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Career change 1

I have decided to change the direction of my career. I’m going to be accepting a position as an Internet Consultant for a small firm based in downtown Toronto that specializes in web solutions using Microsoft technologies.

There were many events that led to this decision. Looking back, I realize the first trigger was back on February 6th when I wrote an article about Over-emailing” after months of being bombarded with emails from the project I was working on. I would stay up late at night sorting through my emails, but I really didn’t feel like I was learning anything or adding value by having so many emails. Many times I wanted to do something technical, but I was unable to find the time because any spare time I had I’d be cleaning my emails. If I ignored my emails or filed them without reading them, people would come back to me after a couple weeks and be upset that I hadn’t responded to a question they asked, so it was necessary to go through the emails. I’ve seen people at work that have thousands of emails that they’ve never read. But I don’t want to be known as an unreliable person who never responds to emails.

The second event was on the next day when I worked an 8 hour day and then I went home and did development and bug fixes for another 8 hours. I remember how I felt at 1:45AM when I was finished and everything was working properly. It was a great feeling to have a challenge and fix the issues. I hadn’t done a lot of software development in the last year because I was the technical lead, so this was one of the rare times I got the feeling of accomplishment from actual development. The next day I was back to square one with a full mailbox again and other issues to deal with (Usually political more than not).

In the last few weeks I really started questioning where my career was headed. I started to look at where I see myself in 5 years, and I really started to question whether I was headed down the right path. I would look at people who were higher than me in management positions. Some of them have worked at the bank their entire lives and you can just tell they are sick of the people, the politics, the processes, and the over-emailing. But they are afraid to do anything about it because they’ve never been anywhere else and because they don’t have the self-esteem to re-assure them that their skills are an asset to another company. Or possibly they feel like they won’t make as much money at another company with their experience. So then I looked at the “Architects” and thought about whether that was a path I wanted to take. I think someday that might be a path I’d be interested in, but at this point in my life, I think the Architecture teams at the bank are too high-level, and I wouldn’t have the same sort of challenge that consulting will offer me.

With the consulting position I will still be dealing with clients, I’ll have the challenge of designing solutions for the client and I’ll even have the opportunity to develop the software for the client. The projects may change every couple weeks or every few months depending on the project, so there will always be new challenges. This is definitely the path I want to take at this point in my life, and I’m very excited about the new challenges I will encounter. I’ve already downloaded Visual Studio 2005 and I plan to install the Beta version of Microsoft Office 2007 soon.

One comment on “Career change

  1. iBrett Apr 17,2006 10:01 pm

    Hi Jim,

    This new career path sounds exciting. Good luck.

    I think you were right to change your career. We all spend too much time at work; it’s not worth it if we’re not also enjoying, and being challenged by, what we do.


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