Working It Out
Today was my 7th anniversary at the company I work at. A milestone by epic proportions, at least in my view of where I’m at today in my IT career.
And this is where my story begins for this post.
This is one of those rare public posts where I discuss my day job [as I like to call what my main source of income is] and what has transpired over the last 5 weeks.
Single Paragraph Resume
But first, let’s go back almost twenty-five years and quickly fast forward to now. In 1985, I built my first Netware server. It took all day to format a 60mb drive on a 286 server with 4mb of RAM. In 1994, I built my first Windows NT Server 3.5 system, quickly embracing the Microsoft server OS, moving onto installing Exchange Server 5.5 four years later. Many NT 4, Windows 2000 and Exchange Server implementations later, I am where I am today as a network admin for a web-based billing management company [I am purposely leaving out the name of the company I work for for this public post], managing Windows servers and Exchange Server 2003, and implementing the initial installation of VMware servers to our infrastructure.
What Comes Around
During my 7 years at this company, I have managed several projects – most of which have involved legacy or older systems and trying to move forward to something at least three years old or newer. I love a good challenge and feel a sense of accomplishment when a project gets completed and on time. But due to decisions out of my control, I’ve been relegated back to supporting the desktop, which honestly speaking, I despise. And not just once, but three times in those 7 years. Most recently 5 weeks ago. Each time this happens, I make a promise to myself to move on to further my IT career. The second stint of desktop support I was placed in, I did actually move on to another company. That lasted just a little more than three months, before I ended up back at the older [current] company. Technically, I never left the company since I was under contract to them during my entire time at the other company. But none the less, I moved on, came back and now supporting desktop users again.
So today, I am faced with a similar scenario. My demotion in responsibilities has left me with thoughts of wanting to keep moving forward without taking two steps back. And with a history of making the decision to eliminate the desktop support position, I can expect to go through this again if I remain employed at the same company.
Third Time’s A Harm
Needless to say, this has contributed to my scattered and distracted state of affairs in my life. I love to blog, but haven’t. I love to make videos, but didn’t. I love to write, but couldn’t. And while I may complain about fixing computers, I do like the challenge of building a new Exchange Server or migrating systems into a virtual VMware solution. And if I’m to continue in my IT career, I would like to do so without having to revert backwards every couple of years. I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to do that, I need to switch companies and find one that not only matches my expertise, but one that respects my goal of keeping my IT career moving forward.
Making the decision is hard, as I’ve become very comfortable in my job. I have a level of flexibility that I appreciate. I enjoy working with others who have forward thinking goals and that is something that makes it hard to give up. But in the end, it’s making changes that I feel will bring not only positive challenges to my job, but also increase my income to a respectable level [I’ve made the same amount of money now that I did ten years ago].
Since I’ve made this decision, I’ve felt some comfort and relief. I will also be working on myself to help make any adjustments and overcome any hesitations about changing jobs. Knowing that I’ve done it before helps, but this time, I have some time to be extra picky about where my next place of employment will be. During this time, I plan to complete several projects, not only helping the company move forward, but also adding to my resume.
There you have it… as many details about one piece of my life that has left me a stranger in these parts. Am I making the right move? Care to share a similar experience in the workplace? Comment away.
I did not build my first NW server until 1993? It was NetWare 3.12… token ring … and I ran all the drops too.
The first time I saw NT it was 3.5 and it came with a Micron computer we’d purchased. The surprising thing about this was the computer had Windows 95 installed on it (I think) but the NT 3.5 CD was in the CD drive. The person who set the PC up at Micron forgot to remove the CD… though I don’t know what it was doing in our PC to begin with.
Good luck with moving forward in beefing up your skills and in the job search. I know the latter can be taxing.
All that really comes to mind is that I’m jealous. My husband (we’re still on great terms) is about to lose his job in retail and I wish to God his IT skills were with degree and recognized by the general population, because he’s SO good at it. But he’s a retail guy and that’s where he’ll likely look. The man deserves a great IT job. He’s fixed every computer in the county at least twice. Dumbasses keep downloading Gaiya. *head to desk*
But for you, my friend, it seems you have the benefit of a great resume and skills many would metaphorically kill for. And while I envy you, I’m SO glad to know you’re going to push to further a career you love to a place that both challenges you and gives you the benefits you have really earned.
I’d start singing “you deserve a break today” but then I’d end up with a DUI for driving to McDonald’s at midnight after drinking far too much. Let the record show I was reading Banal Leakage. B-A-N…wait…what?
I think any sort of big change is very scary but if YOU feel good about it then it’s definitely the right thing to do.
Good luck always my friend! x
Change is hard. It is so much easier to sit and think about what you would rather do than to actually do it. It sounds like you are making the right move. Good luck!
Sounds like it’s definitely time to move on to greener pastures. Change is scary…for me, anyway. But I have no doubt you’ll find a position you find challenging and rewarding. You’re the man!
There’s not much worse than feeling stagnant, unappreciated and held back.
You definitely deserve more – it’s a shame they can’t see that.
Move on, Marty! You can do it. I have no doubt about it!
Best of luck in the job hunt sir. Comfort and familiarity can be a powerful force in getting someone to stay at a job a little longer than they probably should have. Takes guts to shake that off and get out there and do it. Good for you.
Are you going to look for a more project management job like you had before they moved you to desk work or something completely different?
If you can look elsewhere and your heart is telling you to, I say go for it! I followed my instinct to the job I have now and am so happy I did. It was hard to leave my old job at the time, but so worth it.
delmer – Thanks, Delmer. As for the NT 3.5, I really liked it. It added some nice management flexibility over Netware.
TSM – I think he should venture into the IT world. While I have become burnt out on fixing desktops, if it’s something he likes to do and is good at, then it’s something he should pursue. Thanks for the compliments.
penelope – Thanks for the encouragement. I hope to land a good match.
tori – Change is the only way to move forward, at least that’s how I feel. Thanks for the encouraging words.
karl – Thanks, Karl. I hope it will all work out for the best.
sybil law – Being held back has caused me lots of angst and I don’t want to feel that anymore. Thank you.
kevin – Thank you, sir. It’s that comfort zone that’s kept me from changing.
kilax – I would like more project management. I feel I’m good at it and have done well with past and current projects. But my focus on newer technologies like virtual server management is what I’m after. Thanks for the encouraging words. Glad to hear your job change was positive.
It is about time. Jump. You have the skills and attitude that where ever you land, you will be able to make the most of it.
One of the things the company has taught me is that if you are comfortable then it is time to jump. Stagnation is a killer. Companies nowadays do not care much about their employees beyond how much they can squeeze out of them.
tom – Thank you for the encouraging (and truthful) words. Very much appreciated, coming from someone who spent a good amount of years here.