As each of us grows older we question things in life. Mostly, what do I want to be when I grow up? Well, first off, you almost need to define “grow up”. So many of us have switched paths over the years due to either want or necessity. When people who worked in plants and mills for 20 years were let go over the last decade, they had choices to make. Many, including me, thought our best best was to go into the Information Technology field. So far it’s done well for some, but many are still looking for work. So much for that great plan.
Today it reminded me again just how much things can change when I got an email that asked if I had ever heard of or read the book “Get Out of I.T. While You Can” by Craig Schiefelbein. Funny how this sounded strangely familiar to me.
Back in 2002, I took an internship with a record company in New York City. I thought I was living a dream. The big city, new people, new experiences and of course, working in music and promotions. I was ecstatic. Well, that was short lived as the man who was my “boss” so to speak, and also the man who I considered to be a mentor for me, was fired and, not long after, so in turn was I. It wasn’t that he did anything to deserve the firing, the company just couldn’t afford him anymore (like many of the others who were also let go). So, after two months of stepping foot into the world of the music industry, that door was abruptly shut in my face. The city didn’t seem to want me either. New York is NOT an easy place to find a good job, and by good job, I mean one that allows you to afford rent.
So, I moved back to good ol’ Wisconsin. (It’s true what they say, you know. It is like a giant rubber band. You leave, but you always somehow end up coming back.) I continued to try and find something that resembled what I had just gotten a taste of for my career of choice, but alas, I found nothing. I stayed in touch with my mentor, who still lives in the city and still works scarcely in the industry last I heard. He had some words of wisdom for me. “Run away from the music industry. It’s a dying business.” As much as I know he’s still right, I can’t seem to fully pull myself away. I still work, however minutely, with some bands, helping where I can, but that doesn’t make me much, if any, money.
That’s where IT came into play for me. I worked in a couple dead end jobs before I finally decided to go back to school for a second degree (which actually turned into three). IT seemed like the logical choice in 2007. Apparently, I was wrong. I still deal in it and do my best to stay current on things, but when technology moves at the speed of light, it’s not so easy. (Unlike the Guns ‘n Roses song, but I digress.) I graduated with degrees in both web development and design as well as database programming, but I honestly don’t feel comfortable enough with my knowledge in either field to take a job in them. My school was a bit behind the curve on what they taught, so I graduated with knowledge that was about three to five years too old. Not much help in that field.
So, here again, just as I’m starting learn more, I hear the same advice being given. “Get out while you still can.” Doesn’t do much for one’s optimism. Guess maybe I’ll have to find out more about this opus of sorts and see if it’s time to hit the books…..again.