Reflections on Change: The Constant Shuffle

Change is a constant.

I passed 37 years recently.

In 2022 I was going freelance after 12 years of employment. Why ? Because I had been so disappointed by many years of employment, bad managers or politics, I needed to feel like I gave the credit myself deserves. I now feel after one year I would like to help and mentor other people to go freelance.

My toddler (2.5 years old) is going to school and I drive him at school by bike. The more I invest time with him that I don't spend at other crap, the deeper we connect. But crap is everywhere and trying to steal time from us. Seeing him growing so much reminds me of the time passing and the need for me to lead by example.

I learned from hundred of hours spent crafting my LinkedIn profile, sending/receiving tens of thousands of LinkedIn messages, crafting my resume, interviewing for hundred of jobs. No matter how long we play this game of finding the ideal job and finding the exact rates, conditions, etc we deserve and want, those variables keep changing a lot and are difficult to correlate with ideal job. In the end it's not about the job but about who we are, what we need from life, what we really want to do on a day to day, what kind of problems we like to solve, what kind of people we want to work with, what kind of team we want to shape. The ideal job is a rare combination of hidden variables and is a constantly changing problem that requires gut feeling and experience, like finding the perfect taste in coffee / espresso / beer is a never ending game.

As part of this I've removed a lot of my previous job criteria at to recruiters to keep things simple.

Outside of work, I also made a lot of sacrifices, at least choices that I regretted. For the sake of trying to please or do the right thing, I got in trouble a few times. In the future I have to stand for what is worth to me, and trust my gut feeling. I'm always willing to make compromises as I'm a Belgian and we excel in this ! but I also have to set boundaries and speak the truth and take distance at need. Before this post, I struggled to start writing. Speaking of which, I even thought of using ChatGPT to help with the task. ChatGPT has clearly influenced radically the way I interact with the web and the universe of problems, including code but not only. It drastically revived my interest into technology. But it also obvious there is a long way before AI can supersed us. A good tool is nothing without a creative mind and some persistence. And a good mind needs to express, otherwise it's best to just play sudoku alone.

And that motivates me to write. And I make no promises, but to write for myself 🙂 and share things.

When it’s time to quit your job

As cool as it could have been for a while, the moment comes when your steady job frustrates you. It can be because of a work culture and politics or because the pandemic made you reconsider if your job cost/benefit balance was positive and you might have joined the great resignation. Or the reason sits somewhere else.

For what it's worth, here is a quick tip I've been using to help me decide whether it's really time for me to change.

All you have to do is to answer the three following questions :

  • Do I enjoy my work assignments ?
  • Do I enjoy the company of my direct colleagues and my manager ?
  • Do I feel satisfied with my current salary package and benefits ?

If the answer is no for at least 2 out of the 3, then you have to seriously start interviewing for job opportunities.

What bugs me with tech recruiters.

The "10x Engineer" had become a meme, but some recruiters seem unaware of this.

I was recently surprised to get a job offer for a Software Engineer 2x. I told the recruiter it's legit to also expect the rate/income to be twice the equivalent of any other Software Engineer role.

If you get asked in an interview to perform the same job as any Site Reliability Engineer at Google, isn't legit to claim the same rates as Google provides for this job level ?

My LinkedIn profile mentions the types of job opportunities I don't want to hear about, but some recruiters will try to reach out to me for such job opportunities, and justify this by "I had to try".

When words are not taken seriously, or at least when the implications of those words are not commonly understood, this creates frustration. After a few years spent on LinkedIn, it really feels like more and more recruiters don't care enough, or that hiring is broken.

After I accepted a job offer recently (not via LinkedIn) I decided it was time for me to slowly turn my back to LinkedIn and prevent any recruiter from sending me anything too easily, this way I'll stop wasting so much time, and I don't feel I'll miss so many opportunities.