I hate the corporate world, especially in IT

Yes, I can relate to this.
Slightly different in that my work was actually very technical and supposedly 'interesting' (R&D).

However the constant battle developing extremely complicated systems, which steadily got more unwieldly and more difficult to improve and change over time, under extreme and constant deadline stress, under managers with personality disorders, coupled with no chance of promotion (company was laying people off if anything), burnt me out to the point where I was mentally incapable of doing any more work. I literally ended up staring at the screen like a zombie, accomplising about 30mins typical work per day. Realizing that eventually this would be noticed, I gave in and quit.

Basically my career was fucked from the beginning. You really have to be sharp early on, paying attention to your prospective career options and picking the best entry point whilst you are still at university. Alas the young 'Phoenix' (or pre-phoenix?) was a clueless idiot, and received no valuable advice from any figure in his life, so short of luck he was pretty much fucked from the start.

However I did one thing right. I saved. Every young man must save. Not for specific things, but for the unknown. When I realized how much I had saved over the years, and how far it could stretch in some countries, the decision to bail out and reconsider my next move became almost automatic. Almost serene and effortless.

People suggested that getting rid of all my stuff and leaving the country was serious shit, and asked if I was 'nervous' or 'scared'. Fuck no, the whole event was roughly equal in discomfort to one week of work.
 

roid

Woodpecker
StrikeBack said:
*nix is huge inside and outside of the US. Open source is big in fast growing places (companies or countries) as they seek to get a competitive advantage on the cheaper side. The catch is you gotta be a gun at it and not some random joe who can install a point n click Ubuntu and get excited after typing a few shell commands into a terminal.

I moved from web dev to Linux sysadmin 8 years ago and never looked back. Started out in security (didn't like it though) and now I'm in big data and HPC. You want to be very good at config management and scripting. I could puppetise and script half of the useless bums around here out of a job tomorrow, if I could somehow convince the execs to pay me, say, half of the salary savings. Working on it lol

Pretty much look at anything that has a big skill barrier to entry (meaning more demand, less competition) and you'll be fine.

I like the *nix world because it has a huge skill barrier but relatively very low cost to entry. Very easy to demonstrate your skills without needing to get big expensive certs (which there are very few of).

I see guys getting made "voluntarily redundant" left right & center in my workplaces over the last 5 years, and it's always the ones who refuse to make time to learn new skills. They'd say they're busy outside of work to learn anything new, and at work they spend half or more of their time browsing social media sites.

I don't claim to know exactly how rough the job market is for young guys getting into IT, but I've been on many interview panels to hire them, or offer to mentor (because I'm their team leader), and there are two most common things I've encountered:

1. They never ask: "please teach me blah, I want to get better" - until it's too late. You want to ask that question on day one of your job, not day one after hearing about the next coming round of redundancies.

2. They don't really want to learn anyway. They waste more time on their phones and social media than improving themselves. Zero self discipline to learn.

How did you get into big data and hpc? I am interested to know.
 

americanInEurope

Woodpecker
Honestly, if you want the best mix of freedom from all the idiots you'll run into at corporate IT and the ability to make serious money, the only way to go about this is to freelance. Freelancing gives you the ability to travel, take as much time off as you want, work anywhere you want, make 30-40% more than what you'd make as a permanent guy, and work the kind of positions you want to work. Granted, you won't get a whole bunch of high paying freelance stuff right out of college. But definitely, if you've been in the game for a while, have your experience and certs/degrees, you're actually losing money staying at a company for years on end making meager earnings. Strike while the iron is hot, while you're young and don't have a family, not slave away at some corporation during your best working years. Some guys have families or other responsibilities and can't afford to work a new contract every 12 months, but for guys like me who have no responsibility but ourselves, this is the best way to maximize your potential.

Anyway that's my free advice. Good luck to all.
 

Onto

Ostrich
Gold Member
americanInEurope said:
...the ability to make serious money, the only way to go about this is to freelance. Freelancing gives you the ability to travel, take as much time off as you want, work anywhere you want

Any idea what kind of skills are needed to get those gigs which allow 100% telecommuting?
 

americanInEurope

Woodpecker
Onto said:
americanInEurope said:
...the ability to make serious money, the only way to go about this is to freelance. Freelancing gives you the ability to travel, take as much time off as you want, work anywhere you want

Any idea what kind of skills are needed to get those gigs which allow 100% telecommuting?

You see more software engineering (programmer) type jobs that are 100% telecommute than you see of anything else in IT. Get good at programming languages. Those guys also command good salaries...usually in the six figure range or $60/hr+ range.

Just to explain a little further, when I say freelance I don't mean those odesk or elance websites. I mean actually hitting the job boards, applying like you would normally, and when they ask you to sign your life away for a permanent role, tell them you strictly want CONTRACT. 1099, W2, corp-to-corp contracts. You can go as deep as you want with this, from W2 which gives you all the benefits of a normal employee but only short term, to 1099 which means you get ALL your money up front and it's up to you to sort out taxes and shit. Corp-to-Corp is a little different but similar to 1099.
 
Kaii said:
Have any of you been in this situation? How did you handle it?

I really just want to feel free.

Yes I used to be in your exact situation (IT contractor for big investment banks).

I quit, decided leave my cubicle dwelling existence behind forever, travelled and lived all around the world for several years (including one around the world trip which took took 2 years and 3 months), wrote a book and became a asexual revolutionary.

I like my new job much better.
 
I used to work in IT and I totally hated the antisocial nature of the work so I simply quit. This was a number of years ago.

I spent my time on following my passions and self improvement. Looking back, right now, I don't have the money I would of had, had I stayed in IT. But that is no worries. In a few years I will have caught up financially doing what I want to do rather then something I totally dislike.

I don't do 9 to 5 but recently had to catch a train early in the morning with the commuters. The train was packed like a tin of sardines and it was total misery. I had to laugh and thank my lucky stars I had left the rat race behind.
 

The Wire

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Heathree said:
I used to work in IT and I totally hated the antisocial nature of the work so I simply quit. This was a number of years ago.

I spent my time on following my passions and self improvement. Looking back, right now, I don't have the money I would of had, had I stayed in IT. But that is no worries. In a few years I will have caught up financially doing what I want to do rather then something I totally dislike.

I don't do 9 to 5 but recently had to catch a train early in the morning with the commuters. The train was packed like a tin of sardines and it was total misery. I had to laugh and thank my lucky stars I had left the rat race behind.

So what do you do now?

I agree the most depressing aspect of the rat race for me has always been the commute aspect. I've been lucky that I have been able to move within a 10 min commute to my office so there is no morning rat race.
 

puckerman

Ostrich
I made a vow many years that I would never drive more than a half hour one way to work. Anybody who commutes for longer than this is crazy. Commuting is a lifesuck.
 

americanInEurope

Woodpecker
For me the most depressing part of work has always been the people and the office politics. The actual work was fun and easy, and there's always ways to avoid actually having to drive a shitty commute (public transit, carpool, etc). The hard part was dealing with gossip and politics and clicks and passive aggressive bitches (male and female). The constant judging and testing and prodding and probing and whispering and challenging that comes with being 1) younger than everyone else, 2) a different race than everyone else, 3) the only network guy in a shop full of server guys, 4) the only contractor in a shop full of permanent guys, or 5) a single guy in an office full of miserable married people, is so daunting that you end up spending most of your time worrying about who not to piss off just to keep your job than you do the actual nuts and bolts of the job. You end up preparing for the next "challenge" or mind-fuck from an old grizzled miserable married guy, instead of preparing for work so you can do your job, to prove your worth to a bunch of assholes in a shop who think you don't deserve to be here anyway. You can sway one or two, but there's always a handful that just refuse to believe you actually have talent, and those people will constantly make your life shit because they will publicly and privately challenge every decision you make. And every mistake you make is being recorded. Forget what they say about it being ok to make mistakes or ask questions. Every stupid question or mistake is ammunition for guys that don't want you to be there. Eventually I got good enough to where they can't challenge me anymore, because I've been in the game for a while and can cut them pieces with actual fact and experience, but it leaves a mark for sure. My earlier career wasn't enjoyable at all. Just the little moments with me and the network gear. Sad but true. In a way it's kind of hazing I guess. Hazing without the camaraderie and sense of brotherhood that comes after you make it through. After you make it through, the most you can expect to get is a friend invite on LinkedIn with a message fondly reminiscing about the good 'ol days. Fuck that and fuck them.

I hear you guys, leaving the rat race to pursue your dreams. But I have a certain standard of living that I've become accustomed to. Especially traveling and being an international player...I don't wanna travel broke and I really enjoy being able to buy what I want and live in nice apartments when I travel. Like I tell my European friends, it's not the money I actually like, it's the freedom that money buys you. For us American guys, we are so lucky to be from a country with so many job opportunities, especially in IT. Shit, we can work remotely, work contracts half the year, or permanent, or anything in between, for high six figs. The jobs are endless and plentiful. There are so many different ways to skin that cat, you should be able to find one that works for you. This isn't Hungary or Congo, where you're extremely limited on what choices you have.

If you think that the only possible job you can do is a permanent one you're doing it wrong. If you think that your only options are the rat race or not working at all, you're not thinking outside the box. It's easier than you think to set yourself up with disposable IT cash and free time to travel/bang.
 

Brisey

Robin
Gold Member
americanInEurope said:
For us American guys, we are so lucky to be from a country with so many job opportunities, especially in IT. Shit, we can work remotely, work contracts half the year, or permanent, or anything in between, for high six figs. The jobs are endless and plentiful. There are so many different ways to skin that cat, you should be able to find one that works for you. This isn't Hungary or Congo, where you're extremely limited on what choices you have.

If you think that the only possible job you can do is a permanent one you're doing it wrong. If you think that your only options are the rat race or not working at all, you're not thinking outside the box. It's easier than you think to set yourself up with disposable IT cash and free time to travel/bang.

High six figs? If you don't mind me asking what kind of rates are you going for? Not sure where in Europe you are based, for network related roles i've seen in Belgium, Netherlands and some parts of Germany seem to top out at 700-800 euros per day.
 

americanInEurope

Woodpecker
Brisey said:
americanInEurope said:
For us American guys, we are so lucky to be from a country with so many job opportunities, especially in IT. Shit, we can work remotely, work contracts half the year, or permanent, or anything in between, for high six figs. The jobs are endless and plentiful. There are so many different ways to skin that cat, you should be able to find one that works for you. This isn't Hungary or Congo, where you're extremely limited on what choices you have.

If you think that the only possible job you can do is a permanent one you're doing it wrong. If you think that your only options are the rat race or not working at all, you're not thinking outside the box. It's easier than you think to set yourself up with disposable IT cash and free time to travel/bang.

High six figs? If you don't mind me asking what kind of rates are you going for? Not sure where in Europe you are based, for network related roles i've seen in Belgium, Netherlands and some parts of Germany seem to top out at 700-800 euros per day.

I'm based in Berlin now, and high six figures is a pipe dream here even for senior architects. I'm mostly talking about the US, where $70 - $90 per hour is possible for a CCNP/CCIE level architect. Plus, depending on the state, the taxes are WAY lower. In Germany I pay about 43%, whereas in Florida I would pay no more than 30%.

A best case scenario for a very high level architect would be: $90/hr * 80 hours bi-weekly (most places pay 26 times a year) = $7,200 per pay check MINUS tax (30% estimate for a tax free state like FL) = $5,040 per pay check after tax. $5,040 * 26 pay checks = $131,000 take home (+/- $3000 for anything I missed for FICA). Half that for a 6 month contract. This isn't including overtime or any deal you work out for time and a half for weekend work. My state has taxes but it's not that bad. The most I pay is 33%.

Before you start to salivate at the mouth, remember this is for HIGH level engineer positions. This is sort of something you want to work up to, not expect right off the bat. Now if you get a contract like that, you have to go in and kick ass. You have to ace the interview and instantly come in and make a difference. A guy just starting out (but has certs) will probably pull somewhere between $35 - $50/hr depending on how good they are at negotiating. I think the point I'm getting at here is to maximize your potential guys. If you're young and single, take some risks.
 
The Wire said:
Heathree said:
I used to work in IT and I totally hated the antisocial nature of the work so I simply quit. This was a number of years ago.

I spent my time on following my passions and self improvement. Looking back, right now, I don't have the money I would of had, had I stayed in IT. But that is no worries. In a few years I will have caught up financially doing what I want to do rather then something I totally dislike.

I don't do 9 to 5 but recently had to catch a train early in the morning with the commuters. The train was packed like a tin of sardines and it was total misery. I had to laugh and thank my lucky stars I had left the rat race behind.

So what do you do now?

I agree the most depressing aspect of the rat race for me has always been the commute aspect. I've been lucky that I have been able to move within a 10 min commute to my office so there is no morning rat race.

I run my own business. I can't say it makes a fortune (in fact it made a loss last year) but with the skills developed over time, it can make money in the future.

I left it behind to do self employed sales where I was free to work the hours I wished and lots of autonomy.
 

puckerman

Ostrich
americanInEurope said:
For me the most depressing part of work has always been the people and the office politics. The actual work was fun and easy, and there's always ways to avoid actually having to drive a shitty commute (public transit, carpool, etc). The hard part was dealing with gossip and politics and clicks and passive aggressive bitches (male and female). The constant judging and testing and prodding and probing and whispering and challenging that comes with being 1) younger than everyone else, 2) a different race than everyone else, 3) the only network guy in a shop full of server guys, 4) the only contractor in a shop full of permanent guys, or 5) a single guy in an office full of miserable married people, is so daunting that you end up spending most of your time worrying about who not to piss off just to keep your job than you do the actual nuts and bolts of the job. You end up preparing for the next "challenge" or mind-fuck from an old grizzled miserable married guy, instead of preparing for work so you can do your job, to prove your worth to a bunch of assholes in a shop who think you don't deserve to be here anyway.

And this is always the bullshit that either makes you or breaks you. I'll add that I've been a non-military guy in a company with a bunch of ex-military assholes.

But politics is good and bad only in relation to how much people like or don't like their jobs. If people like their jobs, they will tend to like the people.

In my current situation, I work a different shift from most people. I was dumb enough to think I could handle this. I can't handle it because it creates an extra barrier to getting things done.

Forget what they say about it being ok to make mistakes or ask questions. Every stupid question or mistake is ammunition for guys that don't want you to be there. Eventually I got good enough to where they can't challenge me anymore, because I've been in the game for a while and can cut them pieces with actual fact and experience, but it leaves a mark for sure.

I've never gotten to place where I do respectable IT work.
 

one-two

Woodpecker
americanInEurope said:
Just to explain a little further, when I say freelance I don't mean those odesk or elance websites. I mean actually hitting the job boards, applying like you would normally, and when they ask you to sign your life away for a permanent role, tell them you strictly want CONTRACT. 1099, W2, corp-to-corp contracts. You can go as deep as you want with this, from W2 which gives you all the benefits of a normal employee but only short term, to 1099 which means you get ALL your money up front and it's up to you to sort out taxes and shit. Corp-to-Corp is a little different but similar to 1099.

That is interesting. Are there any disadvantages to doing that? For example, can you still take advantage of the company 401k match?. I'm just wondering why more people don't do that. Also, are most companies open to this idea?
 

Onto

Ostrich
Gold Member
one-two said:
americanInEurope said:
Just to explain a little further, when I say freelance I don't mean those odesk or elance websites. I mean actually hitting the job boards, applying like you would normally, and when they ask you to sign your life away for a permanent role, tell them you strictly want CONTRACT. 1099, W2, corp-to-corp contracts. You can go as deep as you want with this, from W2 which gives you all the benefits of a normal employee but only short term, to 1099 which means you get ALL your money up front and it's up to you to sort out taxes and shit. Corp-to-Corp is a little different but similar to 1099.

That is interesting. Are there any disadvantages to doing that? For example, can you still take advantage of the company 401k match?. I'm just wondering why more people don't do that. Also, are most companies open to this idea?

Most companies are not open to people working remotely, at least for what I do. You basically have to either develop an in-demand skill that will allow it to happen, or find a company that's having a hard time attracting top talent for less money, and then offer yourself as a telecommuter. Another avenue would be to get yourself into an onsite position where you are really needed and there is no backup, then tell them you have decided to travel but will be happy to telecommute. That's a toin-coss to what they will do.

AmericanInEurope's approach to going through all the steps of the interview process to getting an offer and then pulling out the surprise telecommuting demand is interesting. I would like to know if anyone has successfully done this also.

Could work if you've wowed them enough. Of course that's also dependent on you being local to come in for the onsite interview, unless you just pull it after the phone screen.
 

RockHard

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Onto said:
americanInEurope said:
...the ability to make serious money, the only way to go about this is to freelance. Freelancing gives you the ability to travel, take as much time off as you want, work anywhere you want

Any idea what kind of skills are needed to get those gigs which allow 100% telecommuting?

Communications. Biggest challenge with telecommuting is being able to trust that people are getting things done. "Don't go dark" is the #1 rule. You have to make sure your boss knows what you're doing and that you're demonstrating progress, because nothing frustrates a manager more than having no idea what your staff is doing.

Onto said:
Most companies are not open to people working remotely, at least for what I do (Test Automaton).

I disagree here. The company I work for has their automation in India, and it works well because devs can get their stuff done during the day and then the Indians beat on it overnight, and the US guys wake up in the morning with a list of defects or things to look at. Totally depends on each company. I think it's more about the company's style.

Have a look at https://weworkremotely.com/, if you're into IT & telecommuting, that's an excellent starting point for your job hunt.
 

The Wire

Kingfisher
Gold Member
RockHard said:
Onto said:
Most companies are not open to people working remotely, at least for what I do (Test Automaton).

I disagree here. The company I work for has their automation in India, and it works well because devs can get their stuff done during the day and then the Indians beat on it overnight, and the US guys wake up in the morning with a list of defects or things to look at. Totally depends on each company. I think it's more about the company's style.

Is using an offshore team an example of telecommuting in this case though?

The telecommuting debate is interesting being that a certain theory leads to the thought that if you can telecommute a position then why doesn't a company just offshore it for a fraction of the price? In many cases they obviously do but the biggest issue i've seen is still a communication barrier to an extent between offshore and a U.S. teams. If everyone from China, India and Pakistan had their first language as English there would a ton more people out of a job and I think the language barrier is still the leading cause amount of incompetency.

Most companies aren't really looking for telecommuters from what i've seen. But as said earlier the best way to get a telecommuter position in a company that doesn't do much of it is to make yourself so valuable that it wouldn't make sense not to let you do it if you forced the issue.
 

Travesty

Crow
Gold Member
^ If you ever worked closely with a team on a sizable codebase that involves keeping a close eye on source control and builds then not being able to quickly resolve things in person with your team can be brutal. Add on language barriers to things that need precision an it adds more time.
 
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