Making a plan towards goals, overcoming doubt

Among my various other frustrations in life the past few years, I’ve been trying really hard to make some smarter decisions to get me where I want to get. I’ll try to shorten this one because I tend to write really long winded stories usually lol.

Here’s where I stand:
-A few years out of college, had trouble finding relevant IT jobs.
-Worked as "the IT guy" for a few years, but got laid off.
-Was working in a helpdesk type position, but it wearing me out way faster than it was helping me grow (also due to departmental changes).

-Moved to another position, which is more business oriented. I make enough money to get by, and I save a few hundred each month, but I’m not totally comfortable with it. Some of the people are cool, but I have more trouble getting along here. Many of the people can’t even spell basic words It’s dreary here, I just can’t get excited about my work, etc.
-I often worry that this position, while growing general experience, will hurt my resume and future direction.
-I have a lot of free time now at work, so when I can’t take on extra work-related tasks, I work on some Java programming lessons.
-I really really want to get out of this area. Between gloomy weather, the people, lack of stuff available to do, generally depressing attitude, and all my friends moving away, I’m really only here for my girlfriend (who insists she’s never leaving) and family. I want out more than you could imagine.

Where I’d like to be:
-Not here. But I have to wait at least a couple years until girlfriend finishes grad school.
-My best friend is moving to NYC (contributing to how little I have left here), so maybe in a couple years that area would be a viable option. I hear rave reviews for IT folks in Texas as well. I’m pretty open to places to live. I used to live near NY, but was forced to move back because I wasn’t finding a decent job.
-I don’t know what I’d ultimately like to do, I’d love to run my own business, but I’m yet to come up with a solid idea I can successfully execute. The fast pace I get when I do work with my self-employed friend is such a refreshing change, I feel alive, and not just stuck behind red tape collecting a paycheck.
-My buddy’s dad is trying to hook me up with a government IT job, but that might be a while, and there are no guarantees. It’d stick me here longer (especially because I feel allegiance to not work there just to get out), but it’d be more relevant experience, and get me in that govt system.

I saw a thread in the OT section where a dude went from a call center to being a pilot, and even seeing that was pretty inspiring. An old coworker of mine recently moved up a few rungs, and relocated to Canada, and that made him happy and inspired me too.

Am I trying too hard to plan? How can I make strides? I get nervous I’ll end up like my stepdad, 50 years old and still bitching that he can’t get out of this place and live/do something he really likes.

I’m pretty damn miserable, and sometimes it gets really bad, but I want to try to take some previous advice found here on treating some causes of this, so please try to stick to planning, not "go see a doctor." Thank you

Holy crap this turned out long again

Cliffs: how do I successfully plan the next few years of my life, getting out of the area, a more exciting and challenging job, and avoid being like half the people I know who just give up and admit they’re stuck here?

I hate to say it but if the girlfriend says she’s never leaving, and you want to leave, it might be time to break that off.

Then you’re on your own schedule to make a move happen. Start visiting some cities you think you’d like to live in that have good it opportunities. Network like hell.

A job search is almost a second full time job.. Don’t half ass it if you want a good result

Thanks for the reply and for actually reading through that lol.

A friend of mine thinks her mind might change when she gets to the real world, and has to find a job. As the #2 worst area to find a job in 2013, we’re both hoping she realizes the rest of the world is worth checking out. Unfortunately, her trips to other areas have been more "traumatizing" than mine, where I can be dumped into new areas and start finding my way and enjoying myself quite easily. I’m hoping…

While I know places I’d like to live, I also realize that it may come down to a compromise of one of those where I already have friends. Not necessarily a bad thing.

I’m also keeping a stash of money growing just for this, so I could relocate and afford to live for 6-12 months while finding a job. Or, I just borrow a friend’s address and apply remotely.

I’m speaking from experience on the gf front.

She may change her mind… Or she may move and resent you for it. What if she gets a job where you’re at now and doesn’t want to leave because of that? Do you see yourself staying for her in that situation?

I moved from ca to tx for grad school, had a gf in ca. She always said she never wanted to leave ca, but anytime she got in a fight with her mom she would tell me she was moving to tx. Never did, then she graduated, got a job in ca and told me to move back or it was over.

Bottom line decide what means more to you: her or your career/moving elsewhere

Easiest way to make sure you don’t get stuck there is to leave now. Don’t "make a plan to leave" or "begin to prepare to leave"…. just leave.

If the girlfriend wants to go she will. If she doesn’t, sorry to hear it…but leave. The longer you stretch it out the less likely you’ll do it.

Holy crap this turned out long again

Cliffs: how do I successfully plan the next few years of my life, getting out of the area, a more exciting and challenging job, and avoid being like half the people I know who just give up and admit they’re stuck here?

Success is relative. What you consider an exciting job would be dreadful work for someone else. First step is to define what success means for you. Get a pen and paper, and write down exactly what you want to the smallest detail – don’t spend less than an hour on this. Otherwise you’ll be stumbling around in the dark with no clue where you’re going or how to get there.

Second step is to realize that for real change to occur, YOU have to change. This involves being real with yourself and taking full responsibility for your situation. Sometimes this means stopping a nasty habit, or cutting off a friend that only drags you down. This is a painful process, it isn’t easy, and 90% of people stop right here.

Third step is to realize that you are not obligated to remain "you" just because others demand it. They have their own agendas, and most will despise your success. When you start reaching and achieving goals above your peers, you will run into hate and envy. I guarantee it.

Final piece of advice: No one has an obligation – moral, legal, or otherwise – to "work his way up through the ranks." Every human being possesses an inalienable right to make a unilateral decision to redirect his career and begin operating on a higher level at any time that he, and he alone, believes he is ready.

I’m speaking from experience on the gf front.

She may change her mind… Or she may move and resent you for it. What if she gets a job where you’re at now and doesn’t want to leave because of that? Do you see yourself staying for her in that situation?

I moved from ca to tx for grad school, had a gf in ca. She always said she never wanted to leave ca, but anytime she got in a fight with her mom she would tell me she was moving to tx. Never did, then she graduated, got a job in ca and told me to move back or it was over.

Bottom line decide what means more to you: her or your career/moving elsewhere

That’s a good point, definitely has truth to it. After 3+ years, we’re attached enough so who knows. She’s fully aware I’m not staying here at least. This may be the hardest part to work with, unfortunately.

My bottom line though, is that I’m not spending my life here.

Then set a date and do it, otherwise in 15 years you’ll be here saying "I meant to leave!!"

Easiest way to make sure you don’t get stuck there is to leave now. Don’t "make a plan to leave" or "begin to prepare to leave"…. just leave.

If the girlfriend wants to go she will. If she doesn’t, sorry to hear it…but leave. The longer you stretch it out the less likely you’ll do it.

My only ‘legitimate’ reason to stay right now is gaining enough experience to get a decent job elsewhere. I don’t want to just pack it up and leave, only to get desperate after a few months and have to take whatever I can (I mean like cashier at the dollar store, not just accepting a lower level job in my field to get my foot in the door). I feel right now my resume could use another year or two on it before it carries enough weight.

Not to mention, I feel that currently working in a semi-relevant position will take a little longer to gain the same effect when applying. This scares me too, but finding an IT job here is definitely really tough. That’s why I’m hoping if I can land one, work that for a little while, then I’ll be looking good when applying outside of the area.

This is also why I keep myself from major commitments like buying a house here – it’s just going to put me one step closer to never leaving.

Success is relative. What you consider an exciting job would be dreadful work for someone else. First step is to define what success means for you. Get a pen and paper, and write down exactly what you want to the smallest detail – don’t spend less than an hour on this. Otherwise you’ll be stumbling around in the dark with no clue where you’re going or how to get there.

Second step is to realize that for real change to occur, YOU have to change. This involves being real with yourself and taking full responsibility for your situation. Sometimes this means stopping a nasty habit, or cutting off a friend that only drags you down. This is a painful process, it isn’t easy, and 90% of people stop right here.

Third step is to realize that you are not obligated to remain "you" just because others demand it. They have their own agendas, and most will despise your success. When you start reaching and achieving goals above your peers, you will run into hate and envy. I guarantee it.

Final piece of advice: No one has an obligation – moral, legal, or otherwise – to "work his way up through the ranks." Every human being possesses an inalienable right to make a unilateral decision to redirect his career and begin operating on a higher level at any time that he, and he alone, believes he is ready.

"Second step is to realize that for real change to occur, YOU have to change. This involves being real with yourself and taking full responsibility for your situation. Sometimes this means stopping a nasty habit, or cutting off a friend that only drags you down. This is a painful process, it isn’t easy, and 90% of people stop right here."

That alone is something I needed to hear…I’ve been addressing little things in my life that do hold me back, and making strides to change them. It’s not always easy, but it’s getting me there. Not much else to say here, but thank you.

I’m trying. If I could lay out a more concrete plan than "work current job and hope I get more relevant job, work 1 year, then move" I think it would help keep me on track much better. My best friend did this, working more and more out of the area, for the past couple years, and he’s finally on his way out. He’s a smart dude, but stuck it out for a while to gain experience and more outside contacts.

Like month-by-month goals to get me there. I thought about dropping my Java/Android programming attempt (I’m giving it until end-of-year to see how I feel then), and just knocking out Cisco certs, but sometimes I wonder how much those mean anymore. Thoughts?

I’m trying. If I could lay out a more concrete plan than "work current job and hope I get more relevant job, work 1 year, then move" I think it would help keep me on track much better.

Like month-by-month goals to get me there. I thought about dropping my Java/Android programming attempt (I’m giving it until end-of-year to see how I feel then), and just knocking out Cisco certs, but sometimes I wonder how much those mean anymore. Thoughts?

If you have any networking background, ccna shouldn’t be hard to study for and complete in 6 weeks (that’s taking it easy). With Cisco just having come out with their new environment that requires programming in Java, you could be in demand for an entry level position for not much effort

Edit

And yes, Cisco certs are still valuable. The only ones saying they aren’t are cisco’s competitors.

If you have any networking background, ccna shouldn’t be hard to study for and complete in 6 weeks (that’s taking it easy). With Cisco just having come out with their new environment that requires programming in Java, you could be in demand for an entry level position for not much effort

Edit

And yes, Cisco certs are still valuable. The only ones saying they aren’t are cisco’s competitors.

I didn’t know about this…you’ve peaked my interest!

I spend some time doing half-assed studying for the old CCNA, but it never really took off, mostly because I didn’t have a reason back then, and got annoyed having to deal with ATM, frame relay, etc. But I hear the new one is quite a bit more "modern."

I didn’t know about this…you’ve *peaked my interest!

I spend some time doing half-assed studying for the old CCNA, but it never really took off, mostly because I didn’t have a reason back then, and got annoyed having to deal with ATM, frame relay, etc. But I hear the new one is quite a bit more "modern."

*piqued

ATM is gone.

I forget if frame relay is gone, but with all the other shit to test it couldn’t be a big part.

*piqued

ATM is gone.

I forget if frame relay is gone, but with all the other shit to test it couldn’t be a big part.

I thought I replied to this way back when and said "learn something new everyday!" lol

In other news, I felt inspired to look up some companies of interest to me in TX, took some advice, and put in 3 applications last night. Good ones too, with good cover letters, updated resumes, etc, not just "aim click fire hope."

I’m amazed how much harder it is now, kinda scares me. I sat awake last night thinking about "what about the lease I just signed?" "what about all my stuff?" "what will my gf really do?" "what will my mother do?"

But if nothing else, I’m proud I took the biggest step in this since I graduated years ago. I figure if by some chance I do get an interview in person, I’ll take a few days off, fly down, and enjoy the experience at the very least.

If you end up in Houston give me a shout, we’ll grab a brew

I’m debating whether or not I want to leave for Seattle and leaving my girlfriend behind, I know she wouldn’t leave her bank job/friends/family. Been with her for a year, I feel like I’m not going to let anyone know before hand. Tell them goodbye on the day of and start over with my friend and his dad’s company. I’m looking forward to it but it’s scary not knowing if you’re actually going to make it, you say you lack a long list well I’m sure mine is even shorter if non-existent – btw how much do you plan on sitting on when you leave? I’m bouncing around $10-12k, enough for a whole years rent and some

Definitely man.

I can sustain myself for about 2 years living around my current wage, but that would empty my pockets entirely. I’d rather say I can do a dirt cheap 1 year, or a thrifty 6 months, so that I still have savings.

Well, time for an update:

Day after I put in some apps, I actually got laid off :/ As did 300 others I worked with (and like 10 guys I worked directly with).

So I’m taking the opportunity to look actively at outside places, specially targeting Austin right now for the tech companies there, but not ruling out nearby areas. I’d also consider NY because my friends have all moved there. Turns out I have an old college buddy in Austin too, and I plan to ask him if I can borrow his address for applications (he’s away handling a death, not going to ask now). Still haven’t talked to the girlfriend, but the thought of upsetting her isn’t helping – I have actual daydreams of her sitting around crying because I left. It’s tough.

Further complicating things, my family is on my case (again) to more or less apply to anything and everything right away, and take the first thing that comes my way. Company is paying for us to go to some "career transition" classes (which after a few days, isn’t nearly as terrible as I had expected), which have been firmly telling us to NOT apply to a single job for a couple of weeks. God bless my friends and other connections who are sending me all sorts of relevant jobs (not always perfect, or with ideal compensation) to check out.

My gut tells me to setup a couple interviews here, at least as practice. If I find something great, maybe it’ll be worth taking. But, I don’t want to reel myself back here when I’d like to look outside. Coming across articles doesn’t help either. The other day my beloved mother told me to please not ignore a job interview I *may* have coming in a week or so, which is fine, but I have a feeling if I get it, I’ll be roped into taking the job.

I swear, it’s impossible to leave this place.

Go on every interview you can and treat them as practice. The worst thing that can happen in an interview in my opinion is to get asked a question I didn’t expect, so sitting in front of more people will expose you to more questions.

I’m not sure why your family has the kind of control over you that you’re saying…how can you get "roped into" taking a job you don’t want?

Go on every interview you can and treat them as practice. The worst thing that can happen in an interview in my opinion is to get asked a question I didn’t expect, so sitting in front of more people will expose you to more questions.

I’m not sure why your family has the kind of control over you that you’re saying…how can you get "roped into" taking a job you don’t want?

I agree, I hit my one friend back last night with my resume and told him to set it up. It’ll keep me on my toes, so when a more important interview rolls around, I’ll be ready to go.

Only child syndrome, lol. Mom would be thrilled (and has been) if I’d just interview for a steady, boring job that keeps me out of harm’s way, and gives a decent paycheck. It’s added pressure that doesn’t help me…plus the older I get the more of that "screw it I’ll do it anyways" attitude I lose.

Have you watched the movie Up In The Air? George Clooney is in it, it’s good – consider watching it. Also how have interviews been for you? I’m going to start applying for several positions out of my range for the sake of experience and possibly landing something good

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.