Livewire Digital is a technology company specialising in the creation of hardware and software solutions in the field of multimedia and satellite communications. Based south of London they are a smaller outfit and offered me my first job out of University.

During my time there I was involved with many interesting and challenging projects such as writing a networking interface for the Inmarsat-C satellite terminal, designing and implementing a domain specific query language and extending the company’s build system to cover additional platforms (Linux).

Although the work was great I faced increasing difficulties in my personal life which either directly or indirectly came down to lack of money. It is worth noting a few things at this point: this was my first job outside of university, I issued a speculative application during a period when the company was not recruiting, and I accepted the initial offer without any negotiation. Possibly for those reasons my salary was relatively low for a software engineer. Unfortunately, once you factor in the fact that Surrey is one of the most expensive places to live in the country it was comparable to minimum wage. If I had moved back up North and taken a job at McDonalds I would not have been much worse off.

This became a real problem when I grew increasingly unhappy with my living arrangements. I was housesharing with 5 random arseholes individuals out of financial necessity and I realised I would need to take out a loan if I wanted to rent a flat for myself and due to the high demand for housing it was very difficult to find alternative accommodation. It was common to turn up to view a room and be told that 10 other people were interested.

At that point I thought that my only option was to find another job. I now realise that I should have talked to my manager about the issues I was facing outside of work. Money is literally the stupidest reason imaginable for leaving a company. What is far more important is that you enjoy the work, the people and the culture and Livewire aced all of them.