Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

What's next in my career?

I've been pretty fortunate in my career so far. A few years ago, I was attending Web Designer conferences, learning more about HTML, Photoshop and Flash. At those conferences, I admired the speakers, the relationships they had with other speakers and how they really seemed to be enjoying the "speaking lifestyle." I thought to myself, "that's what I want to do."

Fast forward to today and I feel like I've accomplished everything I ever wanted to in my career. Now I'm experiencing an interesting state of mind. I don't really know what I want to do next. I'm certainly enjoying being a consultant and getting new gigs every 3-6 months, but I know if you want to make any real money as a consultant, you have to travel. When I say "real money", I mean $200-$300/hour, which equates to $400K-$600K/year. The problem with consulting is I don't want to travel. At all.

So I can continue being a consultant, making pretty good money, but I'm yearning for something more. I don't know what the "more" is, but I feel like I should have a plan for the next 5-10 years. I've had a couple of good offers for full-time jobs recently. The problem is that full-time employment generally doesn't appeal to me. The main reason is because I don't want to take a 50% pay cut. The second reason is because I tend to take 2-3 months off per year, and finally - I never seem to be that interested in the hiring company's mission statement.

The 2-3 months off is probably a misnomer because many of those weeks are for conferences, but I doubt I'd find a company that'd send me to conferences and pay for it.

On Monday, I was discussing this with a potential employer/client - and it hit me. I think I need to share my career aspirations with a full-time employer's to make it work. Since I'm at a point where I I don't know what my goals/desires are - it's pretty tough for me to see myself working for anyone but myself. What I do know is that it would drastically help if starting the company was my idea. The problem with this is I don't really have the motivation to start my own company right now. Sure I have Raible Designs and all, but to make real money as a non-consultant, I think you have to have a product. I could hire a bunch of consultants, but I don't really want to manage people - it seems like it'd be more fun to develop, ship and support product(s). Then I wouldn't have to travel at least.

This is all to say that I don't know what I'll do next in my career. Heck, I don't even know what I want to do. One things for sure though - my current gig is one of the best I've ever had. Awesome team, good rate, great location and super-easy commute. I think I'd be a fool to quit before my contract ends at the end of the year.

What are your career aspirations for the next 5 years? The next 10?

Posted in General at Mar 30 2005, 10:58:30 PM MST 21 Comments

No More Kids

I've only ever wanted two kids. However, Julie has been playing with the idea of 4 ever since we had Jack. Her thought is "they're so damn perfect, let's have more!" I've always wanted 2, and so did she when we first met - but she grew up with a sister and they've always been best friends. Abbie doesn't have a sister, and Julie doesn't want an odd number of kids - hence her slight desire for four.

This Friday, all this talk of possibly having 4 kids will come to an end. I'm heading into the doctor's office for the Big V and will lose my ability to reproduce. I'm terrified, but hopefully the drugs will be good enough to ease my fears (and pain afterwards).

I'm supposed to "take it easy" for a week afterwards and not lift anything more than 10 pounds. This means I can't pick up Abbie or Jack, and I can barely pick up my backpack (w/ laptop) to go to work. No riding to work either. With all the "you can't dos", it almost seems like a mini-vacation. However, the thought of getting my nuts cut still sends chills down my spine.

Posted in General at Mar 30 2005, 12:45:58 PM MST 29 Comments