First off, I forgot one thing I will miss yesterday, the vacation time. Not only because taking a new job spoiled plans Angela and I were making but because I’m losing the “extra” vacation time earned by having been here a number of years. (I’ll go from 17 days per year back to 10) Of course, I also have a bunch of left-over vacation this year that’ll be cashed out and will pay for a new laptop since mine is falling apart as we speak. (It’s 6 years old, it needs to be replaced anyway, but the failing battery, CD drive, and AC connector all seem to be pointing in the “soon to be dead” direction.)
Anyway, any discussion of what I won’t miss about small business IT, especially not-for-profit IT, starts with budget. My experience with small business IT has been that there is no planned IT budget, you just replace things as they need replaced, and purchase new things as you can convince someone who writes the checks that you absolutely need to have them! You spend a whole lot of time begging for money, and only getting it some of the time. That won’t be my problem any more. Other people will make the budget decisions, and we’ll have a plan of what we need to do going forward. I won’t have to hold things together with chicken wire and bubblegum just to keep it working while I try and get money to fix it right! (I’ll be nice and not even talk about being underpaid given all the things I’m responsible for, you get the idea.)
Secondly, for all the autonomy I have being the only IT guy, I’m looking forward to not having to be the one person with all the answers! I’m looking forward to learning by working within a team, each experts in their own area. I’m looking forward to being able to ask someone else to help me with something, as opposed to Googling it or posting it here! (Not that you guys haven’t been super helpful and saved my butt many times.) I’m looking forward to having input, but not being held personally responsible for every tech decision that is made, even when I’m not the one who made it!
I won’t miss the office politics. Yes, I know, every office has politics, but small offices have politics that you can’t ever avoid being in the middle of. Especially when you are charged with being the guy to work with all the departments. All the inter-personal conflicts between managers and staff have to be taken into consideration any time you do anything. In my new job, I’ll be low enough on the totem pole that I can avoid some of that, I’m sure.
I won’t miss being personally liable for software licensing! Do any of you small business IT folks realize that if you are the one guy charged with making sure a business is legal, and it’s found not to be, not only can the organization be fined, but you can too? Up to $120,000 per violation, last time I checked. Yeah, you wonder why we have such a strict policy against installing your own software and why I insisted on it?
Last, but certainly not least, I won’t miss the cheap, crappy coffee! The folks I interviewed with praised the quality of the coffee over at the law firm. Sweet! 🙂