On Sabbatical

Four weeks ago today, several of my peers and I were let go as part of a company restructuring. I mentioned it in my last update, but after taking many beautiful, wide-open summer days to process, decompress, and think about my future, I’m choosing to be more explicit about it now.

I’m not looking for a new gig; I’m not looking for contract work. Not yet, anyway.

In the spring of 2020, I was interviewing with a company about a role that would have been a major shift away from the day-to-day that I knew. At the time, my engineering experience was centered on the WordPress agency space, and this potential opportunity offered a chance for something new: working on a product team with languages and tools that aren’t part of the WordPress ecosystem. I was eager for change, and interviewing was going well, so I put faith in myself and gave notice at my then-current job.

The week after my last day there, the entire U.S. economy started shutting down in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. I had a half-day onsite interview scheduled with the new company, which became a half-day Zoom call, which became, “I’m sorry, but our company is no longer hiring for any roles.” I understood, of course. Those were scary times.

Since then, I’ve taken on a variety of roles, always with the larger goals in mind: moving into product, moving toward other technologies, or both. In June, my latest efforts were finally starting to pay off as I transitioned onto our broader backend team and began contributing to our parent product. Then I got the news.

I was so close.

What’s Next?

When I enrolled in the CSCI program at my local community college in 2011, my passion at the time was absorbing all the computer programming information that I could. Then, as now, I saw my future being one where I work collaboratively on a team with really smart people, designing and building really cool software that provides real value to the people who use it. There wasn’t a programming language or a framework that I wanted or felt that I needed to adhere to. Nor did I realize at the time that there would be implications for making a choice, or how difficult it would be to branch out into other areas after that initial decision.

Each subsequent choice I’ve made seems to have taken me further and further from that early vision. What I need is a reset.

My plan for right now? Enjoy the rest of the year. Recharge. Be proactive about putting myself back on my desired path. There’s way too much out there in the world to be typecast to this thing or that. I’m capable of so much, and I intend on demonstrating it.

Until then, I’m on break. If you read this and it resonates with you, let’s grab some coffee.