What was your biggest career jump?

LincLinc OwnerDetroit Icrontian

Many of us are on job number 4+ since high school. Which change was the biggest, and why? Maybe you changed fields, made a serious upgrade, or moved a long way. Or maybe it all went to hell in a handbasket. Looking back, what made it so significant and would you do anything differently?



  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan Icrontian

    Leaving U-M Hospital for Sears Holdings (lol) was a 30% salary bump. It was also a big change from a primary AIX to a primary Linux role. And now I'm back on primary AIX because I'm old and a creature of habit (comfort).

  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Icrontian
    edited October 2018

    My move to California.

    In 2008, I was making a mediocre Midwest salary at Fidelity Investments as a Business Analyst before my move. Due to the market being destroyed in 07/08, the company announced a pretty major layoff, for which I volunteered in order to move to California to be with my wife (at the time she was my fiancee and had moved out there a year prior) and I received about 5 months' severance pay due to my 10 years of history with the company.

    After I moved to California, the job market was tight so I went through the severance and then I started to do some contracting. I set my contract rate about double what I had been making in my previous job.

    When I finally got a job in California as an IT Analyst with a health system, I quoted my contract rate as my salary history, and the company came in a bit under that due to their additional tax burden around my move from 1099 to W-2 status.

    Now I'm back in Ohio after the family outgrew our ability to purchase a home in SoCal, and I'm making about 20% more than I was when I changed jobs in 2009, largely due to normal raises since then.

    TL;DR: Moved from Ohio to SoCal and almost doubled my salary.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    I'd say going from self-employed IT, gaming, and nerd reporter/editor to working for a New York/LA-cultured fashion company was about a major career change as I could muster. There are upsides and downsides. Upsides: I'm not poor for the first time in my life. Downsides: I miss the fuck out of what could have been.

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian

    I went from a 4-person technical writing company to, you know, AMD. 100% pay raise in the early days, these days sitting at 400%. Moved to Canada. Moved to Austin. Good times all around.

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan Icrontian

    Dang, man. That's awesome. I'm finally up 100% over the last 5 years. And I'm really happy with that so far.

  • DontCallMeKelsoDontCallMeKelso Kelso 'The Great Asshole' San Jose, CA Icrontian
    edited October 2018

    I went from QA getting not that much an hour to a marketing role within Origin that doubled my pay and got me doing something I enjoyed a lot more. But as with most of my jobs in this industry it was a contract role that ended and then I ended up back doing QA again on a different project.

    Then after 4 contract roles, I got my first full time gig and had to move to Boston for a Sr. QA role that paid california money in a place where it didn't cost california money to live. That ended too cause lay offs and shit.

    Lots of ups and downs, but getting that marketing role was the biggest jump, and I was really proud of it, not just because of the jump, but I had designed the system I was using in that role while I was QA.

    But as of right now I'm in a middle ground between QA and where I would like to be, but I'd still like to get back to game dev/production on a non-contract role.

  • RequitRequit That one guy Somewhere over there, I don't know Icrontian

    I got my start in IT because some friends were starting a medical marijuana growhouse and needed someone to set up their security cameras. Used that experience and monkey'd around various IT positions until I landed one at a small MSP (15 techs). I then used that to dive into my current role at a University. Even before the MSP, each company I worked for had a relatively small IT department, less than 10. Going to a place where the "main" IT department has over 600 people and each individual college has its own cluster of technicians has been quite the change.

    Hell, there's more people doing IT here than lived in the town I went to high school in. That blows my mind. It also came with a 30% pay raise, pension, a month of vacation time, comped tuition costs, and the best part of all is each day I get to talk to geniuses that know far more than I do.

    I'm still not sure all the impacts the jump will have. The biggest obvious one is I'm now a student for the first time in over a decade. Currently working on a degree in Mechanical Engineering without having to take loans, which will theoretically open a bunch of doors down the line. The University is also far more willing to send me to conferences that catch my interest than my previous employers, in August they paid to send me to BlackHat, DefCon, and BSides Vegas which was a phenomenal learning experience I wouldn't have had without someone else bankrolling things.

    I'm also managing projects now instead of just IT troubleshooting, it's like I'm a real adult. Getting a chance to flex my people managing skills too, which is valuable experience to have under your belt even if you're not a manager.

    Looking at a hard move in about four or five years (If I work here for 5 years, the tuition waiver is applied for life and also applies to any wive(s) or children I collect on my journey) not because of any issues with the position but purely because this desert heat is killing me. I gotta get somewhere with rain, snow, seasons. At this point I'd settle for a place that isn't 85 when the Christmas jingles start to play.

  • GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares Icrontian

    This is so far back it barely qualifies for adulting, but:

    In college I was working at Wal-Mart. I got offered a research assistant job at the university during my last year.

    My Wal-Mart manager asked if there was anything they could do to keep me. The university was going to pay me twice as much to work half as many hours and actually use my brain, so my days in the blue apron were over.

    That put me on a path to data analysis as a career. I've been doing one flavor of that or another ever since. For me, a massive salary bump was just having a real job. I spent years and years working part-time assistantships in grad school for minimal pay and recognition.

  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff Icrontian

    I graduated college with a degree in finance and my dream was to become a big shot at Goldman Sachs. Those dreams were quickly dashed when I accepted an entry-level operations job at Bankers Trust. It was a great job and I advanced quickly, but I felt like I wanted to do something more. My father thought maybe I would be good at sales.

    I thought I could do well. I have an outgoing personality and people like me, I said to myself. I ended up taking a sales position at a software company. I sucked at it. I hated cold calling. I hated not knowing if I was going to make rent that month, even with a draw against commission. What I did love were the technical demos and managing our small network. To date myself, we had most of our desktops running Windows 98, and a few just got Windows 2000. Our server ran NT4 SP6a. Fast networks were 100 Mbps, and our DSL was a blazing 512/512.

    I left there and took a position with a manufacturing company, first as their web designer (I sucked) then as their resident IT guy (I winned). I felt the most comfortable I had in a long time. I immediately fixed up their network, ditching their aging NT4 box that acted as their domain controller, file server, app server, everything server. For fuck sake, they had Windows 9x PCs where everyone was a goddamn local admin! Each PC has its own antivirus, and they weren't even the same product in most cases. One AVG here, an Avira there, and (shudder) McAfee on that box :eek3: . It was a fustercluck to say the least.

    I spent 11 years there, learning everything I could about the synergy between IT and manufacturing. I look back at what I accomplished there and I can say that I did a metric fuckton of good for them.

    That didn't matter because George. I've mentioned George before. He's a pedantic sycophant wrapped in a douche bag. He ultimately forced me out by complaining that I wouldn't follow his whims and flights of fancy. George- if you recall- was besties with the owner and asked me during his first week if I am running the servers' drives in RAID arrays. "No, George, I don't even know what a RAID is! Is it some sort of bug killer?"

    I had a family and I needed a job. So I jumped ship for a not-for-profit agency that helps disadvantaged youth and families. I was a fish out of water in the middle of a sandstorm in the Mojave desert. I've adapted and built upon my skills, but I'm itching to get back into the manufacturing world. It's what I know best.

    So TL;DR: Wall St > sales > manufacturing IT > not-for-profit IT > ??????

  • Fuckin' George.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Oh George

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    My biggest career jump was tonight

  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff Icrontian

    @primesuspect said:
    My biggest career jump was tonight

    Do tell!

  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff Icrontian

    @GHoosdum said:
    Fuckin' George.

    T-shirt idea? Maybe, "God dammit, George..."

  • CrazyJoeCrazyJoe Winter Springs, FL Icrontian

    @Kwitko said:

    @primesuspect said:
    My biggest career jump was tonight

    Do tell!

    Do Discord.

  • CrazyJoeCrazyJoe Winter Springs, FL Icrontian

    My biggest Career Jump was definitely my recent move from 12 years in the Public School System to my current Instructional Designer position at UCF. I'm still in education, but moving away from teaching and more into professional development. It's the first time in a long time that I've felt like I'm in a position that values me as a professional and it's kinda amazing all around.

  • VicarVicar Icrontian

    Retiring, nuff said

  • Creeperbane2Creeperbane2 Victorian Scoundrel Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    With any luck Food Service to Passenger Rail hope to hear back sometime in the next 2 months.

  • djmephdjmeph Detroit Icrontian

    I went from working customer service at Moosejaw to building an e-commerce website for an aftermarket automotive company. Thanks for hiring me, dad.

  • doabarrellrolldoabarrellroll San Jose, CA Icrontian

    Got my undergrad in music performance, then a master's in psychology. Now I work in manufacturing at one of the greatest companies in the world and find myself really satisfied with my career choice change. Hard work beats smart 9 times out of 10.

  • I ran a software engineering company to put myself through school, near the end of it all a client hired me out of my business. I even got to bring along one of my employees. The big change was obviously not the company I was working for, but instead I went from doing whatever contracts I could land to a full time position in strategy. I got to transform a record label in to a software company and then in to a full fledged media company. I worked directly with a founder of YouTube and IBM to implement and refine their digital fingerprinting tech and partner program, developed software that was installed over 5 million times, and am now in charge of a brand that helps consumers "decide" how to spend nearly 100 million per year on crap they don't need. Ultimately, a lot of us just work for Amazon. Anyway, I'm very proud of my career which is nearly at the 20 year mark, but I'm ready to put a knife in it and have really fun plans for the next big jump.

    @Linc you started the thread, I'm curious if you want to share or if you have a big change coming up?

  • kless001kless001 Midwest-USA Member

    Went from working at a quiet boat yard cleaning/storing boats to working 24 hour shifts on an ambulance as an EMT in a big city.

    [Deleted User]
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian

    @PirateNinja said:
    @Linc you started the thread, I'm curious if you want to share or if you have a big change coming up?

    I started this discussion while I was reflecting on my own career, and how big every transition was in its own way. Not just between jobs, but even promotions at Vanilla. And it's been on a remarkably consistent 2-year(ish) cycle. Two years coding as a hobby, two years doing in-house dev, two years doing agency work, two years doing basic product work, two years doing advanced product work, two years leading from within a team, and now I'm a year into leading 3 teams from a management role.

    And in each cycle, there is a pattern (on average probably 6 months each). First, the "omg what's happening" phase. Then the "OK I have some ideas how to do this better" phase. Then the "Stand back, I've got this" phase. And finally the "OK, what's next?" phase. Once again, right on schedule, I find myself at transition between phases 2 and 3. It's easy to conflate that transition with the time to jump up a level, because it boosts your confidence so much. But there's still a lot of work to do and a lot of experience to earn.

    I feel like I could describe any of my transitions as monumental or mundane, depending on what aspect we were talking about. Lots of folks tend to focus on salary, in which case my biggest single jump was surely starting at Vanilla. I tend to focus more on responsibility level, in which case I suppose the biggest jump was last year, when I was entrusted with others' careers.

  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian

    @MiracleManS said:
    Its been a long strange road from a public university to an agency now to R&D.

    In-house, to agency, to product work?

    Nah doesn't sound familiar at all.

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