getting out of IT, career change

48 posts in this topic

so the post on getting INTO IT has inspired me to ask the reverse question:  how do I get OUT of IT

 

my general beefs are that...oh my god it's so boring.  It can be quite hard, but it's just boring as hell.  It's the same crap over and over again, management thinking it's so "cool" and "new" and "urgent" but a) it's not new and b ) it's THEIR bad planning that makes everything a "live or die" situation. Don't ask how long something is going to take if you don't respect and accept the answer, eh?  

 

Anyway, I'm fairly sick of it.

 

So what else could I do?  For reference, things that seem appealing at the moment are cooking (something really good, not currywurst), gardening or even something like cheesemaking or goat herding :)

 

no I don't mean those quite so literally but something TANGIBLE.  something that even makes people happy.  something likely just as boring but which has some kind of remotely redeeming value that doesn't require me to wind my brain quite so tightly or take things quite so literally.  

 

ideas?

 

 

 

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I've done it for only three years and I am already planning my way out. Am putting up a cattle farm in my native country that i plan to retire to. A couple of more years I will be done with IT and then leave Germany and the IT profession permanenty.

 

I work as a software tester, not a typical click here and there tester, but I test the communications protocols of our product hence I ended up as  a tester even with a masters degree. 

 

I just feel like I've lost the thrill to do IT. Doesn't help that my salary is as stagnant as a pool of water in a pot hole. I also feel like I was meant to live off the land hence my choice of farming as my next profession.

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Don't expect it to be different in a lot of other jobs.

 

e.g. Technician in a garage - every couple of hours another car comes in - service, similar faults to the last 100.

 

Chef - same dishes day in day out, might change with the seasons.

 

Gardening - maintenance of the same gardens to the same ideas that most people have every season.

 

Work in a Pub / Bar same people coming in moaning about their jobs during the week, same pissheads at the weekend.

 

Just take the money, grin and think about retirement then you can go on the same cruises, join the same clubs and chat about how the younger generations have no respect. Just like the other retired people and moan about how boring being retired is:D

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Perhaps you can take a time-out or sabbatical from your work? E.g. 6 months during which you can do some different things like traveling, learning a language, volunteer work, etc. You can then think about the future and your next step(s). My company offers this.

 

I will definitely move out of IT before I turn 55 and do something else, probably part-time. Most colleagues, however, will try to hang in there until 60 or older and then apply for Altersteilzeit. IT is just not suitable to work in until retirement age. That's my opinion.

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46 minutes ago, French bean said:

 

Chef - same dishes day in day out, might change with the seasons.

making something that (hopefully) puts a smile on someone's face

 

48 minutes ago, French bean said:

Gardening - maintenance of the same gardens to the same ideas that most people have every season.

 

sure, like taking care of and raising kids is always according to the same ideas most people have every year - why bother?

 

49 minutes ago, French bean said:

Work in a Pub / Bar same people coming in moaning about their jobs during the week, same pissheads at the weekend.

 

no desire to do that.  there is nothing more boring than drunkards.

 

I don't think you grasped my point as you're basically saying:

51 minutes ago, French bean said:

Just take the money, grin and think about retirement then you can go on the same cruises

 

my life is already over :/

 

it's not.  far from it.  that's precisely the point of my query.

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Can you turn any current  hobby into a job that will satisfy and keep the wolf from the door ?

 

Lots of jobs can also be combined with unusual locations... eg on a cruise ship or elsewhere in the tourist trade.

 

Someone recently posted a clip...you don't need long term goals, just daily quick wins to enjoy each and every day.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

I will definitely move out of IT before I turn 55 and do something else, probably part-time

 

yes.  I do dig the idea of working part time, even in programming.  this would be a sweet spot but it's hard to manage from the employer perspective.  Not counting it out but not sure it's totally realistic?

 

1 hour ago, The Vindictive said:

I also feel like I was meant to live off the land

 

hehe - me too.  If I were still in the US I'd move to vermont and build a little homestead :)  Awesome that you already have an exit plan underway!

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1 minute ago, HH_Sailor said:

you don't need long term goals, just daily quick wins to enjoy each and every day.

 

YES that is precisely what's missing - the daily wins!  I have spent most of my whole life and so much energy working on long term goals, only to realize I never really "get there".  As when I do, the luster has worn off a bit and it just feels less rewarding - in the end it's just about following through, as the excitement is long gone.  And then there has to be the next thing.  

 

I need to find this video clip - thanks so much for the tip

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14 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

yes.  I do dig the idea of working part time, even in programming.  this would be a sweet spot but it's hard to manage from the employer perspective.  Not counting it out but not sure it's totally realistic?

I didn't mean IT, but for example, a teaching job. This is often part-time in a business school. Many teachers have 2-3 schools in order to achieve a full-time job, but I'm not interested in that.

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@lisa13, I absolutely understand your dilemma.  I went through the same in my early 30's. IT jobs since I was 18, great income yet moronically boring.  I opted for a radical change and quit everything to travel and then live on a tropical island for a couple of years.  

 

However, I did return with a blank sheet.  Very scary yet exciting too.

 

A lot depends of course on how much income you need as a bare minimum.  Can you use savings whilst exploring options? Can you relocate? I found that hoping to earn the same income pro rata for similar part time jobs was a no go.  

 

I've no idea about IT jobs these days, especially in Germany, nor your area of expertise.  I started with contract IT jobs...3-6 months.  Still horribly boring yet paid so well that I could have a year off after a 6 month stint. I had to be frugal though which is fine for me.  After that, what worked for me was a period of multiple small self employed/freelance jobs that amounted to enough income.  All interesting, each day was different and I met some lovely people.  Being open minded meant that one thing always led to another.

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3 hours ago, lisa13 said:

so the post on getting INTO IT has inspired me to ask the reverse question:  how do I get OUT of IT

 

I did IT for about 5 years and I was sick of it.  I was so sick of it I started getting physically ill.  So I decided I needed to do something else.  For some reason I decided on cabinetmaking.  I did a pre-employment program and then got a job as an apprentice.  I quickly found out that most cabinetmaking jobs these days is just factory work.  After a little while as an apprentice, I was asked to program a CNC router.  That's the machine that drills the holes for the shelves, dowels, hinges etc. So it was a bit challenging because the company was making specialized cabinets for stores and for the most part weren't the same so it kept me happy for a while.  When I moved to Germany, I started off doing a manpower job and later got a job in an office doing quality among other things.  Also 3D measuring of parts that the company was producing.  After a few years there, I was sick of it again and I got a job doing 3D measuring as a service provider.  It's great.  The work at one company would be boring but doing projects, I am usually not at the same place for more than 3-4 months.  I learn something new in each project and before I get sick of it or start tripping over company politics, I am gone.  So maybe for me, it wasn't actually the work that was boring, it was doing the same work at the same company day in - day out.  Have you thought about doing IT as a freelancer?

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6 hours ago, LukeSkywalker said:

I will definitely move out of IT before I turn 55 and do something else, probably part-time. Most colleagues, however, will try to hang in there until 60 or older and then apply for Altersteilzeit. IT is just not suitable to work in until retirement age. That's my opinion.

I moved on to management... tired of putting up with SW nerds!

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I am not sure it is such a good idea to jump out of something that you have skills in and try to start over, unless it is really a retirement sort of position.  Maybe there is a way for you to use your skills in a more meaningful way?

 

I also work in IT but got bored of programming very early on.  I found my most rewarding work was working with non-profit organizations - both as a (low paid) job or as a volunteer.  Usually non-profits are run by very well meaning folks who struggle a lot with IT and administrative tasks and something as simple as setting up a network or a database can mean a lot to them.  They usually have trouble finding technical volunteers who are willing to stick around.  

 

Teaching can also be a lot of fun.  I taught at the equivalent of a FH and enjoyed it a lot.  You have to be the right kind of person to enjoy it, though.  If you don't like public speaking, then maybe you could teach a distance learning course.

 

I also work on little software related side projects for myself and dream that one day I will start my own business.  However, I don't take this very seriously.  "Maker" type stuff.  

 

Finally, instead of complaining about the horrible administrators and business analysts who always screw things up, you could join them and show them what they are doing wrong!  I now work in UIUX and feel that I am actually doing something to make people happy.  People who are forced to work with crap interfaces all day long are not happy people.  There are actually also examples of how bad systems and  interfaces have caused deaths, such as the train accident in Bad Aibling, the shootdown of a passenger aircraft Iran Air Flight 655, the Three Mile Island incident, and many many examples in the healthcare field.  

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6 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

I moved on to management... tired of putting up with SW nerds!

 

hehehehehe...so you elevated yourself to nerd herder? :)

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I have the same problem, same old bullshit, management spouting about how we must do this <insert latest buzzword> and must do it by next week, obviously with no money and no resources.

 

However, having worked in IT all my career, currently in project management, I have no idea what to do and herding the nerds (great phrase by the way) is even less my idea of fun. Unlike most others here, I still love doing a bit of programming. I keep hearing COBOL programmers are in demand, so maybe I need to brush up my skills and go backwards in life.

 

Sorry Lisa, I can't think of anything to say to help except, yes, I feel your pain.

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lots of good points so far - thank you all!

 

I have toyed with the idea of freelancing precisely for the reasons outlined so far - more freedom and flexibility, as well as a magic shield against office games and other nonsense.  So far though, the prospect of repeated gig hunting, as well as the tax and bookkeeping and (German) legal ramifications have left me hesitant.  I have not fully explored what that would take so this fear may be somewhat irrational?

 

Teaching/training has also been something that sounds appealing.

 

47 minutes ago, BradinBayern said:

Finally, instead of complaining about the horrible administrators and business analysts who always screw things up , you could join them and show them what they are doing wrong!

 

you know, that's exactly what I'm talking about.  I HAVE joined them (as a team lead/architect) and spent countless hours/weeks/months proposing better ways to accomplish goals, streamline dev, increase delivery pace, etc and they just stick their fingers in their ears and "lalalala" themselves back to their happy place in fantasy land.  These people are NOT analysts - that is precisely the problem.  And while they are administrators in title, they often know very little about the field and best practices therein, which begs the question:  what are they doing?  Do they actually get paid to make it that much harder to deliver?  Sadly it often seems so.  

 

To be fair, this seems to be a German management style problem.  I never ran into this level of disfunction in the US, and the couple of really skilled managers I've worked with here had actually spent many years working outside of Germany.

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3 minutes ago, skadi said:

I keep hearing COBOL programmers are in demand, so maybe I need to brush up my skills and go backwards in life.

 

omg don't do it...that's just slow suicide :) 

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But so is what I am doing. At least there is something concrete at the end, e.g. a program that hopefully works, unlike PMing which is just meeting after meeting and at the end of the day (the sun sets) and there is nothing to show for it.

 

Great start to a Monday morning!

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Software Development is a rapidly moving field.

 

People who have got bored or sick of it or moved onto a different role, should never have got involved with Software development in the first place.

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Well, maybe if just to show the world that not everybody earning relative shitloads in IT is unhappy with their jobs: I love my relatively crappily paid programming job, and I intend to annoy my colleagues with my arrogant Klugscheisserei until I'm well into my 80s

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