Finally got through one night without being paged. Turns out the problem was that on Saturday, someone had powered on a decommissioned firewall, which was trying to use the same address as the firewall that replaced it quite a few months ago. Every morning at 4:15am the newer firewall would briefly lose the fight and drop off the network, triggering the alert system and my pager. After shutting down and pulling the plug on the old one, the problem was solved.
Lately I’ve been seriously considering a complete career change, and leaving IT altogether. I’ve worked in this industry for 10 years and over the last couple months have found that it doesn’t interest me anymore. The fascination I used to have when working on computers and learning new systems has now become just a necessary chore. I only learn it because I have to know it to keep my job, but I really don’t care anymore. Outwardly I’m still doing a good job but I’m totally faking interest and concern.
Our trainer has taken the courses and initial certification for real estate appraisal, and the job sounds appealing. There seems to be plenty of demand, as every sale, purchase, and refinancing of homes usually requires an appraisal; the money is good, *potentially* almost twice what I’m making now; and you pretty much work on your own. No meetings, no required business casual dress, and no emergency pages at 4am because someone’s property value has gone down. You go, inspect, leave, do the paperwork. By nature I tend to prefer to be left to my own devices, and this sounds like it might be a good fit.
The Michigan Institute of Real Estate, where my trainer went, offers the three required courses and state certification test required to become a Limited Real Estate Appraiser, which allows you to do everything but actually sign the appraisal. After x amount of time apprenticing this way, you can become a full appraiser. The classes for the first course are on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one month, from 6 to 9:30pm, which would fit perfectly with my German class on Monday and Wednesday. This would be quite a workload for me: working 5 days a week, and going to classes 4 nights a week. Other people have done more than this, but for years I’ve been used to just working my 40 hours and goofing off the rest of the time. I have a history of not following through on projects and goals, and fear of having that happen again is holding me back. What’s encouraging, though, is that I’ve been doing well in German class. I haven’t skipped any classes, I’ve been doing my homework, and so far getting very good grades. So maybe I can do it.
I have no real desire to ever be a manager in IT, so all I’m really looking at is being a well-paid grunt and always answering to someone else. I don’t want to spend the rest of my working life in that capacity, so I guess it’s time to have my midlife crisis a little early.