[Wednesday Ramblings] Illumination!

Trying to get back into the swing of writing and trying also to get some of my frustrations out. This is the first step in doing both.

So I had an interview Friday with another software firm. The position would have me doing much the same thing as I am now. I felt the interview was going well until one of the guys asked me if I had done any research on the company. I looked at him askance and then answered truthfully that I had not. It didn’t help that their website was a mess and my contact who got me the interview was rather vague about the whole thing. Anyway, he then clarified the intent of his question as being one to see if I was applying here specifically or if this was just another interview. For some reason, being faced with that question really illuminated something for me. I don’t want to do IT as a career.

Granted, I’m sure I was aware of this fact already, having already made that decision when I switched to English, but that’s besides the point. I can now say–and not just imply–that my interests in long term employment lie elsewhere. Right now, I’m just working a job. I might be fairly good at it, but It’s not a career and I know it was never going to be either. It was just a means to an end, a way to get paid that kept the bills clear, gas in the tank, food on the table, and let me buy a couple games every once in a while.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I have no skills what-so-ever in any other field and, aside from my degree, no credentials to speak of. Did I mention that we just moved and there’s a pile of school loans waiting for me as well? Yeah…

Which is sort of how I ended up in this situation in the first place. By being what I felt was a responsible adult I went out and got a job the first week of college and have since had at least two. I even had three for about two semesters where I was tutoring for comp sci until they realized my GPA was lower than most of the student who were coming for help–which, not that I think about it, is also about when I seriously started to think about switching majors.

So when I got offered a job that I could do what I was good at and get paid pretty good for it, I was all over that. Two years later, the job is a nightmare. I went from being a problem solver for our team to being the problem solver for team we’ve engaged which is way more exposure than I ever wanted. But the money’s good and the paychecks keep life from breaking down. That’s really the main point that continues to come up as I work on getting another job. Whatever I’m doing, I need to be making a moderately respectable salary while doing so. Which means that I need to stick with a job field I can be making at least 35k in–great amounts f frustration brought on by it notwithstanding.

Ultimately, I want to teach at a University or be a paperback writer (Paperback Writerrrr!). Both of which require my Master’s to some extent. So they’re not really things I can do now. I’m not strong enough mechanically as a writer to do it as my main income, a chief reason for me to be attending Stonecoast—even though my job is making increasingly difficult to get writing done—and I need a Master’s degree to teach at a University.

So what can I do now? Technical writing would certainly improve my mechanics, but just about any job that can pay the bills wants 3-5 years experience in the field and as I said before don’t know if I qualify. I have the knack, but tech and propsal writing are totally different ball games from creative writing.

Guess I’ll find out eventually. Wish me luck!


About Trevor Gulley

Trevor Gulley is a writer, cartoonist, and gamer. He works full time in the IT industry and judges Magic most weekends.

Posted on 03/28/2012, in Rants, Slice of life, Wednesday Ramblings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sean Lane Fuller

    Good luck, Trevor! I feel for you, Man. You might not want any advice, but I’m old enough now that I always feel led to give advice, even if it is uninvited. Uh, let me think, nope, I don’t have the answer, no wise sagely advice, just a bunch of rambling. Okay, are you ready for it?

    I typed all of this in, then read over it and decided it was a bunch of crap, but all of the typing was a lot of work and I hate to delete it all, so I’m just going to go ahead and click on the post button. If nothing else, it will give search engines more reasons to link to your blog. Along those lines, I would like to note that there is no mention below of britney spears, mega millions winners, keith olberman, or the final four.

    A lot of people I know wrestle with this same question every day and have been for many years. Wrestle is probably not the right word. In fact there is no one word that really covers the fullness of this emotional journey well. Sometimes we worry about it. Other times we are depressed. Sometimes mad. Basically, we have come to the point in our lives where we are set up to make money at something, i.e. IT.

    You are pretty good at your job. You make enough to pay the bills, and so on. There are many things you would rather do like write stories, play games, and draw. You feel stuck. Face it, you are.

    I see two approaches. The first approach is to concentrate on the good parts at work. Do a good professional job and earn your pay. Then do all of the stuff that you really want to do outside work. When you do the fun stuff, just concentrate on having fun and not replacing your day job. This way, either surreptitiously, without you forcing it, the fun stuff will start bringing in money, and you can quit your day job, or you will get a lot of enjoyment out of the fun stuff and your day job will keep paying the bills. Either way it is a win for you.

    The other approach is to let the dislike for your job grow and struggle to supplant it with another career. This way either you struggle for quite a while and eventually have another job doing stuff that you used to think was fun and now has become much less enjoyable, or you struggle for a long time, do worse at your job and fail to set up a new career. That direction seems filled with a lot of struggling and less fun. I opt for the first approach.

    • Totally agree and there _are_ days that let me enjoy the bits of my job that I do well at, its just getting harder to do so is all really. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t have classes any more and don’t have an outlet to forcibly occupy myself. I mean, grad school is tough and all, but it’s not being in class three/four times a week.

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