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].

Some Relief

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.

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