Thursday, May 01, 2008

Disillusioned with IT? -- Slashdot

Shanon GRS (Google Reader Shared) this particularly interesting (at least to me) discussion in Slashdot, Disillusioned with IT?.
cgh4be writes
"I have been working in the IT industry for about 12 years and have had various jobs as a consultant and systems engineer. Over that time I've had the chance to do a little bit of everything: programming, networking, SAN, Linux/AIX/UNIX, Windows, sales, support, and on and on. However, over the last couple of months I have become a little disillusioned with the IT industry as a whole. Occasionally, I will get interested in some new technology, but for the most part I'm starting to find it all very tedious, repetitive, and boring and I'm no longer really interested in the hands-on aspect of the business. I suppose going the management route is one option, but I would still be dealing with a lot of the same frustrating technology issues. The other route I had in mind was a complete career change; take something I really enjoy doing outside of work now and try to make a career out of it. The only problem is that I have a wife and kid to support and my current job pays very well. Have any of you been through this kind of career 'mid-life crisis?' What did you do to get out of the rut? Is making a complete career change at this point a bad idea?"

I'm on a similar boat - in terms of how I feel about IT at least. I don't really have a wife (well - husband - I should say) or kids to support though. :) I do however have a mortgage to pay. And it's just not easy to decide to make the switch. But I guess life is not meant to be easy. Well - I'm planning for it (slowly but surely) and I find some of the feedbacks from the above post very very useful... Especially the ones below:

  • Re:Thats irrational and selfish by SleepingWaterBear (1152169):
    "...There is absolutely no reason to think that he can't raise his children to be at least as healthy and happy on a smaller income.
    Depending on what he goes into, he may end up with more time to devote to his family, which is worth more than money.
    I'm not saying money is irrelevant, but it is not nearly so important as some people make it out to be."

  • well.. by thermian (1267986):
    "I have a wife and kid, and had a long term career that I was fundamentally bored with. I quit, went to back uni, and ten years later don't regret a thing.
    I say take the chance, or risk looking back in ten years and wondering where your life went, seriously."

  • Re:well.. by terjeber (856226):
    "The best time of my life is in the future, and it always will be. Take chances, try new things, and that will always be the case. Don't listen to those who tell you to "be responsible" and "content with what you have". There is only one reason they are giving you this advice. They hate to see you on a new adventure. It reminds them of all the opportunities they passed up in their miserable lives. When you get successful some time in the future, and if you try hard enough you might be, they will tell you about all that they "could have done, only it was... [wife, kids, job, weather, house payments, sick mother - take your pick] that prevented them from becoming successful.
    Oh, and BTW, if you succeed, these people will resent you for it."

  • Baskin Robbins by ohzero (525786):
    "You have what I like to call Baskin Robbins Syndrome. It's where you really really dig ice cream - UNTIL you get a job where you can eat a bunch of free ice cream. You now loathe ice cream.
    Unfortunately this cycle is perpetual. Baskin Robbins Syndrome applies to any profession. So even if you're immensely interested in what you do for a living, you will eventually grow to hate it. Don't you think Taco and crew have had mornings where they wake up and go "wow, fuck slashdot, im going to go be a hamster farmer..."
    I went through this a few years ago with IT security. I even tried going into gaming. Eventually I solved the problem by taking a year off of anything work related to travel and clear my brain. This isn't an option for a lot of people, but if you can do it, it will change your perspective in a huge way."

  • I feel the same way - Here's what I did... by microTodd (240390):
    "... So here's some of the options as I saw them:
    -Complete career change: The problem here is that this is kind of the same solution as "rewrite all the code from scratch". Read this [] to realize why this is a bad idea. You are throwing away *TONS* of sunk costs in experience and education.
    -Go back to school (maybe at night) and learn another trade, then transition to that. Safe, but slow. Initially expensive.
    -Get a hobby, part-time night job, or something that peaks your interest. I started teaching adult algebra classes at night and I love it! Yes, IT during the day still sucks but teaching at night makes it way more bearable.
    -One-off career change...can be difficult but doable. Maybe hire a professional career counselor or resume writer.
    The closest I've come to solving this dilemma is getting hobbies and part-time night jobs that scratch my itch. Also, I try to force some of the fun back into my day job. For example, once a week I'll take a few hours and just play with a new language or tool just for fun (although my boss would probably get mad if he found out I was on-the-clock). ..."

  • Chase your passion by Unoti (731964):
    "1. Chase your passions. Work in a field that you can be passionate about. The best way for you to be happy and successful is to chase your passion. Crazy examples: maybe you want to create new content in Second Life. Maybe you'd be happier teaching troubled teens how to use woodworking tools. Maybe your dream is to be a park ranger. Figure it out.
    2. Don't worry about money. Restructure your life so that you can chase your passion. Figure out a way to live with half of your current salary if you have to. Live somewhere that you don't need a car. Hike with your groceries. Use public transportation. Work from home.
    3. If you don't know what you're passionate about, hurry up and find out now, before you're dead. You only have one life. Don't waste it as a slave, doing what you don't want to be doing.
    Consider this very seriously. Nobody is forcing you to do what you've been doing. Don't be a sheep, take control of your life, because if you don't there's plenty of other people who will."

Well - the list could go on and on and on... but I choose to stop here.
I definitely could use the inspirational boost I get from this discussion - so thanks to my darling. :)
Will post up my action plans (when I eventually come up with one - hopefully soon).

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