Yesterday I gave notice to my employer. This'll be the first time that I quit without having anything else lined up. This isn't the time to go into details, but I think Dan Pink best describes where I currently am in my professional life:
(His full TED Talk is probably better, but the presentation of the above video by RSAnimate is amazing)
You hear about people quitting their jobs and making life changing decisions to pursue happiness in the little time they have. I'm far less worried about doing something meaningful from societies point of view (which seems like something a lot of people fret about) than I am about doing something personally satisfying. I happen to be lucky that programming is something I really love doing. But, to me, programming just isn't rewarding unless it's a creative task where you have to solve real challenges. As Dan Pink puts it, I yearn for autonomy, mastery and purpose.
So, what's next for me? I have to admit, I feel more than a little guilty about not working. I've always been impressed by people who do whatever it takes to put food on the table. Yet here I am, able-minded, able-bodied, and about to be unemployed by choice (though, I've worked hard in the last decade to make it so I can take an indefinite amount of time off too). I'm also a little worried about the current economical climate. Part of me likes the idea of taking the rest of the year off. In my mind I'm also playing with the idea of taking 2012 off (we're all gonna die anyways, right?) However, last time I took two months off, I was pretty restless after the first week.
The risk-adverse part of me says I'm making a mistake. I'll be eating into my savings when I don't have to, I'll have a gap on my resume...blah blah blah. I don't know how it'll all play out, but I know I'm unhappy and that's something which isn't worth lying to yourself about.