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Ask HN: I quit my job today. Any words of wisdom for me?
9 points by hanifvirani on Apr 18, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
Hello HN. So, I quit my job today. I worked at a startup as a programmer. I am not going to go deep into the reasons for which I quit, but a good part of it had to do with my future goals. I am currently considering a post-graduate course in Canada and perhaps immigrating there afterwards. For the next few months I am going to be preparing my course application, launching my personal projects, improving my skills, and trying to get some consulting work to support myself.

So fellow HNers, especially the ones who have taken the big leap, the ones who work for themselves, and the ones who work from home; do you have any wise words for me? Any stories that you'd like to share? Any tips, suggestions, and words of encouragement are most welcome.

Wish me luck!

Good luck!

This is probably obvious but I overlooked it.

When I quit my job to start working on my online programming tutor full time, I went a overboard in choosing what ever programing tools seemed really cool.

I regret that decision. By all means, expand your own personal knowledge portfolio, but if you are working on a project with a serious deadline, choose the tools you are already productive with.

And sometimes a middle ground can be found.

Agreed. In the past, I've made it my goal to use one (and no more than one) new tool for each project. Whether it's the web framework, database, version control system, javascript framework, etc, I make myself learn one new thing. That way I'm still mostly productive, and I don't get frustrated and unproductive due to having to learn so many new things all at once.

As an American that moved to Canada for school, I highly recommend it. Canada has very good schools (and more importantly to me, very cheap in comparison to the US) and as of the past couple years, its pretty easy to get work permits if you are a student or have graduated from a Canadian university (and as a grad student, if you're in the sciences, there is definitely grant money to be had).

Also, its fairly straightforward to immigrate here if you have a degree or get shacked up with a Canadian (I went the latter route, its a bit easier than immigrating on your own laurels).

But there's no Hulu.

In regards to working from home: Keep a schedule. I know a lot of people say the best part of the freelance life (or any work from home) is the flexible schedule. Speaking from experience, I'm easily twice as productive when I keep a schedule. I treat it like a real job and clock myself in and out of work at specific hours.

The important thing is not to confuse "flexible schedule" with "no schedule." If you have no definite schedule for your work ("Eh, I'll do it after I play a little WOW"), both your work and the rest of your life will suffer. But that doesn't mean you can't set a work schedule that meshes well with your life.

Most important thing I can say is just to get on and do. When you don't have to go into work for someone else every day, it's really easy to get distracted with day to day stuff - don't let it happen.

Aside from that, enjoy yourself. If you start waking up every morning and you're not enjoying what you do, you're doing the wrong thing.

Good luck!

Read "Start Small, Stay Small" (http://www.startupbook.net/) And good luck!

Do social things with others (especially so if you're working by yourself).

Go outside everyday.

Thanks a lot everyone! All the advice given here is solid and much appreciated.

Luck wished.

For the next couple of months, if you're not independently wealthy, you're going to need a job to support yourself so start looking right away and make that your main priority. I cannot stress that enough.

Concurrently, but at a lesser degree of urgency, organize your thoughts, skills and personal projects to focus on what you think you'll be doing six months to a year from now so that when the time comes to advance onto your next big thing, you'll be readily prepared.

Network extensively. If possible, find a co-working space or jelly group with whom you can work with, maybe just on a part time basis, in order to get out of the house and keep up on your work/research discipline. You'll need that, and it's better than sitting at home all day. Plus, you might meet some people in the same boat and find a collaborator, mentor or partner.

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