Today is officially the last day I will be an IT professional. Starting tomorrow (well, really next week) I’m a full time educator and part time assistant adult hockey league director. Of course the topics that I’m teaching are IT related, specifically software engineering and graphics programming, but I won’t be doing it full time anymore. This is both refreshing and terrifying. I’ve been doing IT pretty much straight through since I got my first job at 17 helping build out a startup ISP. Now I get to change gears. Instead of tech being what pays the bills, tech gets to go back to stuff I do for fun, which I’m hoping will mean that I make progress on the many stalled projects I’ve had going for weeks/months/years. I’m not sure what career #2 is going to turn into but I’m sure tech will sill be there, hanging around as it’s been all my life.
This is a rambly, what’s-going-on-in-Dave’s-life sort of post with very little content of interest who don’t know me and/or are stalking me. You have been forewarned.
I have a habit of jumping around between jobs. I find that I’m rarely satisfied for long in a position as the thrill of learning a bunch of new stuff wears off, the grind sets in and the drudgery of doing real work is all that’s left. To many, this penchant for flittery is a big fat check mark in the negatives column while evaluating me as an employee candidate. Then again I probably don’t want to work for people who care about such things. This is not to say I never stay put. I spent 2 years running my own company and there was plenty of drudgery amongst the fun (and terrifying) learning activities such a job afforded. So, when it seemed the end was drawing near for my time as a failed entrepreneur I made a pledge to myself. I didn’t want to get stuck right back into those boring jobs I had fled several years back.
Since there wasn’t a lot of excitement for me in the types of jobs I was likely to be offered I started wondering, where can I go? I had been teaching at the Art Institue of Phoenix for 2.5 years at that point and I knew that I enjoyed my work there. It was peripherally related to software development (which I still love) but conveniently avoided all those pesky issues like customers and deadlines and software that actually has to work. It also afforded me much more opportunity to play with and develop game technology, the very thing I had gone to college for all those years ago. Perfect!
I was all set to move over to the Art Institue when the next surprise came along. I had written a rather lengthy letter expressing my concerns and dissatisfaction with various elements of the adult hockey league at Oceanside Ice Arena. I expected to get back something stating “Your concerns have been noted, now buzz off”. What I got back was “Those are some really great points, this is what I’m going to do to address them, oh and by the way do you want a job as assistant adult hockey director?”.
That’s the first time I’ve ever been offered a job by complaining. So I met with the rink’s manager and in the next few weeks I’ll begin to take on duties as assistant adult hockey director. Check mark in the “try something new” category. Luckily the hockey gig is mostly evenings and the Art Institute is mostly daytime so they’re quite compatible.
So, I leave a full time software engineering job, go to teaching and managing a hockey league. Sounds like a pretty good career shake-up to me.