Quitting A Six Figure Job: One Year Later
One year ago I published Why I Quit A Six Figure Job. Now I’m signing up for another one.
A lot has happened in the last year. Selected highlights include:
- DBIYF World Tour.
- Launched “The Conversation”.
- Started meditating.
- Started Vegan Month.
- Joined the Awesome Foundation.
- Stopped owning a phone.
- Problogging for RubySource.
- Volunteering for Beyond Zero Emissions.
- Reading. A lot.
- Stilt Walking.
Kind of overwhelming, looking back. That’s exactly what I set out to do though — try some new ways of living. It has changed my perspective on things which I’ll cover below, but first some logisitics to give you some context.
I had enough funds to support myself going into the year with the intention of using that do to whatever I liked. I came out the end of it with quite a lot more than I started with. That was unintended, and has definitely shifted my relationship to money.
I am not quite at the end of the financial year yet and have some invoices still to come in, but so far my income after work expenses totals almost $75,000, broken up as follows:
There is a lot of contracting income in there which I wasn’t planning on (it found me), but taking that out and allowing for a bit of opportunity cost, I was pretty much self-sufficient without having to dip into my reserves.
The theme for my last three months has been focus, which has been an interesting transition after spending the year essentially splitting my time as much as possible. I have come full circle back to programming, which is both heavily flow-inducing, and allows me to make significant contributions to goals bigger than myself. Both of these are pretty great things for happiness. (Csíkszentmihályi writes about it in Flow.)
To allow myself to focus on programming, I’ve been following two practices which have been pretty major mental shifts for me:
Treat all chores as work expenses. I buy my lunches, and pay someone else to do my taxes. These are not optional extras, they are what free up the time to allow me the luxury of being able to work eight or more hours a day.
Don’t schedule anything else. No regular dance teaching, no juggling everyday, no running training program. That’s not to say I never do them, they’re just not part of my day to day schedule. I still juggle and I still exercise, but they have been demoted off my habits calendar. This was a hard decision to make, especially given how goal-oriented and quick-skills-loving Jared and I are, but they were distractions and I feel better for it.
Meditation has really helped with this. It has allowed me to better regulate my focus and find ways to put ideas on a shelf to be dealt with later. Though I do like the idea of inspiration-driven production, I have found I am more consistently productive (and happy as a result) when I don’t chase each new idea that finds its way into my head.
This leaves plenty of free hours in the week and I don’t feel short of time, even though I’m often working well over the traditional forty hours. After a hectic and somewhat random year and having tried many different things, I’ve enjoyed settling back into a regular routine.
In doing so, I’ve been hankering for the pros I listed in my original post, namely working on big, hard problems with smart people to shake up an industry. As such, I’ve decided to take up a position working with Square in San Francisco, starting in August. Jodie is relocating with me, which is going to be heaps of fun. I’m excited to live in a new city, working on a big problem that I have always said I wanted to fix if given the opportunity.
Life is always in flux, and I don’t disagree with anything I wrote a year ago. After the journey of the last year, the balance has changed.
Of course, the logical conclusion to these decisions is that I am also going to stop writing here at TwoShay. You may have noticed it has been a bit quiet around here recently anyway — this is why. I am really proud of the 60+ articles Jared and I have published in the last year, and I feel for the moment I have said all I have to say.
Perhaps in another year the world will have changed again.