Not having a job is bad. Having a job that you hate is worse.
Do you find your job interesting ?
Few months ago I started thinking about that. I had been working on a big Asp.Net project for an year and a half at that time, I had read few books on my current technologies, and I was quite fluent at doing my tasks. Unfortunately, most of them were quite similar. You know that moment with big projects, when there are not many new things, all the tasks are quite similar, the technologies are the same, most of the important architectural decisions had been made long time ago, so you are just doing what you usually do and everyone is happy.
Or not everyone. I was not happy. I was bored.
Learning new things and having the time for that
So I decided to sign up for a few courses. I set up new goals, one of them taking few certifications, reading new interesting books, and creating a blog, so I would more easily share what I know with others who are interested in more than simply finishing the job. I soon realized that I just don't have enough time to do all these things efficiently. My job was full-time, at the end of the day I was often too tired to work for more than 3 hours from home, and my weekends were also filled up with tasks.
So I quit my job.
Getting out of the loop, 9 hours per day at your disposal
Let me tell you something. Having plenty of time to read all the technical books you want, all the articles, doing all the things you didn't have the time to do, making your own decisions of how to build your software without needing to protect your ideas, it feels great.
It's not that easy, of course, many of us have families, loans, the financial side of the things should not be underestimated. I cannot say I'm not experiencing certain difficulties. But nevertheless…
My advice on the matter
is to try and see the bigger picture. Change your point of view, this is often the hardest thing. Get out of your comfort zone, and make it effectively. In my opinion, every developer should take a break every 4 or 5 years, just going out of the loop for a while, rethinking everything and choosing the path he wants to take from now on. Otherwise your risk burning out.
Learning is the key, and it's all about priorities. If you want to achieve your targets, you need to be happy. Just do what you love, take your time.
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