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How do you know when its time to leave?

By Presidio ·
Is it time for a change?
Just a job change or a career change?

I?ve been programming for over 10 years (several different companies). There was a time when I loved it, now I dread coming to work. For about 6 months now I leave work each day with my jaw clenched; shoulder/neck muscles tight; stomach in a knot and spend my entire drive home trying to relax.

Sometimes I think that it is this particular work environment. My supervisor has changed, company location has changed, and there is major staff turnover. There is also no chance to keep up with new technology. However I live in a small community with very limited new opportunities.

Sometimes I think I need a complete new direction. I still have moments where I really get into the code and enjoy developing, but I wonder if both the IT industry and I have changed too much.

I?ve had personal life changes too and would actually rather work part time. Working more then 8 hours in a day feels like such punishment.

Getting a paycheck is 95% of the reason I show up for work every day. I get paid well but would rather earn less and enjoy my job.

So where does one go from here?

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Don't run --just yet

by cheryl.sella In reply to How do you know when its ...

WHat is the real problem: you the job or the environment? You need to assess what isn't working for you--and you may not find that in a new company either. SUggest figuring out what doesnt fit for you and having a conversation with you boss. If you are good at what you do, he doesn't want to lose you, good programmers are hard to find. maybe there is a way to make it better for you -- training opportunities, job exchange, team leader, representign the company at external events, be creative! once you have tried all then maybe a change is the answer; but not a first step unless you really know what you are stepping into --maybe a totally different career! USe the time to pay off all your bills... u r rite $$$ isn't everything but try telling your landlord that! If you have a family, better prepare them for the change as well -- this doesn't just affect you. Even your mother may cringe that you are leaving a good job!

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by Gary.Crispens In reply to How do you know when its ...

I was in the same boat where I felt I had been in the same job way too long.

HOWEVER I decided it was a great time to get my credentials upgraded while I had a job that I could do well with little stress. I took several professional review classes, bought the review books and passed three new professional certifications.

My employer has been delighted with this effort, supported me financially and time wise for taking these tests AND I earned a whole new level of respect from everyone in the company as a guy who is on the move !!!

Plus the employer management now knows I am much more valuable employee and more employable in the job market so they have made some concessions to make my job better.

Plus it has been rewarding to learn new things!!!
Now I am doing major home projects and upgrades while I do not have an overwhelming job.

Plus as a final note, if I ever get laid off, I have plenty of new credentials to shop with for a new job.


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Amen on gaining those credentials

by David_from_Q In reply to EDUCATE YOURSELF

I have left a couple jobs under those circumstances. The last time I ended up filing bankruptcy. Finally recovering from financial mess. Been blessed with current job, though.

I'm in my 40s and totally understand the rush to accumulate for retirement. The wife and I are both going to college for our BS degrees. I am also looking at picking up MCSE, MCSD and MCDBA certification on the side to add to my degree. With 2 small children, it's a struggle, but it will be worth it.

There seems to be a lot of jobs out there for people with qualifications and experience I am going to be one of those people who can pick and chose.

I am also condsidering moving to a larger metro area for a while until I can establish a 'working remote' relationship with an/some employer(s). Some employers like the tax break they can get from having an employee working remotely. I believe it's an energy-saving tax credit. Maybe you can discuss this with your current employer.


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Certs - thats a whole different discussion

by Presidio In reply to Amen on gaining those cre ...

I am an MCSD - and it's not a 'paper cert' either!
I also have 2 degrees graduating with honors or on Dean's list.

Been laid off 3x in the past 4 years and I'm not sure that it helped in finding a job or in the salary offered when I did.

There is no one golden solution to getting selected for an interview, much less being offered a job.

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by secure_lockdown In reply to EDUCATE YOURSELF

hey gary, do you list your certs - ie let your emplyers know you are certed? i did - i got a negative reaction. especially from my boos who has no certs.

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Time for a major change

by ckcrowder1 In reply to How do you know when its ...

I was once in the same situation. I was an industrial electrician that did PLC programming and wiring. I started a part time job in the evening to see if I would like IT. I did it first for a few friends and then some small businesses. After I found that I enjoyed the hardware side of IT. I then decided to see what it would take to make it full time. I talk to my Local Chamber of Commerce and they got me in touch with the right organizations to start. It took about a year to get everything rolling. I have enjoyed it for the past 8 years, but even now and again I start to feel the same as before. I think the fun and the spark of the job comes from within. The organizations can change and most certainly do thru time. Wherever we end up I believe we set attitude and altitude of our profession.

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Time to leave...yes it is...for me too!

by IT_dave In reply to How do you know when its ...

I know how you feel. Same issues here...staffing changes, don't really enjoy the job any more...etc. I've been doing IT for 18 yrs (max of 5 yrs at one place) and I'm just tired of it. I'm 100% in it for just the paycheck. I have a 1.25 hr commute one way each day and I just don't know how much longer I can do it.

Problem is, like others, is that I need to collect a paycheck while I search for something else. I just don't know what that something else is yet. Lot's of things I'd like to do, but with our current lifestyle a drastic change is salary would be very hard to manage. All this is very scary.

The lack of motivation at work has overflowed into other aspects of life. I'm finding it hard to get motivated to even look for a new job.

Stuff in a rut

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Hope this helps!

by rjheppler In reply to How do you know when its ...


I work as a job placement specialist for individuals with disabiliyties. A greater challenge than what your faced with. The best advice I could give without knowing where you live and having yor resume is this: I always tell individuals you are doing yourself and the firm you work for a great disservice if you are unhappy. In my own experience I found out being happy at lower pay was a greater reward than the income coming in. I would gladly help more if you would like to contact me and give me that information. Hope to hear from you and I pray this gets you started on the right path.

My email is:

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When and Why is it Time to Leave?

by IT & Telecom Guy In reply to How do you know when its ...

Best advice I can start with, if you haven't already done so, is work on a really good resume. This is not only a must, I find that it helps me feel better about my future prospects. "Turns on the light at the end of the tunnel."
Research where you want to go both physically and mentally. If you don't like your job, maybe it's time for a little more school and a career change.
Another good thing to do is figure out why your so unhappy at work, sometimes you'll find it's not the job that's got you down, it's the ill conceved notion of what the job is to provide. It's NOT supposed to be your life. Find other interests after work to look forward to and appreciate the fact that you have a job that allows you to pursue those interests.

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Changing directions is a good thing

by prohta In reply to How do you know when its ...

I was in your place 9 years ago. I quit my job, then bounced around from one to another until 1998 when I decided to go back to school.
I looked into our local community college to see what they had to offer, completed my AA degree, and now have completed a BS in Technology, so that I can get a Master's of Education in Technical Education to teach in high school everything that I know and will continue learning.
I have learned so much on-the-job and with my education that I have a lot to offer students, especially the practical experience.
I am much happier today. I do not have a lot of money, however, I found out that making $80,000 a year as I was is not all it is cracked up to be. When I do start working full time again, I will not only feel good about going to work everyday, I will also feel good about myself. Now isn't that what is most important??!!??
Good luck in whatever you decide to do. :-)

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