I thought I was a helicopter parent, but I’m not.
What I do for a living, currently, is like being a SWAT team member – except instead of it being a team, it tends towards the commando.
I provide onsite installation, support, and extension of the server management suite my company offers. That means that I spend a lot of time in conference calls making sure the environment is ready to go when I hit the ground, and when I do hit the ground, pretty much have to run fill-tilt to make sure we get everything done inside both the available billable hours, and the environmental constraints of the customer.
Then I leave.
When I leave, I might never see that customer again, talk to them, or talk about them.
It’s a very different job from what I used to do, which was provide phone and email support to all our customers. I would close a handful of cases, just to have them replaced by new issues from the same (or different) customers.
I can’t say which I prefer, because I’ve only been doing this most recent job for a few months, but there are definitely pros and cons to each.
The flexibility to work from home, prepping for an onsite engagement, and then going onsite to be the Knight in Shining Armor can be a blast. It can also suck – along about the time a customer decides they don’t like you for whatever reason (“he wore the wrong color shirt!”), then it’s not so fun.
The other issue I have is that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Certainly I’m not claiming to be an immature child any more, but being an adult, and even having a job, doesn’t necessarily mean you know what you want to become later.
For now, this is good. But if/when I find that niche where I’ll really love what I do, I know I’m making the jump.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll be a “real” SWAT team member.