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Research and development
Companies thrive on research — and that includes tech companies. What R&D departments don't need are people who have no idea what they are talking about. You know how things work as opposed to how they should work. You are fully aware of real-world needs compared with company-created needs.
A voice like yours could be of incredible value to a company devising the next big thing in IT. Of course R&D tends to exist only in bigger companies, so your CV would have to stand out from the mounds already piling up on HR desks. Overcome that hurdle and you might have a perfect match.
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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.
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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.
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