While at the genetic engineering gig, I was regularly scouted for positions elsewhere. I didn't want to leave: the pay was terrible, but the freedom and professional satisfaction was immense. But really, I had teenagers and Omaha has her epilepsy, so we needed insurance more than I needed professional satisfaction. If Obamacare had been a thing back then, maybe I'd have stayed all the way. They're still doing well there.
The one job that really threw money at me was a textbook company, of all things. They were looking for front end developers who would help them transition from traditional publishing to on-line, and they wanted their website to be a "core value proposition," a place where school districts could describe their needs and their requirements, and get customized textbooks to meet their district needs.
During the interview, the other guy asked me if I was working on anything interesting in my spare time. I mentioned that I'd just written "a little thing," a toolkit that glued together a markdown processor, a couple of python scripts, and a JSON file to automatically create ebooks. He asked me to explain how it worked, I explained the simplicity of the NCX and OPF formats, and how I hoped to put a visual front-end on this tool someday. "You actually know the EPUB standard?" he said, his eyes wide and genuinely hungry.
"Well, most of it."
The serendipity here is obvious: I had no professional reason to know the EPUB 2.0 standard. But I did for unprofessional reasons. They wanted me for it, as yet another an in-house expert. They never used me in that capacity. They had too many in-house experts spending their days doing the more routine parts of bootstrapping; that may be part of the reason they failed to really get anywhere.