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Better in the long run?

By TimeHawk ·
I have a dilema about the coming work experience for my college program. I live in winnipeg and the IT job market is flooded right now.

My friend from college that droped out to tend to his family's business wants to get computerized. They own four seperate company's on a 2-3 acre lot. He wants me to come in and be the computer guy. This would allow me to be the Systems Analyst/DBA/Network Admin/Application Developer/Programmer and what not. I can easily see the experience I could getout of this job that I would never gain working in a single titled job at many of the other companies in the city. Of course the pay would not be as great.
He has many other things to do, but he is from the same program as me and will more than help me to get things going.

What should I do? Work for less but possibly gain a broad and extensive experience base or work for more and gain good experience with a certain area?



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by TimeHawk In reply to Better in the long run?

Just topping the thread off...

Will only do it once.

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by TimeHawk In reply to Better in the long run?

Just topping off the thread...

Will only do it once.

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Don't let money make your decision

by maxwell edison In reply to Better in the long run?

Don't let money be the driving force in your decision. Do what you feel is best and what is more in line with what it is you want to do.

Do what you love; love what you do; and let the "chips" fall where they may.


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Sounds like a great opportunity!

by In-Cog-Neet-O2 In reply to Don't let money make your ...

Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to get some all-around experience with someone who understands you. I guess you two like each other? That is a plus too.

Sometimes, the things we like in school turn out to be less fun, and the things we weren't sure about are great! Plus, most employers appreciate an employee who has varied experience. It shows that you are willing to "do what needs doing" and that is a wonderful attribute to take with you to another job.

Perhaps you could agree to stay a year or two with your school friend, and then plan to move on? That way, you could help them out, make a planned move that wouldn't hurt their business, grain some good experience, and make some great business contacts in the interim.

Good luck!

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Looks good...

by generalist In reply to Better in the long run?

It looks like a very good starter opportunity, one where you'll learn a lot really fast.

I also suspect that you'll have some tolerance of the mistakes you will probably make. Your employer will know that you have the training but lack a lot of the hands-on experience of a seasoned pro.

While your initial salary/benefits may be low, there is always a chance that it will increase as you prove your value. You could become part of the extended family by your efforts to support the companies. And as an extended family member, you may end up with special benefits like flex time, extra vacation, bonuses and gifts.

For that matter, there might even be a chance that you could be part of the family by marriage.

Of course there is also a chance that it could be the worst 'opportunity' you've ever encountered.

A bit of 'scouting' might be in order, with a very small project as a test. If you find that the group is one that meshes well, go for it. But if things feel wrong, politely refuse long term employment.

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Things to consider

by Steve Battisti In reply to Better in the long run?

Personally, I think that given the current job market, it may be a good choice. However, some things to consider:

Think about specializing. Let's say you take this job and act as "jack of all trades" for 3 years. If you then decide to change jobs, you're still going to have a difficult time getting a job, because this market is very specialized. For example, let's say you do some minor web programming to set up a web site for this friend. Then after 3 years you decide you really want to do full-time web developing. You won't stand a chance against many of the dedicated web programmers who have 3 years of nothing but web development on their resumes.

So, I would be very cautious about the "jack of all trades" thing. If the work is going to be a little of this, a little of that, try to quickly set a goal of a particular technology to become skilled at, even if it means studying for a certification outside of work, etc.

Remember, though, that in this market it's on-the-job experience that counts more than certification.

Just some things to consider.


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Go for it

by Prefbid II In reply to Better in the long run?

Of course it's easy for me to say because I'm not the one making the decision.

There are only a few things that would keep me from jumping at an opportunity like that: 1. I had personal obligations that made it imperative that I make as much money as possible. 2. I thought that the job was likely to hurt my long term career.

From the sounds of it, number 2 is not likely. Only you can judge number 1.

It's much easier to take the larger risks when you are young and coming out of school. In the long run, risk takers come out way ahead.

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Long Run fortune telling

by pschuvie In reply to Better in the long run?

Ok shinning up the old crystal ball and predicting the future in an industry where time is compressed into nano seconds, oops too long things changed already, nano seconds is only used by FedEx now to time their deliveries.

I see a bright future if you take this opportunity with scattered clouds of deep remorse pushed along by winds of wondering did I make the RIGHT choice. Life as we know it. Oops the crystal ball just went black, either power outage or another internet/IT/technology change meltdown.

Unless I read it wrong this is a work experience requirement fulfillment relative to a college program and not a this will be my life choice. If the opportunity meets the requirement then the variety, and your ability to succeed and quantify your success will be key.

Sure specialization is looked upon with great favor, but only by those with very specific needs or very specific goals. Is that market your in flooded with generalist or specialists. How many web specialist this and thats are running around looking for the next scrap of something to do? Or the network admins, highly skilled but replaced in numbers by software tools and centralization?

So what do you do? Well, just answer the questions honestly.

1. Are you a risk taker or not? Speed on the freeway vs 5 miles under the speed limit.
2. Can you afford to live on the amount you would be paid? Living comfortably vs designer wear.
3. Does the thought of actually making decisions and working like the devil to make them be right leave you salivating or in cold sweats? Salivate - take it and you could be king, cold sweat - get a "specialized" job and concentrate on your book collection.

Lastly and in all honesty, the long run is just that,long. Getting the most you can as soon as you can will better equip you for its length.

Heck you may learn some business along the way - the overlooked giver of life to IT.

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It's not a lifelong decision

by lance.gillis In reply to Long Run fortune telling

Tell your friend you will go for a year or 6 months. Realize that this most likly will not be the only job you will have. Learn what you can, enjoy what you do and like every other human on the planet, make a decision everyday about what this day will bring. Enjoy the journey, it's all we've got.

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Good Replies

by TimeHawk In reply to Better in the long run?

Thanks for the replies guys and gals.

The opportunity haunts my dreams and what not. The whole situation needs a lot of disscussion with the boss, the owner. If we were to go online, can they handle it? Can they afford to cough up the amount of money to legitimately allow me to do what they want? So many questions that I could ask him, but those are the main ones, cause we could work from there.

As far as me making money. I live with my parents, am 20 years old, and have the ability to be able to stay at home for a small room and board fee. So it really isn't a big deal, it just cuts into my goals and dreams.

The job would definately not be long term; not at this point anyway. After about two years of experience I will betaking up the Bachaolor of Information Systems Technology at SAIT which is basically systems analysis, project management and IT management learning and on-the-job training. So an opportunity like this would go pretty well considering I would essentially be designing everything according to his needs. But again, how much does he need? Am I gonna get in there and find out they can't afford this, that and the other thing and tell me that they decided to keep things as are instead?

I hate thinking so much! It just makes decisions so much harder. Mind you I would love to specialize in PowerBuilder or Delphi with a respectable company and fullfill my degree at SAIT and go from there. If I could find a job like that I wouldnt even think about the other. I might even donate my ideas, time and skills to him which would benefit both of us.


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