Dear fellow monks,
I need some advice, this time not for any regex I can’t figure out nor why my code is not working, its about the work/personal life balance or unbalance as my case may be.. I write this post as maybe some of you have been through a similar thing and can relate.
So in some ways I have a dream job, I am a contractor earning a daily wage well above what I should be earning. I am in a key man dependency role (not of my own doing may I add) and this lucrative contract has been going on for years and years with no obvious sign the company has any real will to look at replacing me (more on that later). With the money paid I saved for a deposit and bought a house a hour and a half outside of the city I work in, however luckily the company has no issue with me working from home which I do well almost all the time. I have a 1 year old son who I get to see all day every day (as I work from home) a lovely wife, am financially secure, what more could you ask?
And this is the problem – the lifestyle I mustn’t complain, but I have got to the point where I cannot stand the job I do. Don’t get me wrong once upon a time I loved it, however as with many companies we got taken over by a big US firm (no offence to the Americans on here) who decided that all the technology must be done in the US. Bit by bit all the decisions and majority of the development went to the US leaving just a few of us key developers (mainly contractors may I add). We were left as what we worked on was core technology and would have taken them several years to rewrite it (in Java). The business folks this side of the pond who once came up with great ideas for us to implement have lost their way and have to plead with our colleagues in the US for resource. And then the dreaded credit crunch kicked in, this had a major affect on our colleagues in the US, many of the dev’s lost their job and the big plans for the European outfit were put on hold. This basically left the few developers over here on effectively a maintenance cycle – it’s a funny situation even though they pay us well, we are not allowed to do any projects without support from the US (and this doesn’t come as that would need some resource allocation form the US which isn’t available). Therefore there is very very little to do and what there is so boring, Ironically nobody questions what I do, nor seems to care and they pay my invoices on time every month. So now the job I once loved I have now learned to hate, the director I report to is to say nicely a ‘muppet’ who doesn’t even know what I do, even though I have tried to explain the situation. That said he has no power to make any changes as he is mainly sidelined by the US. The business people who once drove the development are not motivated and the company is somewhat in freefall. Personally I feel I have become institutionalized, worked here too long and have lost my confidence in my abilities.
Now I know most people would say, well quit then if your not happy… However as I am sure you all know the job market is not so good right now, so I would likely to have to take a 30-40% pay cut – this isn’t so easy seeing as I have a massive mortgage (bought in the boom) and am the only ‘breadwinner’. More importantly any new role I get I am unlikely to have the same working freedom, and the precious time I have seeing my son grow up would be replaced by a 3hr a day commute to the capital city.
So I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place – I don’t think there is anyone in the company who can change the situation and feel pretty lost – So anyone been in a similar situation, or can offer some constructive advice?