20 karmaJoined Mar 2020



    What sticks out to me is that you're good at your job and you really enjoy it.  Under those circumstances, I see no need to change.  However, you do mention wasting 15 years of your life, if you enjoy it, I don't understand this line.

    In terms of impact, is this driven by comparison to someone you know?  Does it seem like you're creating a problem unless this has been organically eating you up for a bit?  With that said, is it possible through networking you could get access to the board level roles/work, now?  If it's just for this endgame, it seems prudent to test this as early as possible.

    Your musings on AI ethicist strike me as navel-gazing, you could be right or wrong, the only way to know is to trial some of these options to hopefully learn more.

    which path sounds the most interesting to you right now?  From what you've written, the impression I get is that you want to do mathematics.  Sounds like you're plenty smart and will succeed in whatever you put your mind to!

    wow, impressive to go from coding bootcamp to FAANG in that period of time!  Did you get a degree or any relevant experience beforehand?  What tech stack do you work in and how did you manage that trajectory?

    I would certainly give FAANG a try to see if you like it, as you mention it unlocks an impressive earning to give model.  I'd make a shortlist of health tech based companies you're interested in and begin networking now, I imagine you could worst case help out in some way to help with testing the field out while proving competence.

    Option 4, you need a strong idea you need to get out in the world first.

    For option 2 I'm bias as I know some bioinformatics PhDs who I work with in tech, seems it didn't work out for them as a path.  Again I think you need clearer ideas here in terms of what you want to do and ensure it REQUIRES the MD/MS in bioinformatics.

    In short, option 1 is the easiest to rule out as you're going to be working there.  I wouldn't worry about long-term yet and just focus if you enjoy the work in the present

    Surprised to hear the above is put into words well, it felt like incoherent babble.  Glad to know I'm not alone and others here could potentially benefit as well.  It seems like this is a common problem, most likely without a common answer but its really frustrating to not even have a loose direction.

    I guess the experiments above I considered my loose direction but I feel like I've done years of them without truly moving forward

    I'm 36, live in the UK and I'm paid pretty well for my location as a software engineer specialising in testing (SDET), I'm in fintech at the moment but have tried other domains. I went to fintech because I worked in a healthcare company and although I enjoyed it, a lot of it felt like the same s***, so I figured I may as well get paid a slight premium and increase my earning to give.

    Nearly ten years ago I discovered financial independence, I was working in London, my then-girlfriend (now wife) got sick and had to move home from university. I wasn't in love with my job so tried to get home quickly as well and as I was going to give up the route to riches I was previously going to take, I ended up googling and discovered MMM etc.  This also trashed my most effective earning to give model as contracting for banks at the time was particularly lucrative.

    I took another job in tech but a slight sidestep in role, around this time I also read Cal Newport's So Good They Cannot Ignore You and used that as my work ethos. Chase learning, gain skills, make bank. It did kind of work, I'm well paid but the passion and enjoyment he claimed would develop, well it hasn't for me.

    This has somewhat dejected me. I lack a north star, a purpose to my work and as a result, it's eating me up. I feel like what I do is only really useful to large corporations, so if I actually get to financial independence, all the effort was kind of a waste. For example, I look favourably upon data science as theoretically even if you retired, you could still mess with open data sets and help communities etc.

    This lack of purpose or meaning in my work has grown in intensity since my son was born 6months ago. While looking around to help, I found some copy on a sale page that sums up how I'm feeling right now:

    "x was a high achieving mom with 2 kids who had been promoted through multiple companies going to wherever her bosses asked her to. Eventually, she realized that she wasn’t happy in her role, but she also didn’t know what she wanted to be doing. The only thing she did know was that if she was going to be spending time at work away from her family, she had to love what she was doing.

    we helped her intentionally clarify how she wanted to spend her time,what gave her purpose and what she couldn’t stop doing even if she tried."

    Can anyone set me on a path toward solving this? Sometimes I get so wound up and ruminate on it, it can be quite agonising, despite being such a good problem to have. I honestly feel like it's the only piece missing from my life. Many say I should just be grateful to have a good job, I do agree, but I cannot frame it in a way that shuts up the rest of my brain from these thoughts/feelings around lacking a north star and a lack of purpose.

    In the last few years I've made lists of options and have tested a few of the most realistic options like UX, Data Science, security work, teaching but through these experiments I don't really feel further forward.  Most have been interesting but none have called out to me that I must do that so I've just done a bunch of experiments that haven't ruled anything out but haven't hooked me in either.

    Apologies for the word vomit, I'm looking at a structured career change programme right now but it feels indulgent and I expect will include a lot of work that I've already done.  

    would be interested in hearing what direction you go as I hit similar issues, though I'm further into my career already unfortunately!

    Thank you for posting this, I really REALLY enjoyed it and it hits the nail on the head in terms of something I've been struggling with for a long time. What lies below is what troubles me the most, do you have any recommendations on how to go about finding/uncovering your voice? I previously optimised for learning/skills/money and found myself at a similar crossroads to you, now I'm laden with modern day responsibilities (wife and kid) but feel like I cannot risk their safety etc much to experiment with different jobs that I may find more fulfilling.

    find our voice

    perhaps the best higher level question in terms of resources is - where does one go for the best career advice?

    apologies for being unclear. I guess the crux is, how do you figure out the best career for you based on personal fit alone? I'm considering switching careers, based on sunk costs, I would guess I'll need to stick within IT as not to lose too much ground in terms of my wage, but my aim is figuring out a number of potential career paths based on personal fit, then trying those to see which are viable?

    Is that a little better? My personality is that I will always be working on something, therefore it makes sense to me to make that work as enjoyable as possible. Happy for that to be turned on its head though!