If you have been following the blog for a while, you may notice that I do not post many things about myself. When I originally setup the blog, I was posting about myself quite a bit. Some of these things were short posts. The type of items posted would be much better suited for a site like Twitter, which is where I post some of those things these days. Even with this being the norm, I do post things about myself on occasion. This is one of those posts. One of the types of posts that have become common is one where people quit their day job and go out on their own. Unfortunately, if you tuned in to see another person going independent, this is not one of those posts.
On March 30th, I handed in my resignation at my job. One might think “isn’t that a normal every day occurrence all across the country?” Well yes it is, but there is a reason why this is particularly noteworthy. If you know me at all, you may already know that I have only had one employer since entering the workforce, almost seventeen years ago. If this was the 1970’s or even the 1980’s, this length of time would not be too surprising. However, this is not the 1980, it is 2016.
Being a “millennial” having the same employer for more than a few years, let alone the same job for that long, is rather atypical. It is very typical for people to move between jobs every few years. Needlessly to say, I am not your typical millennial. Even as a non-millennial having worked at the same place for seventeen years is not something you see as often as you might have forty years ago.
Despite only having had only employer, I have held four different positions. The length of each position is as follows: 1 year and six months, 3 years and four months, 3 years and eight months, and 8 years and six months. The last two positions were within the department, meaning that my tenure in that department was 12 years and two months.
My previous job was in Library IT. I started out as a shelver who put back books. This transformed to computer assistant, who helped the public and staff with their Internet and Microsoft Office issues. This gave way to not doing this at just one building, but at all four of the buildings that we had. That’s when I started in the IT department.
During this time, I also head to deal with server updates, network changes, and began doing some web-site updates. The last position I held was as an IT manager. This position had me handling all aspects of the network; which includes, but is not limited to, telephone management, server management, a Hyper-V failover cluster, and a Gigabit Passive Optical Network. A complete list of everything can be seen in my resume.
In 2011 I began noticing that I did not enjoy doing some of the IT functions as much as I had in the past. Part of this was due to being able to off-load some of the more basic tasks to others to handle. Tasks such as help desk and PC repair. When possible, I began focusing more on our website, including a huge re-deployment, and adding new features to our custom-programmed staff intranet (I was the one who created the intranet). Along side this, in 2014 I also began writing custom reports for our library automation system. For the last few years I have been indicating to my superiors that I needed something different to do. I knew I had become burned out on doing the job, and honestly I have been burned out for a while.
I have been looking for a new job for the last few years but have not been able to find anything, that is, until now. I have filled out hundreds of applications, thankfully all online. I have had a few interviews, and even one job offer. Unfortunately, none of them felt right, all for various reasons. Whether it was because I would have to uproot myself, just a gut feeling, or the pay wasn’t right, none of them felt like the right move.
Determining Where To Go
As mentioned, over the past few years I determined that I needed a change. Having done so many different things, within the library, it has been hard to narrow down what I want to do. The one thing that I knew was that I did not want to do IT administration work anymore. Could I do it, sure, but to be honest, I have become burned out on it. This lead me to determine what I want to do. The one thing I knew was that it would deal with computers.
Having grown up during the 1990’s one of the things that I have been exposed to is computers, not to mention some great music, TV shows, and movies. Any who, way back in 1996 I began playing with how to create webpages. I was using a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, AOLpress to be exact. It was the ’90’s after all. My interest in webpages stems from having grown up on DOS. Being a command-line only operating system, I became very interested in batch scripting. We had a 386 that had a bunch of games on it. We had a menu item to start each of the games. As we began adding more games to the computer I began editing the menu to add the new games on it.
This tinkering lead to me getting into other programming languages. Some of these included Pascal, Visual Basic, C++, ASP, PHP, HTML, CSS, JS, and Objective-C. Over the past few years I have been spending more of my off-work time creating web-based apps as well as iOS and OS X applications. I came to the realization that is where I wanted to focus.
Almost Missed Out
For my next adventure, I will be doing website work, still within the library world. The weird thing to the entire story is that it almost didn’t happen. I was looking at other library jobs and saw two for a library. After looking at them both I decided to apply for the one that was similar to what I was already doing; Despite being burned out on the job, the big reason I applied to it was mostly due the pay. I had filled out the application, but when I was about just about done I went back to the first page and added the second position that I had initially decided to not apply for. I decided to add this second job because I figured “why not”, even though it was paying a bit less. After a couple of months I got a call to setup an interview. To keep it short (This post is already over 1000 words, so it may be too late), I interviewed and got the job.
The hardest aspect to the whole thing was not the project I had to do nor was it the interview itself. It was sitting on the news for a week before being able to tell my current employer. I won’t lie, it was a surreal experience having to tell the staff in the department that I was leaving. I have spent just over half my life at the employer. That is a significant amount of time for anybody.
In my almost seventeen years at my last employer I have seen many different changes. I have seen one building expand twice and a new building be built from the ground up. I have seen our network go from a segmented T-1 between buildings (18 channels for voice, 5 for data), to a gigabit fiber connection. I have seen our network infrastructure change, as well as implementing a number of new services for both staff and patrons, not to mention the countless hardware upgrades. I have also seen three library automation system changes, as well as the myriad of staff come and go. Including my boss retiring at the end of last year.
Over those years I have also had a lot of personal changes in life as well. I am not one who is adverse to change, but I do not like change just for change sake. There has to be a reason to make a change. Changing jobs absolutely qualifies as a big change.
The last month has been quite surreal to say the least. At first I thought “What have I gotten myself into?” to questioning “is this the right move?”, even after accepting the position and telling my employer that I was leaving, and finally deciding that it was the right move. The second reason is that the replacement for my boss has been hired and I only had four weeks to get them up to speed on everything we have and do.
Having never resigned from a job, I did not know what to expect. I have experienced something new, something that most people do not really indicate. That change is the transformation within your own mind that a change is coming and that you are leaving and starting something new. Words cannot accurately describe the feeling. Maybe it is one of relief (because you’re leaving) and yet trepidation (due to going into the unknown) all at the same time.
I know I will miss some aspects to the old job. Some of these include the hours and well as a majority of the staff being the top two items. There are some things that I will not miss, this includes having to manage servers.
Tomorrow I start at my new employer to begin a new adventure. I am glad that some aspects to the job will be the same (being in a library). And at the same time some aspects will be completely different (I will no longer be in management). As with any new adventure I do not know what to expect. Even so, it is a new adventure and everything that has happened so far is okay by me.