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Main » 2011 » March » 23
Takeaway: So you’re thinking about leaving IT — but you’re not sure what to do instead. Here are a few alternative fields where you might be able to use your talents in more satisfying ways.
I recently wrote an article that caused a bit of a stir. That article, 10 reasons for quitting IT, brought to my inbox an onslaught of email agreeing with my reasons and/or asking for advice on where to turn. After giving it some thought, I decided I would take a stab at a follow-up article to try to address the question "What should I do instead?” Here are a few possible alternative career choices for admins and consultants wanting to get out of IT.
Some of these ideas might make perfect sense, whereas others might make you say, "Huh?” Either way, look at them as suggestions that are related to your current field — which you may or may not have already thought about. The relation to IT might be a bit of a stretch in some cases, but for others it will be quite obvious.
1: Auto repairThis might sound a bit crazy, but modern vehicles more and more depend upon computers. In fact, without the computer at its core, the modern vehicle wouldn’t be able to accomplish half of what it does. From emission control to hybrid power to brake control, automobiles depend upon computers. These computers are nothing more than embedded systems that depend upon another computer to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair them. And since most IT admins and consultants love the thrill of fixing things, becoming an automobile technician makes perfect sense. Granted, you will need to get the proper training to make this leap.
2: TeachingThe educational system does not have enough good teachers willing to go the extra mile to help future IT pros understand the career they are about to embark on. Does that mean you should step into education so you can beat it into your students’ heads that they will suffer immeasurable frustration during their career as a consultant or administrator? No. It does mean, however, that you can prepare them for the challenging road that lies ahead. And many of you will certainly understand how much difference it would have made in your lives if someone had helped prepare you for the challenges you have faced.
3: Working for a smaller companyIf you’re unwilling to completely leave the field of IT, you could step down from that fortune 500 position and join a much smaller company. Having a much smaller network to deal with, few computers, and users who don’t have that same attitude toward you will remove a world of suffering from your shoulders. You could even step into the not-for-profit world and really feel wanted and loved. Although the NFP field has its own set of headaches, they aren’t nearly as intense as they can be in the upper echelons of capitalism.