There’s no good way to start this post so I’ll be blunt: my current job will likely be my last in the UK IT industry.
There are some exceptions to this: there are a couple people/organisations I would consider working for in the UK but I consider it highly unlikely at this point. If the right role abroad came up, I’d certainly consider it.
My decision to leave this profession and the Apple world in particular has not been an easy one. I’ve constantly striven to give total commitment and energy to the furthering of wherever I’ve worked, as well as developing my own skills. I’ve come a long way in the last fifteen years from phone support to designing multi-national Apple management systems.
I’ve met many good people, made some good friends, attended a few conferences (spoke at three) and seen a few people getting paralytically drunk to the point where I thought they had substance abuse issues. (btw as a non drinker, watching people getting wasted is pretty boring.)
The biggest issues for me is that the quality of the roles I’ve had. I’ve started from part way almost every time and it’s got to the point where the frustration levels are greater than the satisfaction of doing a job well. Given that I still have an enthusiasm for the tech world but, this really is a career born out of a hobby and it’s intolerably becoming the entirety of my waking hours. I don’t get much respite from tech. My work life balance is out of whack.
This must change.
What also must change are the workplace cultures I keep finding myself in. While there is a significant barrier in terms of experience and ability to be an Apple admin of any reasonable skill, there doesn’t appear to be any in terms of people management. I’ve had experiences that vary from so good that 12 years on I can still happily remember their names to so bad that I’ve had sleepless nights with caffeine fuelled days and wish I could forget their names.
There have been ambushes, literally and figuratively. There has been micromanagement to the point where I thought I was Pinocchio but with the strings still attached. There was even the times I had the full constructive dismissal experience. (yes, more than one)
If I was a drinker, I would be in trouble by now. Thankfully I prefer tea.
I became an IT contractor to fund my films and their development. That time is nearly over. I’ve two film projects that I’ve handshake deals with a producer in the USA: the big stipulation being that I become legally resident. (Long story involving people on O-1 visas losing legal status while in the middle of shoots causing bad things to happen.)
Those who know me are aware of my immigration plans. These plans have always involved dropping IT in favour of the actual career I picked for myself back in 1999 and have worked on in between keeping a roof over my head. I didn’t invest all that time in film school to simply ignore it almost immediately after graduating. If my immigration plans do not work out (and that possibility is a lot more likely than I want to admit), then I still plan to do other things with my life.
One interesting possibility is part owner of a franchise business. I cannot say which at this time publicly but a few of you out there are aware of what and where.
Like Alan Wilder when he left Depeche Mode, it seems preferable to leave on a good note. You all have my support and best wishes for anything you pursue in the future. I’ll be around the next few months as my current role doesn’t end until 1st July.
I’ve a dream to chase, and while I have been chasing it … it’s more than time to do so with a lot more vigour.