No one is going to look out for you like you.

This is a lesson I learned too late in life. I stayed at jobs through ultimately misplaced loyalty and promises of better things.

This contract will go full-time. You will get to advance. There will be good raises. What it all added up to was being told there is reason to stay here.

Only there wasn’t.

I dutifully stayed and waited. I did great work. I asked about the promised things. Next year. Next quarter. The carrot always being pulled further away when it looked to be just in reach.

Eventually I learned. I learned to do what was in my best interest. Was there a better job? Go get it! Is there a shorter commute? Grab it! Is there more interesting work? Go do it!

When the challenge in my work disappeared, the only thing lest was money so I was an IT nomad. I went to work for the highest bidder.

I no longer listened to the Siren’s song of a future. I was there, for now.

8 months here. One year. Two and a half years. Until the fun left. Until the challenge was gone. Until there was nowhere to go. So I went.

I learned to value what I was worth. Not just what I thought someone would pay me. I learned to start interviewing the companies as much as they interviewed me.

They need me more than I need them.

There is a ton of work out there for IT people. I can afford to be selective. I can find the right situation for me.

And I have. I know what I want. I know what I’m worth. I know what is going to kill an opportunity for me. I know who I am and I am in control.

I turned down an offer that was nearly double what I was making four years ago because it wasn’t the right place for me. It felt insane.

The hubris of the situation is not lost on me…

But I knew I could do better. I didn’t have to take this job because there was a career out there for me. I just had to go out and find it.

And I think I have.

I’m just waiting for the call.