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Should I quit?

 
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I've been with my company for about 7 1/2 yrs now and I've only gotten an increase 3 times...first one was a big increase, the other was $700 and the other one was mid range. I get 4 weeks vacation, a good boss, 1 hr. of travel, and help from my co-workers when need it, but I hate the work, it's Cobol...go figure. I still have to face deadline pressures and a few attitudes from some co-workers, but it's minimal. Should I quit? I'm thinking of going back to school or so.
 
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Hi Cherly,

The short answer is, this is a question only you can answer, and I don't think we know enough yet to give you any good advice. But here are the factors I would consider...

1) Career Goals
What are your career objectives? What do you want to be doing today? 2 years from now? 5 years? 10-20 years?

2) Lifestyle
What are your constraints? Are you single or married? Have kids? Sole breadwinner? Got a mortgage? Need to stay clode to ailing parents? How easily can you do with less income? Can you relocate? Any major life events planned?

3) Values
What matters to you in a job? Money? Recognition? Challenging work? Short hours? Short commute? Career Advancement? Stimulating co-workers? A place to hide out and bid your time from 9-5?

The reason I ask is because the question is not, "should you quit?" but rather "is something preferable to your current situation?" That may be another job, or maybe sitting at home, or maybe taking care of starving children in Africa. The answer is "I should quit" only if another option is more desireable.

--Mark
 
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It sounds like the perks are great, the salary options so-so and the career path is awful.

If you have no aspirations beyond COBOL and don't mind the financial incentives, there's nothing wrong with staying there. Although I should note that these days, staying in place is kind of like standing on a patch of ice in the arctic - you never know when it might suddenly split off and become an iceberg.
 
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Hi Cheryl,

I was in the same situation in early years of my software career working on LISP. Could not leave the job as I was the only source of income in my family. Wanted to work in java. So started reading books. I did some assignments in java, the same things that I was doing in LISP. After gaining some confidence, I appeared for SCJP and passed it. It took me almost 3 years as I was doing this besides my work.
Then I started looking for a job as my current employer was not ready to put me on java assignment. Fotunately I got some good offers of which I choose one.

Nandu
 
Cheryl Gray
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Thank you very much for your input, I really appreciate it!
I am single and I live with my parents. I had started doing some web stuff, but they kept pulling me off of those projects and put me to do Cobol, this is about the 4th time this has happened. I tried looking for something in the web development area, but I didn't get any offers. It's kind of hard to even get into a junior web development area because they want so many different languages! Maybe I'll try what the last person suggested. Thanks again everyone!
 
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I've been with my company for about 7 1/2 yrs now and I've only gotten an increase 3 times...first one was a big increase, the other was $700 and the other one was mid range. I get 4 weeks vacation, a good boss, 1 hr. of travel, and help from my co-workers when need it, but I hate the work, it's Cobol...go figure. I still have to face deadline pressures and a few attitudes from some co-workers, but it's minimal. Should I quit? I'm thinking of going back to school or so.



I got some doubt here. One hour of travel is the same as 30 minutes 2 work and 30 minutes home?

I'd think about the quality of your customers, the replacability of your business knowledge combined with the job security of your position and I always try to see if I can get my current employer to upgrade their technology. The JVM runs on a mainframe - can you tie it to your current assignment?
 
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Don't quit unless and until you have a signed offer from another company in your pocket.

As you experienced it's hard to get anything unless you have a lot of experience, especially in the web area.

If I were you I'd put that Cobol knowledge to good use. Get training in other enterprise technologies that interest you and start trying to get a job using those (maybe even jobs moving Cobol applications to other platforms like J2EE).
That way you can use your 7 years in the business as a plus, rather than having to start from scratch as a junior at an age when you are due a senior salary and benefits.

Your work conditions and pay development seem good though.
In the last 5 years I've not had a single increase that was more than compensation for inflation (and usually less than that).
In fact, given that I lost my job in 2003 due to a bankruptcy, I now make (before taxes) a bit less than I did (nominally, I never saw most of it due to the financial problems of that company) in 2002.

btw, I can understand you wanting a change from Cobol. I did it for 18 months and got out because I wanted something more interesting.
If I were you I'd take this up with HR at your company. They may have an internal opening you could move into on another project using other technologies and may well rather pay for crosstraining than see you leave with all the knowledge and experience you've built up over the years.
 
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