Over-optimizing stalled my career progress.

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” - Sylvia Plath

I’m switching roles at my day job, again, and I wish I’d been more decisive about a career direction earlier.

A coworker I started with 3 years ago is now an Enterprise AE. He worked his way from the bottom of the sales rungs to the top and his salary has probably increased $300K+, whereas mine has barely moved.

Granted, you can make a fuck-ton of money in sales. So let's look at my coworker for the role I started with. I made a bit more than him when we stared. He stuck with the same thing and now he runs a team, and probably makes $60-80K more than me. And a year from now, let's say he gets promoted again, that'll be an even bigger increase in salary. Whereas I'm still moving laterally.

I switched because I didn't see the role being a long-term fit. But our head of marketing has switched roles a ton on the way to the top. It didn't matter if her role 'wasn't the perfect fit', she worked so hard at it that they moved her to something different in a year or so anyway, and so and and so forth until she made it to Sr VP.

I get scared to give my job my all, because I want to make a career out of writing. But I have trouble juggling both, and neither my job nor my writing end up getting my full attention.

I also think about, what if I started writing full-time 10 years ago? Where would I be today?

I can't pretend to pursue both while actually pursuing nothing. I need to make a decision and commit.