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#1 toasterburn   User is offline

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Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:44 AM

Thanks in advance for any advice. I have a computer science degree and 5 years of IT experience. I got into this line of work because I loved technology and couldn't imagine doing anything else, but lately I am completely loosing all interest in it, and am starting to really hate what I'm doing.

I spent the first two years after college as a jack-of-all-trades "IT Person" for a company's central office; for many reasons this turned out to be a nightmare job. So I took a job at a university, creating automation scripts for a small department. It was a cut in pay, but it got my foot in the door. I spent two years in that position before I landed my current job (at the same university) as a Web APP Developer. This came with a nice bump in pay, but after a year here I am really starting to get burned out, and any passion I used to have for working with technology has completely eroded.

Though I am (mostly) treated well here, I am now a one-man-department where there should really be a (large) development team. This means every project I work on requires wildly different skills (today maybe a php app, tomorrow a wordpress plugin, the day after that an iPad app, ect.), so I stay locked in a perpetual learning curve, always wondering if I can actually pull off what they're asking me to do. To be perfectly honest, I don't feel qualified to do what I'm doing, every project feels over-my-head, but I always make it work somehow.

The working conditions though are what really keep me down. I work by myself, in a windowless office, in a mostly vacant building. I don't see other people at all, ever. I stay at my desk and code 24/7. I understand the nature of my profession requires a lot of desk work. But spending so much of my life sitting down, glued to a screen, is taking it's toil on my mental and physical health.

I've decided to look for another job; to try to find one that will be less stressful and more fulfilling. Do jobs like this exist? Because it seems that every programming job that pays anything half-decent, seems to be them having a huge problem and looking for a programmer to throw at it. I don't want a bigger headache. And I don't want to be stuck at my desk for the rest of my life. Maybe a tech position that isn't in a production environment, centered more on talking with people than being a code monkey? Has anyone found a career path like this? And if so, have you found it as rewarding as you thought it would be?

This post has been edited by toasterburn: 01 April 2015 - 09:47 AM


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Replies To: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

#2 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:50 AM

Quote

I stay at my desk and code 24/7.
[...]
But spending so much of my life sitting down, glued to a screen, is taking it's toil on my mental and physical health.

Have you considered just being at your desk eight hours a day, and the rest - not work time - off the screen? Join a softball league, get a solid hobby making ceramic beer mugs, or even spend time socializing with the local tech community?

Quote

I've decided to look for another job; to try to find one that will be less stressful and more fulfilling. Do jobs like this exist?

Every job has stress, but, from what I am reading you either need a boss to filter the crap projects coming to you, and a few more coworkers to manage the load. Have you considered asking who ever you report to for both of those?
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#3 rgfirefly24   User is offline

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Re: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:57 AM

View Posttoasterburn, on 01 April 2015 - 11:44 AM, said:

I've decided to look for another job; to try to find one that will be less stressful and more fulfilling. Do jobs like this exist? Because it seems that every programming job that pays anything half-decent, seems to be them having a huge problem and looking for a programmer to throw at it. I don't want a bigger headache. And I don't want to be stuck at my desk for the rest of my life. Maybe a tech position that isn't in a production environment, centered more on talking with people than being a code monkey? Has anyone found a career path like this? And if so, have you found it as rewarding as you thought it would be?



Have you looked into being a BA, Project Manager, or Implementation specialist? Any of those roles will get you interacting with people and out from behind a desk from time to time. My last company, the Project Managers and Implementation guys would go on site to clients all the time, or they would be in face to face meetings. I'd say only 20% of their job was really sitting behind a desk.
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#4 toasterburn   User is offline

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Re: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 01 April 2015 - 10:24 AM

modi123_1: When I said 24/7, I really just meant all time spent at work. When I leave work, I go home and garden, spend time with my wife, throw my dog a tennis ball, ect. And to answer your second question, I have been told there isn't room in the budget for me to have help. I do have a boss and he filters what he can, but ultimately the demands of my job aren't very flexible.

rgfirefly24: I haven't seen any Project Management positions come up around here, but I would be interested if they did. I'm afraid I don't what a Ba or Implementation Specialist is, could you explain? Thanks.
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#5 jimblumberg   User is online

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Re: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:16 PM

So you're saying you sit all day in front of your computer, never taking any breaks, lunch, or any other walks around the empty building?
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#6 toasterburn   User is offline

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Re: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 01 April 2015 - 02:34 PM

I eat lunch at my desk. Some days I do take a 15 min break to walk around. Other than that, I am glued to my computer screen.
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#7 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 01 April 2015 - 02:43 PM

Maybe you should move around more. More breaks, stretching, swissball sitting, etc.

Outside of that - yes.. other places are better. Mine is. So.. yeah.. but you can't have mine.
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#8 jimblumberg   User is online

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Re: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 02 April 2015 - 09:08 AM

Start by eating you lunch elsewhere, get out enjoy the sunshine or something. Also one 15 minute break is not enough, two breaks is usually the minimum, but probably still not enough. And when you take your breaks, get away from that desk! Even without the "breaks" you shouldn't be constantly programming, you'll go crazy, if not already there. Take breaks to check email, check your "programming forums" etc, a few times per day as well.

Jim
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#9 kathy025   User is offline

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Re: Career Advice for someone who has lost all interest...

Posted 02 April 2015 - 05:34 PM

View Posttoasterburn, on 02 April 2015 - 12:44 AM, said:

I work by myself, in a windowless office, in a mostly vacant building. I don't see other people at all, ever. I stay at my desk and code 24/7. I understand the nature of my profession requires a lot of desk work. But spending so much of my life sitting down, glued to a screen, is taking it's toil on my mental and physical health.

To me, it looks more like you just have a bad work environment, rather than you "losing interest in technology".

View Posttoasterburn, on 02 April 2015 - 12:44 AM, said:

Maybe a tech position that isn't in a production environment, centered more on talking with people than being a code monkey?

Why not try for the Hiring Department? You still get to work in the technology field (you know you love it) and talk to lots of people at the same time. With your code experience, you can screen applicants better too.
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