Education

A new year, a new career


I'm the last person to make New Year's resolutions, but this year I have decided to break my own rules and declare publicly that in 2008 I am going to take charge of my work/life balance and become my own boss.

Part of it is that I am tired. Tired of corporate bull, tired of working a 60-hour week for 35 hours' pay, tired of late nights, tired of cheap hotels in unpleasant parts of the country, tired of driving the equivalent of twice around the world each year and tired of seeing other people get rich from my efforts.

Don't get me wrong -- I've never been frightened of hard work but when I work harder nothing else changes. I give up more free time for no extra reward.

So, I hear you say, "Stop whining and get on with it." Thanks, that's what I am doing. My writing client list is growing slowly, as soon as it is large enough I'm cutting loose and starting anew.

This year I hit 50, the half century, if I don't do it now I never will.

Don't get me wrong -- 33 years of hard labour has taught me more than I ever learned at school, although I can still remember the date of the battle of Bosworth Field and the Latin slang for a lady's more intimate areas -- neither of these vital snippets of information has ever earned me a penny. Knowing how to drive and plug in a hard disk has always proved to be more rewarding.

So that's my resolution for 2008 -- this coming from the man who vowed never to make another New Year's resolution.

Now that I've publicly committed myself I consider it only fair that any reader of this blog should do likewise. If you are going to make a life-changing career decision let me know, I am fascinated by the numerous ingenious ways that I have seen people earn their livings. What are you going to do differently next year?

20 comments
Iqbalsajid
Iqbalsajid

Jeff! Wishing you a very best remaining life. and best of luck in your business. I'm member of techrepublic from last 2 years, but don't read much. your post in the news letter attracted me. 'coz i'm also trying to start my own setup(s) from last many years. Started once but failed and got back to Job :(. I always think of starting my own. I've started very little works. that could help you out what to do.. may be .. 1- I've started domain registration, hosting and developments. and all out sourced. 2- Training Institute. not mine. taken the facitlity of one of my relative; his office; with 3 PC's and I'm teaching Linux there. www.CD-Bills.com. 3- I'm using Google Adsense and created many blogs. for a person like you. I think Google Adsense will pay u a good amount. Reasons: You are a good author of articles. just turn your writeups to monitize for you. 2- you are populer as you've witten many articles in here. many ppl are making lot of money from their google powered sites. M O S T I M P O R T A N T =========================== Do Partnership with GOD. What does this mean?? What ever percentage you decide, i've done x% with GOD. means spend x% of your income to the needy ppl. and Don't ever cheat your partner. He'll increase your Income. Do something for the life here after. 'coz all of us has to go back to Allah. The life there is unlimited, infinite. Give some time to Islam or or or what ever is your religion. Always pray to GOD to guide us to the right path. Again Best of luck in your new career. Iqbal Sajid

nadinecummings26
nadinecummings26

Thanks Jeff! I feel a bit more empowered by your words...its all relevant. BTW..I forgot that I knew how to say a womans private parts in Latin..heheh..the good ol days. I look forward to many many more with the decisions I make. Thanks again!

David.Jackson
David.Jackson

Jeff It is never too late! I just took voluntary redundancy to start up on my own doing bespoke apllictaion integration work for local clients at the age of 62! David

snoozeroo
snoozeroo

Kudos to you. I ended up as an independent IT consultant without planning to do it -- just started getting calls for help from friends from other areas of life. Lucky for me, it was just when I had 'jumped ship' on my last "job" (I hope to never have one again). I am lucky; you are brave. Good on yeh. Best of luck, too! K in California

sholswich
sholswich

My resolution is to: "Do more of the good habits and less of the bad ones" I just plan to make small changes everyday and slowly move my life forward. It might sound a bit ambiguous, but we'll see how it goes.

cristiank
cristiank

Coincidence or not, I got tired of my corporate environment as well and today is my first working-day at home. Working day for others I mean, as I am figuring out what I am going to do next. True it would be safer to look for something else while working. But this is not simply looking for another job. This is a complete stop to think. Although I would like to help with some ideas, at the moment my only contribution is... you are not alone. *CK

eman
eman

Seven years ago in the downturn of the economy and dot-bomb fallout of the IT sector I was given walking papers by the company I had faithfully labored at for 21 years. It was the happiest day of my life. Not that our working relationship was all that bad. I was just ready for (and in need of) a change. I soon discovered that the job pickings were slim due to the downturn in the economy. Then one day it just hit me. I can do this on my own! Six years later I have over five hundred clients that I provide IT service for and only three of those came to me through advertising. All the rest are referrals from my clients and contacts. What do I do? I solve computer problems, build web sites and consult with my clients on just about anything they need that is related to IT. I have no current industry certifications at this time. That does not mean I would not like to get some. I just have not had the time, and there has not really been the need. What I do have is a ton of experience, intellectual capital, and the ability to effectively communicate speeds, feeds and service deeds to my client's needs. The down side is that I rarely know on the first of the month what I will have made by the end of the month. But I am my own boss, work when and how I want, and get a lot of satisfaction from my work and my clients. I do not make quite as much as I did at the Fortune 500 company but that is more of my own choosing. I now have a very full and rewarding life that allows me to do things outside of work that I could never do when I was on the corporate leash. Going it alone is not easy, but it is a choice. And that's what life is all about! My name is Eric and I am the E-Man!

James Jelinek
James Jelinek

Jeff, I've been reading your blog for a while and I can concur with your decision whole heartedly. Especially at the 50 mark, you must be happy (or at the very least tolerant) of what you do each day. When you start to dread the day to day routine and find yourself frustrated, it's time to enact change. I myself did the same thing, I'd been on with a company for nearly 8 years, due to downsizing and such my occupational hazard light was lit. I abandoned ship to what I thought was a different environment, after nearly 1 year of being here I've summarized I was wrong and that I made no progression. So my New Year's resolution was to find a gig where I'm either my own boss or I'm given the freedom to manage my client base with little to no direction and not have to deal with the corporate madness. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a company in my area that champions self-sufficiency and the owner-employee mentality. I turned in my notice and I start tomorrow. I'm very excited.... yet scared at the same time... I hope you are able to find what you are looking for, in the mean time.. Keep blogging.. we're reading!

lhardy
lhardy

Jeff I recently retired out of the military after 25 years and started working with the states as a network administrator (something to keep current on technology). I have been freelancing doing small business setup of networks and infrastructure. I think it's great to venture out and start your own business. I am leaning that direction also. Thanks and good luck to you!

theclaritygroup
theclaritygroup

That was the sign in grandpa's shop and I've always envied folks that can live that sentiment. I wish you all the luck. I suspect there are many, many of us who will be watching and cheering for you -- and wishing we had the courage and/or ingenuity to figure out how to pull it off as well!

jonraineri
jonraineri

What kind of work you do? You are doing a Big Chalenge in your life! Good Luck!

WTRTHS
WTRTHS

Quit smoking (if that one works, all the rest probably will), practise more sports, live healthier in all respects (like, sleep more than six hours a night), take some more time off for my hobbies, become a MCSA.

Joe_R
Joe_R

[i]If you keep doin' what you've been doin', you'll keep gettin' what you've been gettin'.[/i] Of course, that sentiment has been repeated by many people in many different ways, and I'm sure Zig wasn't the first to say it. But I just love the way it rolls off his tongue in that Southern Mississippi drawl. I knew something was up when I read your last blog post. It was dripping with frustration. Such stress and frustration is one's own signal that change is needed -- something or someone. And if you can't change your environment, perhaps the only option is to change the environment you're in. (Note to Joe: Read and heed the note you just left for Jeff.)

mstrefford
mstrefford

You can't change the seasons, so look to change yourself! If the life you've been living is not what you want anymore, then go ahead and make the changes you need! Learn and practice the skills you need to go on your own! Go for it! You'll be so much better for it!

lteepoi
lteepoi

Wishing you every success in your career!

donald.gibson
donald.gibson

This March I will be done with school. I will be an MCSE this upcomming year. I will be a CCNA and I will loose some weight. I"m 21 years old, gained like 60 pounds after I got engadged and have completed 2 microsoft tests to almost become an MCSA. And the number one thing that I will do is be a great fiance to my sarah! :)

Wand_a
Wand_a

Jeff, I am a newbie to your blog. While I do not know you, I feel encouraged by your decision. I worked for a company for 20 years till last Dec. Twenty faithfull years full of ethical behavior, then one day, "sorry, but you have been selected for the reduction." I am new in IT and don't have a BS, however I am pursuing my A+, N+, MSCE, etc. I would like to specialize in Security. I don't have any experience and DO realize that a BS is important (I'm half way there) I decided to go for the certs first. One day, I too want to have my own business and be a full service company. Good luck to you and please keep us posted. If anyone out there has advice for me please let me know.

ManiacMan
ManiacMan

I too once weighed in at about 220lbs because an old job I used to have resulted in my not sleeping properly, working at 3:00am, stress and anxiety, and improper diet. I nearly came close to having a heart attack because my LDL cholesterol was very high, my triglycerides levels made my blood look like chicken soup with all the lipid cells, and I became insulin resistant and developed a mild form of type 2 diabetes. Luckily, I went to a doctor and was put on a modified form of the Atkins Diet (little carb and lots of protein) as well as given 4 types of medications to control my metabolic functions. I am now close to 205lbs and am a much more healthier person, but it is true that your job can kill you, because my old job almost killed me. It's not worth destroying your health over a job, so if it's that bad, get away from it. Also, good luck on your engagement and enjoy it. I've been married for 6 years and enjoy every single day with my wife as if it were the first.

Jeff Dray
Jeff Dray

This time next year let me know how you got on.

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