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Ending a career

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sisoon posted 2/20/2014 16:22 PM

Over 35 years ago I joined IBM in a very technical and esoteric role. I left IBM 5 years later for technical, then technical/supervisory, then consulting and 1st and 2nd level managerial roles. A little over 20 years ago I became a consultant for a large consultancy, then a smaller one. I lost that job just after 9/11 - my company was growing expenses far more quickly than revenue, and I did a lousy job on a project that was done 9/11-9/14, so the axe fell on me.

Since then I've had a small, never successful business supporting small business networks. I hate marketing. I hate selling. I hate billing. And since the advent of Windows 8, I've pretty much hated the work I do.

I have no interest in learning Win 8 or Server 2012, so I'm calling it quits. I can't keep myself current, and my clients deserve better.

The problem is that finances are going to be tight, and they'll get tighter as inflation and politic eats into my fixed income, but I feel as if a great load has been lifted off my back.

So here I am, approaching 70 years of age, and again wishing I could figure out what I want to do with my resources when I grow up....

I wouldn't mind moving another data center. If you've got upwards of 200 servers to move, , shoot me a PM. Really - I do data center relos on schedule, on budget, and without any unscheduled outages.

nowiknow23 posted 2/20/2014 21:14 PM

I feel as if a great load has been lifted off my back.

Sisoon - Congratulations on your decision. Hope your next phase brings you just enough challenges to keep you inspired, and more than enough comfort to enjoy each day.

tushnurse posted 2/21/2014 07:53 AM

Um, I think it's time for you to do something fun. Something you really enjoy.

My MIL is currently working in a Vet Clinic, and LOVES LOVES her post retirement job. Choose your passion, and enjoy life.

somanyyears posted 2/21/2014 08:18 AM

..the world, and technology is changing way too fast!! I still don't own a cell phone..

..trying to keep current with the rapidly changing high tech world seems 'our' age!!

..change is inevitable.. but a bit scary..

Beam me up Scotty!.. will be our reality soon.

Sisoon.. find all the pleasures you enjoy in life and go after them with passion.

Glad that load has been lifted off your shoulders.


[This message edited by somanyyears at 8:18 AM, February 21st (Friday)]

stronger08 posted 2/21/2014 08:57 AM

Bro, congrats on your decision. I walked away from my career at age 50 almost 2 years ago. I also live on a limited budget and while its a tough start in getting acclimated it can be very rewarding. I totally downsized my life, paid off all my debt and relocated to an area that's much cheaper to live. As an urbanite who is fairly new to country living it was a hard adjustment. But I'm settling in and getting used to it. While many people think I'm crazy to walk away from my career at an early age and when my earning potential was at its best, for me it was the right thing to do. Shit I have been working fulltime since the age of 15. 32 years of that spent in Investment Banking where I started on the bottom and worked myself up the ladder to corporate VP of a very large global financial institution. Could have stayed another 10-15 years and retired very comfortably. But for me the trade off was what was I going to do at age 65 with millions in the bank ? I felt I could possibly become sick or even die before I enjoyed my life. When you look at it that way money really doesn't mean very much if your dead. I took an early retirement package and bought myself a little fixer upper in the mountains mortgage free. I spent the next year renovating it and now I'm free to pursue what I like to do. I have always been drawn to nature. Be it the woods, mountains or ocean I enjoy them all. So I'm going to spend part of the summer close to the shore and do some salt water fishing. I have a few friends who own boats and I'll tag along on trips. I can hike around the area where my home is and marvel at the series of waterfalls that dot the landscape here. Perhaps I'll even take up hunting again come this fall. I used to do all these things prior to being M. But my XW hated the outdoors except for the beach.

I'd like the last trimester of my life to be consumed with the things I enjoy. I still have an underage child who will be 14 this summer. Luckily for me he shares my love of the outdoors and will make a great fishing partner. Once he is grown and on his own I'd like to relocate to another country perhaps Belize as the fishing is great there and the cost of living is low. And when its time to meet my maker I would like to have as little regret as possible. My ideal way of going would be to sit in my beach chair, a surf pole in one hand and a beer in the other. And drift off into the sunset of my life. God willing perhaps a good woman by my side for a couple of decades would be nice. I guess my point is that anything is possible if you put and effort into it. I like to think its not and end per se. But just another closed chapter in my book of life. Now its time to finish up that novel and live out what remains of my existence. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow, so putting things off and not enjoying the now is just a big waste of precious life. I want to wish you a happy and healthy retirement. Now go do the things you always wanted to do.

jjct posted 2/21/2014 10:23 AM

Hey sisoon - let's party at stronger's!

sisoon posted 2/21/2014 10:54 AM

Hey, Stronger - I hope you're not yet in the last trimester of your life. Bodies deteriorate, but I know a bunch of vital folks in their 90s.

Threnody posted 2/21/2014 14:24 PM

Have you considered teaching? I imagine your knowledge and people skills are well above the necessary level to teach, and it could be done part-time, giving you time to really enjoy yourself both professionally and privately.

Best of luck to you, sisoon. I "retired" from copywriting this year (at the age of 42, after doing it for 20 years) and I'm now working on a book. I leave in April for a month in Budapest for research. According to family history, I've got 27 years left. I'm squeezing every last bit of juice out of it and drinking the wine.

UnexpectedSong posted 2/21/2014 18:14 PM

I second Threnody. You have a LOT to offer to students wanting to get into or advancing a technical field.

Or you could write a book.

The world is your oyster.

GabyBaby posted 2/21/2014 18:19 PM

Sisson (and Stronger) - Love it!!!
This is one of the reasons I push so hard for hubby and I to reach our debt free goal.
I've worked (outside the home) since I was 14yrs old (longer if you count watching my multitude of siblings). There's going to come a point that I am just going to throw up my hands and walk away.
I want, like you, to be able to do it and not look back with regrets.

You both ROCK!

Jrazz posted 2/21/2014 18:47 PM

Another vote for teaching. I think you'd be awesome.

Cally60 posted 2/21/2014 23:04 PM

Going against the crowd here .... I wouldn't recommend teaching.

Having seen the explanations you've given people here, I, too, am sure you would indeed be very good at teaching. But I'm guessing that you've had enough of all the stress of running your business. And teaching in schools can be horribly stressful, even if you're brilliant at the difficult discipline side of it, which I'm sure would also be the case for you.

It's not so much the teaching, which can be enjoyable if you have interested students. Apart from lesson preparation and the excruciating boredom of grading, there are deadlines and endless meetings after school, and aims and objectives, and WASC inspections which will take over your life for an entire year, and senior administrators sitting in on your classes so that they can tick boxes for the powers-that-be, to say that you're doing your job properly, even though they know that already, and midnight grading-period deadlines, after which the computer program locks you out and you have to crawl to the person in charge and grovel, case conferences and paperwork by the truck-load, and duties and parent conferences, and failing students who need extra help and make-up tests before or after school, and setting meaningful work by the end of today for independent study for the student who's going to his far-flung home country for six weeks, even though you haven't even finished preparing next week's lessons yet, and calls and emails to answer from parents who want you to give their child enough extra credit to make up for having done no work at all for the entire quarter, not because s/he is making no progress, but because s/he needs a B in order to play baseball next quarter, and replying to that email from the teacher across town who has an intern who wants to sit in on your lessons next Monday, and standing for an eternity blocking the door of the boys' restrooms while a student tries to get hold of a janitor because someone's thrown up on the floor of the boys' restroom after school, when before you can even think of going home you still have a pile of tests to grade, to try to fix that obsolete LCD projector that died inexplicably yet again in Period 8 today, and the principal's "Are we making the best use of our classroom technology?" survey to complete for tomorrow morning's meeting, and spirit wear to think up for next Friday's pyjama day, and food to find for the faculty's pot luck to celebrate xyz, on. And that lovely, hard-working and enthusiastic but weak little student was so excited to have made the freshman volleyball team today and you really ought to go and watch at least one game....

But some people thrive on it of course. I just thought you should know! If you were in banking, maybe you're good at math and school districts tend to be desperate for math teachers, so if you'd like to teach, you might even be able to skip at least some of the accreditation hoops. And if you have a Master's maybe you could lecture in a college, instead.

Of course there are peripheral needs in education, too. Since you said you'd like to move servers, I gather that you're not totally tired of IT. Schools need IT support - increasingly nowadays, to be sure. They'd probably be overjoyed to have an applicant with your expertise to fill a vacancy in that field (and to stop the seventh graders circumventing the district's efforts to block youtube....)

I know you said you've had enough of having to market your business,do billing and so on. But if you just need some income, rather than a full-time job, have you ever considered setting up a small business as a trouble-shooter and tech help guru for private individuals with computer problems? I'm sure there's a market for that. As I'm sure you already know, use of computers by seniors is expanding dramatically, because they want, for example, to talk to far-away family members on Skype or Facetime. But because many of them are far away from their family members, they have no one to turn to for tech support. And it's really frustrating for them. This is the case for one of my own elderly relatives. I do what I can long-distance, but it would be SO much easier and quicker if someone could just sit next to her, show her multiple times how to do something if necessary and have her practice it until she was confident in doing it alone. I'd be thrilled if I could find a trustworthy computer guru locally, to help her. I think older people might trust and feel more relaxed working with someone close to their own age, who was patient, good at explaining (as you are) - and able to communicate using twentieth-century terminology! I don't think you'd need to do much marketing - after the first couple of clients, word-of-mouth would probably bring you all the clients you wanted.

Or maybe I'm too much of an optimist. I just want you to be able to stay "retired" from your old career if possible, so that you can enjoy retirement as much as I do!

[This message edited by Cally60 at 11:27 PM, February 21st (Friday)]

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