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"I Got Out of IT... and It Was the Best Move I Ever Made"

By Prolifiq ·
This thread is to collect success stories from people who have transitioned out of traditional IT jobs (i.e., primarily technical) and into careers with a less technical focus (business-oriented consulting, entrepreneurship, etc.), or transitioned out of IT altogether (but still visit sites like these out of personal interest.)

- If you've jumped off the IT train, what careers have you jumped into?

- Have those careers been a better fit for you?

- Have they been more lucrative ($$$)?

- Have you found your IT skills (problem solving, technical acumen, analytical/creative thinking, etc.) beneficial in your new line of work? Or have you had to start completely fresh?

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One foot in, one foot out...

by Matthew Moran In reply to "I Got Out of IT... and I ...

I am a consultant - and do fairly well - pick my projects, earn decent money, etc. After serving as a CIO of a financial services company I determined I wanted to return to my first love - writing. In fact, my first database was written on an apple in apple basic to track some of my books. My entrance into IT was driven by the written word...

I then started developing applications for a large insurance company, but even waaayyy back then I saw "IT only" work as limiting both professionally and financially. I immediately moved towards business analysis/project management - with strong IT development mixed in.

In 2001 - driven by desire - I determined that "Geographically Untethered Income" and some more creative endeavors would more completely "feed my soul" so to speak.

I have authored a book on IT careers, am self-publishing a children/mom's book (see: http://www.IfMomWerePresident.com), setup some affiliate marketing programs with some of my clients, have a site with my wife about hyperactivity (see: http://www.LaughterandTears.com), write a couple blogs, author some articles, produce a podcast, and give presentations nationally.

The IT skills coupled with good communication, an eye for opportunity, and an interest in various business models, are distinctive skills that give me a great advantage in several areas. Certainly the ability to build my own data capture and customer commuication is nice but the more well-rounded skill-set brings clients and partners to me with opportunities.

However, my primary income source is still consulting but that is transitional. Not due to lack of opportunity but due to desire.

Matthew Moran
Podcast: Technology, Careers & Consulting
http://techcareerconsult.blogspot.com

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Sounds like...

by Prolifiq In reply to One foot in, one foot out ...

you've made a successful segue into a broader career path, by not limiting yourself to only technical knowledge and experience.

I noticed that there was an earlier discussion about career alternatives for the IT-minded. It generated a lot of light-hearted conversation (which is fine), but not a lot of serious career alternatives (other than project management).

Given that traditional IT employment has undeniably changed (for better or worse), it's definitely time to think seriously about what other options are out there for IT people.

Hopefully there are other readers out there with some positive insight, stories, or questions to contribute.

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Getting into IT by getting OUT of IT

by Prolifiq In reply to One foot in, one foot out ...

Matt,

If you're still tracking this post, I saw a set of blog posts you wrote recently stating that one of the best ways to progress in IT is to be a contrarian and steer clear of the IT department.

You outlined your path into IT consulting - from data entry clerk to IT consultant, training yourself along the way. And in a Tek-Tips discussion response, you stressed focusing on typically IT-independent roles - business analyst, project manager, financial analyst, etc. - yet infusing IT knowledge and value into them so that you and your skillset become indispensable.

This sounds like good advice, but many would probably wonder how a technical person (especially a degreed one) would even break into business-centric roles like these, particularly if going back to school for a business degree or taking a dramatic pay cut to get an entry-level business job (data entry clerk, etc.) is not financially feasible.

What would be your suggestions?

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Not too difficult... combination of finese and brute force..

by Matthew Moran In reply to Getting into IT by gettin ...

I am inclined to believe that the move from an IT practitioner to a business analyst is pretty simple if you can communicate well. If you have business analyst type positions in your company, I would go to one of those departments and see what they require. State your desire and let them know how much value you will bring with your technical capabilities. Those capabilities will help you automate reporting and your production but will also benefit others in the department as well.

If you are looking to simultaneously leave a company and join another company with a new role, what you need to do is adjust your experience ? even if title is not exact ? to match that of a business analyst. Meaning, accentuate those talents and then tie your technical aptitude into them.

Also, understand that I NEVER (EVER) view the job requirements as the job requirements. I ALWAYS (100%) contact someone at the company who can get me in touch with someone who knows somebody who can get me in touch with the person who needs the talent. Notice, ?person who needs the talent? may or may not be the hiring manager and is typically not HR.

How? I am relentless when I am interested in a company.

But suffice to say, if you can prove your talent and value, you can move into the position without a drop in pay. You need to create a value-based resume and make it known that you cannot take a drop in pay.

I hope that is helpful ? as vague as it was.

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Crossroad

by amdan05 In reply to "I Got Out of IT... and I ...

I've been in the IT field for 7 years working as a Network Administrator and Help Desk Lead Technician. I'm not sure if I have lost interest in the field because of the place I work or I just need a change in scenery by moving into a different field. I search for other jobs in the IT field but none offer the salary I make now so I can't really move on without taking a hit in the wallet. I don't want to risk a lower paying position and negelct my responsibility to my family just to see if I want to continue working in this industry. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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A Former Net Admin I know

by jerome.koch In reply to Crossroad

I know a person who went out on his own and got his MCSE a decade ago (He was an insurance Salesmen). He was they kind of guy who loved tinkering with PCs. So, at the age of 30 he started out a Net Admin making very good money (This was the 90s when MCSEs with no exp made big bucks). By 2001 he was laid off when his employer ran out of contract jobs.

He took a 20 grand a year pay cut to work at a local Comm College Net Admin. By 2003 he was totally burnt out on IT. Luckily his wife made a good living, and he went back to school to become a teacher.

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Do what you love..

by cberding In reply to A Former Net Admin I know

...and the money will follow or so they say.

I use the job outlooks from the government and am planning my future right now. I've taken classes at my local community college to see if change is what I really want. I now have a base to go in several different directions, that I didn't have after a couple of bachelor's degrees and an associate's degree.

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degrees

by samson06 In reply to Do what you love..

What are your degrees in? I've been told that obtaining an associates after already getting a bachelor's (even in another field) is worthless. What are your thoughts based on your experience?

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Ever tought of IT-Audit?

by c.walters In reply to "I Got Out of IT... and I ...

I'm 15 years in IT. Programmer, systems-analist, technical project manager, project manager. After all the stress of working in projects with deadlines a job opportunity came along in IT-Audit. At first I tought it would be a boring job to only check on other peoples work and not to build any thing. The opposite became the truth. I very much like it. Because of my IT-skills and be-ing in the field I feel more like an IT-consultant then an IT-Auditor. I love to give good advise to people. My view on IT also became far more extensive then it used to be. It extended from only software design + business analyses to networks, security and the more technical site of IT.
IT-Audit is becoming big business due to the Sabanes-Oxley Act. Managers are forced to hire IT-Auditors. For more info look on the site www.isaca.org
Plus points for the IT-Auditors role:
- less stressfull
- pays well
- niche market
- consultant type of role

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Yes, but the barriers to entry have been brutal

by Larry.Johnson25 In reply to Ever tought of IT-Audit?

I have looked at IT-Auditing, but it seems that the companies who do this type of work are looking for accountants with "IT-ability" rather than developers looking for a career change. IT forensics is even worse, as law enforcement slams those doors tight.

In fact, it's been my experience that nobody is very interested in a middle-aged (45) developer looking to change careers. There is a stereotype that we are just more unfocused, undisciplined geeks who may or may not stick around long-term.

But, there is a strong need for developers today, especially with a developer workforce shortage on the horizon.

I don't mind development, but I just don't like the idea of continuing to do development, and only development, for the next 20 years.

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