Do what makes you happy. In my IT career, I've learned that it takes trial and error, the right opportunities, and some tough decision making to find a niche that works for your life at a given time.
Back in the mid-1990s, the health care company I worked for merged with another local health care company to become one rather large health care organization. At the time, I was doing desktop support and PC programming.
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After we merged, the team expanded and we embarked on a series of projects to upgrade our infrastructure, servers, and workstations and roll out systemwide access to e-mail and the Internet. The CIO for the second company took over and we moved along at a fierce pace, so much so that I was approached about becoming a manager of customer support and heading up the help desk, desktop support, and acquisitions and installs.
Taking on this responsibility would move me away from hands-on technology and into the world of management. I enjoyed what I was doing, but I decided it was too good of an opportunity to pass up, so I took the job.
Things went well for four years. Then one day the entire organization was notified, much to our surprise, that we were "de-merging." Each of us had to decide which organization we would stay with, and I decided to go back to my original company. A new CIO was hired and many new IT employees needed to be recruited because the vast majority went with the second company.
I met with the new CIO and we surveyed what we needed to do: hire a practically new IT group, build a new datacenter, and at the same time maintain service levels and a high level of patient care. He offered me the job of network manager, overseeing not only customer support, but also data engineering, server support, and security. This position was beyond my education and experience, but once again the opportunity was too good to pass up, so I took the job.
This time, things went well for another four years and we continued to build our staff and our budget, but I was beginning to get burned out working 50- and 60-hour weeks, constantly getting called after hours, dealing with a list of responsibilities that was extremely challenging, and making sure our organization kept up with the rapidly changing technology.