Sunday 7 January 2007

Beyond the Screen

I’ve always thought that one day I’d walk away from technology and never look back. What would I do instead? Maybe become a massage therapist or a cult leader of some sort (that’s a joke, I think ;-)).

So for my many readers who work in tech, what will you do when/if you ever leave technology? What’s beyond the screen for you?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 17:29 | Comments (104)

Comments (104)

  1. I’d go with a bead store and jewelry line and/or a funky boutique.

  2. Lately, I’ve seriously been thinking of furniture design & building. I have a hankerin’ to work with real solid material to craft objects that are beautiful and functional and can’t be hacked out by some web content management system for bureaucrats that couldn’t give a fig about standards, quality, accessibility or usability.

    The other desire, if I had the space, money and time, would to buy a old letter press or two and all the type trays of fonts I could lay my hands on and start a art-crafted printing and graphics studio, doing books and posters the old fashioned way – the way I learned graphics in the first place.

    ** sigh **

    Not anytime soon though…

  3. I would love to settle as a professor in a college and teach the subjects which I love and guide the students to become next generation tech geeks.

    If this is not possible I would love to run a small hotel in India specializing in Dosas( Famous in India )

  4. Next profession – Veterinary Technician, hopefully specializing in emergency care/treatment.

    And continuing to breed my sheep.
    And doing more fiber stuff with the wool.
    And there’s always the dogs to train and trial.
    And the cute chickens running around the place, need to keep up with them.
    And what are the goats doing at the neighbors??? (playing on their wooden porch stairs of course)

    Won’t be bored. Probably be poor, but never bored.

  5. I still love technology but just don’t do it for a living. Now I run a 24 hour restaurant. It can be a pain, but I enjoy working with people, and the money is much better. People always have to eat.

  6. The day Iā€™d walk away from technology and never look back, i will definitely become one of the Microsoft’s employees. =O)

    On a more serious side =O), i would think about becoming a farmer, cause it is also about creating something.

  7. I would totally become a runway model, though I would have to lose about 60 pounds and improve my walk.

  8. I’d like to get into Weta’s workshop, maybe into the forge and create weapons and armor etc… for Peter Jacksons’ fantastic films.

  9. I almost quit IT, lets face it a lot of jobs are going overseas, but I got lucky with another position before I completely gave up. Fact is I dont really know much other than fixing computers, building websites and using software. I’d probably study graphic design, or stock shelves.

  10. Hang-on Molly, are you talking about retirement or just…leaving tech for a different vocation?

    I have no idea what I’d do in retirement, but the key thing is ‘adaptability’ and taking pride in whatever challenge is out there. Tech is very skills-specific, but many of those skills can be transferred in to other work environments too.
    Bottom line is that a ‘good worker’ can work anywhere, but a Tech Guru might struggle if they have always only known Tech and can’t adapt to anything else.

    I expect you still have many years of book-writing and public-speaking ahead of you Molly (not necessarily just about the Web either). Whatever you do – enjoy it! šŸ™‚

  11. Well, if I could make an honest living out of it, when I walk away, I’ll be walking toward paint and canvas. I may be able to ditch technology, but not creativity and artistic expression.

  12. Hey Molly,

    I’d go into the arts world. As a Producer or an agent. I’d also start doing my own short films. But, as you know I’m trying to already šŸ™‚


  13. Probably something food-related — starting a restaurant or retraining professionally as a chef. Else I might go back to music or theatre or film. The most likely route out of tech is the one that leads to Management… and I think I’m already quite far down that road!

  14. I’d probably return to life as a musician. Since photography involves technology more and more, I guess that wouldn’t qualify as a second choice. šŸ™‚

  15. Discover the joy of riding motorcycles šŸ™‚

  16. I quit my career as a consultant / programmer to start my own web design company so I could have more time to do non-tech stuff. Not so much because I don’t like technology but because I like so many other things as well and life as a consultant doesn’t leave time for much else, what with constant (unpaid) overtime and travel.

    So here’s what I imagine doing later on when I am also a mum:
    a) Jazz/Ballet teacher (working on it)
    b) Fiction writer
    c) Photographer
    d) Something in fashion or perhaps costume design

    Whatever it is, I’d like to be doing more than one thing. I get bored easily.

  17. Romancing the idea of “life beyond the screen” is a lot easier than actually doing it. If you are young (early twenties), single, have no debts, etc., your odds are better for succeeding because you don’t have to worry about maintaining what you alreay have (or rather don’t have). For anyone else, it gets a lot more difficult. Money (securities), age (thus time), experience, competition, market saturation, and much more all weigh very heavily in such a notion.

    The responses here seem to range from tongue-in-cheek, to plausible, to outright fantasy. For the plausible category, all I can say is there’s a big, no HUGE, difference between actually doing something and being successful at it. Don’t let the idea of fun/therapy (hobbies) cloud the reality of keeping a roof over your head and the bill collectors at bay.

    The most successful crossovers happen when there’s some overlap in skills/responsibilities from one activity to another, and of course you don’t quit your day job until you’ve already got your foot in the door in the other direction. If not that, then you better have LOTS of time and money in your pocket to really have a fighting chance to prepare for another career, and hope that time and money doesn’t run out before that other career starts providing.

    Retirement? That’s a different story altogether, and we’ll assume the person is married in that case with a reasonably good securities plan already in place. Now chuffle along, grandpa, and play with your trains.

    Despite my cautions, I do know people who have crossed over from IT into other fields and are extremely happy, but in all cases these are people who first made lots of money in IT, and the crossover career was more a therapeutic, chill-down activity than a need for making cash. For what it’s worth these people were also in solid relationships (spouses or other) with people who also had stable financial situations (again, securities).

  18. I quite fancy becoming a poet:

    I’ve spent 3 hours
    putting on my shoes
    it took me so long
    cos they’re only size 2s

  19. I think I’d like to build things.

    I’ve always had a strong interest in industrial design, as well as architecture and carpentry.

    For now I’ll stick to the web, but who knows, one day maybe.

  20. At one level, I’ll never be able to walk away from Techonolgy because it’s a form of self-expression for me — as much as anything analog.

    But, say someone were to hit the lights, I think I’d go back to studying history. I’d love to go back and re-read all 6 volumes of Casanova’s Histoire de ma Vie. I’d love to go through John Locke and John Stuart Mill and the rest of the thinkers that form the way I now approach the world myself.

    I still have many of the books.

  21. I would open a coffeeshop / used bookstore. A casual meeting and relaxing space.


  22. I’m be a homemaker so I could chill with my kids. But if my wife decided she wouldn’t trade me, I’d take my bowling to the next level.

  23. Return to playing piano and violin. Practice and perform as much Bach as possible. What a freakin’ genius.

  24. When I was growing up, it was always sport or computers. I ended up realising I wasn’t good enough at any one particular sport, so I’d better stick to computers.

    If I left the whole computing arena, perhaps I’d see about coaching kids at sport, probably cricket as that’s the game I play the most, but I’d probably do coaching qualifications for other stuff too.

  25. I feel a kindred spirit here ! I have been working in hi-tech since 1978 and even remember when the Commodore PET computers came out. Previous to that I worked on “remote” connections to McGill University (Montreal) when in high school in the early 70’s… but I digress… I love computers and the wonderful things we can do with them, but I often feel like just tossing it all for a life far away from any technological device. Probably an impossibility, but the dreaming is enjoyable !!! Stress levels and the constant “needing to be informed” are gradually taking their toll… I hear this more and more often. More power to you all !!!
    Kevin Ross
    Toronto, ON Canada

  26. I would return to teaching. I loved teaching, but it didn’t feed the kids!

  27. Well I haven’t decided yet where I want to start my ideas are

    Piano – Classical concert Pianist has been a desire of mine for quite some time
    Hammond B3 – oh boy.. these things get me going everytime I would love to be a Jazz Organist
    Web Designer/developer?…

    someone decide for me šŸ˜›

  28. Run a bar. Host a cooking show… from somewhere in the Tropics.

  29. By day I am a front end developer and by night I become a geeky comic book reader and cartoonist.

    A lot of interest in my work has been generating recently, especially in this drawing. I’ve had a few people offer me money for it, but unfortnately for them, I’ve reserved it for my mother (awwww).

    Anyway, What I would do is persue a career as a freelance artist/cartoonist.

  30. I would create a custom motorcycle fabrication shop…sort like OCC, but without the drama.

  31. I sometimes consider landscape maintenance. I even took some classes in tree care and landscape maintenance. I enjoy raking and sweeping and pruning and being outdoors. I used to work in a flower shop and enjoyed just processing the flowers.

    What stops me is that I never work in my own garden so I think maybe I’m not being realistic.

  32. Beyond the screen, for me?

    The silver screen. šŸ™‚

  33. Wow, leave tech. For the past year that is all I’ve thought about…how can I get out of the technical “writing” world. My creativity has withered, my subconscience creative muse has left and is on vacation somewhere in the Bahamas but hasn’t sent me a postcard yet. But I love tech…I’m as passionate about technology as I am mythology and creative writing. So in 2007, I’ve decided to try and merge the two. Focus more on creative, and use my technical knowledge as the springboard for what I’ve always dreamed of doing….writing. Not user guides or service manuals or webcopy…but true creative writing. Hello 2007!!! I will find the time this year…or bust šŸ™‚

  34. You know what I’d do?

    I’d burn my music collection onto CDs, wave goodbye to my faithful laptop, and pick up my guitar.

  35. I’m actually only working in the tech industry as a holdover while I try to get into the film industry; so that part’s already been planned. šŸ™‚

  36. Move to a cabin in the woods south of here and write brilliant literature.

  37. Run a bed ‘n’ breakfast in the Scottish highlands. Be a painter / writer the remainder of the time.

    Almost there, gimme another year.

  38. I always loved rocks and music. I’d definitely either be a geologist, a musician, or both.

  39. When I was in high school and not knowing what to do with my life, I met a counsellor who told me that in the Year 2000 there would be 50% of all job descriptions that didn’t exist yet (the ‘now’ of my story is around 1986).

    Now I’m working in a field that indeed didn’t exist 15 years ago, at a position that indeed didn’t exist 15 years ago.

    So who knows? How can I plan (even if I wanted to) my future career if another earth-shaking novelty like the web happens?

    Or I’ll grow sheep. Or inherit from a yet-unknown uncle from America. šŸ™‚

  40. 1) Massage Therapist
    2) Return to volunteer EMS
    3) Get back to blacksmithing

  41. Life is too short to become an expert in more than one fields.

  42. It’s so interesting:,

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