Support

So I had my 6month review with my manager yesterday. Well, not so much a review as a ‘check in’ to see how things were going, if there was anything that I wanted to bring up, etc.

For the most part I was doing just fine, there was one hickup that was already addressed and all was good.

One of the questions that was asked was the usual ‘where do you see yourself in 3-5 years’?

Ummm…working?

This is a problem I’ve always had, I don’t have a 3 or 5 year plan. My plan in 3-5 years, regarding work, is to still be working. That’s the way it’s always been, I’m just a worker bee.

I like to be kept busy, because if I start to get bored, I’ll slack and that causes problems down the line. So I work.

Just after that question was a statement from my manager: “Most people don’t want to be working support forever, sure, some might, but most don’t”.

I do. I like support. I like helping people. Makes me feel like I’ve done something. But she was partly right. I don’t think I want to do software support the rest of my life.

So that’s what I said. I don’t think I totally blindsided her, but I think I grazed her a little 😉

Mostly because I said I was thinking of deskside support. I did that job for a few months when I worked for EDS, and I really liked it. Now, that could have been because of the team, but still, it was more personable(which was good and bad) and I was actually doing things.

The problem she had with this is that she wasn’t sure how she could help, since there were no direct links from software to deskside. In fact it was a whole other major division of the company. But she did throw in a few suggestions that I hadn’t really thought of, like server support, performance support, hardware support, that kind of thing.

All of which did intrigue me somewhat. I think the most important thing was change. And not just the usual change. I’ve worked software support for the last (OMG) 6 years, and during that time with 4 different teams/products. And it’s really the same old thing. And I think I need a departure from it somewhat.

Mind you, for all I know, hardware/server support isn’t what I want to do, but now it’s sounding interesting.

It won’t really be a step up as it’s more a step to the left, and then I get to move up.

But I’m not really all that concerned with that. I’m concerned with being happy at work. I don’t see the point of being totally miserable or unfulfilled at work no matter how much money I make. I mean, this is 8 hours of my day, 5 days a week, for the next 30+ years. At the very least it’s 62,400 hours, and all the money in the world isn’t worth it if I’m miserable for that amount of time. Being miserable for that long will bleed over into my personal life, and I don’t want that either.

No job will make you happy all the time, but if it can make you feel good or at least keep you interested most of the time, then that’s the ideal job.

In my mind anyway.

So yea, nothing right now, but I’ve put the bug in my managers ear, and she’ll keep her eyes out for opertunities for me. I’ll try to do the same.

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One thought on “Support

  1. Well said.

    Happiness is important. Satisfaction (job or otherwise) is crucial to being happy.

    I think the 3-5 year goal (and anything beyond that) is like a 14-day forecast… Basically, life just doesn’t work that way. You have to plan for some things, but especially in the high tech sector… How do you anticipate where you need to be in 3-5 years?

    …A little over 5 years ago I was ending a stint in desktop development which looked like it had a future… Now, although I’m sure there are a boatload of desktop applications still to be written, the move is clearly to the web. Not really shocking, but even 5 years ago I’d guess that ColdFusion and Perl were still strongly enough rooted to be considered mainstream web languages (with Java, .NET, PHP and Ruby… I’m not sure that’s true anymore).

    I suppose the point is… I’d set 1 year goals as tracer bullets, and hopefully have something in the sights for 3-5 years… but expect the reality to be significantly different. Other than that, just aim for getting out of bed breathing in the morning.

    Sounds like you have a good, supportive work environment that care about the bottom line for the growth of the company and for the personal growth of its workers. I’m lucky enough to have a degree of influence in my position. It definitely makes a world of difference!

    Best of luck and keep us posted!

    (Support isn’t bad… for exactly the reasons you cited. I think it gets a bad reputation because people who hoped to be doing something else end up in support in the interim… )

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