Not immediately. It's gonna take me a few years ;-)
Not immediately. It's gonna take me a few years ;-)
I agree with Sebastian's points. Some expansions and nitpicks:
Even if you're otherwise doing well, you should *definitely* look to improve at negotiating. Here's the best reference I know on salary negotiation for programmers, both logistically and philosophically: http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/
Doing your own stuff at work means they have a reasonable claim on owning your work. DO NOT DO THAT with anything you may later start a business with. NO NO NO. This has bitten many people in the ass and you don't want it to bite you.
Finally, figure out why you're working. Are you working to improve your performance at programming? Or to earn enough money to let you do your stuff with a minimum of pain? These two approaches look completely different. You need to know why you're doing it. Skating by on 25% performance might be *perfectly* serving your goals... Or it might not. You don't know unless you can look at what those goals are. I am currently working at my day job primarily to improve my leadership skills, with an important secondary goal of keeping a fairly solid income to support my family ("fairly" solid because job security sucks in my industry but we keep a big cash buffer to compensate). This means I should jump at every chance to give presentations, and I do. I should be working hard to lead group software efforts, and I do. But if my job tries to put me on a death-march coding assignment I won't be leading, I should slack or transfer.
Principles and goals don't always make you more disciplined at a given activity. They make you *much* more disciplined when it serves your goals and much *less* disciplined when it doesn't. That's a good thing.
Have I mentioned how much I like being married? I mostly just bring the cash home and my wife makes budgets. I have a specific personal budget which it is specifically no problem to "waste" on stuff I like. It doesn't generally increase as our income does, though next big raise I'll probably suggest it (and my wife's) should go up by a portion of that increase-after-tax -- we're making noticeably more money than we did when we initially set it up.
Something different, that strikes me as related...
Carlos Castaneda, writing of things he was taught, said (paraphrased):
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that care about people and those that don't. A man who cares about people can't really help you, because he is thinking and worrying constantly about the effect his help will have on you and whether it's a good idea. A man who doesn't care about people can give you the shirt off his back, and often will. He doesn't care about you or the shirt, so he can just do it.
This is an excellent thing to notice, and to realize. Good on you for being willing to catch that, and to see what it said about you.
Incidentally: you won't convert many people on this one. *Actually* not judging is a low-status behavior. You don't have to hide your not-judging, necessarily. But if you don't hide it, you *will* be looked down on because you do it.
Notice how Jesus has a huge fan club, but they all kinda ignore the "hanging with lepers and prostitutes and being nice to prisoners" parts of his advice? Don't be afraid to be Jesus, but don't expect better results with your fan club than he got.
(If Jesus does it, does that mean it's high-status? Nope. Look at how people in Southern mega-churches treat actual flesh-and-blood people who hang out with inmates. Jesus is so high-status that his little peccadilloes are ignored or forgiven.)
You can do that. But that assumes you have the resources to start them all in a credible and measurable way. Doing that with at least a few tactics at once could help a lot, though.
This is a great observation, and one I hadn't thought of. It's totally my low moods that get me in particular :-)
And this advice is nicely suited to the answer "both", as well.
Certainly Patrick is happy. He's been offered the kind of thing that Sebastian suggests here -- I've seen Joshua Schachter offer to fund him on anything he wants to do next, basically no questions asked. I am *sure* Joshua is not alone in that.
And Patrick's response was that Joshua should look through his rolodex of founders and funders and whatnot - that Patrick was already happier than any of those people, and that he didn't want to change that. I'm forgetting his exact phrasing.
I don't know exactly what makes Patrick happy, but Patrick seems to think he's got it figured out, and that what he's doing now is how to serve it.
With that said, yeah, he's totally underpricing himself. Hugely. And he's aware of that, at least in general terms.
What I'd say for jobs is: aim for something skilled, and figure out how to get the skills. Right now, the economy (at least in the US) is splitting in two, and it's going to get more so before it gets less... There's still a recession in unskilled jobs, and outsourcing and automation and upheaval are all going to keep making it worse for a long time yet.
On the other hand, skilled jobs that require dedication are doing well, there's often a shortage of good people, the salaries are rising, and they're much harder to outsource or automate, and they handle a bad economy or (usually) an industry upheaval much better. Those jobs are doing just fine right now, thanks, despite continued shakiness in the larger economy.
The thing is, for a job like that, you need some kind of demonstrable skill. I'm a computer programmer, which doesn't necessarily require a formal education but *does* require many, many hours of unpaid practice. So, y'know, you can't get that on short notice. It's very hard to get *any* good job skill on short notice.
So if you haven't got at least one serious job skill which can be demonstrated somehow, go get one, or plan how to do so.
"Demonstrated somehow"? Yeah. Portfolio, or previous projects, or a certificate or diploma, or good references from somebody who has worked with you, or... Well, depends on your field, really. But there's generally something, because how else do you hire people?
Something that helped me was to realize that wasted food biodegrades just fine. The primary hard-to-replace resource that you've wasted is somebody's time.
And with modern farming, when you calculate how little of somebody's time you've wasted and then realize you paid them for that time, it's really not so bad. You wasted a bit of money, but not much, and that's basically it.