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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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Alternatives and Options.

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

Sir -
I think that many are in your position given the current environment, although this provides little relief. Some have suggested being your own man, working for yourself, quitting your job, etc. While these are great options with varying levels of risk, (stereotyping here) many programmers prefer to be intraverts and simply do not want to work for themselves, nor be placed in a sales type of a situation. They merely want to do their rewarding job, collect their payment, and go home to their family. Sounds like a nice life to me.
Ok now for my $.02. Have you considered taking your IT skills into other departments (depending upon how large of a company you work for) such as IT contract Mgt, Relationship Mgt, Asset Mgt, IT audit, etc. Your expertise and experience would be extremely beneficial and is usually lacking in these other departments. Many times these other functional area are full of business people that really do not have the skills to bridge the technical to the business world. A little experience in the business (audit/CM) department might provide another set of glasses in which you can view and solve problems. This might allow you to feel the rush you're looking for while providing motivation and personal satisfaction. With your IT skills, you would soon become an valuable resource & expert in anyone of these depts.

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I was there--in a completely different field

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

I used to work in law. Got a great paycheck--enjoyed it. Then my job situation changed and I found myself with shaking hands, clenched stomach, and even my children were affected as they got into trouble at school day after day. I got out--and I didn't have anything to go TO. I started "temping" and I found that temp work was so very rewarding--and daunting with I didn't have work. Still, it was an excellent way for me to "try out" different fields of work while remaining with my initial passion--computers. I started working for a non-profit and getting lousy pay--but I was interested in the atmosphere and the work itself...and I was the one who "profited" in the end with the renewed attitude. I am now back in college after 40 years out, my kids are grown and out of school and college, and I make sure I have hobbies and pets AFTER 5 p.m. Taking my focus off my steady job after working hours is a key part of my strategy--and it, too, has made all the difference in my countenance. I have to examine, from time to time, what EXACTLY is the scenario I am having difficulty with; but I wouldn't go back in law for all the money they could pay me. Its just not worth it to my sanity.

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Follow your instincts

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

Life's too short to hate going to work. In 2 years I will have my RN. I'll probably be the oldest RN to graduate from my program.

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Hot Topic

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

I was writing a novel about how I changed my life around a year ago... But I left it out, maybe next post.

For now I'll just say how surprised I am at the number of response to this thread. I thought I'd be writing a reply to one or two, but **** was I wrong. I haven't even got thru them all yet.

There are some different responses to your situation but I think that the better ones are the ones suggesting a change of pace. Even if only part-time, a course can help a lot to get you out of your rut. A change is as good as a break they say.

You really need to get out. From there, who knows. Only you can guide your life and answer your questions about what you want.

There's a lot of good ideas in the posts but the main one, the most important one is that first step. Make the move in any direction as long as it isn't backwards. Although it's a hard one to know which way that is. For you, you said you knew what it is like to be broke & that you didn't like it, well then I guess that's backwards for you. There's no security in changing jobs. The best thing to do to avoid "brokeness" is to find a job while in a job. Even then you might not like it and may want to move again. Then do, don't become stagnant. Find a job while in a job even if you have to do so many times. That way you'll have money coming in and you want be going backwards. You may be going round in circles but not backwards. Thats up to you. I changed company oooh at least 100 times when I was in Security. But I've only changed jobs 3 or 4. I've been lucky to land on my feet with this one. I'm 25, two kids loving partner and a great job. Decent pay could be better but I'm happy here. For now anyway, I may change company many more times but I've found my niche in life. From now my path is to self employment. But I'm on the right track, it took 8 yrs to get here. Left a ?40,000 career to go into computers @ ?17,500. Ain't happiness pricless.....

So I did write a novel, but it was more of a fiction one(speaking of future plans that is).

Presidio, do me one thing? Promise YOURSELF that you will not go stagnant or backwards. Next time you get that feeling that you still love the code, sit back and take 10 to think of why you do..

See y'all.

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The grass is always greener...

by slm1 In reply to How do you know when its ...

As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side, but the water bill is higher too. Don't leave behind a solid job because you think you can find a better one, there is no such thing as a perfect job. The only circumstance that would be safe is if you have another job ready to go. Beware the unforeseen problems...

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RE: So where does one go from here?

by tdwoj08 In reply to How do you know when its ...

Job dissatisfaction is a systemic poison. At first we don't notice or we ignore our suspicions that there could be something better. Saturation comes about subtly but thorougly. The sense of dread, mental wearieness, boredom, physical angst will grow...You may become very bitter and your friends and co-workers will start to avoid you because you spew negativity. Or, you may be "right-sized" out of your job. Worse yet, you may internalize all of this as a reflection of you and lose your confidence in your skills and abilities. Losing confidence, you also lose your motivation. Losing motivation, you also lose your vision to see that there are opportunities right in front of you. Use your current job as a spring board. Take from it all of the training opportunities to prepare yourself for the next thing. When you are ready, or if you are ready to move on, then just do it. No one will ever keep up with technology, but that doesn't mean the effort is wasted or pointless. It sounds like you still have some interest in programming and I would suggest that there are lots of opportunities to nourish that Programming interest by getting involved with open source projects. You can maintain a sense of community, but devote only as much time as your other interests allow. Moving on to something part-time in a completely different arena is not all it is cracked up to be unless you really spend the time to define your life: your likes, dislikes, interests, your financial needs for now and in the future. In other words, if you don't spend time defining your requirements, you will keep experiencing doubt and job wanderlust. Go ahead and jump. But plan as best you can, for your next expedition before you step off that cliff. When you jump the net really does appear, but it's just a net that will hold you in some other place. If you plan first you grow wings when you make that leap and you get to a higher better place. LEAP!

T.

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Respect and Encouragement

by R3D In reply to How do you know when its ...

I am a firm believer in respect and encouragement whne it comes to the managers who are supposed to show these attributes with adept ability towards their team. If you are not getting that kind of respect, it can feel like a nowhere dead-end job.

I don't know if this is the case with you, but I used to work at a place whose acronym could also be used for (I Bet Money) or (I Be Mental). I had about ten different managers in the course of four years and each one was different, but one thing struck me as funny; they attempted to emulate each other. The second line manager would develop a catch phrase and suddenly every manager under him was blurting it out as over used, poorly developed rhetoric. It was so absurd and almost Dilbert worthy of a nuisance.

Granted, some of the managers could actually joke around with you, and you felt a bit of commradery, but you knew there was a line drawn in the dirt that you didn't cross.

Other managers drew the line and let you know where it was and that you were in danger of crossing it even if you had done nothing wrong.

When I was under the better managers I felt better about my job. Things were funner and there was room for relaxation, and in the hard times we would make the extra effort to get the job done, so to speak.

When I was under the more depressing managers, I felt like this was going nowhere and this guy doesn't even care about us. I even heard one of these managers tell my supervisor that "he didn't need to be here and that if he left tomorrow they could replace him with some other monkey"... I mean how much of that could YOU take in your workplace? He took it with a grain of salt and approached Personnel and my supervisor was moved to another city; Talk about unfair.

needless to say, I left shortly thereafter as I did not feel comfortable at that place of business anymore. But I did make sure I had something lined up before I made my move. It's only the smart thing to do, right?

I wish you luck and hope you find a better job you can respect rather than a job that is just dragging you down into a pit of despair...

To cheer you up: How many Dragonball-Z character's does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

only one character, but it will take about 6 episodes, he will have to die, be ressurected, undergo 2 character transformations and find all seven dragonballs.

This is a good one if you are a DBZ fan... lol

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Options fo Leaving

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

Many other advisors have had good suggestions. Have you tried to concentrate on a portion of your duties that interest you? If you have worked with any vendors for your organization, perhaps they would need someone in your area or other companies would be interested in someone with your skills that could work via the net or long distance. One vendor I worked with had two people on different coasts that worked from home except for quarterly or annual meetings... maybe you could stay where you are and with the net or contacts bring a job to you.

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Cut the chains

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

Seems like you have hit a stop point in your life. Many of us would like to have the "perfect" job. In some cases, they do exist, but you have to put out your "feelers" in order to find them.
You mention that there has been changes within your company. Was this an all out change or a gradual one? Most important have you talked with the other staff (ones that haven't been shuffled out) and how they feel about the changes? Also would be a good idea to talk to a recent employee(s) to find out why they left. Has the company remarked about the high turn-overs in staff?
If most of the answers to these questions leave you with a rock in your stomach, then it might be time for a change. Food for thought, have you pondered on the idea of going back and getting educated on the areas you feel you lack in? Most people whether it be a seminar or an educational curb, come back totally "revitalized" and ready to share this with their fellow workers.
My company encourages the staff to "be all they can be". This is posted in our lunch room: MOTIVATION

"Goals are what keep us going. To be continually working is not enough, we must see clearly the next step. To keep moving after achieving one goal, we must set a new one. The key to momentum is always having something to look forward to."

If you need a change, do it! Don't be frightened that you are going to fail, you won't. Just look back at all your accomplishments and you'll know that things will only get better.

Good luck in the choice you make.

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Bang your Head

by Chris029 In reply to How do you know when its ...

When you are tired of banging your head on people who will not listen to you- then come crying about the very subjects you have been trying to enlighten them about. Then it is time to adios. Frustration should not be the mainstay of a technical job maybe a fraction of but not the majority.

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