Having a F.U Career
I recently heard of the term ‘F. U. Money’, I believe coined by the author Dan Lok in his . book https://www.amazon.com/F-U-Money-Make-Much-Please/dp/1599325748. While I haven’t read the book, the concept was shared in a podcast I listened to. In general, the idea is to have sufficient resources to be able to walk away from a job that you may learn to hate. The available F.U money allows you options where otherwise you may feel constrained.
我最近听到一个词儿“F.U. Money”（Fuck You Money），应该是Dan Lok在他的书里面创造的词。我还没读这个书，只在网上听人分享过这个概念。简单的讲，这个想法就是你要拥有充足的资源，当你对工作感到不爽的时候可以大胆离开。F.U. Money可以给你选择的机会，如果没有它，你只能忍着。
There are a great deal of benefits the software engineering career offers, some of them are very apparent, others more subtle and even more are those that we in the industry may have grown to take for granted. As a blue-class kid who was fortunate enough to move into the white-class professional world there are benefits that we may have grown accustomed to, but should never forget that aren’t universal to all.
Let’s get the more apparent benefit out of the way, as well as the one that introduced the topic itself. Software engineering can be a particularly lucrative career. In my first year of employment, nearly immediately out of school I found that I was making $4,000 less than my father was making at the peak of his career. My parents raised 7 kids on an annual income less that I was making at the entry of my career. Growing up, money was never discussed so this revelation was honestly pretty uncomfortable but it was a significant moment for me as it embedded a long-standing sense of financial opportunity that many hard-working aren’t afforded. Money offers opportunities that many may never experience; international travel, memorial vacations, and stuff that we may not need but may certainly want.
‘Punching a Clock’ with a pre-defined start/end time is pretty common in a variety of careers. I remember when I was washing dishes at a diner in my youth, walking in the back door, making my way to the break room, sifting through the stack of time cards and literally punching the clock. I remember being warned when there were times clocked in as little as 3 minutes late. I don’t recall resenting the act, simply taking it as a part of the job and ‘normal’.
White-collar jobs, blue-collar jobs there are plenty of jobs that require fixed schedules; customer facing roles, dependencies of other teams, HR ‘ass in seats’ policies…. Largely though, our particular career offers flexible time. Come in a bit late, take a long lunch, pick up your sick kid from daycare or skip out in the afternoon to watch your daughters pre-school play….our career typically accommodates such events in the form of flexible time. Come in late, work late….get in your 40 hours and don’t take advantage of the policy. Some more progressive companies simply state 40-hour work weeks are a legacy…..just get your job done.
This is an extraordinary benefit and should never be overlooked. There are plenty of folks that can’t simply leave abruptly from work for an emergency without consequences. Some folks need to request vacation months in advance with a genuine possibility of it being denied.
Opportunities can be abundant, software is everywhere from every governmental agency to the most cutting edge phone. You’re only limited to your imagination in seeking employment; roll your own services and provide them to direct customers, navigate Craigslist and perform one-off gig services, become a contractor or seek permanent employment. The vast spectrum of opportunities gives you individual power. The knowledge that you’re not stuck with your current employer, location, or industry is empowering. Imagine devoting your entire life as a steel worker knowing there are limited mills in your area and only a handful in the entire nation.
Diversity Of Industry
Whether you are a natural history nut, a medical device junkie, a yoga enthusiast, or an amateur personal trainer…..you can always find a pairing of such fields with software. Create a museum tour app, a blood pressure monitor, the next Peloton stationary bike, or an electronic yoga instructor…there is always a potential pairing of software with a diverse spectrum of fields. You’ll never be trapped in a specific industry and if you later find you tire of medical devices pack up your virtual camp and move on to another industry.
We are pretty lucky right at this moment, employment is high and demand for software engineers along with it. The nation, and namely the world, offers amazing life opportunities and digital nomads likely could find an interesting job prospect in nearly any region of the world they aim to set up camp. Also, with the growing acceptance of remote workers we will likely soon view our job and location as completely independent of one another…at least I predict in my lifetime.
While money was the kindling of the post, we in the industry have a set of FU values. FU if a company is undervaluing you, FU if your corporate policy doesn’t offer flex-time, FU if your company products are not a good match for your interests and FU if you feel stuck in your current city. More importantly, appreciate these perks of the industry while acknowledging that we are lucky to have them many in other careers don’t have them.