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Where to go from here?

Where to go from here?

Where to go from here?

-- I work in a company of 600 employees.
-- We have a 6-member IT staff, including the IT Director.
-- The IT Director is only two steps down from the president of the company
-- I am the senior of two developers.
-- My skill sets include strong VB.Net/C#, moderate ASP.Net, strong SQL, moderate hardware and server support, and various other small languages and items.
-- The company offers a $3000/year budget for training for each member of the IT staff, which I use to its fullest each year.
-- We have MSDN subscriptions and attend several different conferences and the like a year.
-- I have a Bachelors in Information Technology and don't have funding for further college at this time.
-- I have a string of M$, Cisco and Novell certs.

Where do I go from here???  Promotion seems to be out of the question, unless we should buy another company (which is not outside the realm of possibility - just not visible today as an option).  I get to learn most of the things I want and have access to pretty much any resources I need to work and learn.

How do I continue myself as an IT Professional?  I am finding it difficult lately to keep my interest in my work because I don't feel I am working towards anything productive.

Thanks for your suggestions..

People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. (Calvin from Calvin And Hobbs)

Robert L. Johnson III
VB.NET Programmer

Replies continue below

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RE: Where to go from here?

When I find the challenge starting dissipate from my work, and see little chance of the situation changing I usually take it as a sign it is time to look for something else.  If you don't like what you do, aren't challenged or get very little personal satisfaction then what is the point?  Sure there are people that have reached this point and go to work and collect the paycheck and the kudos from the boss.  I worked with a whole company of these and the reality is I had very little pride in the work I was doing.
I suggest you look at your skill sets and target the one you enjoy most, which may not be the one you use the most or even have the greatest level of competency in utilize your training budget and focus on increasing your skills in this area. Then put feelers out and see what else is available.  Join some professional groups where you can network with others in your technology area and you can build a reputation.  Sometimes the best jobs come from those you know and not because the company was actively looking.

Having a skill is of little value if you rarely or never really get to put it to use, and eventually they may not be worth much in the work force as your opportunity to use them is limited.  Sure I can say I know C# on my resume but the truth is currently I use it in a limited number of circumstances, but that doesn't mean I am going to have much value as a C# developer.  

RE: Where to go from here?

It's sad to say, I suppose... but I'm looking to hunker in and work towards retirement at this point.

I love taking on new projects, don't get me wrong, and I love a good challenge.  But I'm not getting any younger, and I have no desire to go career hopping at this stage of the game, unless the "golden opportunity" drops in my lap.

Just my 2¢

"What the captain doesn't realize is that we've secretly replaced his Dilithium Crystals with new Folger's Crystals."

--Greg  http://parallel.tzo.com

RE: Where to go from here?

Sounds like time to start looking for some consulting jobs to stretch your experiences. Don't have any idea how you would get lined up with any but putting your name out to those you work with might be a start. The possibility of increasing your skills would probably be of interest to your company as it could be of benefit to them and they might give approval and some flexability to enable it.

Greg, be brave, look to the challenge. It will keep you young. I'm well past the retirement point and still look for the next problem to solve.

Ed Fair
Give the wrong symptoms, get the wrong solutions.

RE: Where to go from here?

Where do you want to go from here? Your skills are not management skills as you list them. Are you uncomfortable now? That may be solved with a nice talk with your boss. If you just feel you do the same trick every day, you may ask for different tasks, even if they need extra training. It cannot hurt to ask.

If you want to leave, just do so. Look around and apply for another job.

If you are looking for other fields of interest, maybe you would like web programming (especially security makes it a tough job) or network administration. I am a web programmer now, and my Linux knowledge grew enormously, as well as my network and security knowledge. Or you may get into the whole process itself. Reading a book on eXtreme Programming really opened my eyes.

If you want to go the web programming way, I would suggest learning a real language that puts you in control, not ASP.NET.

+++ Despite being wrong in every important aspect, that is a very good analogy +++
   Hex (in Darwin's Watch)

RE: Where to go from here?

I usually hit that point every 2-3 years or so.  Eventually things are running smoothly and projects end up being more of the same.  When I get bored is usually when I jump to another company, typically with a raise.  smile  That's one of the reasons that I like consulting so much.  Every project is different, every customer is different, and they're all challenging in their own way.

Of course, the market isn't particularly favorable for jumping right now.  It's times like these that you may want to decide what's more important for the next year or two, having a solid job that you can tolerate or looking for that career satisfaction.

CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:System Center Virtual Machine Manager
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

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