I am beginning to think that I am going through some sort of "mid-life crisis" thing and have been for about four to five months. I don't know if I'm early for such a thing or not but I know I have been questioning my life and my profession for most of that time. I guess the crux of the pondering that be summed up as "I don't think I want to remain in the tech sector anymore. I'm not really happy with things as they are." Maybe it's just a mid-life muddle.
I honestly can't say that I -dislike- where I am working now. Really. It is pretty laid back, it's got a good VPN set up and I can do the job I was hired to do. I'm also learning all sorts of interesting stuff about SQL queries and databases. I even had a good chat this afternoon with the guy who hired me who was supposed to be my boss but got outvoted. He asked me how things were going and I honestly told him things are going well enough. I'm not thrilled about the bullpen set up that we are all moving to at the end of the month but he was very enthusiastic about the idea of me getting Japanese screens or a beaded curtain thing to minimize the distraction factor.
That all said, I can't tell you how many times I have pondered quitting my job and selling my house in order to become a barista in recent weeks.
However, I do have a hefty mortgage to pay. Thus, I do need a job that makes a certain amount a month. Or roommates. Or both. I happen to have both right now. Or, I could finally decide (for definitely certain... maybe) that owning a home really isn't for me and sell it next year during the prime real estate market time. This, of course, would require that I move. Which, of course, I hate doing but will have to do if I sell my condo. The condo that I love but is currently very expensive to live in.
Ok. So, the condo (to sell or not) is a separate issue. The main issue, I suppose, is what do I want to do with myself if I leave the tech sector?
A friend, Glenn, was talking about a 'fantastic' opportunity as an insurance adjuster in flood regions that could net me as much as I would need in a yearly salary in 2-3 months. However, it would also involve me traveling to live in the south for those 2-3 months. I think I want to hear about his experience with this before I give that sort of thing a try. It sounds interesting and would allow me to have 8-9 months "free" to write for the rest of the year.
I could go look into those State and County openings to see if any of them appeal. The problem with this is the fact that I don't know enough about these types of jobs to know if I'd like them. I've been pondering a 911 operator job or a police dispatch job or, heck, working at the DMV. The benefits of a State/County job are job security and benefits. It's not great work but it is the kind of job that you leave when you go home.
I have thought of getting retrained as a dental assistant or a paralegal. Mostly because I know both jobs are in demand and are vaguely interesting to me. Sometimes, I ponder the idea of working in private investigation. Again, it is something that sounds interesting to me. I wonder what kind of training you need to become a licensed psychologist.
I suppose I don't have to leave the tech sector altogether. I could get back into contracting for a year or so. That would keep me at a salary I want while giving me escape options if I need them. Alternately, I could go back into straight game testing again. I really enjoyed game testing. It was a lot of fun to me. It was also a job I could leave at the office when I left. It doesn't pay a lot but I really liked it.
What I really need is a career type counselor person to talk to. Someone to talk to about the issues I'm having now and what to do about them or where to direct my career change search towards. I've been in QA/Test for almost 12 years now. I think I want something new. I just don't know what. I really don't want to go from a high paying job that I'm not happy with to a low paying job that I'm not happy with. Just doesn't make sense to me.
With my luck, everyone I would talk to would tell me I'm insane for wanting to get out of the tech sector; that most people are trying to go the other way. It's true. However, I do know of a friend of mine who couldn't keep a job during the Dot Bomb, retrained as a dental assistant, and has never wanted for a job since.
Meh. I'm not sure what I want except for someone to pay me for being me. Guess I'll go pay my math tax so I can at least dream of not working a 9-to-5 job.
Tarot Card for the Day: Two of Pentacles, Inverted