Monday, June 23, 2008

Career dilemma

I think that I'm destined to be one of those people who is never really content with their lot in anything, at least not when it comes to my job. I always seem to have something to whine about.

I've had very few managers who really did, what I considered to be, their jobs. In my opinion a manager's job is to play to your strengths, coach you on your weaknesses, respect your experience, and to help you do your job. I had managers at NASD (two), AARP (one), and one (temporary) at my current organization who got that. Other than that, the rest of them have been varying levels of dysfunctional, psychotic, and/or sycophantic.

On to my current dilemma. I have been pursuing a career in Information Security steadily for about eight years now. I'm don't have my CISSP yet, but I could probably pull it off with a little concerted effort. Doing IT Security and Compliance has been in my cross hairs for nearly a decade, and I really have come along way up the ladder in the field.

However, right now, my current team lead and IT management overall are making me extremely bonkers. While I really enjoy the actual work I do, I'm getting pulled more-and-more into pointless and meaningless bull, and finding myself having to argue and fight for things that are obvious to lots of people in the trenches, but not to 'the powers that be'.

Recently, a contact in another part of my large organization encouraged me to apply for a position doing Linux administration and Perl coding. I'm pretty rusty on the coding end of things, but I could probably pull it off if I had to. Plus, coding can be a lot of fun for me.

So, do I jump off the career train I've been on to save my sanity, or do I grit my teeth an hope that something changes in my current situation? (Oh, BTW, I am again starting to apply for security positions outside of my current organization ... a really cool opportunity within 25 minutes of my house opened up. If they bite, I'll relate more later.)


Cobwebs said...

Given the fluid nature of the IT industry, I'd vote for temporarily stepping off the career path. You spend too much time at your job to hate it.

Background counts for a lot in our industry, so when you find a job in the Security/Compliance field the fact that you have previous experience in that field will count for a lot, even if you aren't using it in your current position.

Really...your job is dragging you down, and it's hard to not let that bleed into other areas of your life. Your old Auntie Cobwebs is advising you to bail and find something you love instead.

briwei said...

I think you stick it out while looking elsewhere. If you find something better, you can jump. If not, you still have a workplace that, while maddening, respects your skills and abilities. Not a bad place to be in, yes?