|more useful options|
You have reached a place that is difficult to inhabit. It's what I call the "What do you want to be when you grow up?" place.
If you are 23, making good bucks as a programmer and don't think you have any farther to climb, then you are ready for a little groundbreaking.
IMHO what I think may be helpful to you is to find out what you LOVE and do it. I love to make music. How do I know I love to make music? I forget about things. Things like going to the bathroom, eating and sleeping. I love playing (use that term loosely please)with computers.
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I have been a network administrator. A developer. A QA analyst. A phone tech support drone. A repair tech. An assembler in a computer factory.(ZEOS) I don't regret a minute of it because it was computers. The greatest tool that man has ever invented. The thing that will make the paradigm "Do more by doing less" a reality. I just love computers!
My computer at home is a digital studio where I create masterpieces of music. I love computers AND music!
I don't know what the future holds for me, but I am excited by that mystery.
Maybe YOU can help ME. Should I compose all of my music on the computer and distribute it solely over the Internet? Should I press CD's of my masterpieces and let them rot in my basement? Should I try to find all the combinations of notes and copyright them all? Should I go to a maintenance company and become a janitor?
1. What fires up your soul to change mankind?
If you do what you love the money will follow! However in the meantime you may have children to feed or a house to pay for or some other financial obligations. What can you do that is tolerable?
Just like a development project a plan is neccessary. Have you thought about what you want and how you intend to get it? Have you prioritized your life?
All the questions I ask are because there is only one person responsible for you, and that is you.
I hope that this rant has sparked a different viewpoint from which to solve your problem.
Good luck Amigo!
In reply to Re: Advancing oneself personally and professionally as a programmer (discussion)