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Where to Go After a Lifetime in IT?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the starting-the-next-chapter dept.

Businesses 902

Pikoro asks: "I have been working in the IT field for the past 20 years or so, and after getting hired by the largest financial company in the world, I thought I might have finally found a place to retire from. However, after working here for almost a year, I find myself, not exactly burnt out, but longing for a complete career field change. It's not that doing IT related tasks aren't fun anymore, but they have become more 'work' than 'play' over the last few years. Since all of my experience has been IT related, I'm not sure where I could go from here. What would you consider doing for a living, after being in a single field for so long?"

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Where to go after a lifetime ? (5, Funny)

jalet (36114) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055387)

To Hell, of course !

Tenerife (-1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055607)

Sit back and relax mate.

Re:Where to go after a lifetime in IT? (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055613)


Jeoparody (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055393)

I'll take "Laughing all the way to the bank" for $100k/yr, Alex.

Re:Jeoparody (2, Interesting)

wmelnick (411371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055717)

If you live in NY, $100k per year pays the mortgage and the bills - barely. If you want to send your kids to camp, or better yet, college, you had better be making a hell of a lot more than that!

Re:Jeoparody (4, Interesting)

Tranvisor (250175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055893)

That's insane, if you can't live comfortably on at least half of that and save the rest then you need to investigate which bills are really needed and which ones aren't. Get a smaller house, move 2 miles down the road where the property values are 30% less, don't eat out 5 nights a week, whatever.

100k is plenty of money if you know how to spend it.

Re:Jeoparody (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056003)

Get a smaller house, move 2 miles down the road where the property values are 30% less, don't eat out 5 nights a week, whatever.

You're apparently unaware of just how insane property values in New York (and Southern California, and Singapore, and a few other places where human congregations exceed 300 people per square kilometer) really are. Try "move to another state where property values are 30% less", because it isn't just 2 miles down the road, it's 200 miles down the road. Where concentrations of people need food shipped in from far away, food prices go up. And all the rest.

A $100k job in New York City is the same as a $25k job in Kansas- that's how different the prices really are.

Re:Jeoparody (1)

The_Quinn (748261) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056315)

A $100k job in New York City is the same as a $25k job in Kansas- that's how different the prices really are.
Except for the fact that $100k in New York City is worth exactly $100k in Kansas. Just because you can by more with your money in Kansas doesn't mean the money is worth more, it just means the property, etc. is just worth less.

This is an important distinction because if you work in Kansas for 15 years, save up $500k, then move to New York City, you could actually afford to buy a decent property with your $500k (yes you'd have to commute), and you wouldn't be stuck with a high mortgage, but you would still be raking in the higher salary. Then 15 years later, take all your higher savings, sell your higher value NYC property, and move back to Kansas with a couple mil - you'll be set for retirement.

Re:Jeoparody (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056381)

Too true. I live in Canada (Winnipeg, ~650K people) earning $82K (Mrs. earns another 50 on top of that). We live like very well on that. Turned down a move to Toronto for $100K as my standard of living would decrease quite a lot. Couldn't own my own house, my commute to work would be more than my current 20 minutes, etc. etc.

There's a lot to be said for letting go of the desire for $$$ and being content.

Limited options (5, Funny)

taustin (171655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055401)

If you expect anything like the same money, about your only options would be producing porn videos, politics, or some other life of crime.

Otherwise, get a job flipping burgers at your local McDonalds, and work your way up.

Me? (4, Funny)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055421)

I'd become a fireman.

Re:Me? (5, Interesting)

Bardez (915334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056229)

Funny, I work with a guy who did the exact opposite.

Re:Me? (5, Funny)

arabagast (462679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056459)

A fireman became him ?

Careers (5, Informative)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055433)

This seems akin to asking Slashdot what you should be when you grow up. There's no way total strangers could answer this for you. Take a look at your hobbies, interests and what you do well at. Look at the classifieds and see what kind of jobs center around those things. See what kind of experience and education they require. Go from there.

Re:Careers (1)

Kamots (321174) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055595)

Indeed. For all we know, he could have an interest in maille, and could try to make a living from selling his wares at conventions and faires.

Look at what you enjoy. Figure out what it is about those activities that you enjoy doing, their core attributes if you would; then think about what types of jobs would be related to those core attributes.

Re:Careers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055871)

Look at what you enjoy. Figure out what it is about those activities that you enjoy doing, their core attributes if you would

And if you enjoy computers?

Part of the problem has been that over the last generations there has been more and more of a drive to specialize earlier and earlier in life. I graduated the year that Texas decided to push kids out of college by forcing them to pay out of state rates after some number of hours that was pretty close to the standard graduation requirements. As it was, I spent 6 years going to school between half and full time, and the only classes I got to take outside of reading, riting, rithmetic, and rengineering was my PE classes (bowling and fencing) and a music appreciation "humanities" class, and that was after coming through highschool on the "hey look, if I take PE by correspondence, I can make it all the way to Calculus 2 AP" track. In the end, all I have to say is...

What is fun?

How do I find out what I find enjoyable, since I've basically spent my life with math and books. Fortunately, I'm taking some steps to correct that, there's a company called "Events and Adventures" here in Houston that I recently signed up with, and they set up a lot of different things from camping to horseback riding, but it's largely all outdoor stuff, and they advertise heavily for singles, so you can see most of their events are aimed at pairing people up. What else is out there, any guides to finding a hobby?

Re:Careers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056157)

How do I find out what I find enjoyable, since I've basically spent my life with math and books. Fortunately, I'm taking some steps to correct that, there's a company called "Events and Adventures" here in Houston that I recently signed up with, and they set up a lot of different things from camping to horseback riding, but it's largely all outdoor stuff, and they advertise heavily for singles, so you can see most of their events are aimed at pairing people up. What else is out there, any guides to finding a hobby?

Start conversations with people you meet there, you're likely to have some mutual interests, if you enjoy the outdoor stuff in principle. Then try out some of the things they do that sound fun to you.

Really, meet lots of different people, get to know them, see what ideas they give you. It's bound to work better than fucking Ask Slashdot...

Re:Careers (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055731)

The question is not what HEshould do, but what would you do. The guy's looking for personal opinions. Instead of telling him why he shouldn't ask people what they think, try telling him what you think. Think of it as a brain-storming session for everyone reading the discussion, not just the original guy asking the question. Lots of people may get ideas from it that they would have never considered on their own.

Re:Careers (5, Funny)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056467)

You clearly dont understand how "ask slashdot" works. Someone asks a question, and then we all make fun of that person.

And don't open a comic/games/collectibles store! (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056311)

You think I'm joking here, but it seems like every damn geek and his brother dreams of opening their own comic book, collectibles, or video game store--with absolutely no idea how to run a small business or how the market dropped out for these sorts of stores over 10 years ago (or how tough it is to compete with the big chains).

When people tell you to "follow your dreams" what they mean is "follow your dreams--as long as your dreams are reasonable and you have the qualifications and skills needed to pursue them."

Cars oddly enough (5, Interesting)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055447)

If you can get past the mess, I've found a lot of geeks are also good at fixing cars. Similarly complex systems that all work together, required trouble shooting of various systems, etc.

The nice part is it's a useful skill in every day life, and if nothing else you might know when someone is going to rip you off at the local auto shop.

Re:Cars oddly enough (3, Informative)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056105)

Car repair is like a dirty version of IT. It takes alittle less brain and more muscle. It is no more exciting than IT.

Re:Cars oddly enough (5, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056129)

I knew the car analogy was in here somewhere

Re:Cars oddly enough (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056247)

You can get an ASE certification in automotive electrical systems by taking a six unit course and a $250 exam. If you know anything about electronics, and computer systems, you will find it trivial. Probably the two most lucrative areas in automotive work are electrical work, and the color matching/spot repair work in auto body. Difference is that if you go to work for a body shop, unless you're already a veteran you'll spend the first few months cleaning paint guns and sweeping up the shop, whereas with an ASE cert in auto electrical and a little bit of competence, you'll be making more than you ever did with computers. And you won't be on call. Unfortunately, I never got the cert, because I was too poor at the time :/ I did get an automotive heating and A/C cert, but who wants to do that shit for a living? That's actual work :)

Which IT? (5, Insightful)

avronius (689343) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055455)

If you have a great deal of project management experience - there is an ocean of opportunity out there that does not involve "IT". Construction / manufacturing / etc. all require project managers to keep new ideas on track and on budget.

If you have a great deal of experience with risk managemnt - there may be an opportunity for you in the stock market.

It's all about which areas you have experience in, and how comfortably you are at adapting your skills to a new environment.

Re:Which IT? (5, Insightful)

darkuncle (4925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055769)

avronius is right - "IT" is a term so broad that it really doesn't accurately describe what _anybody_ does for a living. If what you're doing feels like more work than play, my advice is, look at what you do for fun when you're not working. Do you like to game? Like to build stuff? Like to run services out of your house? It may not be that you're burned out on technology in general, but rather on the particular aspects you've been stuck in for a while.

For instance: it would only take about a week of Windows desktop support to burn me out, but I'm pretty certain I'll be doing network/application architecture and hacking on UN*X and OSS apps until I'm permanently retired (and probably for fun thereafter). After all, this is what I was doing for fun before I figured out I could get paid for it ...

You might also look at getting out of the "world's largest" anything ... diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks notwithstanding, nothing makes me burn out faster than having to deal with the mind-numbing, soul-crushing bureacracy of most large corporations.

In summary: find something you like to do (might even be in tech), and find a company to do it for that's small enough to be flexible, fun and still concerned about the individual. Maybe easier said than done, but there are certainly a lot of places hiring sysadmins and programmers lately ...

Re:Which IT? (1)

jkorz (1088471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056227)

Here here. I worked for a fortune 500 company on internship for 3 months, it was exactly like the movie office space. Umm... I had a stapler, it was a swingline

Consultant? (1)

MImeKillEr (445828) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055467)

While technically not out of the IT field, at least it would allow you to continue to use your skills. Not only that, but you'd (potentially, hopefully) get a broader base of tasks.

Might combat the boredom.

Re:Consultant? (4, Interesting)

caffeinatedOnline (926067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056285)

Talk about synchronicity, I was just thinking about this exact same question before I sat down and opened up /. I am a consultant, .NET / C# programmer, in Phoenix, AZ. I got bored with what I was doing, and thought that being a consultant and never taking more then a 6 month contract would be the best thing, as I would always have a new challenge on my plate. Been consulting for over 2 years now, programming for over 10. And am really bored with it.

What to do next is a huge question for me. I make > $100k/year, and have no college education. Unfortunately, I have become accustomed to the lifestyle that I lead, and my bills won't go away just because I take a job that pays less. While consulting was a quick 'fix', I find that no matter where I go, it's the same over and over again. *shrug* Just my .02

Speaking as an insider... (1)

charlesbakerharris (623282) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055469)

I recommend going back under the rock where you came from. I plan on doing so...

Re:Speaking as an insider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056393)

You mean moving back into your parents basement?

You may actually want to stick with it (5, Interesting)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055523)

Sometimes it's simply a matter of finding the right company for you. There are so many different companies offering so many different career experiences in general. Finding one that isn't right for you may make you think you want to do something completely different when in reality you may just need a better boss, more flexible hours or more (or less) human interaction time. I'd look around at what else is close by before you make a leap in (potentially) the wrong direction.

Re:You may actually want to stick with it (1)

Canthros (5769) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055837)

Yeah. Truth is, if you find that you are less enthused with the work you're doing after upgrading to a new job at a new company, it might just be the work environment, rather than the work itself. You might consider looking for work with a smaller company, or a company in a different industry, for that matter.

Move to Paradise (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055531)

If you have a nest-egg, like ownership of your house, you can consider moving to some 3rd world country. Like Costa Rica. The typical $400K American home can be replaced with an equal if not nicer $100K home in a lot of these countries. Then get a job teaching CS at the local university. I'm sure they will love to have a native english speaker with real-world industry experience. The pay won't be much, but combined with the rest of your nest egg you should be able to live comfortably with a low-stress, high-reward job in a really nice climate.

Re:Move to Paradise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055757)

Uhm, he works in IT, which means system administration in the US, doesn't it? Why would he be qualified to teach CS?

Re:Move to Paradise (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055921)

IT is an overloaded term. Most uses of it mean sys admin, but more and more people are using it as a term for "computers", including computer programming. Its a trend we really ought to try and reverse- not because one is better than the other, but because they require different skill sets, different types of work, and trying to throw all those jobs in one basket just leads to confusion. Especially when talking about the job market- people complain about slowdowns in IT (meaning sys admin) when the programmer market is booming.

Re:Move to Paradise (1)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056461)

Why not say "administration". What most people mean by at least the programming side of IT used to be called Information Systems, and that covered it pretty well. Information Technology, on the other hand, s so vague that it includes IS, CS, math, solid state physics, the Nyquist-Shannon Theorem and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.

Re:Move to Paradise (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056489)

Typical 400k house? I wish... I think it's more like 200k nationwide.

It makes me understand why everyone from the north is moving south, after spending a few years north of the masondixon and seeing how expensive everything is. actually, I'm in DC area now and it's even worse. 400k for a 1bdroom townhouse? no thank you.

Bike messenger (5, Interesting)

ponos (122721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055535)

I read this story on kuro5hin about someone on IT who went on to become a bike messenger. I'm not sure it would fit you, but it is a physical job and it is clearly not stressful. I am not sure how much someone like you earns, but I guess you probably have a lot of savings, so you could try anything you like. Other lame possibilities include "writing" a book, becoming a critic for some obscure thing that you always loved (say, a cheese specialist). For what it's worth, I like cooking, but I've heard it's stressful.

If you're looking for a complete change, try a physical job (not necessarily manual labor as in "construction worker"), one that requires you to use your body.


Re:Bike messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056153)

Not sure about "low stress". Got hit by a car last month, had surgery last week, and now spending a lot of time reading Slashdot and considering how "safe" my IT job was :)

Re:Bike messenger - not stressful ???? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056245)

dodging rush hour traffic on a vehicle offering you not protection whatsoever and trying not to turn your face into chiseled spam on the asphalt or get totaled by a truck - sure, that's how I relax!

Drive a Truck (4, Funny)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055541)

Truck driving is becoming quite lucrative these days. Go find an outfit and have them train you. Many will pay for your CDL training if you sign on for X years.

You get to see the country and sit on your ass all day. I couldn't think of a much better job.

Re:Drive a Truck (5, Insightful)

dmiller1984 (705720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055819)

Truck driving is not all it's cracked up to be, though. My friend recently quit his trucking job to go into IT. *Insert comment about the irony* Although you get to drive around the country it isn't like you actually get to do anything when you visit places. You just watch the scenery go by and continue to drive. It can also be very dangerous as trucks can be extremely difficult to handle, especially when the weather is bad. Although the pay can be good if you have done it for a while, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get any type of loan if you have just started trucking because truckers are paid by the mile and the bank needs to have an idea of how much money you make in a year. This probably isn't pertinent in this case, but it is something to think about.

After 10 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055549)

I'm going back to school and geting my JD. Perhaps the USPO could use a lawyer that knows what he is doing.

Mgmt, of course (1)

TehBlahhh (947819) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055583)

You change to become IT management. At the same place.

let me spell it out:

1. Change to management
2. Get paid more
3. Profit!!!!

Re:Mgmt, of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056405)

OMG PONIES!!! He's figured out the second step!!!!!!!

Re:Mgmt, of course (2, Interesting)

mrisaacs (59875) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056515)

At the 20 year mark in IT, mostly in the investment world - I found myself in the same position. I opted to go into management.

After a couple of years, I found myself no happier. Management is doing all the unfun portions of IT w/o any of the really interesting parts.

I went back to being a developer. The work was more interesting, but I still has many of the same issues about my employers.

I've looked at a number of other pursuits - really never found anything I enjoyed more, and frankly, if it's not going to be a better experience, and isn't going to pay as much, why do it?

I've since gone on to consulting, so I don't have to deal with some of the internal nonsense from my employers and it leaves me free to pick and choose my projects.

It's not a perfect solution, but honestly I don't think there is a perfect solution. Management surely wasn't.

The whole idea of enjoying your profession is a luxury if you think about it. Most of the world simply does what it needs to do to survive. So if you enjoy IT and can find an employer that doesn't drive you batty - you're ahead of the game.

Good luck.


Teaching? (1)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055587)

I've no idea what your financial position is. You could most likely get a job teaching whatever subject you fancy, though that may be impractical without a good chunk of cash set aside.

Or perhaps try a different area of IT? Move into or out of project management, business analysis, development, pre-sales, testing (well, you never know), technical authoring. Or perhaps change the environment: if you're used to working in huge companies try a small start-up or niche software house.

Teach (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055605)

Why not become a teacher? A lot of kids could benefit from a teacher with life experience, not someone fresh out of college with a teaching degree.

Re:Teach (4, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055803)

Why not become a teacher? A lot of kids could benefit from a teacher with life experience, not someone fresh out of college with a teaching degree.

Because he doesn't want to start out at the bottom of the pay scale?
Teaching pay scales are not based on merit, but on time served. He would be making the same as the aforementioned dipshit but with much larger bills to pay, regardless of much the kids might benefit.
Private school is not that much more competitive, either.

Re:Teach (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056289)

My problem isn't the money, the problem is that you're not allowed to teach. There are numerous ways people learn (some people say as few as 8, some say over 50) but we only teach to two or maybe three of them in public school. In addition, bullshit like the No Child Left Behind act forces you to spend inordinate amounts of time on students that either don't want to or can't learn, and only minimal time on students who want to and/or can benefit from your time, meaning that your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to create a nation of mediocre individuals, all brought to the same low level of competence. I simply can't be part of such a soul-sucking system.

Your interests. (2, Interesting)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055631)

I agree with Reason58. You need to examine your interests and hobbies. If you're particularly drawn to something for which you've never made time before, maybe you should do it as a hobby first, and then see what can be made of it. Sometimes having good pastimes help you get through your day at work. (Like posting at Slashdot during breaks.)

Bingo. (5, Interesting)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055635)

This is exactly why you're not supposed to choose a hobby as a career. Careers are meant to be something you're good at, and can stand doing, but not something you want to do for fun. What happens when you do something you enjoy over and over again? You stop enjoying it. You need to learn to separate your hobbies from your skills. Well, I guess it's a bit too late for that.

Re:Bingo. (1)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055857)

I don't agree. By all means try to make a hobby into your job; just make sure you keep looking around for new hobbies in the meantime.

Re:Bingo. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056051)

Careers are meant to be something you're good at, and can stand doing, but not something you want to do for fun.

What? Who told you that?

All my life I've been told that I should try to do something that I enjoy for a living. Most people don't, and their lives are miserable. Who wants to do something they hate for forty hours a week?

What happens when you do something you enjoy over and over again?

I get really happy and enjoy my life?

Ferchrissake, follow your dreams. As far as we know, you only get one chance at them.

Re:Bingo. (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056455)

All my life I've been told that I should try to do something that I enjoy for a living. Most people don't, and their lives are miserable. Who wants to do something they hate for forty hours a week?

Too fucking true. I love what I do. Getting paid well to do what is basically your hobby is great. Hating your job means you hate half your waking life. That'd suck.

Re:Bingo. (1)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056303)

SO your supposed to spend the majority of your life on an activity you can just "stand doing". Thats screwed up. Make your hobby your career! If you can make a living doing something you enjoy then more power to you. If you stop enjoying what your doing find something else.

Life's too short to be stuck doing something you don't enjoy.

Re:Bingo. (3, Insightful)

Ynsats (922697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056415)

I think you are missing the point.

You don't need to learn to seperate your hobbies from your skills. I would venture to say that that is the worst thing you can do. A hobby is work that you don't get paid to do. If you enjoy your hobby and you are passionate about it, why can't you make a living at it too and then be passionate about your job? Employers want employees that enjoy coming to work. That's why they offer so many incentives like day-care, flexible schedules, cafeterias, company transportation, discount programs, recreational activities and so on and so forth. They WANT you to LIKE to come to work. They don't want it to be difficult for you to come to work. Why do they want all that? Because a happy employee is a productive employee that contributes to the good of the compnay which benefits everyone, including the employee.

If you chose to seperate your hobbies from your skills, that's up to you. However, if you have developed skills then it's obvious that maybe, at one point, enjoyed those skills enough to focus on them. So if you are artificailly limiting yourself by confining your skills to work, you must find your hobbies just as dreadful. Mainly because you aren't as skilled at your hobbies as you are at your work which is based on skills you likely enjoy more.

IT is a hobby and a job for me. I didn't get into it because it was something that I could stand doing for decades. I got into it because I really enjoyed working with the computers. I also saw a good deal of earning potential that could support my other expensive hobbies and the skill sets I could pick up were also transferrable to my other hobbies. Also, no matter how much I know, no matter how much experience I have, there is ALWAYS something new around the corner to discover and learn about.

There is a tremendous potential for growth in any profession as long as you are willing to look past your nose that you are seemingly keeping on the grind stone. You should take it off every once in a while. You might see things for what they really are. Afterall, if you keep your head down and grinding away, how are you ever going to take a look and see all the opportunities around you? Don't go through life with such large, self-induced blinders on. You are missing way too much!

I'd go teach (3, Insightful)

Noodles_HK (861825) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055649)

Teach Elementary School math, or science. Or High School. Or Community College. I know I enjoy teaching part time, and I can see enjoying teaching full time. My kids comes home with unclear math problems, and I re-teach them... and mostly having a good time doing it. You'd not be doing it for money, but usually the benefits are acceptable.

Logical. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055667)

The logical next step after working a lifetime in any field is the grave.

Work is not fun (1)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055679)

Wow...if you went 20 years of all fun on the job, I am quite impressed! Work is work. Even the best job in the world can get tiresome such that it is "work" rather than "fun".

Re:Work is not fun (2, Interesting)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056403)

Even the best job in the world can get tiresome

Oh I don't know.

I go to work each day, play around on the computers, and they pay me for it.

Which is why I still do this after 25 years.

Possibilities (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055687)

Actuary - you'll need superb math / statistical skills. You'll have to take a series of difficult exams to move up the ladder. It can pay VERY well.

School teacher - need to get teaching certification. Low pay, long hours. You'll have to put up with abuse from students, administrators, and quite possibly parents. I know a number of IT people who did this. Some loved it. Many hated it and have moved on to something else (like back to IT).

Carpentry - met a guy who 'went from mainframes to framing buildings'.

Retail ...

Re:Possibilities (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056215)

Actuary - you'll need superb math / statistical skills. You'll have to take a series of difficult exams to move up the ladder.

You, sir, have a remarkable talent for understatement.

I know someone whose wife has been taking various actuarial exams for years. Apparently, it almost never ends.

But, yeah, if you're an uber math geek, it's a good place to get ino. The pay is suppposed to be rather quite impressive once you're up a couple of levels.


Where to go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055699)

A mental home would be my choice of residence after dealing with general users for that long!

Go Home (1)

kiran_n (228321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055771)

No, seriously.


I left IT (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055779)

For me since I'm already fluent in two languages it was an easy choice to go into interpreting. Especially since my wife already is one and I really love languages. Most likely you're not native level in two languages, but really what I'm saying is find something you enjoy.

Hey if it wasn't this I'd probably be buying houses and fixing them up, at least with the hands on work you get a greater feeling of "Today I DID something" that IT often doesn't provide.

Re:I left IT (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056491)

For me since I'm already fluent in two languages it was an easy choice to go into interpreting.

There's still a market for BASIC->Pascal porters?

go run down some Teach for America people (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055787)

Go track down someone from Teach for America. Try it out for a while. The money's nothing next to IT, but the Impact is there.

Re:go run down some Teach for America people (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056189)

What precisely do they do? I just visited their site and they don't actually tell you. I actually am sending the following in an email to press.center@teachforamerica.org:

Is it just me, or is it foolish and confusing to have a button labeled "What we do" that takes you to a page that doesn't explain what you do?

The page in question provides some statistics and says that "it doesn't have to be this way" and then fails to actually say anything about how it can be different, or what you are doing to change it.

Someone suggested your organization as an alternative to what someone was doing for a living already... so I visited your website, tried to find out what it is that you do, and I still don't know.

This is not a very effective distribution of your message.

I realize you can find the information by clicking one additional like (a small-fonted one in the sidebar and not in the middle of the page where the reader's attention is focused) but someone clearly doesn't understand web design...

Seriously, try it. Visit teachforamerica.org [teachforamerica.org] , click on "What We Do", and solely from the information on that page, try to figure out what they do. Naturally, I'm not sending the email to the webmaster, who would probably do what I do with messages like that :D

That depends (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055789)

What do you like to do?

Silly question (0, Redundant)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055801)

How on earth are complete strangers supposed to know what you want to do with your life ?

Doctor ? Fireman ? Scientist ? Cook ? Fisherman ?

How should we know ?

Something with less customer contact? (1)

Alt0n (862320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055807)

It's often the direct interaction with end-users / customers / punters that's most stressful. If you can keep away from that you may well avoid the mistake of changing to an equally tough environment for less money.

Hate Job? (5, Insightful)

fozzmeister (160968) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055809)

OK most people actually quite hate their job, IT people are very lucky in the fact they generally do enjoy their job and it's also well paid. Your job is more work than play, well your still one up on most people, think _very_ carefully.

not exactly burnt out... (2)

JCOTTON (775912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055813)

I find myself, not exactly burnt out, but longing for...

seems like you found yourself a bad job, not a bad career. Look around for something new, but stick to your field. >


Hello, world.

I didn't want to be an IT drone... (5, Funny)

Gogl (125883) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055855)

...I wanted to be... a LUMBERJACK!

Re:I didn't want to be an IT drone... (3, Funny)

AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056195)

I want to be... a LION TAMER!

Find a startup (2, Interesting)

HalifaxRage (640242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055859)

Find a startup ISP or tech companyy with big dreams and a small budget. Your experience will do more to help them than 10 college kids ever could.

One Word... (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055891)


Boo hoo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055927)

Its not "fun" anymore? That's why it's called work you boob.

Outside the Box (2, Interesting)

Mephistophocles (930357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055973)

It's hard to really recommend anything without knowing what kind of person you are, what your financial situation is, etc, but without having any of that info, I can just tell you what I'd do: something way the hell off the beaten path. You have any money saved? Enough to maybe start a small business in your hobby of choice? If you really want a serious change of pace, move somewhere way out of the way. Work odd jobs - anything you can do. Maybe helping with the weak though growing IT market in Africa/Central/South America. If you have anything at all saved, it can go a long way there.

I guess my point is, there's no reason to trade one run-of-the-mill 9-5 for another one. If you're really serious about a change of scenery, go sit on a hilltop for a day or two and decide what you'd do if the sky was the limit. And then spend the rest of your life getting there. Idealistic? Sure. But the journey's half the fun.

After a lifetime in IT (1)

waynemcdougall (631415) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055987)

After a lifetime in IT, you go to Silicon Heaven [wikipedia.org]

(if you've been good)

those who cannot do (or get tired of doing) ... (1)

direpath (513554) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055989)

Teach. Thats what I would do. I greatly respected the instructors at the Technical College I attended because they had worked (or in many cases still worked) in the field they were teaching. Not every person can teach someone what they do to full effect, but those that have had hands-on experience have a lot to bring to the table.

I fully plan to "retire" to teaching at a Technical college once I tire of the IT industry. I'm not sure if thats what you have in mind. It is related to what you are doing, but it isn't IT.

Depends on who you are. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055991)

I'd say it has to someone connect with your prior knowledge, experience and personality. Those are deliberetely broad statement because I don't know you at all.

If you were a programmer, musician perhaps? Or artist in general? If you were involved in WWW perhaps you find journalism interesting? If you were into security perhaps something related to health?

Hell? (1)

Steve-o-192.168 (1096403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056013)

Wait a minute.... You were already there???

Where do we expect you to go, Detroit??


Re:Hell? (1)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056513)

IT is surprisingly strong in Detroit, at least for now.

What I'm going to do- eventually (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056053)

Cash out my pension, find a nice plot of land on a major highway people use to go on vacation, and get myself a nice mental case of dementia concretia; charging people $6 a carload to look at "art" that teaches a lesson about recycling junk and making alternative energy. If I make enough alternative energy, I'll also want an electric train to the nearest population centers. But your mileage may vary....

There are many options (1)

Ynsats (922697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056075)

Your only limitations on what you can do is what kind of effort and time you are willing to invest. Someone already mentioned hobbies. That is a great place to start. It's probably what got you into IT in the first place anyway. 20 years ago, IT was an unheard of term and computers were still a new fangled thingamabob that nobody really had a good clue on what to do with them. Well, from a business application standpoint. Most of the people that were getting in to them were either college graduates or hobbyists. Most college kids got into computers because they were fun.

So what I would do is look for something you enjoy doing that is completely NOT like IT work. Someone mentioned fixing cars. That can be a good application of troubleshooting skills. If you are good at repairing computers then you would likely be good at some sort of detail work also. My father plans to build furniture when he retires in a couple of years. He's a woodworker as a hobbyist and enjoys it. So rather than fill his house with furniture, he's going to build pieces and sell them either online or at local craft fairs/flea markets.

Personally, I have quite a few hobbys that would work out for me. I already work part time doing diesel mechanics and fleet maintenance. It's good money and where the IT level of money is in automotive/mechanical repair. However, what I would enjoy doing more is working for a friend of mine fabricating body panels for race cars and custom work. It's very enjoyable and people are less sensitive and not easily offended by guys being guys. I wouldn't mind doing something with audio/video equipment installation either in cars or homes/professional offices. I have skills that I can apply to all these areas.

Another option is to do something outside. Landscaping, unless you are doing the design, is fairly simple work, just tedious and back-breaking. However, a person with professional experience and/or a degree will usually be a manager or supervisor who has peons to do the work for him. If you are up for it, the Parks Service in many states and even at the federal level is always looking for people. There are plenty of other outside jobs to do.

But me, I like my IT work. I enjoy the challenges that it brings and I actually enjoy troubleshooting. It pays well enough and some days I can't believe I get paid to do the work I do. I hope you find that place for you again. A wise man once said to me "If you can't have fun at what you are doing, go the hell home, we don't want you here." He was a mere furniture mover for a moving company. He loved his job and he did it the best he could every day. I asked him if had a choice, would he do it again and his response was "Without a doubt, yes!" Basically, it's not what you do for a living that makes the difference, it's how you do it. I've always told everyone I know, "The measure of a man is not in his paycheck. A job is a job, it doesn't matter what you do, as long as it pays the bills, it's all good. Some jobs just pay more bills than others." Just be glad you have luxury of a job to consider leaving. I have had many friends and colleagues who were forced out of thier employment and into a different field of work due to down-sizing and layoffs.

one word (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056091)


My fiancee and I really really really want to get an alpaca farm going some place in the country where we don't be bothered by anyone or anything electronic.

A lifetime eh? (1)

MrDoh1 (906953) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056093)

I dunno... personally after a lifetime of anything, retirement sounds nice...

Or maybe a nice peaceful death.

CADD? (1)

jcgf (688310) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056119)

Why not consider a career in drafting? You would be able to make use of many of your computer skills and it would not be fix the computer all day kind of work but rather actually using it.

My brother-in-law and I both finished with C.S. degrees in saskatchewan and he works for a construction company doing CAD and I'm a computer tech. I would take his job any day and not just cause he gets better pay and more hours but the work involves some creativity instead of "computer guy, can you look at this?".

IT related jobs (1)

KernelMuncher (989766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056133)

I'd consider doing something IT related to leverage your skills & experience but fairly different. Like maybe computer forensics for a police department or the FBI. Or IT security for the federal government (TSA, State Department, CIA). You might even get the chance to live abroad. Teaching would also be a great activity. Lord only knows we need more people with good comptuer skills teaching the next generation. The fun thing is that you could probably pursue many of these activities on a part-time basis for a while to see if you liked them. You might have to be a volunteer at first but it's all about testing the waters. Meager pay (or lack thereof) shouldn't stop you from trying these things out. Think of it as an investment in your future job satisfaction.

Become and instructor (1)

grudgelord (963249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056199)

Many individuals who'd achieved a relative degree of success in their field of expertise but had experienced a lack of luster with their careers became college instructors. By doing this you can capitalize on your knowledge and experience and use it to transition into another field.

Some advice from someone who's done it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056213)

I dropped out of the IT industry almost two years ago now. I did everything from tech support to Java development. I had been taken advantage of, despised the industry and everyone in it and could barely keep my head on straight, let alone my servers. I was burned out before the age of 31, and it showed in my work. It's VERY BAD when you stop caring about your employer's servers.

Now I work for an advertising agency now doing audio/visual. It's an easy jump but, believe me, the pay cut has been difficult (especially with my wife not working). Unfortunately, it has become very clear to me that once you're out, nobody wants you back in. The nice thing is, if I'm not out of the office at 5:00, it's probably because I am flying back from a multi-million dollar pitch, drinking a rum and coke. ;)

I've taken up a couple of hobbies (actually went a little nuts on those and have had to cut back), have more time to read (Chekov, not Slashdot), and am generally having a fun time at it. Do I miss IT? Sometimes I do, but nobody likes an employee with a bad attitude.

Good luck,

Anonymous coward

Car Racing. (2, Interesting)

Devir (671031) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056257)

I too have become bored of the IT world. from the constant need for a "Pro/Con" spreadsheet for EVERY change and concept to no one being able to agree, ever. I'm just tired of sitting in a chair, arguing with the boss about 8 year old servers, then going home and staring at a screen till I fall asleep. It's a life that lacks, well anything.

Recently I bought myself a nice "used" car with a decently powerful V8 engine and started down the path to racing. (yes there is HUGE politics in the pro leagues). I feel that it's a huge shift in career, but it's similar. Car's need all sorts of knowledge to run, tune, adjust, and time. You also need split second reflexes that have undoubtedly been aquired in the years of gaming.

I also thought of getting into psychology, but I realize i've already dealt with enough crazy people in the IT field (me included in that number).

Essentailly, that "after IT" career change, it's all about what YOU personally want. I'm just sharing with you what i want to do with my life post IT escape.

Try another job for a few days (1)

doubledjd (1043210) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056321)

  1. I'd talk to some friends that know you and inquire about their careers.
  2. I've had a friend in exactly this situation. I pointed him to http://vocationvacations.com/ [vocationvacations.com] . Now he owns a coffee shop and sells cheesecake.
  3. Also, I'd consider going back to school. Reading through the class offerings was a really good way to find what I had interest in.
  4. The reality is, unless you are ready for a decrease in pay, moving completely out of the field (any field you've been in long term) is difficult. With all your experience, you might consider consulting. At least that way you have a little more choice in the projects you take.

I'm in a similar boat but less experience than you have. It is a very consuming and confusing process. But until I figure it out, I'll continue to scour hotjobs for "pasty fitting technician" :)

extended underpants gnome scheme (1)

doug (926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056323)

Congrats! You've done better than most of us in that you've figured out how to get past step #2

      1) do something
      2) ?
      3) profit!

Now that you're in the promised land of profit, you're looking to move on to step #4

      4) enjoy life

While I wish you the best, I'm stuck at step #1.

- doug

Gardening or painting (1)

durin (72931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056365)

I've had two of my colleagues radically change careers.
One guy became a florist (one of our former NT system administrators) and another guy started painting (former project manager).

Sell it all (2, Interesting)

boristdog (133725) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056413)

Sell it all, buy cheap land in the backcountry, build a small cabin and live the wild life.

Trust me, you won't be bored.

slingin food (1)

Rage Maxis (24353) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056493)

i quit IT and went into the restaurant business. No IRC'ing from work, no being lazy as hell, no annoying men in suits except customers and you can spit in their food.

No more buying expensive gadgets and rent becomes tough ... even in a bad neighborhood...

but i've now worked the grill, fast food assembly and traditional line cook. Likely i'll do chef's school this year.

It takes ALL the fun out of food ... just like IT work takes the fun out of computers FOREVER ...

But its hard work and at the end of the day its satisfying.
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