[Baypiggies] Career Advice

Aahz aahz at pythoncraft.com
Wed Feb 16 17:42:59 CET 2011

On Wed, Feb 16, 2011, Steve Piercy - Web Site Builder wrote:
> On 2/15/11 at 7:49 PM, aahz at pythoncraft.com (Aahz) pronounced:
>>Why not?  Because some of us just don't have the personality for it.
>>After painful experience, I've learned that I need to be part of a team,
>>and it's a lot easier to be part of a team doing a steady job.
> Agree on the personality traits.  Self-employment is not for all people.
> Disagree strongly on the team aspect.  I have formed more and better
> teams and professional relationships since going solo.  It's hard to
> pin down the exact reason for that, but I would attribute it mostly
> to these differences:
> * I work on things for which I have a personal interest, whereas
> while employed I seldom had a choice of what to work on.  My
> teammates share that same interest (usually they are a small
> business owner or organization) and the enthusiasm is contagious.

Both of my two most recent jobs gave me lots of freedom.  Even in my
previous jobs at larger companies, I got a fair amount of freedom.  I
guess that's a perk of being skilled (combined with a personality that
refuses pigeon-holing).

> * I have the potential for earning a great deal more, whereas while
> employed I was stuck at a salary level with little opportunity for
> growth.  As part of my compensation, I can negotiate a stake in
> projects.  My teammates usually have a similar stake, and so are
> motivated as well.  For me the reward has been worth taking the
> risk.

Financial reward generally means little to me (past a "minimum wage" for
my skill level).  I could easily get more money, but at the cost of other
things that are important to me.

> * My clients express their appreciation for my work and efforts,
> whereas in a job I rarely got thanked or felt appreciated.

That has varied significantly for me.  In my current job, I always get
direct appreciation for my efforts on at least a weekly basis and
usually more frequently.  It's one of the best jobs I've ever had.
Aahz (aahz at pythoncraft.com)           <*>         http://www.pythoncraft.com/

"Programming language design is not a rational science. Most reasoning
about it is at best rationalization of gut feelings, and at worst plain
wrong."  --GvR, python-ideas, 2009-03-01

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