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#1 centerset  Icon User is offline

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Looking for a "boring" job

Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:41 AM

This is gonna be kind of long, so bear with me a moment.

When I got out of school, I decided to do some follow-my-dream nonsense, went to a private college all on loans for a degree that I couldn't find a job in. Incredibly dumb thing to do, leave it at that for now. In the past I'd had some interest in doing programming instead of what I was going to go into, so I had a book on C++ recommended to me by a friend, and I read it and taught myself a lot of the basics in my spare time.

Another acquaintance later suggested that he could get me a basic job in programming. I ended up working as an applications developer for an industry solutions company. This has gone on for about three years, but I'm not certain it's going to continue. I'm just not as productive as my coworkers are, and it really doesn't have anything to do with my lack of a strong coding background.

I have sleep apnea, which means I don't sleep well and I can't stay awake all day at work the next day. I also have allergies and some other minor issues that also sap my energy. I probably have a hint of ADD and, let's be honest, I'm a little lazy. On top of that, the code at work can require a lot of focus. This company is well-established and has been around for a long time, but they never switched to a modern coding language. Our current dev environment is based on COBOL and also interfaces with the older language of another company that we bought out, whose code is very poorly documented.

All of these things combined, I've been coming into work, getting stuck on a problem, and having a hard time keeping focused. My supervisors have noticed it, and I've pretty much been told that I could be fired by the next review period. Thing is, the kind of thing that I do feel comfortable with is routine stuff, mechanical stuff, repetitive stuff. I hear a coworker complain about, "Yeah, I had to go touch a hundred subroutines and recompile them all. It was really boring." But that's the kind of stuff that I actually enjoy for whichever reason - making edits, keeping tabs on running processes, things of that nature.

This has got me wondering if maybe the problem is that I'm working as a developer, when maybe I would feel more comfortable doing systems admin, server maintenance, IT desk. But I don't have a really strong programming background, so I'm not sure what that stuff even entails. I don't know what kind of skills or experience I would need for any of that, and since I'm still paying down my old loans, I can't just take four years off to go back to school and not go broke. However, I do have access to a good local community college that teaches a lot of certifications, so it's possible I could spend the next six months going to night school and pick up some extra knowledge there - despite my other problems, I pick up quickly on things I learn in a class setting.

So what I'm asking - I need ideas on a "boring" job. Something that requires a little more dependability and routine rather than constant creativity. Moreover, it would need to be something that I could get into without having a full degree, something that could land me a job with three years experience as a COBOL dev and maybe some other certifications to be picked up at a local school. I'm not greedy about what I'm looking for - $30K wouldn't be living the high life, but it would pay my loan payments and rent on my apartment while I build experience.

Any suggestions on what I should look for?

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Replies To: Looking for a "boring" job

#2 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Looking for a "boring" job

Posted 03 April 2011 - 12:17 PM

Factory work? Production line type stuff?

It's funny to me that you are that way, I believe that I have sleep apnea, or at least my wife does, and I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, but as long as I have something interesting to keep me focused I'm fine, Anytime I'm stuck doing not much (meetings are really hard for me) I start to nod off. As long as I have something to think about though I'm fine.
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#3 Sethro117  Icon User is offline

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Re: Looking for a "boring" job

Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:30 PM

You're unlikely to find any tech jobs that you find repetitive and boring. Thats the way technology works something new is always coming out, networks could have all sorts of problems which can be far from routine and repetitive trying to fix them. Are you for sure the tech industry is for you?

I'm not saying its not for you but all tech jobs require some form of creativity, outside the box thinking and encountering new things on a daily basis.
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#4 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Looking for a "boring" job

Posted 03 April 2011 - 04:17 PM

You could aim for a job in testing, that's pretty monotonous, but still requires some industry knowledge.
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#5 rgfirefly24  Icon User is offline

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Re: Looking for a "boring" job

Posted 04 April 2011 - 04:43 AM

Also for the most part testing jobs don't require anything experience wise, or degree wise.
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#6 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Looking for a "boring" job

Posted 04 April 2011 - 05:57 AM

If you HAVE sleep apnea, are you being treated for it? I had sleep apnea before I lost a lot of weight and used a CPAP machine to get a good night's sleep (not sure it helped my wife sleep, though, except that she no longer worried I was not going to take another breath, and the snoring was gone).

It's a bit of an annoyance to wear a mask to sleep, but it certainly at least gets you some rest. When I was tested for it in a sleep lab they woke me up about halfway through and set me up with a CPAP machine for the rest of the night. I woke up feeling better than I had in years.
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#7 centerset  Icon User is offline

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Re: Looking for a "boring" job

Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:03 PM

Thanks for the responses.

@Sethro: I'll admit that's something I've considered. I certainly like tech, I took this job in part because I thought I would enjoy it. And I actually do enjoy it, but I'm coming to terms with the facts that I'm just not as productive as other members of my team. If it's the case that I really can't find anything that suits me in the industry, then yeah, I've started thinking about what else to do.

@hookie and firefly: I've had testing suggested to me on a couple of other threads as well. Any thoughts on where or how one goes about looking for a QA job?

@jack: Yeah, I have a CPAP, and it's helped, but it hasn't completely solved the problem. I still wake up most days and want to go back to sleep.
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