I quit software engineering

It’s scary to quit a career. You have no idea where you’ll end up, what you will do, whether you’ll enjoy it or have any success. But sometimes you realize that the years you spent working for a stable monthly salary were preventing you from pursuing your dreams.

So I quit. 15th of January will be my last day at PolyAI. I will use 2021 to experiment with different ways of making money that will maximize my freedom and enjoyment of life. If you were to pick a one-word label for that, it would be entrepreneurship.

Many of my current and former colleagues struggle with burnout. I am no stranger to it myself. While it has many causes, I strongly believe one of the main is a mismatch between what you do and what you should be doing. Which, in turn, results from a mismatch between what you think you should be doing and what you really should be doing.

It is easy to get caught up in other people’s aspirations and adopt them as your own. As a teenager, I began to dream of financial independence, to which having my own business was the best route. As I went through university, influenced by impressive presentations and by my peers, at different times I wanted to pursue management consulting, investment banking, launching a unicorn startup, working for big tech… I ended up settling for a cushy job in software engineering and putting my old dreams to rest.

It takes courage to step into the unknown. Even after I had reached a breaking point I was reluctant to actually do something. The major reason was fear of uncertainty — before making an irreversible decision I wanted to have a good plan. To know exactly what to do.

What helped me pull the trigger? I was talking to a personal coach and laid down the situation to her. As I spoke, a thought clarified in my mind. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know what I will do. This job isn’t working for me and I need a change.

And then a magical thing happened. As soon as I opened up my future to new possibilities, old dreams came flooding in. In 2021 I am exploring ways to realize them.

This year my main goal is to find a way to make money that is sustainable and fun. To that end I’ve started this blog, a YouTube channel (in Polish), will be meeting plenty of new people, trying out and prototyping business ideas. Next week I will publish a detailed post about my plans for this year.

I will be sharing my journey on this blog and on Twitter. If you think we can work together (or just want to say hi), don’t hesitate to give me a shout! Happy New Year!

460cookie-checkI quit software engineering

4 thoughts on “I quit software engineering

  • I really like your idea. Not many have the courage, nor perhaps the opportunity. I have been lucky to enjoy my work and the variety of challenges it gave, as well as satisfying my interest in different cultures and political systems. I think it gave me a better understanding of how the different systems work and fail or succeed. I have been able to share my understanding with people around the world and that has been the greatest pleasure, exchanging perceptions and building solutions to problems. Good luck.

    • Hi Alistair,
      Thanks for the kind words. Glad to hear that your career has been so satisfying. I wish more people made an effort to find a job they like as much as you do.

  • I can only agree how hard it is to resign from a secure career path. But entrepreneurship is the most amazing path if you have the courage šŸ™‚ Good luck!

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