Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

Summary: If you've reached the end of your tether in IT, you can still find a satisfying outlet for your talents in an alternative career. Here are some suggestions...

TOPICS: IT Employment

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  • Hair and beauty
    This possible career might seem crazy, but hear me out. First, there is an elegant mathematics to the art of hair design. I did a short stint in the field and really enjoyed it. Not only are you dealing with real people with real issues — some issues a bit bigger than others — but you see instant results.

    There is no sitting around and waiting for the rug to be pulled from under you — as is inevitable in IT and consulting — no dealing with budgetary constraints or security holes, no horrific hours, and no cloud.

    Photo credit: hndrk/Flickr

  • Farming
    Farming may well be one of the single most rewarding professions in the history of professions. Yes, it's hard work. Yes, there is very little money to be made. But creating the very things that sustain life — what more could you ask for? If you opt for this route, you'll need finance and savings because you won't get rich off the fat of the land. Your soul might, but your bank account? No.

    Taking a break
    Naturally these ideas are all subjective, but everyone has a skill other than IT that they can bank on. Who knows, perhaps a break from IT is all you need. If it doesn't work out, come back to IT. The work will still be here. You'll probably have to play a massive game of catch-up, but you'll get back into the race more quickly than you think.

    Other alternative professions?
    This is a just short list of possibilities, but there are plenty more. What other careers do you think might be suitable? Have you switched fields only to return to a tech job? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

    Photo credit: Mr Savoury/Flickr

Topic: IT Employment

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  • Career Change: Research & Development

    Yes, large companies do R&D, but a third the SBIR awards go to companies of fewer than 10 employees. So start your own research company and work on the ideas you never had time to develop.
  • Biased "journalism"!!

    In keeping with the leftist anti-capitalist wave sweeping the media:

    "Although not-for-profit organisations have their own set of headaches, they aren't nearly as intense as those you experience in the upper echelons of capitalism."

    Assertion posited as fact. Which headaches are more intense is a matter of opinion and subjective experience. This author posits as fact that capitalist headaches are much more intense? Is he sure it isn't the size of the organization, rather than whether it is a for-profit company, vs. a non-profit? Please end the anti-capitalist slant.
    • Brainwashed


      Ah, another one brainwashed by Fox News.

      Are you sure you know what "leftist" and "anti-capitalist" mean? I'm sure Glenn Beck can give you all the "right" answers. LOL!
      • Braindead


        Ah, another one lobotimized by MSNBC and CNN.

        Are you sure you know what "conservative" and "free-market" mean? Well, Glenn Beck COULD give you the answers, but then your head would explode when confronted with the "Fair and Balanced" truth!
  • Geez. Again with the stereotypes!

    Yes, author is full of B.S. Couple slides later:

    "Most of the programmers I know are good, although quirky, people. Of course some of them live solitary lives and work long hours, but they are dedicated to what they do."

    Keep going, buddy. You're losing cred by the slide. ZDNet -- where do you get this stuff from??? This guy/gal shouldn't be published, here or anywhere.
    • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts


      Guess you don't know any "real" programmers. There is nothing in the statement you quoted that is not accurate. For example, working long hours is "part of the job" (once you are on salary insted of being paid hourly), and that leads in many cases to broken marriages and relationships, which in turn, causes the workaholic programmer to live a solitary life. Also, many of these folks find they simply interact with machines better than they interact with people; hence a solitary life by choice.
      • twoddle


        You are talking absolute crap.

        I am a programmer and I have been for over 25 years. Programmers are not sad long working people like you imply.

        Get your facts straight before posting on the internet.
  • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

    No way, not programming!

    I'm both a developer and teacher. I'm looking forward to further teaching as I cross 40, but no way, not programming!

    Programming is rigorous, hectic, demanding, fast-paced, highly target-oriented and killing. When you get older, you cannot keep up at the same pace. But certainly, teaching will benefit as it's easier and your skill from the field will really give you the lead.
    • 40? Old?

      I'm over 40 (just) and a faster and better programmer than ever. I started at age 8.

      The more I see, the more I recognise. OO was the last 'new' thing I saw, and that was decades ago. What I have noticed, though, is that a lot of good practices are now becoming common (Agile, as a brand of spiral development, the MVC pattern) — finally I can put some well-known terms on my CV for those less-techy who generally hire me.
  • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

    One of these days one of these articles will actually make sense. It should be titled, so you have made you fortune in I.T. what do you want to do next?
  • Commenters > Way to Serious Guys/Gals

    Hey gang. Enough with the personal attacks and defensiveness. This article is an opinion piece and it's partly funny. Some of us actually think there is some credence in this. :)
  • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

    I can agree on the teaching and farming parts
  • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

    Being an auto mechanic for 32 years let me warn you that the recommendation of this article would be a "big leap" for sure.

    Here's my warning: Even if there are a lot of computer related repairs in modern vehicles, most of auto repairs are still very dirty, back breaking jobs and involve working in very uncomfortable climates around very demanding customers who don't want to pay your prices. Also as time goes on the vehicles are becoming more proprietary requiring proprietary training and proprietary interface equipment and proprietary access. Only basic engine and transmission control systems are open to basic after market equipment and repairs.

    The electronic systems in modern vehicles are nothing more than various computers and processors on a network communicating with each other but they are not for everyone to crack.

    You can find very niche jobs in auto repair where all a tech does is to diagnose and repair computerized control systems. But I figure those positions are hard to find on average. And one last thing, mechanics still don't get any respect regardless how much training and technical knowledge they have because it's just a car, anyone could fix it if they had some wrenches, right? Working in the IT industry people are wizards even if you graduated from Devrey and now know how to swap cards in a pc to figure out what's wrong.
    • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

      "And one last thing, mechanics still don't get any respect regardless how much training and technical knowledge"

      Welcome to the world of help desk technicians. If a printer is taking forever to print all hell breaks loose . . . and they blame you and your equipment when in truth it the user sending a large Photoshop file to the print spooler. For all my fellow technicians no matter what field of study, we all know your pain :P.
    • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

      I work for a multi franchise dealership. I'm the systems administrator. Let me tell you it sucks from the IT end to auto repair end. Everything is propritary from the DMS system to the cars. If you think your going to get a job at dealership and just do computer repairs on the cars forget it! I get called down to the shop to program the computers on the cars because half the the techs can't figure out how to us the pc to program them. Computers are a big part of the auto industry but your not just gonna sit there all day and fix computers. You better get ready to get dirty and have a good strong back!
  • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

    I work in the automotive industry too. In our business we do machine shop work and engine building for all sorts of applications. It's a field with a lot of challenges but it's not boring and we get to work on some pretty cool stuff most of the time.

    I feel that anyone with the types of skills that are required to work in an IT situation would find it straightforward to switch to an automotive field.
  • Quality not quantity

    Learn what you are doing and be realistic. Then no need to spend long hours hacking around.
  • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

    Better than a mystery shopper - become a confidential mystery client. Help service managers discover how well their organizations cope with <b>really</b> difficult clients. Get your own back on the world rather than having the world on your back!
  • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

    They left of Animal Feeder at Bush Gardens
  • RE: Need a career change? 10 options for IT-burnouts

    I would like to switch to the restaurant industry someday. Everyone has to eat right? I'd probably have my own establishment and sometimes come up with my creations. That would be cool.