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Feeling stuck...(IT work)

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
So lately I haven't been happy with the way things are and I want to get out of this rut.

During college I just wanted to get out and went about the easiest way to obtain my IT degree. finished and acquired degree in late 04.
Post college I did odd and ends jobs for a couple years because I didn't want to be in IT.

I got my current job in late 2007.
I'm currently a federal employee working on some horribly boring and legacy stuff. I'm doing work with mainframes...something not very marketable to the private sector. Pay is ok. job security is untouchable. benefits are decent.

So now that I've been here for 4.5 years I feel like I've lost quite a bit of my skills since there is so little work here and it doesn't translate well to the outside world. It's stale here, I despise coming in every morning...even if it's basically come in whenever I want. I've requested transfers and looked briefly but it's just not happening.

At the ripe age of 31 next week I've considered school again to help me get into another field/job but having a mortgage means I'll have to be doing part time school and work which would take even longer to finish. I'm not quite sure how I can help myself out here.

Suggestions, comments, insight?
post #2 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by poena View Post

So lately I haven't been happy with the way things are and I want to get out of this rut.
During college I just wanted to get out and went about the easiest way to obtain my IT degree. finished and acquired degree in late 04.
Post college I did odd and ends jobs for a couple years because I didn't want to be in IT.
I got my current job in late 2007.
I'm currently a federal employee working on some horribly boring and legacy stuff. I'm doing work with mainframes...something not very marketable to the private sector. Pay is ok. job security is untouchable. benefits are decent.
So now that I've been here for 4.5 years I feel like I've lost quite a bit of my skills since there is so little work here and it doesn't translate well to the outside world. It's stale here, I despise coming in every morning...even if it's basically come in whenever I want. I've requested transfers and looked briefly but it's just not happening.
At the ripe age of 31 next week I've considered school again to help me get into another field/job but having a mortgage means I'll have to be doing part time school and work which would take even longer to finish. I'm not quite sure how I can help myself out here.
Suggestions, comments, insight?

http://devbootcamp.com/

It's the real deal.
post #3 of 48
Wow, 12 grands to learn RoR!
post #4 of 48
Don't go back to school with some vague idea that another degree will help you get a better job. Go back to school if you determine that the particular job that you want requires the degree.
post #5 of 48
i work for a software company and if i had to do it over again, i'd look into the presales side of things. my dream job would be to partner with a really good sales person and be the tech resource. go out and and make deals left and right and eventually retire off the commission. yes, a guy can dream can't he?

anyway, it's certainly not for everyone. you need to have some sort of proficiency with computers which i imagine wouldn't be a problem for you. and you definitely need to be a people person since it would be potential clients that you'd be working with. and i would guess you would have to take a pay cut since you'd probably have to start with an entry level position. and this is assuming that you wouldn't mind staying in the tech field.

but just a thought. either way, good luck to you!

-Jeff
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamelan View Post

i work for a software company and if i had to do it over again, i'd look into the presales side of things. my dream job would be to partner with a really good sales person and be the tech resource. go out and and make deals left and right and eventually retire off the commission. yes, a guy can dream can't he?

anyway, it's certainly not for everyone. you need to have some sort of proficiency with computers which i imagine wouldn't be a problem for you. and you definitely need to be a people person since it would be potential clients that you'd be working with. and i would guess you would have to take a pay cut since you'd probably have to start with an entry level position. and this is assuming that you wouldn't mind staying in the tech field.

but just a thought. either way, good luck to you!

-Jeff

Pre-sales is a great gig - it's what I do, and I love it. It's not for everyone, because it requires a relatively uncommon combination of technical and sales skills, but if you're suited to it it can be a great career. You're not going to retire in a hurry off of commissions, though. The pay is good, but not on the order of sales commissions. For example, a sales rep at my company recently inked a massive 8 figure deal, resulting in a 3 million dollar commission. His sales engineer probably got a low six figure bonus. Nice, but not FU money.

In Silicon Valley software pre-sales generally pays between $100,000 and $200,00 combined base and commission, split 60/40 to 80/20.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cross22 View Post

Wow, 12 grands to learn RoR!

You are paying for the learning but also for the connections - they have a job fair at the end of the thing with an 80% placement rate, and if you get a placement, ou get half your tuition back.
post #8 of 48
I was intrigued slightly then I saw it was Ruby and chuckled.

I guess it could be useful but if you have 10 weeks off you're most likely unemployed and shouldn't be dropping that kind of cash when you're out of work really IMHO.
post #9 of 48
What are you doing with mainframe stuff? Because I know some mainframe guys and COBOL programmers who make good money and have great security because they're basically impossible to replace - most mainframe people are about 100.

I was on a Unix/Linux team in my last job, and the mainframe guys had about 150 years of job experience between them (4 guys) - two of them got a bonus to stay on an extra 6 months after they were ready to retire.
post #10 of 48
Actually a mainframe background is more marketable than you think. There is lots of enterprise work out there.

You need to beef up on your skillset. Pick a new technology you want to learn (that has legs in the marketpace) and master it.
post #11 of 48
If your mainframe skills are at all transferable I would become a contractor, it's a nice little niche and that can be very lucrative. I made a career out going for small niches and it's done me very well over the years.
post #12 of 48
Thread Starter 
I'm currently doing CICS work but not even like reading logs and doing installs. Mostly just maintenance and adding/deleting entries. Looking at some JCL but no COBOL. I know they were looking for some serious assembly programmers and willing to pay good money to them but to me this all feels almost like data entry. I know that there is a whole other side of this but really there is ONE guy at this agency that gets called everytime something goes wrong.

There are really just too many employees working for the fed and not enough work and the people that know their stuff aren't willing to share too much and even when I do get someone to show me something new I never get to put anything to use.

I'm just really frustrated with this place but everyone says I'm lucky to have a job where I do so little work and make a good living. I hardly consider this a good living though. Maybe if I was making another 50k
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenanyu View Post

You are paying for the learning but also for the connections - they have a job fair at the end of the thing with an 80% placement rate, and if you get a placement, ou get half your tuition back.

That is such a good motivation to take an offer, any offer, in that job fair. Make the placement rate look good too!
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by poena View Post

I'm currently doing CICS work but not even like reading logs and doing installs. Mostly just maintenance and adding/deleting entries. Looking at some JCL but no COBOL. I know they were looking for some serious assembly programmers and willing to pay good money to them but to me this all feels almost like data entry. I know that there is a whole other side of this but really there is ONE guy at this agency that gets called everytime something goes wrong.

Ok - I see why you want to change. That is really a dead end unless you can get them to train you to do mainframe programming (on the plus side cobol is pretty easy).
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by passingtime View Post

If your mainframe skills are at all transferable I would become a contractor, it's a nice little niche and that can be very lucrative. I made a career out going for small niches and it's done me very well over the years.

+100. Find a niche that pays and that you enjoy and keep learning and upgrading your skills. You will always have a career.
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