I’m Leaving my Day Time Job

Ready to conquer the world!

Yes, I’m leaving in May.

Things (economy-wise) don’t look pretty, and leaving a steady job may seem unbearably self-indulgent. So, why I’m I doing this? Yes, I was unhappy, and yes, money is important too. But there’s something else.

Tom says I have a mission. Well, I don’t take myself that seriously, but I do want to find and share my own data visualization voice. I already hear something. It may be:

This blog has 15k subscribers and I constantly get great feedback from the dashboard tutorial. I must be doing something right, and I must give myself the chance of finding how far the rabbit hole goes:

  • How much am I able to learn and apply?
  • How good am I at sharing that knowledge?
  • Can I make a living out of my data visualization projects? (No, I don’t want to be rich).

So, as soon as I leave the company, I’ll:

  • Try to be a better and more active member of the data visualization community;
  • Read, digest and write a review of all the books on my shelf;
  • Add more content to this blog;
  • Create a real data visualization learning center out of the members area.

Over the last two years, I was frequently asked about my consulting services. I was also invited by some start-ups to join them. Unfortunately, I was unable to accept. With a full-time job and four year old twins at home (another full-time job), while trying to build a blog, I’d be spreading myself too thin. That will change in the near future, but slowly.

There are many “I” in this post, but it’s really about you. You made this post possible. I will never forget that. Thank you!

Photo: My son Lourenço, ready to conquer the world.

18 thoughts on “I’m Leaving my Day Time Job”

  1. Hi Jorge,
    yes, this is a big step ,but I’m not surprised when hearing this news, I may you have a bright future!

  2. Jorge –

    Congratulations and good luck. It’s a scary thing to leave a steady job, but it’s exciting to be starting on something you really want to do.

    I suspect the same characteristics that make Corporate Life difficult for some of us, makes us stubborn enough to succeed on our own.

  3. Good luck, Jorge, & congratulations on taking the brave first step of getting out of a “job”

  4. Good luck Jorge! A scary step to leave a steady job, and at the same time a great adventure to follow your dreams! I’m looking forward to hear more from you!

  5. Jorge, best of luck for you new journey. I concur that there is a vast territoy to conquer in applying data vizualisation in Corporate today… Consulting, training, conference… the choice of tool is great – most of us only lack the time to do this.

  6. Hi Jorge, how very exciting for you!

    I’ve read your Email blog for quite some time, but I canceled that and subscribed to your RSS feed today. (Didn’t want you to think that you lost a subscriber). Your posts always contain useful information and food for thought. I wish you continued growth and much success as you move into this new phase of your life. Ray

  7. Hi Jorge,

    There is a vast market out there for visual story tellers like yourself.

    There are a billion important stories locked away in data bases throughout the world. Companies are wising up to the value of tapping into those stories and are finally recognizing how critical an aspect that info viz is to understanding the data.

    I recently started my own consulting biz. I find the dashboard aspect of what I do to speak the loudest to clients and potential clients. I think the dashboard aspect sells well because it’s so visual. It only takes a few clients to make a great living. And you’ll love your new found freedom (so will your twins!).

    A guy with your skills and following will be consulting in no time at all.

    Best Wishes,

    John C. Munoz

  8. Thanks everyone! Yes, it’s a scary step, and I’m sure there is an emotional roller coaster ahead. But a slow death at the hands of the corporate routine is even scarier.

    If I can save people’s time and money; if I can help them making better decisions; if I can share my passion for data visualization and learn from people who know more than I do; if that can pay a better school for the kids… well, what more can a guy ask for?

    (A couple of cold beers at the beach, perhaps? Well, that’s a ten minute walk from home…)

  9. Congratulations Jorge. I really appreciate you for doing this. A bold but sensible move. As a person in the same boat (I might write the same post in another month or so… 😉 ) I can understand the kind of emotions and thoughts you go thru. Your work has been a motivation for many of us. I wish you more success and freedom.

  10. Jorge, best of luck with what you are doing.
    in my career, I took twice a leap into the unknown, leaving well-paid jobs in a tough economy. I was also downsized once. This was scary, and a financial shock. but I’m a much happier person now and find my work much more fulfilling today.
    IMO, 2010 is going to be year 0 of data visualization. Visual analytics, like Excel 10 years ago, will no longer be confined to “experts” and “analysts” but will permeate all functions of the corporation. The powerful technology, abundance of tools and the massive data wanting to be decrypted will drive companies to become more visual. But they need guidance.
    There’s circa 500m of excel users. How many know what they are doing? 50k? that’s where you come in. indeed you have a mission! again best of luck with that.
    I hope we’ll have an opportunity to meet in the future.

  11. Jorge, I read this post again, it is a shock to me, you follow your heart, Congratulations !
    as you say, I cant find happiness from my job too, but I do like the feeling when I help people aroud me and people that I dont recobnize via my blog. my blog hzve 4k subscribers now, , you set up a model for me, I hope can learn more and help more people.
    I am looking forward to hear and learn more from you .
    (maybe some syntax mistakes, sorry for I cant express myself freely)

  12. Olá Jorge!
    Antes de mais, os meus parabéns por está página fantástica. Fiquei extramemente contente por saber que um vizinho meu (Estou na Parede) domina ao melhor nível as matérias de dashboards, visualização gráfica, etc. Talvez um dia teremos a oportunidade de conversar um pouco aqui para os lados das nossas praias.
    Votos de succeso para esta nova aventura.

  13. Jorge: Obrigado. Acabei de comprar um computador com ecrã mate (sem reflexo) exactamente para passar uns extenuantes dias de trabalho nas esplanadas aqui da costa…

  14. That choice is a big step, but it is Yours!
    Your aspirations, your dreams, and your freedom will now govern your life, and all the achievements, the bumps and highs, and excitement will be Yours and can only spill over on those nearer to you.
    Lourenço will make the leap to discovery with glee and excitement seeing you running your life and living your dreams, making all the journeys exhilarating.
    I have no doubts that you will succeed in this enterprise, and all the next enterprises to come and that you will broaden even more your dreams and achievements…
    Great exciting times ahead!

  15. Good job Jorge, I started Data Driven from a much softer start – no subscribers, and not known within the business, but then at the time I was responsible for our children, not bringing in the money to support the family. That’s about to change as my wife joins the company – now we’re talking serious.

    You are starting this from an excellent position, not that it isn’t any less of a bold move. Good luck – I don’t see why you won’t make this a success.

  16. Jorge, I I hope it’s going well for you.

    As I’m looking into ggplot2 and a million other spiderings out of your blog, I’m reminded of an idea I had for a small business.

    Currently business hours are displayed with numbers that are hard to read as you drive by. Actually, hard to read until you get up close.

    A more Tufte-y implementation would be grey horizontal bars like

    TR 9|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||4
    W 7||||||||||||||||||||||||11 2|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||6

    (I lack the creativity to answer what should happen with businesses that mix late-night and regular day hours, except to suggest that perhaps 24-hour notation would help.)

    Every brick-and-mortar business buys these signs at some point, a printer isn’t hard to find, and you might be able to up-sell by bringing in a logo designer or typographer. Distribution would take some work, but the internet can only help you there.

    Just a thought!

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