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    1. Nothing but a rant and personal outlet here, so if you don't want to read that sort of stuff move along. To preface this, I haven't gone to uni, gotten an certs, or anything of that sort. I worked...

      Nothing but a rant and personal outlet here, so if you don't want to read that sort of stuff move along.

      To preface this, I haven't gone to uni, gotten an certs, or anything of that sort. I worked my way up the ladder and moved up positions slowly. My experience was/is my crutch. I DO NOT have any intention of going to, or getting any sort of schooling for anything computer related now. I am moving out of the IT industry.

      I started with computers at a young age like many people in my profession do. I loved everything about them. Their versatility, the ins and outs of them, hardware, software... It all fascinated me. So I thought, hey why not work with computers because I love them? That's when I got a job at the good ol' yellow tag store selling them!

      At first it was great, I got to talk to people on what they were doing with it, try to work within their budget while getting the best computer for their needs, and just got to see what all sorts of people do with their devices. But then the sales numbers started to become a thing. "Hey you aren't hitting your goals." "You need to push financing." "SELL DAMAGE WARRANTY." I fucking hated it. So I changed departments to Geek Squad once I realized that I wasn't a salesmen. I couldn't bring myself to get someone to spend something I didn't believe in. No problem. Started doing more tech support stuff and actually working with computers, instead of selling them and knowing hardware. Except that quickly turned into "SELL SELL SELL!!"

      Started looking around for a new job after sales started to become a thing for that position, and ended up finding a job at a local PC store. I was elated. I was a computer technician. I shouldn't have to worry about sales anymore. I work with customers on preexisting devices and get them running well! Although... The passion for computers started to die. I wasn't as excited for new hardware coming out. I didn't want, or care for, the newest thing. AND ON TOP OF THAT I STILL HAD SALES EXPECTATIONS. WTF. I was a tech, not a sales person! How was I suppose to sell half of what the sales guys there do when I'm working on machines all day?? On top of that if I handed something off to a sales rep to call and talk to them, it was always a struggle with them to get them to share the sale with me. Fuck this I'm out.

      That's when I got lucky. That's when I found my first actual IT job. I started on the phones at a place, and not even a week in they said they had a desktop support position available. I pushed for 4 weeks to get that job. I hounded the IT manager, director, and the admin there... And eventually, I got it! I was learning so much. So many systems to learn. WTF is AD??? IDK, but imma find out. No need to explain mr boss man, I got my secret weapon... GOOGLE. I learned quickly google was my friend in IT. TBH this job was mostly keep the little shit out of the boss mans hair so he could focus on getting the big shit done. I loved all the little shit. It was all so new and exciting to learn. I had to learn systems that NO ONE at the company knew because someone previously installed that system and no one knew how it worked. I wrote up documentation on it, how to pull info, what to put where for new employees, etc. etc. That was until the layoffs started happening. I started getting worried. Would I be next?? No, I was doing a great job! To top it off, my boss went from a backlog of 50+ items down to 12 in 6 months! They can't get rid of me! ...How young and naive I was. TBF I was the ONLY employee they gave any notice to. A full month. Everyone else came into work, and was let go in 5 min or less. So cool, they definitely appreciated me. Not only that, I was only like 19 at the time. To me it showed me they respected me, and that I was a good worker.

      After that passion was a 0. How could a company I worked so hard for do this to me?? I gave up countless hours (to a 19YO that aint much I can tell you that), and I documented everything, I was a good employee... But alas it was the end. I had to find something quick... I'll call up my old manager at the PC store. THAT WAS A MISTAKE. After only being there a week I fell into a depressive hole that I don't think I've quite gotten out of to this day. I was only there a few weeks, but goddamn... I hated every second of it.

      Next job was fucking amazing, and I took it for granted. I was lazy. I did what I was suppose to, but I wasn't proactive like before. I didn't care. I thought, "just give yourself some time. you just need to get out of this rut." But I never did. It sucked. Not the work, that was fucking easy. But life sucked. "But you just got married man? How can you be sad??" (outta left field i know, but my relationship status during any of this is a WHOLE different story) I CAN BE SAD BECAUSE I FUCKING HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT LIFE, I thought to myself. I wasn't happy. I should have gotten out then. It should have been the end of my IT career... But my ex-wife and I made a stupid financial decision and I needed the money that came with how hard I had already worked to get the pay I was. I had to stay in to be able to afford the bills. I loved everyone at that job. It was honestly the best. But... Cuts were made. 20ish% of all staffing was cut... Including my position. Not only that, my ex and I talked and we were separating. Wow, I can't even last a year in marriage. FUCK.

      That's when shit took a turn for the worse. I dug myself deeper, and deeper, and deeper. Separated, and now talking of divorce... I need time. 3 months. I'll find a job after 3 months. During that time I dated for the sake of not being home. I took nightly drive up the canyon... fast. In retrospect, I think I was hoping to fly off the cliff every night I drove. I wasn't in a good state of mind. But I got good at driving up that canyon fast! It turned into a hobby (although now I am not into cars for various reasons).

      But 3 months was up! Wow that was fast. But I feel good. Found a job. Service desk. Cool. Let's go. First day. FUCK. I don't want to be here. I went from desktop support making 40k a year, to service desk making 30k a year. I can barely pay shit rn. I need something better. I need more. I need more. I need MORE. Desktop support position opened there sweet. Apply. Nope the fucking retard got it who had been there for 3 years, even though I already know more than him, AND I get asked by the sysadms for help n the regular because I know the systems they use. But nah, he's been here longer. Fuck this, I'm finding something else.

      So I did. Here I am at my current job. As a system administrator. Good money. Like 50k a year. Full paid benefits. I got here with 0 schooling, or certs, just my experience like I was told I would be able to. Sitting pretty... But... I still hate it... WHY? I LIKE COMPUTERS? I LIKED LEARNING THIS SHIT BEFORE?! WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?? WHY CAN'T I BE HAPPY?

      ...Oh... Wait... Do I really like computers? No. Not really. Do I want to do this ever rapidly changing career forever? NO. Fuck this. But... I have bills. Okay. Budget time. So now I am still here. I have an end date. Once I get my debts paid I will be out of the IT industry. I am moving states. I will be able to afford to live on much less, and go to school for ANYTHING else. I'm thinking I just want to do something simple for a little like night custodial work, or a security guard. I don't want to have to worry much about the next big thing always around the corner. It's too much stress. It's just not a career for me. Maybe it's not for you. Maybe you should walk away from it to if your not happy.

      What's the point of this post? Honestly mostly a rant. But I also want to let people around my age (24 now) know that walking away from a career IS AN OPTION. "But I need the money I make now because of debts!" Dude, did you not read this? I know. I've been working on paying shit off because of my ex and time I took off from work. I'm in the hole. I get it. Budget and get an end date. That helped me out immensely. Knowing there is an end... Just I'm already excited. Then get out of that career if you aren't happy. DO NOT SACRIFICE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH FOR YOUR CAREER. People in the US have this work work work mentality and I just hate it. I just want to live my life. I don't care about traveling or anything, I just want to be able to live.

      31 votes
    2. Tildes, I'd like some opinions please! I work in a genetics lab as a research assistant and I've got the opportunity to pursue a PhD under the supervision of the lab director whilst maintaining my...

      Tildes, I'd like some opinions please! I work in a genetics lab as a research assistant and I've got the opportunity to pursue a PhD under the supervision of the lab director whilst maintaining my current position and salary, with work I'd probably be doing anyway contributing to my thesis.

      I feel like this is a pretty good opportunity: I'm not getting any younger and I have a young family, so going back to school to do this on a studentship is not an option, and my employer is willing to fund half the tuition fees and cover materials/ reagents etc. Word in the media is that there is a glut of PhDs at the moment, but I don't have my heart set on an academic career, so I won't be crushed if I end up in industry. I'm based in Europe, so would be looking at taking 3 years for the whole degree, which is coincidentally when my current contract is up.

      Has anyone pursued a PhD under similar conditions? What was your experience like? Was getting your PhD worth it (especially in the life sciences/biotech)?


      7 votes