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  • #2259291

    Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

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    by jeffreygentry ·

    I find myself in very unfamiliar territory, however I am hoping to find some insight or direction from the good people here.

    Currently, I work in sales for a label (stickers) company. There are no complaints to be had as labels are in great demand in numerous industries. The location is great, the pay is great and the hours are great; all of which are key factors when you are ?attempting? to provide for a family in this economy. The only exception being that I am extremely unenthusiastic about the work I do. When you close a big deal ? you get a solid pat on the back and then its right back to the exhaustive process of uncovering the next big deal. What little satisfaction there is to be had is very short lived.

    However two weeks ago, I found my self more excited and more preoccupied with my job than I ever had. I was making a spreadsheet. The basic function of the spreadsheet was to compare costs of one label material over another, but numerous factors that were involved in this comparison made the actual numbers very hard to arrive at. I found myself thinking about the process to get from point A to point B non stop. In the car, at dinner, over lunch; I actually put myself to sleep that night considering the possibilities of how, through this simple spreadsheet, I could derive the numbers I was seeking. When my project finally came to fruition, I gained a sense of satisfaction that to date remains undiminished.

    If I look back, I can recall similar instances in my ?youth? (I?m 29 going on 30) where I still hold pride in some seemingly mundane function. This ranged from programming my TI-85 calculator in 9th grade to run a short animated game to scrutinizing my PC?s every process. Not because I needed to, but because I could.

    My reasons for never pursuing the IT field are numerous, but I?ve reached a point where I?m looking to satisfy not only my families needs but my own as well. And I?m inclined to believe that perhaps my talents and enthusiasm are being flushed down the proverbial drain.

    My questions to all of you who have endured reading this far: Where do I go from here? I laugh as I type, but does anyone enjoy a well thought out spreadsheet as much as I do? What kind of career can I pursue? Or what kind of education should I look at?

    Any thoughts or comments will be gladly accepted.

    -Jeff

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    • #3229870

      Reality

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I have been a jack of all trades, literally just about asnythig. I am a licenced mechanic, 2nd yr machinist, have run a cartage company, have traveled with rock bands, managed rock bands (still do for a couple), sold and marketed worldwide etc. During this time I have been in and out of sales all my life and have sold just about everything into dozens of completely different markets.

      now that’s not to blow my bubble but to show you that we all go through changes and don’t have to feel lumped into one or two career paths for life, as WE change, so do our desires and career path.

      As for sales, you just described the sales job to a tee, close the deal, reap your rewards and back at it next month, even starting from scratch if you don’t know how to manage a sales funnel properly. If you use a well designed funnel, after four or five months, the business is there every month and you aren’t usually digging from eth bottom again, though it can happen durign slower times. Do I understand the label industry? Probably more than I could even begin to explain.

      If you are a salesman, a good salesman that is. You will ALWAYS be a salesman, a good salesman that is.

      In every industry I have worked, including IT where I obtained an MCNE and became a SEO specialist, sales will always be your strongest skill. IN IT it makes it so easy to pass people by and get ahead with teh company, but you will find that RUT you find in sales FAR quicker in IT than ou ever will in sales. In IT, once that RUT is there, it’s there permantently, not just until the next big deal.

      I’ve managed a coporation’s IT department and have also worked as a consultant/contractor for a few companies, it’s the same crap. I enjoyed learnign everything, and experimenting with things, fixing tthings, being the company’s go to guy to solve everyone’s problems but it gets to be as mundane as a telemarketing job selling circus tickets to old folks homes.

      Spread your wings and eexplore, but as you said you have a family, the grass is not greener on the other side, just different grass. After a while it’s all just green again.

      Sales offer SO many more opportunities, if you can sell, you can sell for anyone, anywhere, why not just explore opportunities where you can make some really good money in sales. There’s no really good money in IT anymore, not for someone new anyway. the people you will work and deal with will seem so dry as you come from a diferent background.

      Now if you are really an IT guy and not a sales person, if that’s just where you ended up then so be it, but for the most part you will get farther and make more in sales than any IT career I’ve seen.

      • #3229828

        Never did like Reality

        by jeffreygentry ·

        In reply to Reality

        I obviously posted to the right place. You make several good points Oz. Perhaps a switch in vocation is not the right answer, but a switch in industry might give me what I am looking for.

        I like your spin on the over used “The grass is always greener on the other side.” I should not discount its simple wisdom.

        In sales, I do like the ability to work with the customers to develop a product that is cost effective and one that works for them. I can easily see this translating to other fields.

        Thanks for the Reality OZ
        -Jeff

        • #3283949

          Remember, variety is the spice of life

          by marya123 ·

          In reply to Never did like Reality

          My past occupations include various positions at a veneer mill, rafter builder, finish construction work, educator and various volunteer positions. The occupation I lasted the longest at was office manager for various temperature control firms. That included the opportunity to spend time in the warehouse, sales (commercial and industrial clients, creating and using spreadsheets (budgeting, forecasting, invoicing, inventory),learning to program computers, being network administrator, etc. I took a course for Access programming and found it very exciting! This job never got old-always new and interesting challenges. At my current job, I find myself always questioning – why is that not on a spreadsheet or database? They are such useful, and easily reusable, tools. I’m too used to running things for efficiency and making a profit.Sounds like you might look for the same sort of work. Being in sales, you could probably also do well in a supervisory role (comes with the territory). Best wished in new ventures!

    • #3229865

      There is a world of possibilities

      by ed woychowsky ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      There are a number of possibilities that depend on what interests you and how far you want to go. Whenever presented with the desire to learn something new I usually find a book or an article on the subject and immerse myself in it. I?ll play with the examples and try to extend them before striking out on my own. This method works for me, but some people prefer classes on new subjects at the local community college, I?ve taken a couple classes myself at NCC in Bethlehem Pennsylvania.

      The biggest problem is one of expense, a class will cost around $400 and a book will cost around $40. Next are the development tools, if you go the shrink-wrapped routine the tools could run into the thousands. Fortunately there is an option, open source. There are open source development environments, databases, XML editors, operating systems and even books. The following are some web sites where you?ll find further information:

      (C++) http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html
      (PHP) http://devphp.sourceforge.net/
      (Database) http://mysql.com/
      (XML) http://butterflyxml.com/
      (OS) http://www.linux.org/
      (Books) http://www.phptr.com/promotions/promotion.asp?promo=1484&redir=1&rl=1
      (Browser) http://www.mozilla.org/

      There are a lot more than the list above, you should look on SourceForge regularly to see if there is anything that strikes you interest. Also, Builder.com has a number how-to articles which might be of interest. If all else fails post here or e-mail me, ewoychowsky(at)yahoo.com, I?m pretty good with the odd stuff like AJAX, XSL, C# and JavaScript. Hope this helps.

      • #3229817

        Small World

        by jeffreygentry ·

        In reply to There is a world of possibilities

        Ed,

        Funny that you mention classes or surfing through the web to gain a little extra knowledge. I actually went to the library and checked out a C++ book to see if I could do anything with it. As it turns out, by they time I sit down for dinner, clean up, play with the kids and then put them down…I’m a Zombie with no interests other than to wipe the drool off my own chin!

        I know thats no excuse – if its something I really want, I’ll have to make the time for it. But I will check out the sites and maybe just doing some fun stuff on the side for myself will satisfy my urge to use my brain.

        As for the title of my reply, “small world”. Here’s a shout out to you from the Poconos!.

        Thank for the links, as I will certainly be checking them out.

        –Jeff

    • #3229851

      How about from Political science to IT

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I actually didn’t take one of the few courses offered in high school in computers – it was brand new and they had one Commodore PET for the whole school.

      I used computers in University to do statistical analysis in political science. I discovered I was good at it, and took a programming course. My political career hit a dead end, and I started off in marketing at a computer company.

      The best advice on the subject I’ve heard is find what you love and do it. If thats programming great. There isn’t much call for spreadsheet programmers anymore, but the programming field is huge. Investigate and explore and see what you like.

      James

      • #3229812

        The grass is always greener…?

        by jeffreygentry ·

        In reply to How about from Political science to IT

        Thanks for the reply James,

        I think I am taking OZ’s remarks to heart and will certainly give this one more thought. But you are right, in that I need to Investigate this and see what is available.

        I’m glad to hear that a situation like my own worked out well for you.

        –Jeff

    • #3229837

      What are your dreams?

      by scott365 ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I’m at the same point in life Jeff. I’m about the same age and trying to decide where to go from here. I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum though.

      I’ve been in IT for almost 9 years now. The main thing I love about IT is the fact my brain doesn’t stagnate. It’s an ever changing industry and most of the people I’ve worked with in IT are real and somewhat honest. I love my job in many other ways, but I’ve worked along side sales staff in past jobs (sales engineering) enough to know I could be making a heck of a lot more money through commissions. Don’t get me wrong… I’m paid fairly for my job but I also know my personality and skills could suit me a good bit better monetarily in other positions or industries.

      So, at the end of the day I’ve gotta take care of my family. As long as I can provide well for the family and am happy with myself, that should be all that matters, right? Course, a man I deeply respect once said “I’m 60 years old and haven’t figured out what I want to do in life.” By the way, he was, and still is, very successfull in life and very high on the corporate ladder of his globally recognized company.

      Since we’re both young, maybe we’re just approaching the point many guys come to in life. Maybe we all wonder what the next step should be. Maybe most men stop asking this question after the age of 40 cause they’re happy to be alive. Who knows?!? Just know you’re not alone.

      • #3229822

        brain activity…..Good!

        by jeffreygentry ·

        In reply to What are your dreams?

        Scott-

        I think thats what I like best about the possiblities of the IT field. I really enjoy using my brain and seeing the results of that process!

        I’m still laughing about the 40 and alive remark, in fact I think I’ll even try it out on a few people around here.

        Thanks for the reply and adding some levity to my pre-mid life crisis 🙂

        -Jeff

    • #3229833

      To be honest:

      by phillipd ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      You’ve got to do what you want to do. If you feel that you are suited for an IT job – by all means, go for it. Measure out the pros and cons for yourself and in the end, do what you think you’d be happiest doing.

      • #3229809

        It sounds nice

        by jeffreygentry ·

        In reply to To be honest:

        That always sounds nice,

        Be true to yourself, do what you want to do. I like images it makes me conjure up. But this is no easy task. As you mention, there are pro’s and con’s that I will need to pay attention to but appreciate the support Phillip.
        –Jeff

    • #3229774

      Ther’es a lot of work

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      particularly with excel macros and office automation. Whether theres a lot of money is another question entirely.

      However you have a massive advantage and that’s your experience in sales.
      The biggest bullet they tend to fire at techs is we don’t know how business works, far from true in many cases, but a charge that can’t be leveled at you.

      If you want to give it a go. I’d recommend MS’s certs and then setting up a consultancy (you could build it up on the side maybe).

      You sell labels to businesses, businessmen like spreadsheets, that’s a substantial step straight into money.

      • #3229717

        Good Idea!

        by jeffreygentry ·

        In reply to Ther’es a lot of work

        Excellent Idea Tony.

        While my neck of the woods is small, it is growing very rapidly. I often hear that the only people available with these certs are charging a bundle because they have to drive so far to get here.

        Thanks

        -Jeff

    • #3229750

      Been there–seen that

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I spent six years working in pre-press for a label company, so can speak from some experience. Try out computer graphics, designing and proofing labels. The latest trend in labels are the small folded types that are attached to items for instant refunds at the point of sale. I ran the night shift (4 days a week, 10 hour days) pre-press. I burned FLEXO plates, which involved proofing and checking the art work generated and appropriate negatives for rotary photo-polymer plates, selected the dies and mounted the plates to go to press. The most important part was the proofing, as if the negatives weren’t right, the rest was junk. I saw many people pass thru the art department who didn’t know their butts from a hole in the ground. The manipulation of photo shop and art generating programs may be right up your alley. It can be very rewarding and real pride can be taken in a finished product.

      • #3229719

        A lot of work in prepress

        by jeffreygentry ·

        In reply to Been there–seen that

        We could certainly use someone like you! Prepress is always a struggle in our operation as the trapping is always done to much, or to little which as i’m sure you know results in tremendous down time for the press. I have thought about trying my hand with the grapic arts, but I think in order to really excel at it, you should probably have some artistic talent. I’m afraid to say that I am severely lacking in that department.

        That said, I think if I had any of that talent I could see how that might be a rewarding area.
        Thanks for the input mjd

    • #3201770

      Become the technical person for sales

      by grant@rb ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      When you finish the spreadsheet, show it to your colleagues. If they find it useful, see if there are other technical ways you can help out. If your other solutions work out, talk to your boss and see if you can do more of the technical stuff. Justify it by showing how much time your spreadsheet saves. If the boss says yes, great! You get to do fun stuff and keep your normal job. If the boss frowns, you might want to talk to someone higher up the food chain who will appreciate your productivity. If that person does not exist, you may want to look for an environment that better suits your talents.

      At my company, one of the salesguys is very technical. He understands both sales and computers. We enlist his help for the databases and to improve workflow.

      • #3201722

        Success….sort of.

        by jeffreygentry ·

        In reply to Become the technical person for sales

        I actually did as you suggested. Others in sales found it could be a helpfull tool when gaining new business, but the boss (and yes he is as high as I can go)preferered vague numbers and generalizations (“You could save 50%!”) as apposed to concrete #’s on an individual customer by customer basis.

        I hate to pry, but if your technical salesperson doesn’t mind, please give him my e-mail address. I would like to ask him a few question about his role in the company and how he got there.

        Thanks – jeffreygentry@hotmail.com

        • #3231015

          Couple of ideas

          by cuteelf ·

          In reply to Success….sort of.

          Take a month off from work (paid if possible) and take a course in programming.

          Go find a mentor somewhere (here?) about automation/ programming/statistics and think about bridging that and sales.

          Sit down with someone highly paid from your state’s labor department (the ones who help people find jobs). Sit down, explain your situation, and let them see if they can figure out a way to do it. *they get paid for it!*

          Talk to your boss. Explain, You love job X. You are interested in combining Job X with Job Q. State you dont want to leave. You want to expand, not just do this. Can boss help? A good one will. A bad one would worry.

          These are just ideas from a noob in the Arctic.

          PS.
          If you want to do something: you CHOOSE to do it, you CHOOSE your time.

          Good Luck.

          CuteElf

    • #3230881

      Just wing it

      by tink! ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I’m just swinging through, no time to read the other’s replies. Just wanted to say you sound alot like me…programming your calculator with games. 🙂

      Being female there might be some differences in how we are approached with tasks, but I never pursued the IT field either. I sort of fell into it.

      During high school I worked temp office jobs. After high school I worked as copy clerk, errand clerk, filing (legal pleadings) clerk, assistant bookkeeper and administrative assistant.

      Within all these jobs I learned how to fix most office appliances, printers and computer problems as well as how to program macros and other small program batches on my own. This being due to my own curiousity and relentlessness. If there’s a problem, I just [b]have[/b] to know how to fix it. And my motto is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” as in “There’s always a way around it”

      As an administrative assistant I was able to show off my self-learned skills and because of that was eventually placed as the office IT person. As the Admin. Asst./IT person I was able to learn more about IT and eventually “graduated” to be an IT department (like I am now).

      So, it comes down to how aggressively do you want to pursue this type of career. If you are so-so about it (you love spreadsheets, functions and things like that, but perhaps no so into networking and hardware), perhaps you should stay in sales and learn IT things on your own. If you learn enough and are able to display your skills within your workplace you may eventually end up in IT.

      If you [i]really[/i] want to get into IT quickly you may want to consider certifications. The other TR people here will advise you on which ones. Perhaps even check to see if your workplace will offer paid or reimbursed training.

      Either way, good luck and remember to have fun!

    • #3199827

      You sound like a programmer!

      by bork blatt ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      Based on your description of what you enjoyed about this experience (analysing the problem, coming up with different possible solutions, implementing the solution, seeing the new solution “born”) I would say that you would enjoy programming / system analysis.

      What you would probably like is not just being given a set of steps and told to code them, but analysing a problem and designing the solution, as well as implementing it.

      This is probably what I enjoy most about my job. There are other aspects too, like meeting with clients, creating proposals and quotes, and the admin side, which I don’t like as much, but the satisfaction of seeing the finished product in use by many companies is worth the “pain” – although being in sales, you may actually enjoy the interaction with people as much as the programming.

      Steps I suggest – Investigate before you act. You can develop a full database program for a small company using only MS Access, included with MS Office professional. Ask some friends if they need a system for their small company, or to manage something. Try doing it in Access for them.

      This is the quickest (and I think cheapest) way to discover if this is what you would actually enjoy by getting your feet wet. Many people study programming thinking they will enjoy it, but when they actually try it they are frustrated and find it is not what they thought it would be.

      So in conclusion I would suggest experimenting before giving up your day job, and who knows, in your current company there might be more projects of this nature you could offer to do, and gradually “shift” into another role!

      Hope you find a job that maximises use of your talents.

    • #3199824

      Combine your skills and GO4IT!

      by janta27 ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I think the power of any individual is in combining what skills he/she has with some internal desire and passion.
      There’s an awful lot of unprofessional Excel work going on at every company. Call it the hidden do-it-yourself IT dept.
      So you might look for developing your Excel skills to reach a professional level and then, rather than go into IT, go to support Financial and other people struggling with lot’s of badly integrated spreadsheets.
      Start by looking at http://www.exceluser.com to better understand what I mean.

      Lots of success!!

      JanTr

    • #3199821

      From IT to Sales

      by tkagin ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      Wow. This is very interesting. I’m 29 going on 30 and have a family too, and I’ve been in IT for 10 years. Interestingly, I’ve gotten to a point (this last month) where I’m trying to move into technical sales. For the last several years, I’ve realized that the fullfilling projects that people think are everywhere in IT, just take forever to happen and by the time they do happen, the technology is practically ancient. More often than not IT projects just turn into paper drills, centered around policy and documentation. Unless you’re very good and respected in your particular niche in IT, I could almost guarantee you’ll make more in sales, and have the flexibility to sell in different industries. I think your best bet is to stay in sales, but keep supplementing your existing skill sets with more technical skills. Technical skills will have a lot of value in many fields, especially sales, as you’ve found out with your latest spreadsheet project. The more you can automate, the more you’ll end up getting done, which will just make you better at your current job.

    • #3199819

      Changing direction

      by sluice ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      Jeffrey,
      I went through the same process at age 40, 20 years ago. I was in computer and peripheral sales and not very good at it. With the support of my wife and kids, I went through a government sponsored training scheme for 3 months to learn Cobol programming and Systems Analysis. Cobol I hated, SA was really interesting. I then got a job in PC Support with a national insurance company at about 1/3 of my previous salary and loved it. I progressed up the ladder to become a senior support engineer and 10 years ago launched out as an independent contractor supporting servers, PCs and systems generally. It was well worth it financially and I have now paid off my mortgage. You may be inclined to take that route, or possibly programming may be your bag. Don’t be afraid to launch out into something new, but do get the support of your family. Things may be tight, but if it feels right, you will be rewarded.

    • #3199790

      Using Excel

      by g8hav ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      Hi
      I moved from teaching Mathematics (which I enjoyed) to Research assistant at University developing and testing SAT math questions. when the data was collected I was using worksheets with 4 million active cells (all the columns were in use).
      Applying umpteen functions to rows and columns to sort, correlate and display results is about as good as it gets with spreadsheets. I still am using spreadsheets (I am now retired) to process PAYE calculations for a company.
      Go For It

    • #3199789

      Young as you feel

      by biker_joe ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I too am a jack of all trades. Started life on a farm and sawmill work. Was a mechanic for construction and special equipment, fire trucks. Now I’m in IT and have been for 32 years (before it was called IT) main frames, mini’s, PC’s. Don’t tell my boss, but I would do this Job for half pay, well maybe three quarters. Every day it is something different. I’ll be 64 in a couple of weeks and I’m still learning.

    • #3199697

      Jeffrey don’t dispare…

      by webjunkie1996 ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I too was in your shoes. I had a rageing sales carreer and had medium experineces in the IT field. Then I decided at night I could persue my degree online. I am currently in my 3rd Quarter of ecollege and at the top of my class. I am not posting this for praise, but rather as an insight for you. I go here http://www.kaplan.edu . This university is huge with its main Campus in IA.

      I’ve already taken Database Managment, where you learn to make macros that run spreadsheets and controls in a switchboard. Its just too cool.

      IT is growing fast and according to the news and research in the area by 2019 society will be needing to hight an estimated 190,000 employees with IT backgrounds! Imagine you being in a top seat being able to program spreadsheets for a Major company! It’s all do able, just search around a bit for what you need.

      If you need money for school go here http://www.FSFSA.com Pell grants are worth $4,000-$6,000 depending on your school and what you take. Free money for school!

      Good Luck!

    • #3199614

      Business analyst?

      by mapple ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      my 2 cents = What you describe sounds like what many types of business analysts do…I have been in sales for over 12 years and really need the poeple who take the situations presented by the business and analyize them in various ways…this may satisfy your interest in how business gets things done and give you access to dissecting the business in many other ways…

    • #3199570

      Geek Gene

      by trambo ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      Jeff,

      Sounds like you have the geek gene…and that’s not a bad thing! I wasn’t able to read all the replies to your post, so I hope this isn’t redundant, but I feel obligated to encourage you. I did read one about if you’re good at sales you should just stay put…yadda, yadda, yadda. If it were all about money, I would agree, however, this seems to be about job satisfaction. You sound very much like me when you were a young man. You like to know how things work and you like to make things work. You want to work with your brain, but you want to create something, as well, in your own way with your own unique talents. I could be wrong, but the way you described being caught up with developing the spreadsheet and the other things you mentioned, I feel certain you have what it takes: curiosoity, motivation, self-actualization, logic, intelligence, love of things technical, etc.

      So, here’s my advice: pursue your dream. Start with maybe building yourself a new PC and setting up a home network. It’s a steep learning curve to get where you need to be to make comparable bucks. You need some hands-on experience with both software and hardware. Develop a family website. Learn how to do some coding in HTML (actually very easy,) some scripting, some media stuff. Have fun and keep it fun. Read, read, read. Anything that catches your interest in the IT field. Experiment and play. Satisfy your inate talent using this strategy for a year or two, continuing to make the big sales bucks. If you keep this up and it continues to hold your interest, you’ll know after a year or two what your path should be. Are you a hardware guy, an integrator, a software developer, a troubleshooter, an analyst who looks at business processes or some other specialist? In this business you usually have to specialize and be above average at what you do to have a lucrative career.

      Once you know what you want to do, you really need to get some education. Just some certs and training for what you’re going to specialize in. I know this sounds like a long haul, but if you really want it and love it, you can make a career change in a couple of years. If not you’ll make yourself more valuable with your PC skills and understanding. You’ll probably also have a bitchen’ network at home that the whole family can use! (^:

      Lastly, I’m going to suggest a couple of areas that make sense given your background. Web development makes absolute sense given you’re marketing background. A position where you are the laison between IT and Management would flex your sales ability, too. It’s going to depend on what you’re good at and whether that “geek gene” is dominant or recessive. Keep in mind the more technical the job, the steeper and longer the learning curve. Maybe you stay in the Sales Department, but you’re their technical Wiz Kid and you continue to develop spreadsheets, marketing analysis tools, reports and get people using cool little devices like laptops, PDA’s, network-enabled cell phones, whatever.

      Always follow your dreams and your heart. Life is too short to spend most of it in a job that doesn’t make you happy.

      Good Luck!

    • #3283793

      Go for IT! I’m happy that I did.

      by tboarman ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      Your situation sounds nearly exactly like mine… I’m currently 29, I used to sell copiers, and now I work as a programmer for the same company that I used to sell copiers for.

      My opinion is that there is plenty of room in any field for those who are passionate about what they do. I got into IT with very little experience or education, but I had talent for it and obvious interest. I have been working hard & I got a couple certifications and I’m making the kind of money that I want to. Best of all, I’m exited to go into work in the morning & I’d work all night if I didn’t have a family.

      I worked as a bartender before I got in the copier business, and I had an experience that I will never forget. I was talking with one of my customers and we got to discussing his carreer. To make a long story short, he didn’t like his job. He never did like it. He has been doing it for over 30 years!!! He said that he never even looked for anything else out of fear. I decided at that point that I would never get stuck in a carreer that I don’t like.

      If you love what you do, you can be great at it. I view finding great people as the greatest challenge for any company (ESPECIALLY TECH COMPANIES) and any great company is willing to pay dearly for dedicated, capable employees. You might find that the tech industry is not for you, but I don’t think that will be the case. If you don’t like what you do now, and you don’t at least look at what else is out there, then I hope you can at least be the fool at the bar who inspires someone else to make something of their life.

      What would I do if I was starting over? The exact same thing… I got both MCSD and MCDBA certifications and I busted my butt for two years before getting much results. Programming in .NET is very hot right now and it’s pretty easy to get started with. Look up your local INETA .NET developers group and join it (it’s free). It’s a great opportunity to network and learn more about the field.

    • #3209292

      Do yourself a favor. Get into IT

      by psychoreggae ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I was in a similar situation, I worked in sales and was extremely unhappy. I wasn’t interested in my job until I got a chance to do some IT-related work around the office. I wasn’t interested in our sales seminars, I wanted to tweak the spreadsheet template for our weekly sales reports! Eventually, I too shared this nagging feeling that I was wasting my potential.

      Eventually I came to my senses and left my job and went back to school. I won’t kid you, it was difficult and the sacrifices were enormous. But man, was it worth it. It was the hardest decision I ever made in my life and also the one I’m most proud of.

      I got my Masters, worked professionally for a number of years and made a very good living. This gave me the financial strength to further tweak my dream and zero in on computer graphics. I’ve now nearly completed my doctorate in computer graphics and am interviewing for faculty positions at major universities.

      I can’t imagine being more satisfied with my career. I enjoy the rare privilege of being as interested in my work as in my play – as they are one and the same.

      I owe my good fortune to my taking stock in myself years ago and making a very hard decision and sticking to it. Do yourself a favor, plot a new course closer to your heart. You won’t regret it.

    • #3209201

      The satisfaction that comes from a tangible result

      by runmyowncompany ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      I enjoy woodworking for the same reason I enjoy programming – you get direct, immediate, and tangible results for your efforts. Whether it’s from the intellectual satisfaction of … solving a problem (programming), the kewlness of keeping a computer system (systems administration) or database system (database administration) running, helping a business meet a need and save money or improve service (systems integration and automation) or helping a user solve a problem(help desk, outside IT support) … each of these can be a (intellectually and financially) rewarding career. You might consider some sort of “aptitude” testing to better define what you should do from here. You’re certainly looking in the right place for this kind of feedback.

    • #3209186

      Wow, how did I end up here?

      by geeksatlarge ·

      In reply to Wow, how did I end up here? From Sales to IT

      Yeah! The process you have experienced has happened to more than a few people, on the way to ITdom. It sounds like your post is more suited toward the software, as opposed to hardware, end of things. In any event it falls under the general category of “Problem Solving”. My suggestion would be to first decide what it is, exactly, you get the most satisfaction from. If it is problem solving then, on very inexpensive way to explore your potential is at the nearest public library, where you can be exposed to a wide variety of books on programming. Also, if you have access to a comnputer, you could “Google” for users groups that have similar interests. None of these activities really cost you anything, but may lead to a rewarding career change.

      Just my $0.02. 🙂

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