The writing’s on the wall. It may be time to find a new IT job when you see these signs…
1. You’re bored
Some IT people never get here. If you do eventually get bored, it’s likely because you thirst for challenges and learning. I say good for you! Sometimes, whether you’re lucky or good, you get your environment humming, and replace your antiquated equipment, automate everything and train your users. That is all great, but it can also make for a mind-numbing job. You may be able to mitigate this, at least for a while, if you start self-study for new certifications and technology.
If you get bored in your IT job, it’s definitely time to start looking. If you stay bored, you risk getting stale or thinking you’re actually IT Superman. Both are recipes for disaster, so if your job doesn’t keep your mind engaged, it’s time to start looking.
2. You accidentally deploy Windows 7 to thousands of PCs
Accidents happen. Sometimes, they’re “resume updating events”. Hopefully you never have an experience like this guy at Emory University. He accidentally used SCCM to deploy Windows 7 to all of their thousands of desktops. It only stopped when it reached the SCCM server itself and formatted the hard drive. Let’s just say that he had a feeling it was time to move on.
3. You hate coming in
This can make your life absolutely miserable. It’s said that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. Sometimes that’s true, as the boss can (deserving or not) become the focal point of your frustration.
I know exactly how this feels. I once had a telemarketing job at a horrible company that made me physically sick to go to. That lasted a month. I was in another outside sales job that required 10 hours per day of prospecting. I was not doing well, so my hours slowly started to drop. Not long after, they (generously) gave me a month to find another job.
If you start hating coming in, please find a new job before your employer helps you out the door. I know the boss side of this also. I don’t want my people to be miserable. If they hate working for me, they are going to suck and make my customers miserable. I tend to set these people free to find work they love.
4. You stop learning or skills begin to atrophy
Your can stop growing or your skills can begin to decline in IT if you are working on the same problems over and over again. If you stop learning new thing, you get bored and become less marketable. If you aren’t practicing the things you already know, you tend to forget them. This is where the difference in your career approach comes in. If you are a generalist, you need to know a little about a lot (nothing wrong with that). If you are a specialist, you need to know a lot about a little. Letting skills you don’t need anymore lapse in some cases is ok (NetWare, anyone?), but you can NEVER stop learning. If you are a virtualization specialist and you are tasked with password resets and mail troubleshooting all day, it’s time to speak up or move on.
5. You’ve identified problems that management refuses to fix
This is huge. When a manager is shown a problem by you, but doesn’t acknowledge it, or does ack it and won’t/can’t fix it, your work life may suddenly become very miserable. Some example of this are if your company is running pirated software, willfully out of PCI or HIPAA compliance (if required), or is committing crimes or things you can be sued for. To cover yourself in a situation like this, you should heavily document the issues you’re seeing. At home, make sure you’re updating your resume. After you document and report, be prepared to leave soon.
6. There’s a box on your desk
The last and most obvious sign. If you see a box on your desk and suddenly your manager and vice president wants to see you, it’s probably already too late. Hopefully you saw this coming and your resume is up to date. I hope you’re prepared! Good luck.
What other signs tell you it’s time for a new IT gig? Comment below and tell me. Also, subscribe!