Want to leave IT to make time for family and myself

Microsoft / Other Dchgffh
Oct 13, 2018 22 Comments

I’m 36 and I work in IT since I was 21. Same as my spouse. We make good money, have some savings. Almost paid off mortgage.

Lately I’m feeling more and more burned out. I’m tired of late night work, overtime hours, unhealthy eating and being tired all the time. We have 1 kid and I always wanted to have 3 by the time I’m 40. We do not travel a lot, haven’t seen Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Atlantic City, you name it. I kinda want to take some time off from work/IT, have more kids, spend some time to exercise and lose weight that I’ve being gaining for the last 10 years... I look older than I’m actually and that also bothers me.

I have some hobbies/ideas for small business which is not related to IT. And even if I don’t ever make IT money again, my spouse is still so into the job and makes a lot, and I know we’ll be fine.

One thing that stops me is that if I do that - leave a job to make time for family and myself - it’s a feeling that I worked so hard for all those 15 years and ended nowhere... Like why I even bothered then, developed myself, went to conferences, courses, had sleepless nights thinking about job... just to end as probably small business owner and/or stay-at-home person.

Is it too crazy to do? Has anyone/ anyone’s spouse done that? And if I realize that I made a mistake - is it even possible to return to IT after 4-5 years gap when you are 40?

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TOP 22 Comments
  • Console Connect / Other gqDS15
    Before making drastic changes, start by taking back your evenings and weekends. Spend the time with family, going to the gym or just spacing out. Do weekend trips to local national parks. Get your family lean and excited on traveling. Then work your way up to longer time off. Eventually you will either find work/life balance or a new position that works for you.
    Oct 14, 2018 8
    • Console Connect / Other gqDS15
      You need to cite health and family obligations. If they have an issue, talk to HR about poor management styles that affect the health and well-being of staff. It’s a common problem that tech teams have, especially when they’re under staffed and management over promises. In other scenarios, management and team members doesn’t have family and can’t empathize with why you’re not responding as quick as they do.

      If you are situated in the US, they’re likely breaking some kind of labor law with those types of expectations. HR would understand the implications here.

      Also, think of another team that’s well resourced and plans accordingly at your company. If you can’t find one, then it’s likely a systemic problem at that company.

      Firm up and be assertive to protect yourself.
      Oct 14, 2018
    • Hortonworks / R&D
      OGwg68d

      Hortonworks R&D

      PRE
      VersionOne
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      None
      OGwg68dmore
      Nah, useless to bring it up to HR. The entire culture is like that at some companies. All colleagues are responding emails at night or weekends.

      Mangers never say that you have to work or respond after hours. But then all managers and colleagues are responding, one sorta does it as well.
      Oct 14, 2018
    • Microsoft / Other Dchgffh
      OP
      Exactly. It’s OK for skip level to request at 4pm Friday to get multiple hours job ready by Monday noon. So what to do?...
      Oct 14, 2018
    • Deutsche Bank Bingham
      It's pretty clear you are in a screwed up project. Why not change or leave MS ?
      Oct 14, 2018
    • Apple NonSensei
      Don’t check email after work hours, say no to unreasonable deliverables or ask for resources you can delegate your job to. With the “no”, follow up with when you can deliver or what resources you need and what other deliverables may suffer.
      I agree with someone else who said that it’s a midlife crisis. You are examining what’s meaningful to you. If you are unable to take back your life, I would change organizations or companies. And you can ask about work hours during interviews and ask about work life balance so you are interviewing the company as well. You can do all of this and also take a break. Go on vacation while you do this. It’s ok to let some deliverables and schedules slip. That’s the only way to let them know it’s unreasonable.
      Oct 16, 2018
  • Shopify / Eng Pplskills
    Is the point of all the work the work itself or the ability to spend more time with your loved ones? Sounds like you need a break regardless
    Oct 13, 2018 1
    • Microsoft / Other Dchgffh
      OP
      The point of work so far was money. But I think we can comfortably live on my spouse’s salary...
      Oct 14, 2018
  • Bank of The West / Consultant
    Porsch-911

    Bank of The West Consultant

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    Cisco, eBay, NetApp, VMware
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    Porsch-911more
    Sounds like you worked and just worked with no life. It may sound bitter but I’m not here to put you down but just provide with opinion and perspective. You did what you wanted to and gained a lot through it but through that you have lost too. It’s a v good thing that you are thinking as that’s the start of making change.

    You need to make gradual change as sudden change can also turn your life into something you would want. Go slow and focus on health, family more. See how you feel, what you like and find a path to either part time or something different all together. If you won’t code for couple of weeks I guarantee no one will die!

    I worked in tech and moved to financial sector even when people from tech look down at many industries specially banking but that never has bothered me as I know what is important for me in life. Health and family first (always)
    Oct 13, 2018 2
    • Microsoft / Other Dchgffh
      OP
      Yes, I’ve tried to do a slow change, and changed the team about a year ago. I thought it would be more calm environment, and it was for a while; but then we went through the re-org and now it’s even worse that I’ve had in my previous team... There is no stability. I don’t like drastic changes either, but I’m so tired and don’t see myself working so relentlessly as I did all those years before. As you correctly said it seemed I had no life and did it wrong. Can’t continue do that...
      Oct 13, 2018
    • Bank of The West / Consultant
      Porsch-911

      Bank of The West Consultant

      PRE
      Cisco, eBay, NetApp, VMware
      BIO
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      Porsch-911more
      So try to find a job in a group where it’s a bit laidback. Change company or move to business side from IT.

      You will find something and if you just draw boundaries in your current job a lot of things can change quickly. I only work 9-5 unless absolutely necessary to do extra work I don’t look at it.

      Good luck - believe in self and you will find a way...
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Apple NonSensei
    You need a change-
    1. Can you take a less stressful and busy IT job in a different division or company? Or part time?
    2. If you know you want a break from IT, can you change what you do in your company itself?
    3. If you do need a break, make a 6-12 month plan with measurable goals including weight loss, hours that you will spend with kid and time spent on new company. You can also make a 5 year broader plan for your career.
    Be proud of where you are and what you did so far. Time to move on.
    Oct 13, 2018 0
  • Microsoft 1+1
    5 minutes before you die, will you regret not spending more time at the office or not spending more time with your family?
    Oct 14, 2018 0
  • Amazon Gjdyveycc4
    It’s called mid life crisis, use ur sabbatical to come out of it.
    Oct 14, 2018 0
  • Cadence Onlytrue
    What if you continue to do what you are doing now? Would you regret that? Being unhealthy? Not spending enough time with family? Missing out on having more kids? Why don’t you take a short break from work and do some soul searching.
    Oct 14, 2018 1
    • Microsoft / Other Dchgffh
      OP
      I am regretting it every single day for some time now :-/
      Oct 14, 2018
  • Deutsche Bank Bingham
    There are many people who take long breaks and come back into good roles rejuvenated. I know a very senior executive who did this, and joined after 6 months in an even more senior role in another company. You seem to be totally burnt out and you need a break
    Oct 13, 2018 0
  • Facebook tAXF40
    What’s your net worth?
    Oct 14, 2018 1
    • Microsoft / Other Dchgffh
      OP
      Not enough for both of us to retire, but we could live on spouse’s salary
      Oct 14, 2018