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Can't stand sitting in an office anymore. Suggestions?
9 points by revicon on Aug 21, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments
I've been a web developer and software engineer for 10 years now. It's a blast, and I have outside projects I work on as well. But I've gotten to the point where I can't sit in an office for 8 hours a day anymore. I feel like my world revolves around the office, and I've lost touch with the outside world. Any job suggestions for someone that needs to be up and about and interacting with the rest of the world, but with my job qualifications?

Buy a boat and work there! You can work just like you do in an office, but the experience is so much more fun. The view is great, you can feed some ducks while you think over hard problems, and people love to visit because it's novel, fun and has a taste of freedom. You can sail off and throw an anchor somewhere and have long meetings and brainstorms. It's not as hard or expensive as it sounds.

It only works if you live near some large body of water of course...

You could always buy a boat an live in it in your garden, I know someone doing that.

Quit. Go solo. But first find yourself a single paying customer, and one that is prepared to pay you a bit up front and the rest on delivery.

That way you're out of the office and in and out of everybody elses.

Doing contract jobs for a while is great way to use the same skillset that you already have (job qualifications matter a lot less when you're contracting then when you're being hired for some odd reason).

Your new 'interview' will be the 'pitch', where you sell yourself and what you can do.

Start with offering your services back to your old boss :)

Beware though, there is no safety net, no guaranteed paycheck. It's not for everybody but if you can handle the lack of security and you are somewhat business savvy you'll do fine.

I have the exact same problem and it's driving me nuts. I really love what I do, but I have to force myself to get and walk around with nowhere to go. It just doesn't seem natural.

One of the things I'm examining is a position as a "sales engineer". I would go on the road and help sell, train users, teach, and evangelize the technology. I'd get to program a little (proof on concepts, demos, example apps, etc.) but not sit in an office all day long. Best of both worlds. Stay tuned...

Maybe I'm missing something; if you're in the office 8 hours a day, what are you doing with the other 16 that leaves you feeling out of touch with the outside world?

Do it now, you won't regret it.

You already have outside contracts to get you 'ramen profitable'. What are you waiting for?

Try something completely mad if you want to get out and interact with the world. What about moobile web development? Pull up next to the burger van at you local car boot sale, in your Mr. Webby trailer and offer 'By one, get one free' websites. IDK, just an idea.

Love it.

Volunteer a bit of your time to a charity or non-profit. It can be extremely rewarding to give like that, and it might help you feel more connected to the world.

Or, you could ditch your office job all together and find a day-to-day "work" activity that does help you feel more connected to the world.

Can you work from home? At least part of the week? Maybe just come in for meetings?

If you can, then any place with a wireless network can be your office... (a good wireless network anyway).

I'm sure I stole this suggestion from someone else, so if you want credit feel free to take it.

Move to another country and sit in an office there? Ok, sure, you're still in an office, but the novelty of it all will be a good experience.

How about teaching?

Please, please don't go into teaching if it's not something that you feel really driven to do. The education system is full of unmotivated seat warmers just there for the paycheck, and missing the whole point of how crucially important teaching is.

Yes, no one wants bad teachers. But teaching seems like one of those things that you have to actually do in order to know if you could be successful at it. I know quite a few teachers who thought they were passionate about the profession and quickly burned out. Others came to it from other fields after some searching and became good teachers.

While I agree that you shouldn't just pick teaching as your career on a whim, like so many other things in life, sometimes you just gotta try things out to see whether you're good at them and enjoy them. The hard part is moving along when you know you need to.

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