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  • Moving on from an IT career

    Home » Forums » Outside the box » The Junk Drawer » Moving on from an IT career

    • This topic has 6 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.

    I’m a registered user on here but decided to go anonymous just in case my username reveals me in some way (I use the same name on other sites).

    I’ve been working in IT for 20 years now but have experience going back to the MS-DOS and Windows 3.x days. I started like many others in small repair shops and then moved to MSPs. Unfortunately, I just don’t enjoy it anymore. My real passion was always on the physical equipment side and I think that’s what attracted me to IT in the first place. As a child, I loved taking things apart and putting them back together again. For my first few years in the MSP, I was the one doing the PC and server deployments and doing any repairs that came in, which satisfied that part of me. But I always knew that the company felt I was overqualified for that and was being assigned more towards software and services.

    The company is pushing Azure quite hard at the moment and that’s all I’ve really been doing lately, but I’ve no interest in cloud. I just see it as a mechanism to tie users into subscriptions. I’m also really tired of the way Microsoft do things nowadays and their support standard has sometimes left me on my own when trying to troubleshoot issues. I’ve found myself walking away from issues recently, feeling like I’m not good enough, which isn’t good for the company or for myself.

    At this stage, I’d love to just get out of IT altogether but really don’t know what else I could do. Has anyone here been in a similar situation before? If so, how did you handle it?

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    • #2391218

      Guess what. you’re not alone.

      Unfortunately employers in these parts (+044) are primarily interesting in keeping your workflow moving, not training for the future so I found myself redundant (the employer now gone in no small part due to their lack of a forward looking stance) past 50 years with qualifications most employers laugh at (or plain don’t remember) and 20 years experience in all manner of computer repair and OEM software deployment which nobody does within a sensible travel to work area (also somewhat nailed down by poor health..)- even my last (self funded) HND Electrical and electronics I used to get the job is now superseded by a FDSC and to be honest the reason I’m where I am is because the kit is now largely on a physical scale where economic repair by hand isn’t possible (as the faults now also tend to be PCB damage by bending or water damage as a factor behind the problems due to portability) so IT “experience” is all I have..

      From Microsoft you only see the IT side of the cloud. Maybe look into things like cloud connected arduino / Pi applications and SCADA, as even a lot of the backwards companies are  looking to migrate old systems to the cloud to attain visibility of their processes as loss of say  half a day’s product, or a massive fine for environmental pollution, or both,  due to an undetected fault  is a pretty big incentive. PLC programming is also a thing – we did it with ladder logic on the course 20 years ago to find in the immediate “real world”  programming was done in C, and the programs in deployed units were locked in so you couldn’t even look at them (and reprogramming fees if you pulled that wrong cable and lost the program ran to £hundreds) and to be honest 90 percent we of repairs were one model and they all only had relay board faults. Thankfully they wrote a hardware test mode in the program.

      Of course only those who have been around a few years are going to recognise the industrial implementations of the PC, let alone be able to work out how you might drag the implementation into the 21st century without shutting down the plant to analyse or replace the controller. If your lucky you get to work a few minutes at a time. If you’re unlucky they call you after it stops working or starts smoking (seriously!)

      What did I do before Google existed? fixed welding machines (Mig, Tig, gas and plasma cutting), handled the supplies, and worked for a while in electronic assembly and even worked in oilfield drilling fluid laboratories.

      Next bets, renewables .. recycling .. If I get lucky, retiring..

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    • #2391254

      (different anon)  I wanted to second oldguy’s comments about PLC being hands on.  Also internet providers maintain and upgrade a lot of hardware.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2391383

      “I’ve been working in IT for 20 years”

      Then you have received a salary for twenty years while, like all of us, observing change and coping with new circumstances/problems in IT.
      That is quite a different experience from selling smart-phone jackets from a small kiosk in the mall.

      I retired ten years ago and have reinforced my view of myself:-
      (1) My passion for programming computers has not abated since 1967. Today I can be as busy as I like upgrading my own applications or writing applications for local clients. (Apart from gardening, reading books with no-one to nag me etc.)
      (2) My problem-solving brain, so useful when presented with a 4,000-line COBOL program with no documentation, remains a problem-solving brain, and I can solve any problem presented to me. Well, maybe not a Cure For Cancer, but my logical approach to breaking down a problem to get at the root cause provides insight to people who are confused/scared etc.

      So, why restrict yourself to IT? If I am correct, your twenty years in IT has given you the knowledge/courage that you can provide benefits for people with problems. Strike out and become the person you are – a problem-solver.

      Unless you're in a hurry, just wait.

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    • #2391385

      Now that Microsoft has shot itself so comprehensively in the foot (and many other appendages) with infeasible PC and laptop hardware requirements for Windows 11, there seems likely to be a move towards Linux for those whose hardware specifications are deemed inadequate.

      Why not learn about some of the Linux distributions whose aim is to present a Windows-like GUI and ‘operating experience’, and specialise in Windows-to-Linux conversions?  This could either be for companies or the general public, with more money likely to be made from the former.  It will keep your hand in IT and enable you “to travel and meet people”!


      Plethora means a lot to me.

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    • #2391397

      Thanks for sharing your story with us. first of all, let me wish you success in your future.

      I understand why you feel the way you do, because most of us feel it as you do. The opnion is, that in the past IT was very interesting and adventurous journey. We enjoyed programmming and we loved the possibilities, that IT offered to us.

      The way we are forced to do as other say, somtimes, is not enjoyable anymore. Especially when we are told, that it will be better and safer, but deep inside we know, that its just not the case. Its more complicated, we are dependent on others and we put OUR infrastructure to the hands of Microsoft or someone else. Another issue I have is that we must subscribe to some service, that we MUST pay perpentually.

      Enjoy the change and remember the good things you have done.

      Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

      HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      PRUSA i3 MK3S+

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    • #2391656

      anonymous, I worked in the computer industry for 19 years, starting before “IT” was even a thing 🙂 I started out in 1969 as a Programmer (COBOL was my mother tongue), and left in 1988 as the Int’l Software Licensing Manager for an MNC. I was getting burned out, and knew I wanted to change careers, but to what?

      I was lucky enough to be able to take a leave of absence several months before I decided to leave. I went to a career counselor for testing: to uncover potential careers based on my interests and skills, based on the results of various assessments. These included the “World of Work Inventory” ( and the “Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory.” I also spent time at my public library looking through reference materials such as various Dun’s directories and the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles.” The Internet wasn’t available back then 🙁

      At this point in your career, I bet you’ve developed preferences about data, people, and things — what you like, and what you don’t. As I remember, the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” and some other tests broke down job titles based on these 3 preferences. I searched and found this, though old:

      I wound up choosing the construction industry, to manage commercial and institutional construction projects. I used to say that I went from bits & bytes to nuts & bolts! And in order to transition quickly, I decided to go back to school to get a degree in Construction Management for my own comfort level.

      There were several common denominators between those two industries, but I never even considered what they might be. You will most likely find that you have many transferable skills based on your own experiences and interests, and I wish you the best in your own search.

      Win 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit; Office 2010; Group B (SaS); Former 'Tech Weenie'
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