There is a little-trafficked hill in a park not too far from my home where I like to sit, think, and watch the world go by. People can see me from below, but few follow the path that leads to the fenced area, which makes it a great spot to sit out of the way of people. Usually when I’m sitting there, 68 metres above the rest of the town, I’m thinking about philosophical questions. Today, though, I was thinking about the reasoning behind my desire to be self employed. There would be a great deal more risk to take on and the costs of insurance would go up at least 30%. Sticking with an employer, regardless of who, would be far simpler and much safer … which is an odd thing to believe given the habits of employers to ditch technology people past an arbitrary age.
The reasons for my desire comes down to a single word: control. If I am to be satisfied with my career, I must have the ultimate amount of autonomy possible. This can only be accomplished if my boss is also my customer. More than this is the distinct lack of control that I have at the day job, where three common issues that have plagued the organization for decades have been kicked into overdrive with a global initiative to consolidate our myriad of disparate systems across the planet into a single, cohesive platform.
The issues I am unable to correct at the day job are as follows:
- we blindly hitch our future on the success of vendors
- we spend money without any regard for how difficult it was to earn that revenue
- we are dishonest about our regard for data privacy
There are other items that bug me, of course, such as the fiefdoms, the endless meetings that accomplish nothing, and the fact that we use 7 different communications platforms but can’t effectively share information with each other, but these nuisances exist in every company where more than a dozen people are employed. It’s the three main issues that bother me on a regular basis, making an exit the most logical solution1 despite all the benefits that have come as a result of being employed where I am.
There are a lot of great people that I would miss working with, and some that I would try to recruit if fortune favoured this fool. However, this is something I have my mind set on, with the goal to be operating on my own before the end of 2022. Will it be easy? Not in the least. Will it be worth the risks? I believe it will. The alternative is to work the rest of my days much like I have been these last three years; starved for time and forever at the mercy of someone else’s arbitrary Excel-based project schedule.
With a quarter century of decent working life left in me, I’ll be darned if it’s spent battling burnout and fatigue.
Leaving the company would be easier than trying to change culture and the minds of several hundred people. Besides, if I’m the only one who sees a problem, then clearly I am the problem.