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Discussion on: Does your current job fulfill you?

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I felt the same way. I hopped SEO startups, then I put 6+ years at an enterprise-level medical device company with the same problems you mentioned. Then I was at a big-name software company that had the engineering culture and products, but had (since the great transformation in the 90's) started to lose its way, and today it's a shell of its former self where the big part of the culture is "Will I be laid off this month or next?"

Now, I do a lot of things. Run a consultancy, act as a CTO at a startup, even trying recruiting. I don't always agree or align with everything, but, with the exception of pay, my professional life is fulfilling right now, because:

  • I can work from home
  • I can be there for my family
  • I can do things outside of tech in my free time
  • I don't like being told what to do (and no one does now)
  • I'm not doing anything arbitrarily
  • I can do things my way instead of second-guessing myself

It's highly unlikely I'd find a job that would offer all of these. It's hard--sometimes harder than just working full-time--but it's what works for me.