T Nation

Transitioning out of IT?


#1

Do any of you have an IT related degree, had a job in IT and decided you wanted to get into another career instead?

Just wanted to hear some experiences and how you went about it, if any. Thanks!


#2

When you say IT, what do you mean?

Helpdesk? Network design, installation, maintenance? Large application support? App development?

What other career are you looking into.


#3

I mean being in any of those fields, but transitioning out of IT as a whole. Like going from IT to Marketing, Finance, HR, etc.

I’m currently a System Administrator in a Windows based environment, but I’m starting to think I made the wrong career choice.

I decided these are the key qualities I want in a career:

  1. Wake up without an alarm clock.
  2. Be on my feet more and not sit at a desk all day.
  3. Interact with external people and not just internal clients.
  4. Helping people/clients achieve their goals
  5. A great work life balance.
  6. Do something that can benefit people/society
  7. Be able to work from anywhere.
  8. A career field that I don’t have to worry about job security, always a need.
  9. 90K+ Yearly Salary

So I’ve thought of things like personal training, professor, architect, and also maybe staying in IT (since I have all this knowledge) and doing some consulting of some sort instead. I’ve only been in the career field for 5 years (started as an intern to helpdesk to sys admin). I’m only 29, so I’m thinking if I’m going to make a change, now is the time to do it.


#4

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:

  1. Wake up without an alarm clock.
  2. Be on my feet more and not sit at a desk all day.
  3. Interact with external people and not just internal clients.
  4. Helping people/clients achieve their goals
  5. A great work life balance.
  6. Do something that can benefit people/society
  7. Be able to work from anywhere.
  8. A career field that I don’t have to worry about job security, always a need.
  9. 90K+ Yearly Salary
    [/quote]

Good fucking luck…


#5

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:

  1. Wake up without an alarm clock.
  2. Be on my feet more and not sit at a desk all day.
  3. Interact with external people and not just internal clients.
  4. Helping people/clients achieve their goals
  5. A great work life balance.
  6. Do something that can benefit people/society
  7. Be able to work from anywhere.
  8. A career field that I don’t have to worry about job security, always a need.
  9. 90K+ Yearly Salary
    [/quote]

Good fucking luck…[/quote]

Hahaha, I think the first thing I need to do is find that thing I love. Everything else will take care of itself.

Or maybe just be a clinical psychiatrist haha.


#6

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:

  1. Wake up without an alarm clock.
  2. Be on my feet more and not sit at a desk all day.
  3. Interact with external people and not just internal clients.
  4. Helping people/clients achieve their goals
  5. A great work life balance.
  6. Do something that can benefit people/society
  7. Be able to work from anywhere.
  8. A career field that I don’t have to worry about job security, always a need.
  9. 90K+ Yearly Salary
    [/quote]

Good fucking luck…[/quote]

Maybe lottery winner?


#7

If you have an IT degree, you can probably apply for tech support engineer, service engineer, or customer support engineering jobs, all of which require you to travel to jobs sites and work with your hands. My buddy has a customer support engineering job and he does a lot of hands on work with hardware. He has traveled all over the world too.


#8

One of my favorite Mike Rowe posts (and applicable):

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

  • Parker Hall
    And here?s the reply?

Hi Parker

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”

“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”

“Not my type.”

“Really? How do you know?”

“I just know.”

“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.

“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”

“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over? maybe try living in another city?”

“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”

“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters??”

She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career? you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It?s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you ? especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can?t find love. But since you asked?

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don?t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that?s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you?re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck,

Mike

PS. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.

PPS. Think I should forward this to Claire?


#9

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
One of my favorite Mike Rowe posts (and applicable):

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

  • Parker Hall
    And here?s the reply?

Hi Parker

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”

“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”

“Not my type.”

“Really? How do you know?”

“I just know.”

“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.

“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”

“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over? maybe try living in another city?”

“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”

“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters??”

She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career? you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It?s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you ? especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can?t find love. But since you asked?

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don?t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that?s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you?re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck,

Mike

PS. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.

PPS. Think I should forward this to Claire?[/quote]


#10

Your list reminded me of this:

http://www.wired.com/2012/12/ff-john-mcafees-last-stand/


#11

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:

  1. Wake up without an alarm clock.
  2. Be on my feet more and not sit at a desk all day.
  3. Interact with external people and not just internal clients.
  4. Helping people/clients achieve their goals
  5. A great work life balance.
  6. Do something that can benefit people/society
  7. Be able to work from anywhere.
  8. A career field that I don’t have to worry about job security, always a need.
  9. 90K+ Yearly Salary
    [/quote]

Good fucking luck…[/quote]

No kidding.

Figure out which of these is most important for you and prioritize it.


#12

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
One of my favorite Mike Rowe posts (and applicable):

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

  • Parker Hall
    And here?s the reply?

Hi Parker

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”

“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”

“Not my type.”

“Really? How do you know?”

“I just know.”

“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.

“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”

“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over? maybe try living in another city?”

“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”

“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters??”

She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career? you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It?s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you ? especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can?t find love. But since you asked?

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don?t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that?s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you?re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck,

Mike

PS. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.

PPS. Think I should forward this to Claire?[/quote]

Thanks for that article! That hit me right where it needed to. You know after thinking more about it that was my dream list lol. But the thing that is the MOST important trait I’d want in a career is:

Be able to work from anywhere.


#13

No problem man. I’m a big fan of Mike Rowe. Wish he’d run for office.


#14

Him and “Mad Dog” Mattis


#15

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Mike Rowe[/quote]

Particularly ironic from a guy that made all of his money just because of his voice.


#16

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
But the thing that is the MOST important trait I’d want in a career is:

Be able to work from anywhere. [/quote]

What does this mean? You want to be able to work from home in your underwear? Or, should you decide to move, you want to be able to ply your trade? Do you still want a career track or are you simply going to work to fund your lifestyle?

Do you see further higher education in your future? Do you currently have a Bachelor’s? MBA with a background in IT would open consulting doors for you…


#17

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Mike Rowe[/quote]

Particularly ironic from a guy that made all of his money just because of his voice.
[/quote]

His ability to a make a career out of a personal strength is ironic?


#18

I have a job where I can work form anywhere, and so far “anywhere” has been home, or a rented desk in a co-working office. Actually, I’ve also worked on trains and in train stations, airports, and hotels, but this was always a stressful experience in an uncomfortable setting with unreliable internet access.

Being able to work from anywhere also means that you can work on holiday… so you’re never actually on holiday.


#19

When I was around 15 I was talking to my uncle about the work he does. He told me “most people try to do the work they love; I choose to love the work I do”. For me it was the right message at the right time and it has made all the difference in my life. When I set my mind right, I have learned to enjoy any kind of work, from physical labor to management. The only hard part has been when the people I have worked with have been toxic; but that is a separate issue from the work itself. I think people who don’t like their work are mentally weak and they will always find an excuse to not like their jobs.


#20

It’s not that I don’t like my job. I have no issues with it because of the place I’m working and my team is great, but it’s just I can’t see myself in IT for the next 20 years.

I love working and putting in work, but IT (every aspect about it) is just boring to me. Nothing about it excites me. Now this is weird because I’ve always had a thirst for knowledge. Love learning new shit all the time. The only reason I ever got into it is because of the income it can generate and I happened to be good at it.

I’m only 29 and don’t plan on having kids for at least 5 more years, so I have time. A few of my family members were telling me I should just stick with IT for a few more years and then see how I feel about it 3-5 years from now. They were saying a management or consulting position would fit my personality better, so I just need to keep working to get the experience to land a role like that.

It seems a lot of people don’t even leave the IT field until they hit a “burn-out” stage. So well see what happens!