Many of you have been working in high-tech careers for so long that
you might not be able to imagine what other careers you might have
pursued. In some cases, you might even be wondering how you developed
the career you have. We all have interests beyond our careers (or should
have). Maybe it is time to find an outlet for the other interests in
your life. Reviewing what career you might have chosen can often lead
you to new areas of your high-tech career.
Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief
What do you find yourself doing in your off hours? Do you like to
putter about the garden, build projects in your workshop, cycle
state? All of these activities could be jumping off points for new
aspects of your career. All you have to do is look a little deeper.
When people write me to ask questions about developing a high-tech
career I always ask them what other activities they enjoy. I have found
that sometimes the best job you can have is one that combines your
high-tech skills with an existing hobby. Perhaps you like cycling.
Wouldn’t it be great to work for a bicycle manufacturer? Not
only would you be able to use your high-tech skills, you would also
be working with other cycling fanatics. I am a firm believer that the
more you have in common with those around you, the happier you will
This is one of the great benefits of a high-tech career. You don’t
have to work in some large business that holds no interest for you.
You can apply your skills at nearly any company. Why not seek out a
company that piques your interest? I once worked for a mutual fund
company. While the work was OK, I had absolutely no interest in the
stock market. In some ways, this effected my work. It was very tiring
to work on debugging an enormous spreadsheet for a fund manager when
I had no interest in the outcome of the project, much less the company
as a whole.
Today, I want you to start looking at your hobbies and interests to
see if there might be a way to better match them with your high-tech
career. Do you like boating? Why not find a boat manufacturer that
needs a computer support person…or a CAD operator…or a
You might find that your search will lead you beyond high-tech and
into a totally different career. There is nothing wrong with that.
No one said you had to work in high-tech forever. Times have changed.
Many of you will find yourself moving through 3-4 careers in your lifetime.
Perhaps combining your high-tech career with your other interests might
lead you to entirely different areas.
There are a few caveats when combining a
hobby with a career, though. Sometimes, the hobby can turn into drudgery
when done on
a daily basis. Maybe you like playing baseball, but testing baseball
equipment everyday can get a little dreary. For some people, though,
it might be a dream job. Carefully look at any job you might consider
and try to figure out exactly what you would be doing on a daily
The opposite case also applies. You might find that the new job doesn’t
allow you to use enough of your high-tech skills. I know that I enjoy
using these skills, even if I might enjoy other work. I would be unhappy
if I wasn’t able to use my computer skills. You need to think
about your needs and insure that there is a balance between the high-tech
and other aspects of any new job or career.
High-tech positions exist in every company and every industry. Take
advantage of this fact by finding a job that combines your interests
with your high-tech skills. Jobs of this type will bring you higher
levels of satisfaction in your work because they engage not only
your high-tech talents, but also other driving interests in your
can be one of the best ways to insure a long and successful high-tech
Comments, Questions, Reviews?