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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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by Oz_Media In reply to True - But

You started to have a valid point but then removed all crdibility from yourself and your post by getting into a slam on Canadian politics.

Well if he was American and came here to find work, he'd have one **** of a hard time getting welfare, it's not a easy as you may think.

There IS a tonne of work to be had though.

My question is, how can someone be unemployed if they want to work?

I have never met someone here who sincerely wanted to work and couldn't.

My point is, you don't have to be IN IT in rder to advance yourself in the world. If IT sucks, get a trade and do something else, if THAT sucks then go do something else. Why do people pigeonhole themselves by thinking they have one choice once they've been to school and got some certs? I've been successful in sales, management, training, automotive, machining, welding (big coin!), several personal businesses etc. I do what I feel like doing, not what I feel I have no choice but to do. It is something I learned from my father who was certified in MANY trades and had a successful sales career ran a great business and many other things, he did what his thoughts lead him to do when he wanted to do something. I see so many people nowdays that will stick somewhere thay HATE for lack of being motivated enough to change thier own destiny. Whatever happened to being in a capitalist country that allows you the freedom to succeed at what YOU choose to do, I can in Canada? Are you changing your spots again Jim?

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Its that simple in the US

by JimHM In reply to Well

True again - He can as I have done (after being laid off) a WallMart Employee (if they have them in Canada) - a Paramedic - and a Wheelchair Van Driver at the same time. To put food, roof and clothing on the family. Wasn't easy - wasn't fun - 60 to 90 hour weeks... no time for anything but work - didn't kill me - did make me stronger -

All I am saying is - that if its that bad he could depart today, but better have something to fall back on finanically speaking - or he will be on Welfare living off someone elses paycheck (Mine if in the USA)..

So why not stay - until he finds something to jump to, or finishes retraining and jumps. (maybe the company even has an education refund program)

There are jobs out there if someone wants to work (thats whats so bad about welfare - there are jobs if someone wants one)- they're not highest paid - no real benefits - but there are jobs.

It's a matter of choice - its not just toss in the towel and up and quite - and figure something out for the family later.

In the US - Illegal's can get welfare (A Canadian can get it) - food stamps - so its that simple - I am sure Canada's has to be somewhat that simple as well.

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Working/Welfare/Employment Insurance

by JamesRL In reply to Its that simple in the US

Not as simple as you might think.

I was laid off in 2002, with a fairly hefty severance.

I tried hard to get a lower level position, but as I had been a manager, no one wanted to hire me to do a lesser job - they didn't think I'd fit, or if the economy picked up that I would stay. I lived off my severance. I did investigate other options - I applied to work at a place than needed someone to do simple desktop publishing(did complex DTP in the 80s), looked at forklift training etc.

The market was very bad. Some of the best managers I'd ever worked with were laid off from places like Nortel.

I did eventually get some contract work as a business analyst. I only collected a few weeks unemployment before I finally landed a permanent job. I make less, and work just as hard, but I am more grateful to be working.

EI is actually somewhat useless in Canada, the caps are really low(could cover my mortgage, and my mortgage is actually very low, lower than most rents). There are tight time limits. All of this despite the fact that we all contribute to EI in the form of a payroll tax and there is a huge surplus which the government has seen fit to use for other things.

I've never collected welfare, but I know that you can be kicked off welfare, and although refugees can collect, there are all kinds of conditions. If you are in a major centre, welfare will only be enough for the most basic existance. Welfare rules are provincial, so it changes from province to province.

Luckily I found something before my savings were totally depleted.


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Canadian EH

by LittleOne In reply to True - But

Hey, I am in Canada, and guess whast, it is not filled with people on welfare, but with hard working people who have the same career issues..
I say, when your health and well-being starts to suffer, start looking.
I agree you should not quit until you do, regardless of the apparent glamour of just walking away and, having a FU Pay Me attitude, we are ultimately still responsible for families, and other commitments and should be aware of these.
There is a lot of work out there, you need to be confident enough to start finding it.....and regain your pleasure in life.

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Watch out-You may get what you wish for...

by MadDogDBA In reply to When I feel like it or am ...

I was at a job where I was over-worked, underpaid and under appreciated. I left for another job, with a hugh pay hike, but no longer doing the system stuff that I been earning my keep with for 20 years. And now, for the first time in my woeking life, I am MISERABLE.

So now, I force myself to go to work, I continuously complain and have alienated friends and family. Now, if I leave this area, I can have a new job tomorrow, but there are better reasons (than a job) to stay.

The solution? I am looking for something more like my old job and I will take my time and be fussy about. I am also taking classes and do free-lancing jobs to keep my resume fresh and truthful. It's only a matter of time.

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Yes but. . . .

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

You might simply have reached the point in your life where you're not interested in sloughing around in the details any more. Perhaps you've matured and you want to look at the big picture and make a difference at that level.

I was a hands-on coder for about ten years and I just got tired of it. But I still liked IT and I got into management, then staff work and training. I was responsible for some major changes at the place I worked, such as implementing data security and teaching people how relational databases work. I was even the guy who started screaming about Y2K in 1988 so that the place (one of the world's largest IT shops) was completely remediated by 1998 without consultants, overtime, or triage!

As an analogy, forty years ago I really enjoyed taking carburetors apart and making them work better. Now I just want a car that does what it is supposed to do so I can concentrate on making the whole world work better.

IT is a great field, and it's taking over the world. It's hard to imagine that there isn't some major, important, exciting, challenging part of it that doesn't suit you. After all, wherever you go and whatever you do, you'll still have to be an IT expert to keep your blasted workstation running, unless you wind up in an ad agency or one of the other rare Mac shops.

It's very likely, especially from what you've said, that the place you work is bothering you more than the work itself. This could be true even if your heart really isn't in IT any more. You can get a job in another profession and still end up at a company that drives you nuts.

The encouragement you're getting from these other people to "follow your bliss" is good. But it's also good to hear from people who have tried it. It doesn't always work out. I've spent the last ten years regretting the fact that I walked away from a job that drove me nuts.

I had no idea what "nuts" is. There's abject I-can't-pay-the-mortgage-again poverty. There's having to live in a region so strange that you think you've been exiled to the Klingon homeworld. There's just getting to like a job and being laid off -- two or three times in a row. There's being discriminated against for something that people at the old place never even thought about. There's living with weather that makes you feel sick and slimy all the time. There's having to travel constantly in the Homeland Security Era.

The grass is not always greener. And sometimes what you've got is really the best there is.

If you get home from work feeling that amazingly bad, I wouldn't be surprised if there is more than one thing bothering you. Perhaps you should try to identify some additional stressors in your life and put them all in perspective, then work on the one(s) that offer the greatest potential for overall improvement. It might turn out that something else is bothering you more than the job, but you have a mental or emotional block about dealing with it. Family, love life, religion, friendships. Heck, some people are really bummed out over the state of the world today, can you believe that.

I'll close with my standard advice. If you don't have a dog, get one. If you do, spend more time with him/her. There's nothing on earth that can improve your life as much and as easily as a dog. There's a reason that humans began living with dogs before they even learned to live with other tribes of humans!

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New environment

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

Have you considered working for a Non for Profit organization. There are many opportunities even in a small community and the work is more rewarding.

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Interesting ...

by Presidio In reply to New environment

A Non Profit ... that caught my attention.

EVERY type of business has issues, but maybe it would be different enough.

Are you speaking from experience?

How does one search for a job in the Non Profit sector?

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The non-profit world....

by mlayton In reply to Interesting ...

Just adding my 2 cents - if you are looking for something that will motivate you and you can take the pay cut (the non-profits I have worked in will pay less than corporate, but occasionally have good benefits such as educational reimbursement) then working to better the world is a very motivating thing - if it is a cause you believe in. Generally, the other people there are motivated by the same cause, which makes it nice. The way to look for a job there is find the ones in your area that would interest you, and either look on their website or call them. If you want to check out the atmosphere before employment, consider volunteering your services for a project, which will give you a feel for the people and the work environment - and if they like you too, an in if you decide to apply for a job. Generally, if you call them and say "I have experience in XYZ and was wondering if I could assist with a project you may have - can I send my CV" they will be too happy to review and put you to work. Non-profits by their nature depend on donations for upgrade in technology, and I have found they are constantly upgrading or rolling out new (to them) stuff - although it isn't cutting edge... hope this helps. Good luck.

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If you get a kick out of helping people

by p.chandler In reply to Interesting ...

I was in your situation 2 years ago and joined a publicly-funded project to help SMEs (small businesses) to grow by providing them with support based on my experience. The job pays only about 70% of what I used to earn but virtually every day is FUN. The SMEs treat me as their guru for all sorts of problems and include me in their planning for new opportunities. It's like having all the satisfatcion of running your own small business but with very few of the risks. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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