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What should I do with my career?

By itstech ·
I currently have a government job as a Systems Administrator. The pay is decent and I can go for days and weeks without doing any real work. The dilemma is that I am getting a lot of job offers from private firms that are offering more money and with better positions (IT Manager, Hardware Engineer, Software Engineer). I have been weighing the pro and cons and don't know what to do. I can make decent money and do next to nothing. Or I can make more money and have more stress and be overworked. The government job seems very secure and I won't have to worry about losing my job. On the other hand the job with the private firms offer more money and better title, but who knows if the job will be around in a year or two. But with the government job I feel like I will not be able to move up because they do not promote based on performance. I am still relatively young (25) and I feel that I need to be challenged. I feel like I can move up fast with a private firm, but I feel like I would be gambling job security. I have a B.S. in Computer Engineering and the government job is spending a lot of money for training towards Certifications. Right now they are training me for A+, Network+ and Macintosh certifications. And with the next fiscal year they will probably pay for my training for the Microsoft Track...with the Cisco track the following year.

I have no idea what I should do. My goal is to become IT Manager and eventually become vice president, IT. Right now my decision is to stay for five years (when my pension becomes vested) and let them pay for my training to get my MCSE and CCNA. And maybe get my MBA along the way since my work isn't too stressful. What do you guys think I should do?

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Here's a thought

by amcol In reply to What should I do with my ...

Go look at yourself in the mirror, take your head in both your hands, give it a good solid shake, and say out loud "I'M KIDDING MYSELF!".

You're 25, you're obviously perfectly content doing little to nothing on the job all day long, you clearly need an inordinately high degree of job security, you actively avoid stress, you believe government promotions are not based on performance (cue laugh track), you claim to need a challenge (cue second laugh track), you're gleefully and borderline unethically taking a wide variety of government perks (training, early vested pension) without giving much of anything back, and with all that as context your career goal is to eventually make vice president presumably in a private sector firm.

I'm not sure how things are done on your planet, but here on Earth rewards are performance based, hard work is the key to success, and career goal achievement is the result of long years of paying dues. Stress and risk come with the territory.

Your version of reality is about as unreal as it gets. Before you try to figure out what to do with your career, understand how things work in the real world.

Sorry if this sounds brutal or disrespectful...not my intention. I have a son your age and it worries me when young folks think like this.

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been there...done that..and never going back

by Why Me Worry? In reply to Here's a thought

I used to work for a public sector state goverment agency and believe me, it was a very unsatisfying and mundane experience. The people in IT I worked with didn't know anything, they had crackheads working the helpdesk who could not put two words together to make a sentence and slurred their speech, people were promoted on how long they sat on their fat lazy asses and not on performance or merit, and the whole IT equipment procurement and bidding process was an absolute joke. By the time we got the equipment, it was three or four generations behind current technology and was considered obsolete. Another big problem I had working as a Novell Admin in public sector was that whenever others in IT didn't have an explanation for a problem, they blamed me for the cause. Eventually, I got sick and tired of this bullcrap and took a good paying job as a senior systems engineer in a prestigious law firm. After seeing the bullcrap, laziness, incompetence, and arrogance of people in the public sector who come to work to sit on their fat lazy asses and collect a paycheck, I was convinced to never go back to the public sector. Anyone who needs to suck off the government teet needs to take a good look at themselves and question as to why they have no desire to advance and better themselves. Public sector is a starting point, but it should not be a lifelong crutch. Find a good private sector company, do your job well, and you won't have to worry about job security.

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How is my version of reality unreal?

by itstech In reply to Here's a thought


I understand things can be taken out of context through posts, so I am not taking your response as brutal or disrespectful...but I do not understand how my perspective is unreal. I only bring up the topic of Job Security and Stress because the reality is that there is a lot of unemployed people out there and a lot of them are good at what they do.

And how am I unethical? It is not my idea to do minimal work...I am usually the type to take the initiative and do more than expected...but the job limits why I am allowed to do because I work in a union shop. I have even asked for more responsibilities, but my supervisor told me I couldn't due to union issues. If it was up to me I would do more than I do now. I worked for a private firm beforehand and there is definitely a difference. And how am I unethical for taking all these government perks such as training when the bottomline is that my supervisor set aside budget for training and insists that I become certified? Any person in their right mind would jump on training paid for by their employer.

What I was hoping from this post was for some direction? I admit I am still young and have a lot to learn, so I was looking for advice from those that have much more knowledge and have been in IT for years. I really do what to be challenged and I really do want to do what is best.

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Unions...say no more! dump them like a bad rash

by Why Me Worry? In reply to How is my version of real ...

No IT professional I know of needs a union to enforce or protect their job security. Personally, I think unions are for incompetent morons with barely a HS education who need some form of protection against their own stupidity and incompetence. I've seen unionized plumbers, electricians, and people in other trades, but those who are really good frown upon unions because they take responsibility for their own actions. True, in private sector, you would end up getting fired for being incompetent, but anyone with half a brain should take the heat for their own actions. Unions remind me of a bunch of spoiled bratty kids who hide behind mommy when they misbehave because mommy will protect them from the scolding of other parents and adults.

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Re: Unions...say no more! dump them like a bad rash

by itstech In reply to Unions...say no more! du ...

I agree that unions do protect those that are incompetent, but when I bring up Union and job security it is to protect me from future Outsourcing...Our organization is not allowed to outsource our jobs to a private is not because I am incompetent for the job. I am very qualified to do IT work, unlike some of the people I know here...

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I was in a union and an IT professional

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Unions...say no more! du ...

when I had an accident at work, they funded the lwayers and all the legal requirements, got meycompensation and made my employers make the place safer.
They also spent a lot of time talking out of their collective arse as well I must admit.

But unions were invented to protect the workforce from exploitation, I know why 'management' don't like that but I wouldn't like to see them go completely.

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Not go .. back to purpose

by j.lupo In reply to I was in a union and an I ...

I don't want them to go either, just get back to the original reason they formed. To protect workers and make a negotiating body that created collaboration and fairness between employer and employee.

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Political Momentum

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Not go .. back to purpose

You get the bosses at one extreme using your kids as rags to wipe down the machinery. Labour fights back, starts winning, gets drunk on power and closes down their place of work arguing about which brand of tea management should provide at meetings. New businesses get set up, management with lots of clout ...
"Where's that kid of yours I need to clean a white board."
It's called progress.

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Here's how

by amcol In reply to How is my version of real ...

From your original post:

"The pay is decent and I can go for days and weeks without doing any real work"

"I can make decent money and do next to nothing"

"The government job seems very secure and I won't have to worry about losing my job"

"they do not promote based on performance"

The context here is the information you've provided. These are not the statements of someone who shows a strong work ethic or who understands the workplace.

To the ethical question...irrespective of the constraints placed on you in a union environment, which you have more control over than you think, you're not providing value commensurate with your rewards. To me that's an issue of ethics, you may see it differently. You say to-MAY-to, I say to-MAH-to.

You ask for direction. My advice is to first make sure you know yourself. Your comments are like security but crave a challenge, you're comfortable going long periods of time without doing much work but aspire to a high management level. Who are you?

Next piece of, do not walk, away from this job. If you really want a challenge, if you really have a good work ethic, if you really want to achieve career advancement, you are just wasting your time where you are. To echo another poster's comment, it's not about the amount of time you put in, it's about the value you add while there.

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Re: Here's how

by itstech In reply to Here's how

"The pay is decent and I can go for days and weeks without doing any real work"
---I am just stating the facts that these job pays me good money for less work than a private firm. My job beforehand was with a private firm where I was severely underpaid for the work I put in, so I know what value means. But I rather get paid more money for less work than work more for less money.

"I can make decent money and do next to nothing"
---Again this is just facts. This is not my attitude to not work hard. I am a hard worker, but the fact that my job gives me good pay for not much work.

"The government job seems very secure and I won't have to worry about losing my job"
---With security with this job I mean the work is not going to be outsource nor are they going to consolidate positions.

"they do not promote based on performance"
---They do not promote here based on performance...I can work hard here and my performance can go unnotice unlike private firms where they reward those that do more than expected. There is a lot of politics with government jobs, and the best qualified do not get the promotion. There are a lot of people above me that do not deserve their positions.

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