1: Lam's Test for leaving a job

Assume you have a fulfilling volunteer life and you are connected in the community you are a resident of (which is not true for most in corporate America — yes, think of the film Fight Club). This is so that you have a scientific control baseline to compare against your test baseline.

It is time to leave your job if your volunteer life unironically fulfills more of your own professional goals and gives you legitimate professional skills than your actual day job.

This is probably a bit ironic, but I told myself I wouldn't be arrogant enough to name rules and empirical laws after myself, like in physics and math. Yet here I am.

I've already named a rule of thumb after my ad hoc method for buying electronic accessories or components in Micro Center (that rule is: the cheapest item that gets the job done is the correct one). So, I'll name this one after myself: Lam's Test for leaving a job.

(Martin Yates in his job search books wrote that you should change your job when you can no longer advance enough in your current position every 6 months. Ignoring how to define “advance enough” and whether or not 6 months is too short or long of a characteristic time period as an overall critique, this is an objectively much more precise and accurate rule of thumb than my rule of thumb.

I am aware that Yates is potentially writing for readers who may aspire to climb pretty high to ultimately join the senior management or “C-suite” of various organizations, but I still found his advice pretty solid. My “law” should be more of a corollary rather than than a law of observation, an additional alarm to that detailed by Yates.)

I got to a point in my “professional career” where I literally was doing volunteer community work “for free” and was developing actual and very real professional skills further than I ever could in my prior day job.

Well, I'll save the rest for a more suitable environment and receptive audience that isn't the public internet.

So, don't expect any actual professional job advice here.