I am happy to report that I accepted an offer of employment at another company. Yesterday was my last day at my old job.
As I wrote in September, it has been a while since I've been happy with my job. It has also been a while since I decided that I needed to leave my job. I got an interview on November 1st, an offer of employment the following Monday, and completed some negotiation that week, just in time to give my notice by the weekend. I got a big raise and I'm even shaving half a mile off my already short commute (it will be down to 2.5 miles).
I feel excited, and happy, and relieved. Much of my unhappiness at my current job stems from feeling trapped. I don't have the stash of screw-you money that I need to feel secure in quitting my job when conditions warrant. This is a huge deficiency that I have identified in my life, and in the coming months I will develop (and share with you) a comprehensive plan to remedy the situation.
It's easy for people, especially myself, to think about an emergency fund in abstract terms. Oh, you want six months of living expenses. It's in case you lose your job, or a tree falls on your house. But honestly, the biggest risks I now worry about are: what if my boss or my company expects me to do something unethical? What if I see and raise security lapses that my company is unwilling to remedy? I want to be able to escalate the situation. I want to be able to say, "This needs to change, or you'll need to find another engineer."
I'm also looking forward to being excited about my job again. Months ago I got disillusioned with the work we were doing and office politics. In that time, I had not been putting in my best effort or producing my best work. I've found that apathy is contagious, and so is excitement. When I come home from a day of doing the minimum amount of work to get by, I find I don't have this great urge to be effective in my home life. Conversely, the days I was really productive at work were also the days I found I had the urge to dive into house work and hobbies.
In the short term my finances shouldn't be affected much. I think there will be an extra week in between pay checks in December. Because of my uncertainty around timing of my new pay check, I'm being a little cautious about new investments. I think there are some good opportunities even in this market, but it's better to be safe. I have about $2500 in my checking account, and that will hold me over until my new pay checks start coming in. Once that happens, expect to hear all about the companies I'm buying.
The last big benefit of switching jobs is that I took next week (which happens to be Thanksgiving week) off. That means more time for my hobbies, more time for chores, more time for planning my future, and maybe even more time for blogging. I like to think of my vacations, no matter how short, as a dry run for retirement. I don't know that I'll ever understand the mindset of people who think "Why would I ever retire? What would I do all day?".
I have a lot to look forward to.