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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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I work with non-profits.

by admin In reply to Interesting ...

In my experience the downsides:

Less Money
Understaffed
Old equipment
Way low budgets
Lack of Money for education of IT staff
Will put you behind in skill level for competative corporate jobs if you want to go back unless you take it onyourself to keep up without new equipment to work on.

The upsides:

More Freedom\Flexibility
Family Friendly
Generally positive people who want to change the world for the better. Idealism is encouraged.
Lots of new free major vendor software opportunities.
You get to be very creative.
Time is usually given easily for education.
Lower IT expectations\Less pressure.
Hakuna Matata -No Worries- It's All Good :)

Hope that helps. For some people it's awesome doing IT for non-profits, for some it's a nightmare. I've been in it 15 years now, and although I have my days, overall it leaves me feeling good about what I do. Now if only I could afford a new roof ~LoL~ ....but then I do get to play baseball with my kid every day... :)

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Expect very much lower pay -

by JimHM In reply to New environment

I am assuming that when you speak of Non-Profit you are speaking of Charaties? Like the American Red Cross - The Catholic Church - not a Non-Profit corporation say like a Hospital or Colleges.

Charaties are normally very low pay. If you are talking about Non-Profit corporations then get a job at a College and get free education for you and your family. Which is a great benefit (depending on how many kids you have). Expect 15% to 35% below market scale.

I worked for a non-profit corporation and the environment wasnt any different than when I worked for profit corporations. It all was driven by business and to make money. Only difference - for profit make money for the stock holders = keep job.

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True.

by admin In reply to Expect very much lower pa ...

I have seen these. To work for a surplus driven non-profit (In a non-profit they just call profit "surplus")it will usually be a little less money and they will treat you as bad or worse than any corporation. 15% to 35% below is a good figure here. The places not money driven (Like the one I work at) are generally going to pay more like 50% or more below. We start people between $7.00 to $9.50 an hour. We do have good health benefits and have an on site day care etc. A Network Admin might start at $10.00 an hour. IT Director maybe $14.00- $15.00. Most people here will laugh at this, but we find people. Skilled people who are single parents and want to be with their kids, or want to white water raft a lot or ski all winter etc. Some people have money and want to work just to do it- some don't have much but have different priorities in life like being with family a lot. It's a whole different way of life though.

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Make sure it is the right one

by pc123 In reply to New environment

I work at a Small Community Non-Profit organization and have gained several new experiences. Just make sure the nonprofit that you?re working for, is suitable for you and makes you happy. You don?t want to go to an organization which is the same as your previous job.

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time to take a good look at you

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

How terrible it must be for you. I couldn't even imagine. If it's really that bad, you need to re-evaluate and move on. Money is not the means to life. I'd rather be broke & unemployed than suffer the way you are.

Move on my friend.......

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"Broke and unemployed" really sucks

by DC_GUY In reply to time to take a good look ...

I doubt that you've ever actually been "broke and unemployed" for a long spell. You almost never hear that statement from someone who's had the experience.

It's Maslow's Hierarchy. If you have a job that's driving you crazy, you're somewhere up on Step Four or Five, fretting over self-actualization. When you have no job and no money, you're down on Step One: survival.

Unless your job puts you in physical or medical danger, or involves the perpetration of evil deeds, any job is better than no job, by definition. No one who is not mentally ill dies of starvation in America, but living on the street, even with a full belly in a mild climate, will come pretty close to killing you and actually does so in many cases.

As for all the people suggesting that you just start at the bottom in another career, that's fine if you're 25. If you're 55, like a huge segment of America's "downsized" workers, you've got a mortgage, a kid or two still in college, and only fifteen years left to accumulate enough capital to retire. An entry level job will not salvage your life.

And for the gung-ho contingent who maintains that every single one of us has what it takes to go out and become self-employed? As Denis Leary would say, I've got two words for you. And the first one is "bull."

That is not just an epithet, but a rejoinder. It takes a lot of "bull" to be a good salesman, it takes a good salesman to sell himself, and you have to be able to sell yourself if you expect to make it in the world of the self-employed.

Many of us have spent our whole lives striving to rid ourselves of "bull" so that we can live up to our own standards and be someone we'd like to know. The personality required to be self-employed has many traits that we despise.

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Yes it does

by Presidio In reply to "Broke and unemployed" re ...

"Broke and unemployed" really does suck! I have been there and remember it all too well. That is another reason why I haven't left yet.

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try this

by ralton In reply to Yes it does

There is a book you really ought to read! It's called, aplty enough, "What Should I Do With My Life?" by Po Bronson. I have been struggling with the big question lately myself and just finished the book. It's not an answer to your questions, but should cause you to start asking the right questions. I've been in my job for 6 years as a pc tech, telephone systems tech, cable runner, fiber installer, router setter-upper and been passed up for a network admin job twice now, which made me sort of depressed and coming to work here everyday feels like torture. I figured out what I really wanted out of life and I start my Le Cordon Bleu program (culinary arts) in a few weeks. I'll be able to do this at night for 1 year and still keep a roof over my head. Just making the decision made it a little easier to come to work again, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me and things are back in the proper perspective. Good luck to you! I hope you find what you're looking for!

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keep your job AND try new stuff too

by anne.powel In reply to Yes it does

Since you seemed interested in the not-for-profit idea above, can you ask your current employer to cut your time to, perhaps, 3/4? Then you could teach at a community college or work with Habitat or a group interested in the things you like for the other time and find out if that would help your attitude.
And sometimes just not having to be there the entire time will, of itself, help an attitude.
Good luck

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not so

by lwilliam In reply to "Broke and unemployed" re ...

Don't throw all self-employed people into the same basket. I worked in sales for 7 years and didn't have to "bull___" anyone. There is a balance between logical thinking, security, getting a J.O.B. and being self employed, "freedom", "your own boss". What I suggest is taking an entrepreneur course through your local chamber of commerce or SCORE group and seeing the real picture before you jump in with both feet. I am looking at leaving my present position because I have been here 5 years and am burnt out, have nowhere to move up and hate all the hipocrisy. The fact that all this bothers me makes me feel like I may not be suited to work for someone else all my life. I have people who work with me who are happy as a clam coming in , putting in their 8 hours and going home....day after day....week after week....month after month..etc....etc.... I have seen these type of people in every job i've been in. The people who long for more are the one's that should at least look into self-employment BUT go into it with both eye's wide open.

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