I've been avoiding this post for about a week (because I think there's a chance I might have made a mistake) but there's really no turning back at this point, so I might as well just say it:
I am changing jobs.
(Phew. That was not so bad.)
I am downsizing (-ish), taking a job with less responsibility and less stress (and yes, less pay). I weighed the pros and cons, and while I think this is the right move, there's always an element of doubt that creeps in with capital-letters Life Change.
I had been thinking about my career a lot since I got laid off last summer. I wasn't unhappy at my current job (my coworkers are nice, the benefits are great), but I wasn't really doing a very good job at it, either. I am a person who likes programming well enough; surrounded by people who *love* it, I felt like (and was, really) the weakest link. It's hard to spend 40 hours a week feeling utterly incompetent. It's even harder when your team is so nice about the fact that you're failing them on a daily basis.
While I don't necessarily think that this new job is my dream job, I do think it could serve as a great stepping stone. If you'll forgive the mixed metaphor, I think it may just be the key that unlocks the golden handcuffs that have kept me at my non-dream job.
For now, I think that's fine with me.