Get me out of I.T.

This post is about my current job as an I.T. analyst and how I want to shift from tech work to web development so that I can work from home.  I’ll likely create a post in the future detailing the specific web development I’m doing, but this post kind of catches you up to where I’m at professionally today.


Tech Work

I’ve been working as an I.T. tech for the last seven years.  I slowly worked my way up through the ranks and I’m currently classified as a senior analyst in our I.T. shop.  Senior analyst just means I work on bigger and more complicated projects than our regular techs.  I have a lot of great and varied experience doing help desk support, application support, hardware and software troubleshooting, networking, server administration, etc.  We’re a very small shop that supports an autonomous department of 500+ staff, so I get to have my hands in pretty much every piece of the I.T. puzzle.

This may sound like a great position to be in, but there are a couple problems.  The first thing is that I work with my father in law.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy.  He’s been good to me and my wife and I’m glad to have him in my life.  However, there is a line between work and home life that I need to have, and I’m  definitely on the wrong side of that line right now.  For example, the other day I came back from lunch and my wife was hanging out with my coworkers.  She had gone to lunch with her dad and stopped by the office for  a minute.  It was weird because I didn’t know she was going to be there, and if my wife is going to come to my office I would think I’d be the one to bring her in to meet the guys.  It also makes it weird when the guys at the office make jokes about sex or women.  My father in law is pretty old school about his daughters and he always acts really weird when sex comes up.  These are just a couple examples, rest assured working day to day with your father in law quickly becomes complicated.

The second problem I have with this job is my boss.  He started out as a supervisor, but a few years ago he was promoted to be the head of I.T.  I think he’s a great guy on a personal level, but he has a construction background and very little technical skill.  He likes to focus on things like write wiring diagrams when we move into new buildings, or installing new shelving racks for the server room. Those tasks are necessary, but they’re not a job for the director of I.T.  This is complicated by the fact that he kind of fell into this job, he has almost no technical skill to speak of.  He’s a good organizer, but he doesn’t understand a lot of I.T. concepts.  This makes it really hard to make good decisions as a group, as we are often guided by archaic or non technical thinking.

He also has this weird motivational speaker obsession.  He is always reading self help books and he’s obsessed with personal growth and excellence.  Again, this sounds good on paper but in practice it becomes difficult to be around day in and day out.  He’s constantly criticizing us, but he frames it in a motivational way.    For example, today a coworker and I were going to a meeting in the next town over.  We were going to be gone for a few hours.  Our boss was included on the invite and it was on his calendar.  My coworker asked him if he was riding with us, and our boss was upset that we were going to be gone for a few hours without saying something to him.  This is not anything out of the ordinary, we’re both senior staff who go to meetings out of the office all the time.  Our boss was included on the invite and he could easily see that we were also on the invite.  He criticized us for not telling him specifically that we weren’t going to be in the office for a few hours. If we this had happened on another day and he was in a  different mood, he may have said nothing at all.  Who knows, the guy is inconsistent and constantly criticizing us for little things that don’t make sense.

There are other reasons, but these two are the big motivators for me to want to leave.  I’ve been here for seven years and it’s time for me to move on.  My wife and I are trying to have a baby, and I’ve always wanted to work from home.  I’m trying my hand at web development because I think that’s the avenue where my skills would transfer most easily.

Web Development

I wish I had started coding a lot sooner.  Out of all the things I administer and work on in my current job, I enjoy coding way more.  I started by just googling how to make a website and researching the different programming languages.  There are a lot of languages for a web developer, I was kind of blown away at how many different methods there are for building a website.  I figured I should start with the basic building blocks.  I subscribed to Code Academy and ran through the HTML, CSS, and Javascript courses pretty quickly.  I really enjoyed the pace and structure of their content.  I am currently working on building website locally on my computer at home.

I’m not sure how to transfer this limited personal experience into a job making money.  I’ve applied for a couple entry level developer jobs locally but I haven’t heard back from anyone.  My wife just started working as a nurse, so I don’t mind taking a steep pay cut starting a new career doing something I have limited experience in.  I think my resume might be scaring people off, because it’s real weird.  I have 7 years of experience working as a senior analyst doing I.T. work, I have a bachelors and a masters degree in accounting, and I’m applying for entry level positions and internships doing coding.

I’m also having a hard time finding time to work on developing my coding skills.  I work 40 hours a week and it’s hard to motivate myself to work on it after I get home, especially when my wife is off.  It seems like the weekends would be a great time to work on it, but there’s always yard work, or chores, or a date night, or a family event, etc.  I know its easy to come up with these excuses not to work on it when I’m off work and that’s a failing on my part.  But with my wife making good money now, I’d really like to go down to part time at work and give myself an extra 20 hours a week to devote to developing my web development skills.  I doubt my current boss would ever go for that, but I think I might ask him soon.

My ideal job would be working for a company remotely from home so that I could (eventually, whenever the baby comes) be home with the baby when my wife is at work, and do my work in the afternoon/evenings or on her days off.  However, I feel like I’m just screwing around with this dinky website at home and because I’m not working for someone I’m not really making a lot of progress, at least not resume progress.  I’m not sure how to move forward with this goal right now, there’s a lot of risk and vulnerability with this path.  I’m hoping that I can figure it out soon though, I’m really dissatisfied with my current job.

Author: Ben Jones

Blogger. Husband. Doofus.

One thought on “Get me out of I.T.”

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