Last night I made a deal with myself which I am making public so that it counts and I have to actually follow through with it. It goes like this.
1) I am not allowed to quit my job right this second, no matter how many times I get the run-around/flat out lied to. That would be monumentally stupid, and I cannot afford to be that dumb.
2) I am allowed to keep my eyes open for other jobs. If I find one that is sufficiently reasonable that taking it would not be monumentally stupid, I am allowed to quit. Any job offer based on crossing my fingers that fucking no-compete clause in my contract won’t get in the way is not sufficiently reasonable.
3) When I have $36k in the bank I will be able to comfortably live for a year to wait out the no-compete. I will be astonishingly employable once it expires. In this situation, not quitting is dumb. I’ll immediately give notice effect at the conclusion of my current customer obligations. (Fucking over the people you want hiring you later by flaking on their project is back to stupid)
4) I am not allowed to apply to grad school this fall. Next spring I am allowed to go to the shiny little program I picked out last night and start to feel out the feasibility of applying. If plausible, I am allowed to start making motions in that direction. This is not allowed to compete with work.
5) If I sell three separate projects to professional quality markets as defined by the relevant guild/association I am allowed to quit, in line with the conditions in point 3 with one additional condition: I take a 40hr/wk or less job and spend the extra time finishing more projects to sell to more professional markets.
6) If I make 5 figures or more selling projects, I am allowed to quit under the conditions in point 5. I have not made this money until it is sitting in my bank account, though totals will be taken pre-tax.
7) If I suddenly become independently wealthy I am allowed to give notice immediately, as I won’t need to worry about future employment. I will then enrol in the first available classes and start shopping grad programs for realz.
This looks to me like a solid, reasonable escape plan which prevents major forms of stupidity to which I’m inclined while rewarding me for getting things I want. I feel better. Yay.