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Doing non IT work

By jcitron ·
How many here have IT training, but have ended up in non-IT related jobs?

In this day and age, every one needs to be flexible, and willing to try new jobs as they come up. It's not like I'm not looking for a new job, but right now I still have one so my looking around isn't at the higest priority.

So while I take my time looking, I am finishing off my IT degree, and learning new skills in the process.

I working for a small company that once had a real IT department. The formal IT department has since been folded under finance, and in the process there's less IT work to do (no budget, no growth).

I work more as a customer admin. and less as a network admin. They laid a lot of people off over the past few years, and I've ended up staying because of my willingness to learn something new.

At first I hated the customer admin job because it seemed below me, but in many ways I learned a ton even though it is relatively easy to do.

First of all I've learned to listen to people, and work with them to solve their order and shipping problems. I had to learn to communicate not only verbally but also in written correspondance.

In addition I now work with the business software system. I can now appreciate what the poor users used to complain about! Geesh this program is annoying. It's difficult to query on stock items and backorders. So difficult in fact I put together a data download query to get me the backorder status on different products.

Prior to my download, my manager used to do this manually. Now I run a hot key, and there it is nicely sorted in an Excel spreadsheet.

Since I came in with a technical background, my manager has shown me how the finance tables interact with the order-processing side of the business. Now I run the sales journal upload, and produce order reports based on different queries to help finance with the month-end processing. There are also daily revenue reports and other status reports that I've learned to run.

So learning skills outside of IT isn't really a bad thing especially if one can make use of your previous skills and add them to the non-technical job.

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20 Years in electronics

by mjd420nova In reply to Doing non IT work

And when the company I worked for forgot to have a back up plan when out bidded on their biggest contract, the exited that market segment. There's the door. I found a resonable job making photo-polymer printing plates. Not exactly a comparable position, but it paid the mortgage. You just have to go with the flow, and take what you can get. Now I've found a job doing upgrade and relocation jobs with a specialty IT consultant. Just what I looked for, usually work long holiday weekends but get enough to last 3 to 4 months. Hard work and long hours, but I get to sleep in on weekdays and have most weekends off. Usually just 3 or 4 twenty hour days in a row, but I could then take 3 months off. Leaves plenty of time for hobbies and family. Don't just think of NOW, think of planning to secure your retirement, or semi-retirement as it may be.

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Considering it currently

by Maevinn In reply to Doing non IT work

There are a couple of job openings that I've looked at that are non-IT. Wouldn't bother me to go into something else, as long as I like my job situation I'm not picky about the specifics.

And, I will say, most IT need to be willing to learn and understand what their co-workers are doing and what they need to systems to do for them. From hardware to woftware, if it doesn't do the job the users need it to, it's not right. Without understanding what they do, how can I meet that need? I've always spent a lot of time getting familiar with the jobs of my non-IT co-workers. Doesn't mean I'm qualified to DO their job, but at least I don't get lost during meetings with them.

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Mayven, you'd be great...

by Tig2 In reply to Considering it currently

... in Project Management. You have enough technical understanding to have credibility with the technical people but the business savvy to understand the business requirements.

After ten years of it, I can tell you that it is always interesting work, especially if you enjoy doing a lot of different things during your day.

I am actually thinking of leaving it though- different priorities these days and a desire to go back to actually working with the systems. Although as Agile is more and more adopted as a project management approach, staying put is tempting.

Guess it all comes back to flexibility.

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I agree, and I think this is what has helped me now.

by jcitron In reply to Considering it currently

I've been looking outside of high technology more and more lately as well, and like you if something came a long that looks interesting I'd surely take it. I've done many different jobs in the past including typesetting and desktop publishing even though my formal training has been as an electronics technician and in information technology.

I feel that these combined skills and experiences give me a better insight, and appreciation for what many end-users are trying to do in their job.

In many cases when called in to help them, I noticed that their problems weren't the software system, but their own way of doing things because they would skip a step.

John

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yepper - time to expand

by secretgeekygirl In reply to I agree, and I think this ...

I haven't been able to find a job in I/T for almost 3 yrs now (but partially because of the area where we live now. Someone has to USE computers to need someone to run them...)

I just started back to college last month. I am not taking more I/T courses - I am taking business courses and advertising. Why? Because I might as well be in business for myself. I know I have gaps in how to effectively run a business, so will be taking ongoing training in that area.

While I've been out of work, I've been selling widgets online. What that has taught me is just how UNtechnical the general public really is. I've gained a lot of experience in dealing with all kinds of people, problem solving, explaining the most basic things, etc etc. I've had 100% positive FB for the last two yrs, because I am patient with people. Some of the comments I get are "thanks for helping this idiot make it work"!

So, taking additional training, but not in my own field yet. (And most annoying of the college classes? the one I took to just get the credits - intro to microprocessors. Nothing that I haven't dealt with before. HOWEVER, I don't have 100% in this class, because the instructor has not yet figured out that even the text is not always correct in its own references! Ha! I pointed out one error the first week, and probably haven't been popular since....)

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I started in non IT doing

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Considering it currently

data entry, stock control, production recording and despatch. Mostly on paper, this was a looooong time ago. Helps me remember the most important, complex, hard to control part of any IT system though.


People !

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Where does IT end?

by JosB In reply to Doing non IT work

About 6 years ago I had the choice to specialize in IT (I had a couple of years experience as network administrator) or get a job outside the hard-core IT.
I took the latter and am still on the job as systems administrator for a investment department.
4 years ago I had the oppurtunity to become the security officer of the department and I was happy to take the job.

I'm more involved with business processes and risk management than with IT support/maintenance.

But there is still a relation with IT and I'll try to keep it that way.

When I really start looking for an other job (in about 1.5 years, since I am planning to leave the country) think I try to get a security consultancy job at an IT company or security officer job at a non-IT company.

At the end, IT is needed to meet business goals and is not a goal on itself.

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More marketable

by chris.panek In reply to Doing non IT work

I have been mixing my work week with half IT work, and the other half doing CAD Planning work for this construction company.

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Job Title: Next

by dutch In reply to Doing non IT work

I had a pure IT job once upon a time. It was nice.
Since the Dot Com bust, increasely I have found that the jobs that are out here are a mixture of IT and something else. I have joked that my job title is Next. (as in whatever is next.) The rise in outsourcing, the slowing market, and ecomonics have forced everyone to try to do more with less. (Just look at IT advertising. They market their products based upon current business pains.)

I am currently working for a small network intergrator as both the Network Admin and the Bookkeeper. This has helped me to get a better understanding on Accounting and Finance.

More and more I see other "IT professionals" in my market doing non-traditional IT roles. We have taken the view that the more jobs that we learn the more geeks rule the world.

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Funny, my degree...

by HavaCigar In reply to Doing non IT work

Is in astrophysics, and I'm doing IT.

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