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

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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The satisfaction that comes from a tangible result

by RunMyOwnCompany In reply to Wow, how did I end up her ...

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.

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Wow, how did I end up here?

by geeksatlarge In reply to Wow, how did I end up her ...

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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