IT Pilgrimage

A Journey From IT to Freedom

About IT Pilgrim

Hi everyone,

I started out not too long ago with massive debt, and a minimum wage job. Instead of buying a lottery ticket, I bought an IT book. Several years and many more books later, here I am, in a big ticket IT job (read high stress), that I hate. Since I know that I don’t want my next five years to be like my last, its time to change something. Something big. So … let’s begin at the beginning.

I moved to my current home city 11 years ago, a fresh high school graduate. I intended to go to college, but there was just too many barriers at the time, financial and family. I did not have an idea what I was going to do, or a plan so, like so many others, I started working in retail. It did not take me long to convince myself that minimum wage retail was not where I wanted to be. So I did something, something small this time, and I bought a book. It was a simple Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer book of the Dummies variety.

I studied for a while and took a short certificate course at the local college, but to make a long story short, I bluffed my way into my first IT job. For some reason, a local computer services company took a chance on me and made me a helpdesk agent. Six months later, I was mentoring new agents, 6 more months and I was part of the IT team supporting the helpdesk’s infrastructure.

Flash forward 10 years, and a few job hops, and I have reached what I once looked at as the pinnacle of IT systems administration, Storage. I felt that I had arrived at my destination, a place with security, a job that was in high demand, plenty of prospects and a pretty decent paycheck for a girl with no college degree. All things considered, I should be happy, but I’m not. You see, I realized that there is one definite way NOT to choose a career, and that is purely based on money.

I realize now that was I have been missing is a life. There is no life in working 50-80 hours a week and always being on call. Its like being a doctor to computers, very accident prone computers. At this time I am not really sure where this little train is going, I have toyed with being a financial adviser and am currently toying with taking a CFP course. I don’t know where this journey will end, hopefully it will be a good ride.

I recently found out, that to become a CFP, you have to have a college degree. Funny thing is, it can be in anything, be it typing, theater, or philosophy, whatever as long as you have it. Oh well, so much for that idea.

IT Pilgrim

7 Responses to “About IT Pilgrim”

  1. Francois said

    Hi IT Pilgrim

    I enjoy your blog and I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed, so I thought I’d introduce myself.

    My story is a bit different, but similar. I started out in IT because I loved computers, but within 6 months of working I knew IT is a soul killer like you’ve also discovered. I eventually ended up in expert support – full-time on-call – like yourself. I’ve been out now for about 4 months. Also by learning and doing the right things with money – staying out of debt, and saving my arse off.

    One of my best friends did the same thing, and funny enough, he ended up doing a CFA (just wrote the exam like a month ago). He is currently following his dream and touring New Zealand and Australia, looking for good waves to surf. πŸ™‚

    My dad is a CFP. He taught me most of what I know about money. It’s a pitty for you that you need a degree. Have you considered rather doing something similar – like a financial coaching certification? I mean, money is quite simple. If you understand the basics (like you seem to from what I’ve read) and you have a gift for helping people, who cares if you have CFP?

    Anyways, good luck with your journey. I’ll be reading.

    Take care & God bless,
    Francois

  2. IT Pilgrim said

    @Francois,

    I appreciate the intro. I have thought about doing that and I appreciate the advice. I am currently looking for something that will have at least some merit overseas as well as in the States. I would be interested to know how your fried did it, so I can do the same. πŸ˜‰

    Cheers
    Pilgrim

  3. Francois said

    Hehe… my friend Ruan. πŸ™‚

    He pretty much did the same things you are doing. We used to work for the same company, and spent countless cigarette and coffee breaks talking about “how to get out of the rutt”.

    He made sacrifices, cut his expenses, refused to make more debt, paid off the debt and saved up for a long time. Nothing glamorous about it, just good old fashioned discipline.

    Ruan is not at the point where he can just do whatever he wants. He’s only got enough to let him tour around for about four months, and then he’ll have to come back home and look for a job again.

    But he plans to take a job with a financial firm rather than an IT firm, and so that he can do the four years of grunt work necessary to get CFA accreditation. Still, he’s making a complete career change, which is awesome!

  4. Francois said

    Hi Pilgrim

    Do you mind if I add you to my blog-roll?

    Just asking because I know you girls can sometimes be a bit finiki about who gets to your site and all that. πŸ˜‰

    Take care & God bless,
    Francois

  5. IT Pilgrim said

    @Francois, Thanks, sure thing. Yes, I am a little picky about it, but you’re cool πŸ˜‰ Assuming you don’t mind being added to mine. How’s the new logo?

    Pilgrim

  6. Francois said

    @Pilgrim

    You’ve been blog-rolled!!

    And love the logo. πŸ™‚ Your own design?

  7. IT Pilgrim said

    @Francois, You have been to, and yes, my design. Probably not as creative as an actual designer could do, but the price was right. πŸ™‚

    Pilgrim

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