Shortly before I left my last job I was disillusioned with the company so much that I’d started interviewing at other places. I wasn’t a great match at any of the places I talked to, and then Junglemonkey convinced me just to quit. That was totally the right decision; it’s let me be bitter and play the bagpipes and spend time with my family, who are truly important to me.
Since then I’ve continued to receive emails from recruiters sounding me out for various companies, sometimes secretive and sometimes open both about their identities — “…well-funded pre-IPO company…” — and about their projects. All of these have just left me cold. They all just seemed reiterations of the last bubble and reading the pitches or trying to imagine myself working on their products I’d get tired. Tired the way that depression makes you tired: unable to imagine even wanting to keep breathing. Now, the offers aren’t unusual; around here anyone who can bang out code and has demonstrated any kind of competence gets a couple of these things a month. I gauge the strength of the job market by how many recruiter emails I see in a week. The anomalous thing for me lately is just how much these companies turn me off. A year ago I’d maybe roll my eyes at the hyperbolic buzzwords but now I feel disgust.
Junglemonkey expressed concern that maybe I was letting my bitter disappointment at the way things went at my last gig cloud my judgment. What if one of these recruiters were hiring for a company that I’d really love? I grudgingly agreed to try not to be so negative but really I just thought I’d have to start my own company to get that kind of satisfaction and excitement again.
But today I got a query that made my heart race. Would I be interested in doing what I do best at an organization I’ve wanted to work at since I could read? Seriously, is it even a question?
Well actually, it is a question. Four years from now, I’d love to have that kind of opportunity. Right now, though, I’m fully engaged in supporting my family. I’ve promised them that I’ll be doing domestic support while Junglemonkey takes her career off hold. I love my family and I’m not going to torpedo their lives just to chase a job with some geek status. This gives me some hope, though, and some confidence: I’m not hopelessly embittered by my last job. It is possible for me to be excited by the idea of working on the right project. Those other companies? They probably are soul-sucking jerks.