I'm burnt out. Now what?

So I’m done. Done with desktop support and done with tech. I’m sick of all the bullshit and don’t feel like climbing the ladder to trade it for different bullshit. I want a new line of work. However, I don’t know what else I can do that I can make decent money at since in today’s corporate America you apparently don’t deserve to make more than peanuts if you’re not near the top of the food chain or in possession of some highly specialized skill. Add to that the fact that no one wants to train anymore and my career change prospects look bleak. I don’t have the money to go back to school, and I’m starting to think most post-secondary education in the US is a racket anyway.

I want a job where I’m not dealing with people all the time (some is OK) and where I have a job to do and mostly get left alone to do it unless I’m messing up. I’m starting to think these jobs either don’t exist or pay only slightly above minimum wage. Before anyone says “well that’s just the way it is” or some other such platitude, know that I am well aware how fucked up the system is. I only wonder why more people don’t question it. What’s an introverted person who just wants to do his job and get paid to do?

Forgot to add, I want a job that isn’t temp work where I work for a staffing agency instead of the actual company and get no benefits beyond a paycheck. This is a large source of my frustration.

Hmmm… There’s writing, but you have to take the time to show your writing skills before you can find a place that will hire you. There’s freelance data entry and piece work, but that doesn’t get you benefits.

I’m kind of starting to look at the idea of freelance work. It may not pay much, but it might be worth it to work from home at my own hours…

Well, you could see about doing something “behind the scenes” at the local Humane Society, but then you might be dealing with actual bull shit.


That would preferrable to what I’m doing now, methinks.

What’s the pay like though?

Humane Society budgets being what they are, you can expect to get paid what you shovel. Fun to work with the critters, though.

Fun to work with the critters but it sounds like it won’t pay the bills. :frowning:

And that’s the problem. The fun, no stress jobs don’t pay enough to live off of. It’s fun to dream though. My goal is to have enough money saved up to retire on. I’ll have that by the time I hit retirement age, but I want it long before then. Maybe that fortune I got in my cookie the other night will actually come true. It said, “You will reach your goal in two months.” :wink:

To get back on topic, going Keep’s route is one of the few things I can think of that might be viable. But you’d have to do non-social stuff - product reviews, whitepapers, independent projects - the type of stuff Keep did “freelance” before he got hired by Ars. Now he’s doing stuff where he has to set up interviews, talk to people to line things up, schmooze Elon Musk to get a few days w/ a Model S, etc.

I’d suggest landscaper but I’m afraid you’d burst into flames if you went into the sunlight.

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Writing is fine, but I have no idea if the way I got started is applicable. I freelanced a bunch of long-form stuff for Ars in a pretty insane way—I basically wrote this and this in whole, then emailed them and said “Hey, uh, I wrote this. Do you want it as a freelance submission?” They said yes and it did quite well. Then I did the same thing with this; after that, they started pitching the occasional piece to me instead of the other way round. But I had to claw through a lot of stuff to get there—those 10k-word crazy features are hard to research when you have a full-time job doing other stuff.

The big break came when they asked me to write the big SSD primer because of my storage background. I almost missed a deadline because the day job was interfering, and I joked to the powers-that-beed that I’d have a lot more time to write if they’d just hire me full time. Shortly after that, Ken (the EIC) called me and essentially said, “So, you joked about a job here…do you want one?”

The day-to-day is sometimes easy and sometimes ludicrous. I have a staff and I do editor stuff, but I also have a required amount of output & pageviews I have to deliver. The NASA and Tesla stuff is great fun and it’s awesome when it all comes together, but there’s a lot of talking with PR and coordination, too.

@Force10, I’d hire you if I had any open spots :smile:

There’s too much cheap labor competition in landscaping where he is.

I, OTOH, would kill for a landscaper/hardscaper that could commit to a deadline. I’ve been waiting a month for my sidewalk and I’m going to be waiting at least another 2 weeks.

I have so much I want to say on this topic, but I don’t want to do it totally exposed here.

Too bad you don’t live near me, dakboy. I just had a new driveway put in. The guy came out, did an estimate, told me that it would be about a month before he could get to me since he had another project. A week later, he called and told me he had a short break in his current project, he and his crew showed up on that Friday, dug the old driveway out and did all the prep work, then were back at 6AM Monday to pour. He came back and checked on the job until it was dry and complete, and even did some touch up work on my porch at no charge. (He never mentioned doing it, I just noticed that it had been done.) He did it all for exactly the price he quoted for me, no games, no hassle. His crew even shaved down my side gate so it fit comfortably over the walkway he installed down the side of the house.

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I wish I had good answers. I’ve been fighting some of the same issues. My current job just changed up enough that I’m hoping to stick around for another year or two, but my medium-term plan is still to do something else.

While you’re figuring it out, I can’t recommend strongly enough having some outside interests, preferably entirely unrelated to work. I think doing leather work and playing musical instruments poorly has done far more for my mental health than anything else I could be doing with computers.

Funny you should mention that, Sig. I have been wanting to learn how to brew beer. But I haven’t gotten off my ass because depression is a bitch and all my happy pills do is keep me from becoming a raging basket case. The current situation isn’t helping. Also I have no place to store stuff for it.

I appreciate the offer @Lee_Ars. If it pays decently, hit me up when you need someone. I won’t have to move to TX will I? I could do Austin but I think I would go insane in your hood.

I lived and worked in Austin for a while when I was in college. I prefer the Houston area. I’m on the other side of town from @Lee_Ars.

I like TX and would not mind ending up there, but I do not yet have job skills sufficiently applicable to the market there. I could perhaps do my same job with the TX Nat’l Guard, actually; one of few states with the same program as WA.

Houston is swimming with engineer-type jobs right now due to the almost comically large energy boom that’s happening. There are possibly IT jobs to accompany them, but more on the specialized side—a former coworker of mine had absolutely no problem getting snapped up doing Avamar stuff at $GIANT_COMPANY, for example.

@Force10, when I bailed out of IT, I went over to work on the vendor side as a presales engineer. Do you have any IT vendors you’re in contact with regularly, either VARs or bigger OEMs? Might be worth going out for drinks with 'em and asking if they’re hiring. The pay is typically excellent.

What’s a presales engineer?