Hivemind, please help me choose a career direction
June 13, 2014 4:25 AM Subscribe
In short: PMP? CISA? Dev? Or all of the above?
I'm working at a small IT company (30 people). I have a CompSci degree. I went from programming to business analysis to project management with a side of information security thrown in as I'm responsible for ISO 27001 policy compliance. I'm not a "rockstar" or expert in any of those fields, but I can do them competently. (There certainly haven't been any complaints from the management.) Basically I'm a "jack of all trades, master of none". So where do I go from here?
posted by Behemoth Judge And The Explosive Xerox to Work & Money (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 35 and have a small kid and feel like it's time to get "real" with my career. I'm in a EU country and rather tied to my current location, but I'd still like you to give me a more global perspective. ~Btw, the local IT market is following the current EU austerity policy, which means money and jobs are not abundant. So finding global freelancing gigs would be cool.~ Ideally, I'd like to do something that leaves me enough time for my kid and with reasonable stress levels. Also, working from home or at least not having to commute every single day would be cool.
I was thinking I'd like to go back to programming (and let someone else be the PM and tear their hair out...) I have a feeling that I can always find a programming job, whereas jobs for project managers are not so numerous. Also, I think it's easier to freelance and work from home if you're a programmer than if you're a PM.
Then there's the infosec part. I would have to learn a lot more about tech side of things (networks, VPN, etc) if I wanted to work as an infosec consultant or something similar. I have practical experience with ISO 27001 and auditing, so maybe I could certify and work as an ISO 27001 auditor? Is there any demand for that?
Is there maybe any benefit to presenting myself as a PM with coding skills or the other way round, a programmer with PM knowledge? My employer would sponsor me for a PMP certificate and I could become certified in Java development (I "speak" Java & Python), but would potential employers (or customers in case of freelancing) see that combination as good ("wow, this PM knows what is happening under the hood") or bad ("trying to do both? I'm sure they can do neither")?
Other thoughts: I have zero debt. Better pay would be welcome but not absolutely necessary. I'm not a people person, but not super-loner either. What I'm missing is probably some diplomacy, which doesn't come easy to me (I have to think my way through possible scenarios). I'm a rather analytical person, detail oriented, almost zero visual talent, can write but not creatively.
Ugh, I've been going in circles for the past two months, and my yearly review is coming up, where I'm expected to say what *I* want to do. ~Hah. If I knew, I'd be already doing it...~
So, uhm, give me your thoughts, please?