Algebra of need

My calculator has broken. It’s a sign.

So, accepted the offer, and we start software development next Monday at 6pm. Work knows about my decision to leave, but I have not yet put in official notice. I’ve asked for a career break of 1 year, and they’ve told me it’s contingent on passing my exams. Which I am 80-85% sure I have not passed. If I have passed, I am not currently able to study for the second year while working.

The official notice period to leave is 1 month. My results come out in 1 month. They’ve told me they try and fire people as fast as possible once the results come out, and the faster the better in my case. Generally 2 weeks.

So the option is put in notice tomorrow, and leave in 4 weeks, or stay another 6 weeks. Regardless, I have to do 4 60 hour weeks at minimum on the course.

For the Month’s notice:


  • Start earlier
  • less stress and pain
  • better performance in class
  • less likely to pick up another injury
  • Marginally happier


  • lose out on €770 wages
  • harder to get welfare – up to 9 weeks wait
  • lose potential for career break
  • worse relationship with work
  • work more likely to ask for fees back

The assumption underlying the 6 week choice is that I will be fired within 2 weeks of getting my results on the 17th October. If I wait 6 weeks:


  • Potential for career break if I pass exams
  • Get welfare in 4 days when fired
  • Another €770
  • Less likely to ask for fees
  • Better leaving relationship


  • More consistent pain for 6 weeks
  • 6 weeks of 60 hour weeks could injure me further
  • If I pass exams, unclear if I will then have to put in a month notice to quit for study leave.
  • 25% of material will have reduced attention
  • Exhaustion for remainder of course

If I am fired within 2 weeks of getting the results, staying 6 weeks is the better option. If I chose the 6 week option, I stand to earn about €770 more, and will get welfare much quicker, guaranteed.

Quitting within the month means I give up €770, and also adds the risk of losing €98 – €144 a week, for up to 9 weeks. At it’s worst, that’s €1300, or almost €2000 total.

What I stand to gain by quitting after a month is 10 days to begin studying and concentrating on the material, plus the lower risk of injury. This is a very intensive course, and I may not be able to make up the time spent studying later. Doing 60 hour weeks isn’t realistic in terms of my health.

So, within the 6 weeks option, I can take close to two weeks paid leave, and probably swing some unpaid leave. This would reduce the negatives of the 6 weeks option. I’m not really booked on any big jobs, and try to avoid stress while I’m in work.

References from work are on request by a potential employer, so I’m not sure how relevant they are to quitting.

If we can solve this problem, I can maximise the return while minimising the downsides of pain, being asked for the fees back, and losing potential welfare income.

I guess that problem solving training was worthwhile.


The change will do you good

Fatman, another attempt to get out of audit.

I’ve been offered the one year degree in mobile software development. Did the logic test last night, and got the offer today. The course is on evenings and weekends, and begins in the next week.

I’m talking with work about deferring for a year to complete the course, and then return to the firm’s data analysis business line. The year would also give my back and neck injuries time to heal up, so I can really commit to a career.

I spoke during the Summer about my interest in data analysis, and they suggested trying for the data analysis group. But I didn’t have any skills to offer, so the advisory role was not feasible. The tax transfer was also a no go, as they couldn’t offer me audit hours, and said wait until you qualify.

I’ve talked to the data analysis staff, and I’m organising a conversation with a senior manager to see what they use, so I can build those skills on the course and in my own time.

Getting a deferral on the exam hinges on a few things, they’ve told me they have to look at my busy season booking, and whether I pass my four repeats. I’ll know by mid-October whether I passed. If I do pass the exams, I am not committed to the second and third years of exams and work; I want to try something else. If I failed, they will probably terminate the contract anyway. I may be studying 3 nights weekly while doing the course, which will be difficult on top of a full time job.

The ideal situation is to not work for the year, and study this full time. I’ll try pick up some hours part time to help fund the course, but I have enough savings to cover until about April or May. Work may let me stay in audit while I study, but I would not be enthusiastic about that.

My key concern is an exit on good terms, with the potential for a return if I need it. If that means staying for another month, or six weeks, I’d do that. If it’s not feasible to work full time and study full time, I’ll put in notice, and take the time off. If that sours relationships, I can get a reference from two senior staff members who have since left for other businesses or countries.

It’s fine, I guess. Can’t keep the head down and work forever.


Might be changing careers soon.

Ireland is in the middle of a tech bubble at the moment – everything but ICT has seen average salaries going down. The government has spotted the gap, and is funding unemployed people to retrain in IT. But I only found out Saturday that people who are employed can get year-long courses in programming and development. I’ve applied for four I think are worthwhile and have good job outcomes at the end. I will likely quit if I get accepted, or ask for a year of deferral while my back and neck heals up.

My 4 repeat exams finished last week, and I’m back in work. Still bored and dissatisfied, and a few other first years left for better pay/hours while I was away. I said I’d give it a year, and that year is up. Past performance is the strongest predictor of future success – this year in Big 4 has made me sicker, and has also made me dissatisfied with my career progression. Even if I pass the exams, the next year will be even more intensive, and I’m not sure I want to throw away my health for crap money, and a qualification that is becoming increasingly less valuable as CPAs from abroad take up positions in Ireland, and the work becomes more automated.

So in comes computer science.

When I left college, I wanted to learn a programming language, figuring that between Chinese, English and Java/HTML I would have my bases covered. When I worked in a tech startup, I had good ideas for the website and service, but no ability to put them in practice. So I had to leave to find steady work in Big 4.

I’ve put 18 months into Excel, accountancy and corporate life, and I got good results: best in intake, trip to Disney Florida to meet the CEO, a few other awards. I can’t guarantee I will make more money, or my life will be easier. But at least these courses will give me more options. The time in financial services isn’t a write off either – there’s a big gap in the market for cloud services in the finance industry, mainly applications that give real time insight into cash flow and liquidity. I could also use my background in compliance to develop apps that make compliance less onerous.

There’s also the option to take a semester doing mobile game/app development, which would both give me very tactile portfolio pieces, and fulfil my teenage dream of learning to code a game in DarkBasic. I could do it in Unity instead.

Doing a logic tests tonight to qualify for entry. One way or another, I’m transferring out of this chickenshit outfit.