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Foochie776
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Last year, I finished a two year trade school program. Before I’d started, I had a decent relationship with my kids and I was a single man. My life’s changed pretty considerably the last couple years and now I’m wondering if this job is going to be the best fit for me. 
 

When I was in school, I tended to stray from the actual physical work and more enjoyed the book learning aspects of it. Sometimes being on the job sites can be kind of overwhelming for me being autistic. I enjoy what I do and I’m exploring other options that would help me achieve the goals I’m trying to achieve. I’m just having thoughts and maybe even doubts that I got wrapped up in the salary potential and when i got into this work wasn’t thinking long term for my life. I’ve talked to my partner about this extensively and she’s supportive of either me pursuing a new profession or altering my current work dependent on what’s available. 
 

I just wanted to air out these thoughts, any advice or words are helpful. This has been kind of bothering me lately   

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Administrator · Posted

You're not alone, especially with Covid impacting how people are thinking about life these past few months.

I myself have been having something of a crisis of identity with where I live, which is kind of similar. I live in Toronto and I live here very much for the amenities, but honestly looking back, even before Covid I wasn't exactly hitting up the clubs or going to shows or anything at all really with any sort of regularity. Really I'm just paying a super high cost of living to... sit in my basement apartment playing video games.

I'm super lucky to have a reasonable rent, around HALF of what some of my peers are paying right now, and that's been a sticking point for moving. But even so, I can make pretty decent money working purely remotely; I could easily buy a house NOT in Toronto and have the whole place to make my own "man cave" of my dreams, etc., and for a fraction of the cost of living here. It definitely has me rethinking a lot lately. 

I've even considered moving to another country (e.g. Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, somewhere "exotic" (to me)). It's tough though cuz my wife likes to be close to family. But at the same time we see them maybe twice a year to be honest. We could easily buy a great house in another country and STILL be well enough off that we could fly her family over (or ourselves fly back to Canada) for again a fraction of the cost of living in Toronto.

It's tough to have these talks during Covid though, as it's like... hard not to feel stuck.

All that to say...

I feel ya, brother.

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Editorials Team · Posted

I can relate.  Years back I was feeling burnt out and had something of an existential crisis.  Decided I needed a big change and went through all of the testing and started interviewing to be a cop.

Of course my work got wind of it and offered me a promotion, which sucked me back in.

What option would have been better in hindsight?  Who knows.

Strangely enough my dad was a cop, had a dead body-related existential crisis, and did a 180 himself.

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Job changes are scary, so much uncertainty with them. My 2 cents is that you should work a job you like. If you work a job you dislike just because pays well, that'll start to eat at you and effect home life. It did for me at least. Sometimes money isn't the only aspect to taking a job, would you be happy with the change?

 

Wish you the best of luck

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Member · Posted

I'm almost 40 and I would really, really like to do something different. I've been writing software since I was 16 and I prided myself of being top amongst my peers. However, after 16 years of doing the same business logic code, but with new tools and paradigms, I'm just done and uninspired.

However, a well seasoned dev earns pretty good money. I also live in a small rural town and I work remote so cost of living is good. I would try something new and I even at one point considered going back to school to become an anesthesiologist or even psychiatrist. However, the cost of education and medical needs prevented me from trying.

I don't hate my work but it isn't fun. It's just a job, but it does take care of our family needs. I am content but I can understand the feelings too.  If you are young and feel the urge to try something different, I suggest you do it. When you get older, the desire will likely increase but your ability to change will only diminish. Just be 100% sure you choose a profession you're passionate about, otherwise you'll find yourself back where you started from but 10 years from now.

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I’m happy with what I do and was 100% work from home before covid and will be after it’s gone. I’m currently working on a MBA and my undergrad is in IT which is what I do. I’m 35 and it’s never to late to make yourself better, learn something new, and basically not become complacent. 
 

My wife, however, is a teacher and at the beginning was pretty happy to be working from home. I think lately it has exhausted her though and asked me about a career change. She is 36 and she asked if she was too old for that. I said no your never too old to make yourself happier. I told her to wait until covid is more under control and we get back to a semi normal life before making a big decision though. The last year hasn’t been easy on anyone. 
 

@GlovesI’m with you on living in an expensive area and going nowhere. I’d love to move but packing up all these games is a no go haha

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Homebrew Team · Posted

This more of are you happy with your current company, not necessarily career change, but I think it applies.

The saying goes you need at least 2 of these to be happy at work.

  1. Happy with your pay
  2. Happy with the projects / work assigned to you
  3. Happy with the work atmosphere (coworkers / culture, etc.)

If your current job or career is not hitting at least two, you should start to look elsewhere (or fix the lacking parts with your current company / job, i.e. ask for raise / ask for different projects). 

#3 is unfixable if your are unhappy with your current company, which is kind of unfortunate because it is always a gamble when you accept a new job.  You don't know until you start.

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I think there is always a balancing act between the pros and cons of a specific job.

And really you are the only one that can weigh them.

I am around the same age as you. I think this is still an age were you should still make sacrifices to a point because you are in your prime right now physically, and because people give you less opportunities as you get older.

So for me I am choosing to stay with the company I am with for another year because a. they are a stable company for going through a recession and b. they pay me okay c. downside is the experience is just okay on my resume. 

But next year I am hoping to move to a company that will a. pay me less, b. make me work more hours, but c. will give me lasting experience that will allow me to make more money and have more options down the road.

Edit: oh yeah, the people at my current job are easy to work with and I hear terrible things about the companys I will try to move to next year.

 

 

Edited by Californication
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I have always taken a ton of criticism over my job hopping thru my life, as I have started many careers, started college a few times, and always bail.  For me, I found that running my own business is the only way for me to be happy as I dont have a boss, and I do things my way, whether they are right or wrong.

Hopefully now that Im on my 3rd or 4th small business, this one will stick.  Ive had about 35 jobs in my life, and most of them were bad experiences, but I have always gotten lucky and been able to move on to something else without any major problems like foreclosure, or divorce, etc.

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19 hours ago, arch_8ngel said:

What trade?  There may be positions/sub-jobs within the trade that better accommodate your needs without switching to something else entirely or retraining.

A sparky.

That being said, you could probably switch to something like HVAC pretty easily and that could be more of an 8-5 job depending on where you end up.

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13 minutes ago, captmorgandrinker said:

A sparky.

That being said, you could probably switch to something like HVAC pretty easily and that could be more of an 8-5 job depending on where you end up.

There are plenty of residential-related electrician jobs out there that are just the master electrician with his "helper", right?

Maybe I am misunderstanding the nature of the comment about how the job sites were problematic with autism (assumed it was about crowded/noisy environments doing large scale commercial work of some kind).

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I had a small water stain in my ceiling, I ended up calling a company to do mold testing. It cost me a $1000 just for the testing. The guy who did the actual testing has a certification and works for himself, and is basically subbed out by all the different remediation companies/competitors etc. From the looks of it, this guy had it made. Works for himself basically, and makes a ton of dough. There's plenty of good opportunities in trades. It would be good to shadow someone during the day to day job before you sign up for classes next time @Foochie776 if possible. See if it's right for you before you invest all your time and money. 

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I've worked in IT all of my adult life and one thing that is constant in that environment is change.  With all the companies (3 - 16 years) I've worked for, there are constant reorgs and layoffs.  It's kind of exhausting having a family and mortgage working in this kind of environment.  Outsourcing is heavy in this world and you can get shuffled all over the nation if you get into the contracting area of IT.  It does in general provide an opportunity to work from home though, which is a massive plus.

I only point these perspectives out because working in the trades, as an outsider, seems to be more stable - however I could totally be wrong.  A lot of those professions also have unions which have benefits too, I believe.  I've certainly pondered the what-ifs and wonder if I should have tried to be an electrician or something comparable.

At this stage of my life, single dad with kiddo half the time, and a mortgage - all i want is stability.

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6 hours ago, captmorgandrinker said:

A sparky.

That being said, you could probably switch to something like HVAC pretty easily and that could be more of an 8-5 job depending on where you end up.

Anybody can be a Tin knocker! 😛 but in Silicon valley their union works 6-2.

 

45 minutes ago, Boosted52405 said:

With respect to electricians (reference to sparky?), I quickly think of @MrWunderful.  If that is the profession in question, I bet he would have some great feedback.  Haven't seen him post in a long time, but I've been MIA for quite a while too.

Im still around. Just more or less done collecting, I am happy with where my collection is. I cant speak to his specific position, but I am not sure if he is in the union or not. Last him and I chatted, he was trying to get in. 

There is a world of difference between union and non-union. Our journeymen make 75/hour, local non union rate is about 25-30/hour. 
 

We also get 100% covered healthcare, pension as well as 401k, and non-union gets almost nothing. 
 

I can see how that can be frustrating, and hope if thats the case he can get in that MN local IBEW soon. Its the best thing I ever did with my life. 

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1 hour ago, Boosted52405 said:

I've worked in IT all of my adult life and one thing that is constant in that environment is change.  With all the companies (3 - 16 years) I've worked for, there are constant reorgs and layoffs.  It's kind of exhausting having a family and mortgage working in this kind of environment.  Outsourcing is heavy in this world and you can get shuffled all over the nation if you get into the contracting area of IT.  It does in general provide an opportunity to work from home though, which is a massive plus.

I only point these perspectives out because working in the trades, as an outsider, seems to be more stable - however I could totally be wrong.  A lot of those professions also have unions which have benefits too, I believe.  I've certainly pondered the what-ifs and wonder if I should have tried to be an electrician or something comparable.

At this stage of my life, single dad with kiddo half the time, and a mortgage - all i want is stability.

Damn straight brother.  If I had to do it all over again, I would stay as fucking far from IT as possible.

Would have much rather done something in the medical field.

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23 hours ago, Deadeye said:

This more of are you happy with your current company, not necessarily career change, but I think it applies.

The saying goes you need at least 2 of these to be happy at work.

  1. Happy with your pay
  2. Happy with the projects / work assigned to you
  3. Happy with the work atmosphere (coworkers / culture, etc.)

If your current job or career is not hitting at least two, you should start to look elsewhere (or fix the lacking parts with your current company / job, i.e. ask for raise / ask for different projects). 

#3 is unfixable if your are unhappy with your current company, which is kind of unfortunate because it is always a gamble when you accept a new job.  You don't know until you start.

This is some great logic.  Though #3 can be way more important if you REALLY don't get along with your coworkers/boss.  I will say that a trade/education doesn't lock you in as much as you may think.  Some jobs don't require a background other than the willing/ability to learn.  

I will say if you want the ability for change then working for the government Federal/State/City can allow you climb the ladder as well as a change in what you do.  Government jobs typically post position internally and get filled internally.  When I interviewed for a job with the City of Cincinnati the HR lady explained that she started off as a garbage collector with the city.  Change can be large in government job.  Also government jobs typically have good unions that help support your further education which in turns lets you make a career change while still working for the same employer which means you keep building your seniority/pay/benefits.  

I am a little bit biased as I enjoy being a public servant and saw how being a government employee benefited my Dad/Mom in their retirement benefits.

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I work for myself and I remember the day I decided to quit my stable job writing oil well software for a large company here in western Canada to pursue my own business. It was scary but I knew if I put the dedication into it, I could become one of the best coders in the country and take my pick of jobs. Since then I've been flown all over North America, working for some of the largest Fortune 500 companies and doing massive projects, but the 2 most important things are:

  • I enjoy it
  • You be the absolute best you can be with no laziness

I think if you want to transition into something that you enjoy more, and you're absolutely sure you'd enjoy it more, then you can be successful at anything if you're good enough. The only limiting factor is the amount of work you're willing to put in to learn and I know, having autism myself, that not wanting to learn new things is probably not something you need to worry about. Routine is nice with the job you have now but if you work hard, it'll be worth the change.

It's interesting how many people are being diagnosed with autism now, I'm seeing it more in the last year than ever before. I got diagnosed 2 years ago myself and I find it's being much more accepted now, very interesting. If you have any questions with how I deal with the changes in routine and managing clients, just ask. All of my clients know I'm quite a strange dude but they also know if they give me a project it'll be done exactly the way they want it, not over time and over budget with major rework.

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  • 5 weeks later...

In my family, we rarely ignore the call when opportunity comes knocking. Sometimes we even go out of our way to change before things become stagnant.

From the past 20 years we have been and in many ways still are machinists, metal  brokers, metal processors, silver refiners, lead smelters, shooting range maintenance service providers.

We are now also in the process of opening a reloaders supply business and possibly using our hazardous waste experience and enter the medical waste space.

Were not rich by any means, but we diversify our skill set and swiftly move on to the next thing when the time comes.

If you’re willing to learn new things, and step outside of your comfort zone I think you can achieve great things.

Just always be aware that when switching gears like that, there are “known unknowns” as in a particular skill set you might need and have to learn...and then unknown unknowns” like suddenly finding out you need to spend some time learning something that seems completely irrelevant.

 

 

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I think its good, especially early in your career, to move around and try a few different things before you get too complacent in one spot. You get to try different things, add new skills to your resume, keep your mind sharp and meet new people.

I've been at my current job for about 2 and a half years and I'm itching to try something new. Of course with the covid situation its difficult to find a new place to work, but I can't wait to move on to the next opportunity. 

That said, my current job is secure and I do like the people I work with so I'm ok sticking it out here until the job market gets a bit better. Also I do really enjoy the career path I'm on, I'm not planning on changing careers entirely, but I do want to experience different things in my field.

Its different for everybody

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Pro tip for anyone thinking of a career change - if you aren’t sure what you want to get into and you live nearby to a community college, I guarantee you they have adult education night classes where they offer a bunch of subjects. I’ve done this for a few things I wanted to learn more on in my current career and it’s worth a Tuesday and Thursday night from 6-9 for a couple months. Pick something interesting and sign the hell up, the first step is the hardest. 
 

I got out of banking and into IT about 10 years ago by quitting and signing up for community college. Take a chance on yourself. 

Edited by a3quit4s
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