Career break

Dec 23, 2017 33 Comments

I have 15 years of experience working as software engineer, lead and manager in financial technology. I am thinking of quitting and taking a break for 4-5 months. I am planning to dedicate most of this time in updating and learning new skills like AI, ML and software development in general. I am planning to start applying to tech companies after this. I look at this as investing in myself so I am more productive to my next employer. My friends/colleagues don’t think it’s a good idea to quit without a job offer. People in financial companies tend to be conservative about things like these so I am curious what you guys think? I am assuming most of the people here work in tech companies.

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TOP 33 Comments
  • Facebook / Product dfghj
    I did a major career switch and took 5 months off to reset and learn some new skills. Best decision I ever made.
    Dec 23, 2017 5
    • Cisco DpwF53
      I'm very interested in this. From what to what, if you don't mind sharing? And how did you describe the gap during your interviews?
      Dec 23, 2017
    • Autodesk / Eng
      Tushitip

      Autodesk Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Tushitipmore
      Can u share what was ur role and what did u switch to ?
      Dec 23, 2017
    • Facebook / Product dfghj
      Lawyer to software engineer. No need to explain the gap as the career switch pretty much explained that - all my code was on GitHub and portfolio online. Of course, had to explain the career switch but lots of reasons for that.
      Dec 23, 2017
    • Oracle uhd
      How did you switch from sw to pm?
      Dec 23, 2017
    • Facebook / Product dfghj
      Eng was always a stepping stone. Built a bunch of apps. Blogged about everything. Leveraged a lot of my prior career impact to create a package that someone found compelling enough to give me a chance. Worked my references. Had a solid elevator pitch. Didn’t look like everyone else and people found that interesting.
      Dec 23, 2017
  • Intel CX42
    Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. As you learn, create projects you can show to new potential employers.
    Dec 23, 2017 2
    • Amazon / Eng 👌👈byJeff
      Absolutely agree. Github is your friend. Upload your projects there
      Dec 23, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      Engineer at AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      GitHub is your friend. I’ve had more recruiters reach out to my github email than my LinkedIn account
      Dec 23, 2017
  • OP
    Thanks everyone for your input! I resigned today and we will see how this goes...
    Dec 26, 2017 3
    • Salesforce / Eng
      ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️

      Salesforce Eng

      PRE
      Google
      ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️more
      Best of luck brother
      Dec 26, 2017
    • Facebook / Product dfghj
      Holla!
      Dec 26, 2017
    • Expedia Alp
      Good luck OP!!
      Dec 26, 2017
  • Expedia Alp
    I took a 4 month break without anything lined up, just got fed up with work and wanted to have a breathing room. BEST DECISION I’VE EVER MADE!
    Dec 24, 2017 1
    • Expedia tiger_dick
      Mine was shorter, but same.
      Dec 25, 2017
  • Juniper / Ops shitposter
    can't you take a sabbatical?? or an unpaid leave of absence?
    Dec 23, 2017 6
    • OP
      I am absolutely sure I don’t want to continue or come back to my current job so I don’t want to give them a false sense of hope that I am coming back
      Dec 23, 2017
    • PayPal Lover
      Well I think we say use Sabatical so you can get some money on the side when u figure this stuff out. If you have enough savings then it shouldn’t be a issue
      Dec 23, 2017
    • OP
      I think we have enough savings and my wife works... she doesn’t make much but just enough to cover the basics
      Dec 23, 2017
    • PayPal Lover
      Then I think you should do it, if not you will repent it a lot. I saw you mentioned also your friends/colleagues are not understanding this, and they can’t cause to be candid they can’t feel what you are going through and you seem to have thought a lot on this. I do wish you best of luck
      Dec 23, 2017
    • OP
      Thank you!
      Dec 23, 2017
  • Amazon PKtR72
    I did this a couple years ago. Best decision I ever made. I was a material scientist in semiconductor industry, now I'm a machine learning scientist at AWS. The former job might sound interesting, but it was a dead end job and the company has since gone bankrupt. But the point is, you can accelerate a career transition and really refuel your passion by doing something like this. Far more effective than trying to take it on in evenings and weekends. That would probably lead to burn out or giving up.
    Dec 23, 2017 2
    • Cadence AndIdid
      How was the job hunt?
      Sep 3, 2018
    • Goldman Sachs / Eng sjdbaladh
      I am doing research on blind about taking a career break and came across this post. How long was your break for? I am aiming at ML Scientist at AWS or MS Azure as well post my break.
      Oct 13
  • Google / Eng Alpha Zero
    People in tech dont typically care about money as much as people in finance. At least the ones who are truly into their craft.

    Also, I tend to notice that people around me tend to care about their time. That is, they don’t mind taking time off to follow their passion. I’d recommend it.
    Dec 23, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      Engineer at AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      There’s a surprising number of people in tech that don’t just see their job as a job. A lot of people do their “job” as a hobby in their free time.
      Dec 23, 2017
  • Amazon Leminiscen
    People would die to have the amount of savings you probably have? Do you think you'll not be able to find a job in the highest demand job with 15 years experience? Come on. I'm sorry but software engineers like the ones you were talking to are too common.They could be making over a million a year and if there was another company paying more they'd be unsatisfied
    Dec 23, 2017 4
    • Intel Ripple
      How many software engineers make 1 mil with 15 years of experience?
      Dec 23, 2017
    • New / Eng zOcY81
      He's making stuff up...
      Dec 23, 2017
    • Intel ShiftRight
      Ripple, you should immediately schedule a 1:1 with your manager if you’re not getting that 1M per year.
      Dec 23, 2017
    • Intel Ripple
      Manager has been absconding for a year..
      Dec 28, 2017
  • Salesforce / Eng
    ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️

    Salesforce Eng

    PRE
    Google
    ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️more
    I second that you should take a sabbatical and use that time. False sense of hope, sure.. But it will be good for you.
    Dec 23, 2017 0

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