Ipstenu.Org

WordPress Let Me Quit My Job

I’m not engaging in hyperbole (or a half) but you guys… My life has just changed a lot.

On Tuesday the 7th, I gave two weeks notice for the bank. As of the 27th, my new job will be as a WordPress Support Specialist for DreamHost. Sounds a little like my dream job, doesn’t it? It should. It is.

There was originally a lot more here, about weird personal crap you guys don’t care about. The best way I can sum it up is this. I didn’t hate my job at the bank right away. In fact, I enjoyed it, I liked the challenge, and I found the tech engaging. Then came a new CTO, and changes, and a recession, and more changes, and … well you get the picture. Eventually all these things added up to me not wanting to be here anymore. In fact, I would be late to work some days because I was crying. I really didn’t want to be at the bank.

I’ve been sending out feelers and resumes to various places, one of whom turned me down for tax reasons (no hard feelings!) and another I had to turn down (I hope no hard feelings). Finally I was narrowing my choices, and then I got a message from DreamHost. I was about to head out to my Mom’s for a week off, and while there, she and I talked about this, and set up an interview for as soon as I got home (since Mom’s internet is weefy wifi).

From then on, it was a whirlwind. A Skype-interview, a ‘We’ll see you at WCSF,’ and me prepping my talk. If you thought having your first public speaking event in about 20 years was nerve wracking, try adding this on: It was about WordPress, it was at the biggest WP event in the world, and my potential employers were there.

Yeah, that may have been why my mantra was ‘Don’t puke.’ I had a lot of (self imposed) pressure on me to get this right. I felt this was my chance to change my life. The community funded me to get there, I was talking about the community, and I was interviewing for a community related gig. Win big, or GTFH.

When I got on the plane on Monday, I’d had a phone call and was waiting on the final offer. When I got off the plane, I’d signed papers and was planning to give notice at my job as soon as I got to work on Tuesday. There was just one minor issue, my boss is on vacation until Friday. I called HR, who called him, and I was actually waiting on that, and that final background check, before telling everyone.

So what’s next? Well there is a next. And it too is coming soon. Spoilers?

Anyway, this is all because of WordPress. I found a passion I didn’t know I had, and I skill I knew I had applied to it. I don’t regret working for Bank of Ipstenu for the last 14 years (April 13, 1998), as I learned a lot here about code, being an adult, and how to work with people. I learned how not to make myself miserable in my work, and to devote myself to being the best I can be, no matter how I feel about it. Okay, maybe that’s not a good thing, but really what I mean is I got my work ethic here. My parents started it, my work honed it. I am forever thankful to people like Margie and Joe and Rae, who all taught me morals and values of hard work and honesty in corporate America. They taught me not to shy away from tough decisions, to be bold, and to admit to your mistakes.

I will miss people like Rob and Jon and Jeff (and the new guys). I’ll miss my India and Mexico people. Some of them I won’t miss at all. Some of them I never worked with, but I’ll miss a lot. Some I hope to never hear from again. You know how it goes. The whole bank apparently knows. So if you read this, I’m just keeping the ‘where am I going’ low key becuase it doesn’t matter, to you, where. What matters is why.

I’m leaving because “The one thing you can’t trade for your heart’s desire is your heart.” I’m leaving because “I hate it here.” I’m leaving because I don’t like being treated like a number, I am a free man. I’m leaving because I’m not a criminal. I’m leaving because I need to be creative to excel. I’m leaving because I’m not happy here, and I’m done waiting on you to make me happy. I’m leaving because I’m tired of hitting my head against a wall when you decide things that will ‘lower risk’ without the slightest understand of what that is. I’m leaving because we’re acting like the TSA: It’s all just theater.

And yes, that’s what I told my boss. Extra points for people who know where the two quotes came from.

Wish me luck! I may be crazy as all hell for this massive a change, but I’m ready for it! Scared? Yes. But I’m going for it anyway. Win big. Thank you, everyone who supported me, be it with just well wishes and tweets, or funding me getting to WCSF. All of that made a difference. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s no WP community, because I’m living proof you guys can change a life.