If you're not happy in your current position, you might try speaking with senior-level colleagues in other areas of your IT department. Talk to them about aspects of their jobs that they find rewarding. Ask how they got started, and why they ended up where they are now. Consider how their experiences mirror yours. This should offer you some added insight into what's important to your career. In addition, you might find a potential mentor in one of your colleagues.
Another valuable resource is a user group or industry organization such as the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) or the Association of Internet Professionals (AIP). In addition to great networking venues, these groups' meetings can provide you access to career advice, job opportunities and potential mentors. You might also consider project work through a placement firm specializing in IT professinals. You're able to work on assignments in different environments and with a variety of technologies until you find a specialty that suits your needs.
This was first published in April 2001