I’m not talking about working as an IT guy in healthcare versus working in IT in the finance industry. I’m talking about have you ever considered getting out of IT and doing something completely different?
I have to admit to you that I’ve had that very thought. After 20+ years of being an “IT Guy” sometimes it is quite a challenge keeping up with all of the changes to our vastly expanding and changing industry. In my last post I talked about the challenges of being a Generalist versus a Specialist. I’d consider myself a Generalist. I’ve worked in programming, network administration, IT management, project management and consulting.
Now that I find myself in a job search mode I’ve asked myself some of those introspective questions like, “What do I want to do with my life?”, “Am I satisfied with doing the same type of work that I’ve been doing?” and “What does the next chapter of my career look like?” Those are tough questions to ask and even harder to answer!
Have I thought about getting more education to get an MBA? Yes. Have I thought about taking more technology classes to get more IT certifications? Yes. Have I thought about getting out of IT and finding another occupation? Yes, again. I have not reached any conclusions.
The last one is the hardest to answer, though. I certainly have many friends that have a job in something different than their undergraduate degree. However, I have a degree in Information Systems and I’ve been working in Information Systems for over 20 years. I’m comfortable there, but it is a challenge to keep up with the changes; to be a subject matter expert without being a Specialist. To work your entire career in IT means to be a life-long learner. I think all careers evolve and require training to keep up with, but I see that even more in IT.
So what would I do if I didn’t work in IT anymore? I’ve thought about opening a restaurant/pub. I’ve thought about investing in franchises. I’ve considered moving into Sales. Those are 3 very different thoughts, but I’ve allowed myself to wonder. Each of those ideas presents significant challenges to me because I don’t have experience in any of those fields.
It will definitely be easier for me to continue my career path along the line of being an “IT Guy”, but it is fun to think about what else I might want to do in my life. I hope you take the time to reflect upon your career accomplishments, take stock in your desires and consider what else is possible. It’s OK to dream!
Let me hear from you. I, sincerely, hope this is good advice for you that you can put to use right away! Please share your story with our readers by posting your comments!