I'm not overly happy in my current work environment. The people are good, the hours are perfect, the amount of flexibility I have is nice, but the job itself is pretty terrible. Lack of work at times, not really growing my skills, and there is little to no advancement opportunity.

So I have a degree in IT. I want to continue to work in the IT field, but currently there is nothing open in my area that fits my skillset. So I'm looking for a new job but I can't seem to find anything in IT. There are plenty of jobs outside of the IT field that I feel I would be qualified for.

My question becomes, is it bad for me to work in a job that is not IT for a time until something in IT opens up? Will it look bad on my resume? Will potential future employers think, because I quit an IT job to work in, let's say Sales or something not IT, that maybe I couldn't handle my previous IT job?

  • "My question becomes, is it bad for me to work in a job that is not IT for a time until something in IT opens up?" - yes. If you want to work in IT, find a job in IT. If you are any good, you'll find something. – WorkerDrone May 31 '16 at 18:58
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    My Dad has a great saying: "Always be moving towards something not away from something." You need to make sure you are taking a job because of the opportunity it presents not because you want to get out of your current gig. If that opportunity takes you on a different path then, well, there are a lot of us who find ourselves in a different place then when we started. – DanK May 31 '16 at 19:27
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    @New-To-IT it might be time to look outside of your area for IT jobs. Moving can suck, for sure, but a city with lots of jobs in your field will help open a lot of doors for learning and advancement. – MK2000 May 31 '16 at 20:32
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    Maybe learn to be less unhappy and make the most of it. Some higher ups at times don't treat you well and leave you out of certain things? Use that time learn more skills. If you work in IT and are studying IT because you have no work you are not going to get in trouble. I wanted to leave job where I did not have much work - for the last 6 month studied for my MSCE and let the company pay for certification testing. – paparazzo May 31 '16 at 20:42
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    @MK2000, I agree, it might be time to look at relocation, but at this time, due to personal reasons that have nothing to do with my question, it's simply not an option. Commuting might be my best bet, assuming the pay is where it needs to be to make extra time in the car(ie gas money, wear and tear on a car) worth it. – New-To-IT May 31 '16 at 20:43

It will definitely elicit questions the next time you're looking for a job in the field, yes. If you leave the field for a long time you may have a difficult time getting back in.

As long as you keep your skills up to date and have some good answers ready, however you should be OK.

Or at least I hope so, because realistically I can't know what the job market and expectations are in your area.

Edit based on comments:

If you don't feel you are qualified to pick up other jobs in IT in your area then maybe you should take this as a sign that you need to upgrade your skills. The field of IT is quite broad, so I'm not sure what it is you actually do, but for example, if you are a programmer, signing up to a site such as Plural Sight, following the tutorials, and picking up new skills could open a number of doors for you.

Similar courses could be available to database or networking specializations.

  • I suppose you are correct, I can definitely spend this time learning new skills, was just wondering if it'd be more beneficial to stick it out in my current job while learning these skills, and being quite unhappy, or going to another job while learning these skills, then getting back into IT. Guess I could use my down time to learn these skills, and not make it look bad that I hopped out of the field for a time and then try and get back in. – New-To-IT May 31 '16 at 19:22
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    @New-To-IT - purely as far as your career is concerned it will, 100% guaranteed, look better if you pick up these new skills while sticking with your IT job. Quite simply, would you rather hire a guy who's worked IT and has a bunch of marketable skills, or a guy who claims to have those skills, but has been working as a sales rep for the past 2 years? One will clearly seem more legitimate than the other. That being said, idk what your circumstances are. You do mention that sometimes you have no work, so maybe that would be a good time to study? – AndreiROM May 31 '16 at 19:26
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    Thanks for the reply, and I agree, now that I see it it would look better if I just stuck it out and learned new skills instead of complaining and whining about where I'm at. Thanks for the advice! – New-To-IT May 31 '16 at 19:28

There are tons of jobs in IT especially in the US which according to your profile, where you are from. It might not be with the same company or same locale, but if you really want to be in IT, currently there is no shortage of jobs.

But if you want to take the easy way out and jump ship when hardship arise, it definitely will raise some red flags about your priorities and devotion in the future. Those difficulties could be overcome but again, why in such a prolific job environment? If you said this say 6-7 years ago, I'd be more willing to agree with you but today, you sound like you do not want to pay your dues.

  • I don't think having no advancement opportunities, and no job growth is "taking the easy way out". I'm not looking to get out of IT and just not try, I just don't see many job prospects that I'm qualified for, or are in an area where I'm comfortable commuting. At this time at least, I know something will come, but I'm unhappy enough in my current situation to be contemplating leaving this job until something does arise. – New-To-IT May 31 '16 at 19:05
  • or are in an area where I'm comfortable commuting <-- this is your downfall my friend. If you want to be in IT and want to advance, you need to make peace with commuting or even relocating long distances, unless you're living in the smack dab middle of Silicon Valley, LA or any other major metropolitan area. I live in LA and for my job in IT I commute 40 miles one way, every day. But it is challenging and it pays well. – MelBurslan May 31 '16 at 19:09
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    I can't help but feel that you're judging the OP rather than answering the question. – AndreiROM May 31 '16 at 19:14
  • Just to preference, I'm definitely not afraid or unwilling to "pay my dues", I'll do all the grunt work someone wants if it makes sense financially and career wise. I'm not trying to duck out and get an "easy" job, or anything of that nature, just trying to balance things in a way that it doesn't hurt my future prospects. – New-To-IT May 31 '16 at 19:27

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