The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:24 AM

One thing I have never really addressed on asisaid is my desire to exit direct work in the computer industry. I love computers, I love writing about them, but I get really tired of repairing them, supporting them and programming them. You fix them, they break. You tell people how to keep them running smoothly, and they ignore you. As a hobby, it is enjoyable enough, but as a job, it just is not very meaningful and it starts to gnaw at you after awhile. Well, I should not generalize that much, but it does gnaw at me.

It also makes me whiney at times, like right now, and I don't like that. I tend to think that part of this is because I do not believe that computer help desk and consulting is really my purpose in life. I have tried to ignore that fact, but it hasn't worked. Finally, awhile back, I realized it was time to do something about this problem.

I have been working on an “exit strategy,” in other words. For a variety of reasons I felt it best not to mention this publicly at first. It was not anything against my blogging friends, just to be completely clear. More recently, I did not have time to put together a post to explain what I am up to, so I just omitted what perhaps I otherwise would have posted. I finally decided it was silly to leave part of what I am doing, and where I am heading, off of my blog.

So here it is. What's my exit strategy? I am presently working on earning a BA in two fields completely unrelated to the IT sector: English and the Academic Study of Religion. More than a few people have said, in more or less direct ways, that I am truly nutty for trying to get out of information technologies. But, after praying and thinking about it for several years, it has become clear this is what I need to do.

I am presently about half way through, which means I should complete the program by about this time in 2006, or six months later than that should I opt to add a minor in Business Administration (I already have half the appropriate credits I need for that). Either way, I am on the road to switching gears in a very serious fashion.

I feel rather badly about not mentioning such a major change of course sooner on here. I do not want those of you who read my blog regularly to think I am hiding a bunch of things from all of you. Truly, I'm not. Frankly, this concern made me somewhat hesitant about saying anything at all at this stage. “Maybe I should just keep on truck'n for now — I can always say something later… you've kept your thoughts to yourself this long.” But, it just seemed like I needed to quit that stalling nonsense finally.

There I have said it. I've now pretty much put the whole me out here. And, with that, I shall go to bed.

Tags: Learning

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13 comments posted so far.

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

A lot of people are unhappy with their situations and yet never do anything about it, so it’s nice to see an exception :) Best of luck to you!

Posted by Flip - May 21, 2004 | 2:33 AM- Location: Sweden

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

Go for it. You don’t seem to be rushing into this decision so I don’t see the problem. What’s the worse thing that can happen? You find out its not what you want and return to the career you currently have. Having all that education behind you will only make your next position that much better.

Good Luck!

Posted by Mark - May 21, 2004 | 7:53 AM- Location: MA

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

Godspeed Tim,

Finding out the color of one’s parachute is a neat exercise, and not being locked into IT is probably a smart idea. With collapse of the dot-bomb, there came a glut of unemployed IT workers. It wouldn’t be where I’d seek future study at the immediate time… Your plan and your past can become a delightful mix of talent… Moses was trained for years as a shepherd of sheep…

Posted by Gator - May 21, 2004 | 9:43 AM- Location: Plano

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

I’m cheering for you, Tim!

Sobering thought: my Religion degree and my ordination have paid me next to nothing over the years. I’m now engaged in the first paid church staff job that lasted more than a few months, and it’s only part-time. I’ve worked in numerous other fields to support my “religion habit”. Not for one second do I regret the choice to take a BA in Religion.

I worked in schools, mostly as a substitute for 5 years until the system and I could no longer stand each other. Yet I do not regret for a moment my course work leading to certification. I’ve learned not to expect any of the things I feel led to pursue to turn out in the typical fashion. I just follow what brings the joy of the Lord.

Let me know how I can help to make this work.

Posted by Ed Hurst - May 21, 2004 | 9:55 AM- Location: Rural SE Texas

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

Just keep doing what God tells you. Even if it crazy.

Posted by Michael Morgan - May 21, 2004 | 4:32 PM- Location: Sullivan, Missouri

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

Thanks to all of you for your great responses!

Flip: Thanks!

Mark: That is a very good point.

Gator: Ya think that maybe IT work is the shepherding of today? :-) I agree that it is good not being locked into IT.

Ed: Thanks! It is nice to hear that you do not regret your decisions despite the fact that the BA in religion hasn’t provided more paid work. In my case, I’m kind of doubting it will either, although I think it is a nice complement to the other part (English) and I hope the combo will prove useful. I guess I’ll see how it all works out eventually. :-) At any rate, I really love the material associated with it, so I guess that in and of itself, is a good thing.

Michael: That’s what I’m hoping to do… I sometimes worry I’m just doing what I want to do, but I hope that isn’t the case.

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - May 22, 2004 | 1:55 AM- Location: MO

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

It’s rather interesting to hear what it is you’ve been working on for obviously quite some time right now. I’m still at least at one semester from finishing university with a degree in Computing Science and I find myself with some similar thoughts.

Although I’ve had the desire as of late to learn some Hebrew, I can’t really say academic English has ever been a favourite subject of mine (to each their own).

I do have some of the beginnings of an escape route of my own should I everfollow it… I’m currently completing an extended minor in History, and also contemplating doing a second degree in Physics. It would be nice if it was possible to make a living as a professional student, but I’m hoping to head into research so it’s actually not all that far off.

Posted by David Aikema - May 23, 2004 | 3:46 AM- Location: West Coast of Canada

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

My comment that I made sometime ago didn’t post.

Well, nununce.

Posted by Christopher - May 23, 2004 | 5:59 PM- Location: MO

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

David: Sounds like a good plan to me. Never hurts to diversify.

Christopher: That is indeed a “nununcey” thing. Any chance you remember what it said? :-)

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - May 24, 2004 | 12:43 AM- Location: MO

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

David: BTW, I agree about the “professional student” thing. That would be fun…Too bad I can’t arrange that. ;-)
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - May 24, 2004 | 12:46 AM- Location: MO

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

So, what job prospects do you have in mind for once you complete the degree?

Full-time journalism? Pursuing full-time ministry?

Posted by David Aikema - May 24, 2004 | 3:07 AM- Location: West Coast of Canada

RE: The Other Thing that Is Keeping Me Busy

That’s a good question. I’m honestly just waiting to see where God leads me at the moment. Journalism is a very good (and attractive) alternative to what I’m doing now, but I do feel called to get into some form of ministry… at least eventually.

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - May 30, 2004 | 3:58 PM- Location: MO

beta asisaid - Back To Busy-ness (2)

emester I flip around. Last semester I had four literature courses and one religion course, all, of course, for the double major of English and Religion (link to my explanation of that combination, why I’m getting out of the computer i

Posted by beta asisaid - Back To Busy-ness (2) - Jan 25, 2005 | 11:25 PM- Location:

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