said:

Perhaps you can get a job at Plaxo?

on March 9, 2005 01:20 PM
# Justin said:

I kind of agree. But you need to ensure you don't become depressed and want to jump off a cliff too. Many people who are fired just want to crawl under a rock some place.

Remember those news clips from the election battles. You see thousands of people out in the boonies who where laid off from some $10 / hour factory job that was deported to Mexico and they are in really rough shape.

Might apply to your skill level and your cities population but I get your point.

on March 9, 2005 01:51 PM
# Jack said:

There is also Po Brosnan's book:

What Should I Do With My Life?

What happened? Yahoo! fire you for blogging?

on March 9, 2005 03:09 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Heh, not yet.

on March 9, 2005 03:25 PM
# Victor said:

Hmm... it seems Jeremy is applying for a new job at Google.

on March 9, 2005 03:49 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

As opposed to my old job at Google?

on March 9, 2005 03:54 PM
# Mark Denovich said:

I was so looking forward to being unemployed this fall. I even negotiated away a raise and promotion (I just didn't want to be there anymore) and instead negotiated being laid-off (so I could receive unemployment.)

I bought about a grand of fishing gear, and spent the last few weeks at work charting out all the places I wanted to go... Then I F'd it all up by getting a new job offer, with a bonus if I started sooner rather than later. I was unemployed for just one stinking day.

Some day...

on March 9, 2005 04:30 PM
# Richard Toohey said:

OK, it is off-topic but I can't seem to get any reply from any-one.

http://www.highperformancemysql.com/ has been compromised for ages - can someone fix it, please.


on March 9, 2005 04:41 PM
# david said:

Getting fired was the best thing for my career. I have no complaints.

on March 9, 2005 04:46 PM
# Jack said:

People at Google definitely read Jeremy's blog.

on March 9, 2005 05:07 PM
# mrs said:

The lack of spare time when unemployed often has more to do with an inability to do enjoyable things without a source of regular fundage. Either that or the need to be near a telephone to handle potential job-related calls. (Cellphone's fix this somewhat, but it still would suck to try and take an initial discussion call while spending time with friends out someplace.)

When I lost my job at eBay/PayPal (for reasonable reasons), I was devastated, completely destroyed. I'd been spending 16-18 hours a day at work, losing touch with my housemates and girlfriend (now fiancee), and planning to skip an upcoming doctors appointment to do work, but I'd defined myself so much by my work that it was like I'd cut a huge part of me away, and I'd find myself crying at odd times. There was never a better thing to happen to me, however, since the doctor (which I now had time to visit) recognized a very dangerous condition I'd just been 'putting up with' to do my work, and hospitalized me for surgery four days later.

To this day, I still reminisce fondly about the intensity of work and brainshare in my absolutely brilliant group, but I recognize it now as something like the rush that a gambler feels while gambling. You really should change jobs when you get to that overcommitted point.

A lot of the 'I'm glad I'm not there anymore' is part of our natural desire to feel better about ourselves, though. (Either that or there are a LOT of people at jobs who are just there through inertia, which is also very possible.)

-- mrs

on March 10, 2005 12:12 AM
# Jared0x90 said:

To be honest I wouldn't be suprised if they add Jeremy's Blog to there blacklist of sites some day (if it hasn't been added already).

BTW Jeremy - You could always sell high PR links on ebay lol.

on March 10, 2005 06:26 AM
# Scott Johnson said:


I wholeheartedly agree. People need to, at the very least, take a look at the options that are out there. I have known far too many people who have been dissatisfied with their jobs but were afraid of leaving. They felt obligated to stay. Or they felt that they didn't have a choice in the matter. There are choices out there, and they can often be extremely rewarding.

on March 10, 2005 08:04 AM
# Anon Coward said:

You used to work for Google?

on March 10, 2005 03:36 PM
# Mike Duffy said:

So, with a year's perspective, how does your old "What Should I Do With My Life?" post look. Are you still at quarter-speed? One of the advantages of journalling/blogging is the ability to look back and see if things are moving in the right direction. I hope they're doing so for you.

PS - Did you get a home? I was reading your old post and wanted to ask "What is it about having a home that's important to you?" Sometimes we use a want as a shorthand for several underlying needs, which (taken apart) may be easier to satisfy. Anyway, enjoy following your blog.

on March 14, 2005 07:33 AM
# Bill said:

from the perspective of someone on their third career (and I think I'll stick with high tech), you've gotta do the stuff that interests you. I will always be thankful to my dad for telling me I had choices that he did not and that I should pursue whatever career I wanted. Everyone has bad days (weeks) but I'm doing what I enjoy, I have no regrets, and I'm glad for both my past career choices.


on March 17, 2005 09:43 AM
# Ron said:

I'm celebrating my 25th year in software this May 7th. I've worked for the same company as a programmer, supervisor, manager, project manager and now Application Architect for 17 of those years. I don't know if I'm burned out, but each day I am tempted to just walk out of here and start all over with a new way to make a living. I really like the people I work with, the company is great to work for.

The only problem is that my wifes health is not good and her medications are 3k a month. I have chronic back problems so I can't do physical labor. I'm 48 years old making over 100K a year. I'm on anti-depressents and still want to walk away from this existance every day.

The problem is that they've assigned me to maintain a pig of a system that should have been put out of its misery 2 decades ago. The lead technologist hasn't updated his skill set in 30 years. I'm condemned to do my maintenance in an archaic development environment called TSO (I call it The S*** Option) with COBOL. The system is written in speghetti code with unstructured GOTO's and little 'quirks' that take advantage of unused data elements and hard coding techniques. I want to scream at the director who was in charge of this mess for the last 10 years "you created this monster by your indifference in managing....You clean it up"

But I'm stuck here instead procrastinating my life away thinking that I need to get a new direction, a new life and a new mission that will breath life into my soul instead of suck the energy out of my existance leaving me as unexcited about living as an old airless balloon.

I haven't done anything productive in months and was required to do my own performance appraisal. I gave myself a 3 out of 5 overall, mostly because I have shown up for work, even though I don't apply myself. They say showing up is half the battle. For me it's the whole battle. Thanks for letting me air. - Ron

on February 21, 2006 03:28 PM
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