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Need some advice or input on a career decision

logisticalstyleslogisticalstyles Member Posts: 150 ■■■□□□□□□□
I've been on here for a few years and have learned a lot from you all, especially regarding my A+ and Net+. Now I need some job advice. I used to work in a corporate environment on the Help Desk/IT department for an accounting firm. Outside of tax season hours I pretty much loved the job. I got promoted to that position making 45k pr year after I got my A+ and finished a Certificate at my local college. The certifiacte was supposed to be an AS degree in Networking but I kept putting off College Algebra. After walking the stage for graduation the school sent me a letter downgrading the Degree to a Certificate. Since then I've lost that job due to unrelated circumstances. I went through job hunting for a year and ended up where I am now. Working in a call center supporting multifunction printers. That's it, no networking, no Desktop support, just answering phones for printer comapnies. It's very mind numbing work making $17 an hour.
Today I was offered a position doing General HelpDesk/ Desktop support for a software company making the same wage. The work environment is totally different than where I am currently at. This new position is not in a call center and I really like the feel of the company. This job is 21 miles from my house while my current job is 5 miles from my house. I'm not happy where I'm at and am ready to move on. Where I'm at now I am not learning anything thing new other than the constantly revised company policies. The new job taught me things during the phone interview alone. The new job will expose me to new technologies and actually use the skills that I went to school for and will actually encourage me to finish that Degree and possibly even upgrade it.

Seems like a no brainer right? Enter the wife. Her objections were having to wait longer for insurance to kick in. My insurance at the current job becomes effective in July. Moving to a new job would require me wait another 90 days for benefits. She's also objecting to the commute, which could potentially be rough since we share a car, but I'm not against using mass transit. My focus is on the ability to progress in my career. Where I am at now is definitely a dead end job. I'm sick of working in a call center wearing a head set and I question the profesionalism of some of my colleagues. I know I'm going to have to put in some work to make any real changes but I definitely know a major change will have to be my surroundings.
I guess my question is this. Have any of you ever had to go against a spouse or significant other to further your career? My wife is not very familiar with the IT industry and doesn't understand how important a move like this can be. Right now she's calling a latteral move.

On a side note I also got a call yesterday from Robert Half for a position that pays 18 an hour with a major hardware manufacturer. It would be sweet if that came through then my decision would be a little easier.

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    ExecuTechRecruiterExecuTechRecruiter Banned Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would strongly recommend taking the position. Talk to your wife, and explain the need to position yourself for future advancement. The commute is not ideal, but the opportunities the new position offers sound well worth the sacrifice. As a Recruiter for an IT company, the more recent and broad your skills, the more marketable you are. Also, you can continue to look for new jobs that might be closer to home, but you will be positioned much better if you're working. While I understand your wife's concerns, the ability to be in a work environment where you'll gain new skills far exceeds concerns about a 20 minute commute (albeit I'm in the DC area where a 45 minute commute is the norm). Good luck
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    techtextechtex Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Here is my advice, from someone who came up in IT the hard way and from someone who had no silver spoons answered or degress etc etc.

    I commute 30 miles each way currently, have commuted 120 miles each way before as well in my early stages simply because of where i was located at the time.

    While it may be hard for your wife to comprehend this, the fact is with me now its just decompression time, time for me to unwind from the day going home and also time for me to prepare coming in as well. The fact is IT field is a grind when you get started, and by started I mean making that jump from tech support to some sort of malleable position scaling up to career advancement.

    First "jump" I had, I was working for an ISP down in Texas, was community 25 miles each way, making next to nothing in the field but I did it because I knew it was a smaller company and they hired from the inside for promotions. Put in late hours, worked extra hours and often times put myself in the Middle of conversations with the higher ups at the time, taking on things I was not even fully aware of just to get the experience.

    Present it as an opportunity for your FAMILY to get to a better place, prepare for children, get a house and look try to present it to her in the fashion of what most women would want and see how she takes it.

    Often times we get blinded by the details in something and bypass the bigger picture, I am sure from the way you are sounding you do not want to be a happy little tech slaving away for that beep in your ear forever. So think of this as an early sacrifice for a much greater reward later on and you and her both will look back in 3-4 years and go wow, that was totally worth it!
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    GarudaMinGarudaMin Member Posts: 204
    Do a risk assessment and see how it comes out.
    Insurance - is this single or family insurance? How is your family's health? Any health issue that needs to be dealt with interim to getting insurance at new company?
    Commute - mass transit availability? the cost to get there via public or by car (gas)? where's your wife's work location (same way, opposite way)? how long for commute for both? who picks up who (if not using public transportation)?
    job change - other extra benefits at new place? sounds like potential to learn/grow at new place, how about old place? possibility of raise in old place vs new place? possibility to ask for counter offer at old place when you get offer in your hand from new place?
    then decide if the sacrifice for new place is worth it or not.
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    logisticalstyleslogisticalstyles Member Posts: 150 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the great replies. I went ahead and accepted the offer. I just put my notice in about an hour ago. They took it suprisingly well.

    @techtex You are so right about the commute time. This current job is 5 miles from the house. While some people may think that's ideal, I actually miss having a commute. The train ride home was always my decompress time.

    I figured since we are all healthy and my kids are already insured we could afford to make the switch. I will be so much happier not wearing this headset. I'll get to learn more and actually get back on track with my certifications.


    Also, the new job is in a part of town that we want to move to. My parents already live on that side of town and I want to have the kids closer to thier grandparents (free baby sitting). My wife is cool with it but she's a little miffed about the insurance situation (mine and hers). I think the new company will have better insurance to be honest. I'm so amped up for this new job! I feel big things happening in my future..
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    logisticalstyleslogisticalstyles Member Posts: 150 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Update time:

    So, I've been in this contracting position for several months now and I'm starting to get tired of it. When I first got the job it was new and exciting. I was glad to be back doing corporate IT work instead of the dead end call center job I just left. But now it's starting to get old and I'm considering moving on. There are a few reasons in particular for feeling this way.
    The first reason is the unusually high turnover this company has. After being here for a month the company let 25 people go in one day. Some of the positions let go were from my department and one was even the acting IT director who had only been here for 6 months. It was a very ugly situation and it really let me see what type of loyalty they had to their employees. The reason given for the cuts were to reduce redundancy in some positions and to cut costs. Then a couple of weeks later they get rid of the other contractor that started 2 weeks before me. Granted he was not the best IT worker but the same reason was given for cutting him. Cost reduction. I just don’t feel like my job is secure at this point. Anything can happen.
    The second reason is I’m sick of being a second class “employee”. The truth is I’m not even an employee. It sucks walking into the same building and putting forth the same effort as everyone else but not getting the same benefits as everyone else. They get paid holidays, paid health benefits, sick days, PTO and business trips to conventions. I don’t. I’m actually dreading Thanksgiving because that means unpaid days off; and then again on Christmas and New Year’s. I didn’t even get invited to the company holiday party.
    The third reason is the pay. It just burns me up knowing that the company is paying a certain amount of money for the work that I am doing but I am only getting a cut of it. My agency doesn’t offer health insurance or any kind of benefits and PTO only kicks in after 6 months of steady employment. Although this job pays the same amount as my previous job there is the added cost of the commute. $5 a day if I got straight to work and home. Sure I can bring my lunch to cut down on expenses but I can’t get away from that cost of commute. It’s actually costing me more money to come to work. I was aware of this when I was offered the job but now reality is starting to kick in. I’m making the same $17 an hour that I was making in the call center but here there is NO chance of overtime. A year and a half ago I took the call center job at $17 an hour because I was in desperate need of work, but $17 an hour is hard to live on with a family of 4. My last corporate IT job was at $45k and I was doing work very similar to what I’m doing now. Actually now I have slightly more responsibility and power.
    I’m trying my best to learn as much as I can so I can improve my resume and move on but it’s just a little frustrating. Currently I’m the level 1 help desk analyst. I do all of the new employee set up and some light Active Directory work. This is a mixed environment with mostly windows users and a few Mac users so I’m learning some good stuff on that end. I may even grab me an Apple cert soon. I used to think I wanted to be a Network Guy but at this point my goal is to be a Systems Admin. I want to focus on getting some Microsoft certs under my belt as well. The only certs I have (or had) is my A+ and Net+. I had some Dell and Lexmark certs from working at the Call Center but I haven’t had to use that knowledge in at least 5 months now. I used to be really motivated to study but now it’s hard to stay focused because I’m so frustrated.
    I guess I just wanted to vent a little and at the same time give an update on my decision. Thanks for reading and I hope I wasn’t too long winded.




    P.S. – I know I made the right decision by moving on from the call center job because shortly after I left, they cut the work force by 60%. I definitely would have been laid off. Now I’m just considering where to go from here.





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    iBrokeITiBrokeIT Member Posts: 1,318 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I've been where you are now...

    I agree with you, I think you made the right decision to make the move but I don't think you should have stopped there.

    I also don't blame you one bit for hating low paying dead end call center jobs but the only way you are ever going to break out of that cycle is if YOU DO something about it. You have to ask yourself: Do I really wanting to be working at a help desk for another 5 or 10 years?

    There is no shortage of people at your level or looking to enter IT at your level which is why the pay isn't great and the jobs are sometimes hard to find. You need to challenge yourself to improve your skills by completing your degree and/or get some higher level certifications.

    I suggest you use that frustration to fuel your fire to improve and invest in yourself!

    Best of luck to you OP.
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