Amazon has whacked our affiliate account. Hosting Donations/Commitments $2063 of $1920 (Sept 13/18). In Hand $1466 (Lump sum payments minus paypal graft). Paypal Donation Link Here

How is your career going?

Everything else!

Moderators: Bakhtosh, EvilHomer3k

Post Reply
User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 58904
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

How is your career going?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:59 am

It was officially announced this morning by the Chief. The paperwork is being processed and, after my boss's departure, the AVP of Core Systems, my colleague and I will be bumped to manager-level positions rather than replace him. My colleague, the former Senior Developer, current Core Systems Administrator, will become Manager, Core Systems, and I, four months after becoming Senior Developer, will become Manager, Programming. They have posted for me to have my very own Programmer minion.

Oh, and I really want to hear from Elbino as to his career prospects on the Main lobster fishing grounds. :)
Silver - 2k

Autobots and Starfleet officers — we fight together!

User avatar
The Meal
Posts: 26395
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:33 pm
Location: 2005 Stanley Cup Champion
the_meal’s avatar
Online

Re: How is your career going?

Post by The Meal » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:01 pm

I have a tenuous position as a design engineer in a field which promises to go the way of the buggy whip. It's a matter of how soon. Fortunately for me, I'm a highly-paid buggy whip designer, so it's hard to leave on my own free will.

I came into the industry working as a test engineer, working within the R&D auspices. R&D in my field is generally 20% test engineers and 80% design engineers (DEs). When looking for work outside my industry, that ratio seems to be even more heavily weighed in the DE direction (90%+). Within the past few years I've been moved over into the DE organization. It's nice in the sense that I'm more part of the mainstream with easier to measure metrics (to show my value to the bean counters) and generate an easier-to-follow resume for interested parties outside my field. The negative is that the job is a bit more Groundhog Day (topical!) in that I generally have a better sense as to how any given week will be spent (as a test engineer, I spent the majority of my time fighting fires, not knowing where the next design flaw of interest may crop up). The lessons learned earlier in my career translate well into my new role, but to some extent the change has sent me a bit backwards seniority-wise, as I don't have as much DE background as other folks who've been doing this job for 16 years have.

Still, positive reviews have been generated, and as far as titles go, I'm comfortable with my place in life. I watch younger, more eager, go-getters get larger amounts of responsibility without any jealous emotions cropping up. I do not aspire to bigger pieces of the pie and do not feel like my talents are getting squandered. I have suitable amounts of ownership over my demesnes, and generally work with capable coworkers who do a good part with their own plots.
Not a pathological narcissist.

User avatar
Moliere
Posts: 12004
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:57 am
Location: Walking through a desert land

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Moliere » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:12 pm

I started on cleanup, but now I'm washing lettuce. Soon I will be on fries and then the grill. A year or two and I make assistant manager. 8-)
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 33451
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Kraken » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:15 pm

I don't think of myself as having a career. That's working out pretty well in every way except financially.

User avatar
J.D.
Posts: 4662
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:26 am

Re: How is your career going?

Post by J.D. » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:17 pm

I'll let you know in a couple of weeks. I've applied to a Manager position within my current company that I have a REALLY good shot at. If I am successful it will be my first management level position and I will be responsible for a department of me plus two minions. Fingers crossed.....

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15527
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish

Re: How is your career going?

Post by coopasonic » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:22 pm

Congrats.

My review for 2014 hasn't been scheduled yet, but I expect the worst review of my career since I was promoted to Corporal in 1992. That is a primary driver for my recent job change. We're still getting started on that.
-Coop

User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 14019
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Carpet_pissr » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:23 pm

The Meal wrote: as far as titles go, I'm comfortable with my place in life. I watch younger, more eager, go-getters get larger amounts of responsibility without any jealous emotions cropping up. I do not aspire to bigger pieces of the pie and do not feel like my talents are getting squandered. I have suitable amounts of ownership over my demesnes, and generally work with capable coworkers who do a good part with their own plots.
Wow, that could have been spouted from my very own brain. Hail, complacent brother!

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 58904
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:24 pm

coopasonic wrote:Congrats.

My review for 2014 hasn't been scheduled yet, but I expect the worst review of my career since I was promoted to Corporal in 1992. That is a primary driver for my recent job change. We're still getting started on that.
If it's any consolation, Stern was very happy to be working with you when I talked to him a couple weeks ago.
Silver - 2k

Autobots and Starfleet officers — we fight together!

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39912
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: How is your career going?

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:28 pm

Carpet_pissr wrote:
The Meal wrote: as far as titles go, I'm comfortable with my place in life. I watch younger, more eager, go-getters get larger amounts of responsibility without any jealous emotions cropping up. I do not aspire to bigger pieces of the pie and do not feel like my talents are getting squandered. I have suitable amounts of ownership over my demesnes, and generally work with capable coworkers who do a good part with their own plots.
Wow, that could have been spouted from my very own brain. Hail, complacent brother!
Ditto. Was going to quote that exact paragraph. Things are good here.

stimpy
Posts: 3808
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:04 pm

Re: How is your career going?

Post by stimpy » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:32 pm

It makes my dookie twinkle.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 58904
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:34 pm

When I was younger, I was faced with managing a team of call center reps that had been on the phones for five years. One of them was taking medical transcription classes and made it out, but the rest of them seemed complacent to continue to work an entry-level job making at max $11/hour with no desires to move up or devote themselves to any upward career mobility. I couldn't understand it then, especially as I was a college grad that hadn't managed to put it to use yet.

My father reached the satisfaction level several years back. He's the #3 man on a military aircraft maintenance contract. He long ago decided he was content at that level, as any higher was forced into attending student graduations and a lot more snobby hobnobbery with executives and senior officers, of which he wanted no part, having been a career enlisted man.
Silver - 2k

Autobots and Starfleet officers — we fight together!

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15527
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish

Re: How is your career going?

Post by coopasonic » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:36 pm

I am now being managed by a person that I was the lead for 5 years ago. I am cool with that. Every time she complains about hiring decisions and dealing with contractors I smile to myself.
-Coop

User avatar
nasai
Posts: 4540
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:50 pm
Location: Nishinomiya, Japan
Contact:

Re: How is your career going?

Post by nasai » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:40 pm

I'm on the cusp of 50, and I decided a year back to start a new firm. As you could imagine, that sort of thing has everything written in it: Success or Failure. Either way, my chosen field don't play well with others. Either I will have massive success, or I will be middling at best, which would result in lawsuits, and ultimately bankruptcy.

Go me!
Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

User avatar
YellowKing
Posts: 25118
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:02 pm

Re: How is your career going?

Post by YellowKing » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:46 pm

Very well here.

I've been here 5 years and in that time I went from a System Engineer I to a Systems Engineer II with about a 30% salary increase. Our team was recently split into an applications side and an infrastructure side. I stayed with applications and became a team lead for 5 people.

The team lead role is basically to be my boss's right hand man. I more or less manage the day-to-day details of the team, even though I have no legit authority over them. My boss has basically come right out and said he's grooming me for a future management role.

My guess as to what will happen is that the guy who I replaced (who is now a project manager) will take the next open management position. This will allow me an opportunity to move up to his project manager position. I'm kind of expecting that to happen within the next 3-5 years.

Basically everything I do at work is designed towards an ultimate end goal of hitting the high-paying management jobs (even though I dread the headaches that go with that). I'm playing the long game. So far I think it's paying off.

User avatar
MHS
Posts: 9413
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:21 pm
Location: Longmont CO

Re: How is your career going?

Post by MHS » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:57 pm

Eh.

My company is very small, so I could give myself any title I wanted. Technically, I'm the National Training Director. I could call myself Vice President of Training, Training Goddess, Trainer of the Universe...titles are meaningless when you have 6 people in the company. I've been here 9 years. I haven't had a raise in 6 years (only 2 raises ever) so that's a bit rough, but I'm also overpaid, so it's hard to justify asking for a raise. OTOH, the amount of work and stress and travel has increased a lot in 9 years. I love what I do, but not who I do it for. I'm starting to get a little bored, but the feds will be changing the rules completely for funding requirements for my clients in 2016, so maybe that will make things more interesting, or maybe it will just add more stress and take me out of my comfort zone of knowing I'm probably one of the top 10 experts in the US in my particular niche.

I feel too specialized to ever go be a trainer anywhere else, and although technically I do project management and a lot of customer and technical support as well as tech writing, I don't know that I do enough to try getting a job in any of those fields if I ever leave. Not to mention that I absolutely loathe the project management aspects of my job. So, I'll stay here until they fire me, or the company goes under, or I stop enjoying the ability to pay my bills and lead the life of luxury I currently enjoy.

User avatar
hentzau
Posts: 13501
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:06 am
Location: Castle Zenda, Ruritania
Hentzau’s avatar
Offline

Re: How is your career going?

Post by hentzau » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:03 pm

Well, I seem to have plateaued in my career. I've been at the same basic level in my company for the past 10 years now (just passed my 25th anniversary in August.) I've gone without a promotion for years now, but I'm pretty happy doing what I'm doing. I've been up for promotion for the past 5 years, but denied each time it's come up because of quotas in my department for people at the next level. I had my salary frozen for 4 years because I maxed out in my salary band, but finally the upper end of the band moved up beyond my current pay, so last year was my first year in 5 with a salary increase. My team lead recommened me for promotion again this year, and my senior manager agreed, now it's a matter if my director agrees or not. I should find out in a week or so if that promotion finally comes through.

If it doesn't, well, I'll probably start looking at other positions at my company (which is a shame because I love what I do and it's in a growing portion of the tech sector). Odds are really poor that I could better my current salary and benefits by skipping to another company.

So...we'll see in a week or so.
"Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting." - Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia

paulbaxter
Posts: 2967
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:46 pm

Re: How is your career going?

Post by paulbaxter » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:09 pm

In my second semester of nursing school. School is fairly insane, but I'm keeping up. I have five more semesters to go, so I'm not actively looking through the job prospects yet, though of course I do keep an eye on that side of things from time to time.

My piano business has picked up in the past few months a bit, almost entirely due to Thumbtack. Thumbtack, if you haven't run into it yet, is a platform to find local services. You tell them you want, say, a lawn mowing service, they send messages to all the local lawn guys in their database who then send quotes back to the client. It's a bit like Angie's list, but it's much more effective, and there's no subscription fee. They get paid every time a business sends out a quote.

Originally I used it to find a CPR teacher, but then decided to try it out for my business. It's been really good for me, easily outpacing any other sort of advertising I've done.
(they should pay me for how many times I've mentioned them to my friends)
No sig, must scream, etc.

User avatar
Skinypupy
Posts: 12841
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:12 am
Location: Pac-12 Country

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Skinypupy » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:11 pm

Pros: Pay is fantastic. I'm as high in the organization as I want to go. I am 100% in control of how much I make (or don't make). The opportunity and potential in this space is limitless. I work with (mostly) a great group of folks with a fantastic and supportive boss.

Cons: Staying successful and hitting sales targets typically requires 70-80 hour weeks, which are wearing very thin. Traveling with the three littles at home is really damn hard.

Verdict: Pretty awesome overall, but I'm not sure how sustainable these stress levels are. I'll ride out this major upwards momentum for a few years, then re-asses.
“Don’t tickle the wall clown.” - MST3K

malchior
Posts: 8437
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: How is your career going?

Post by malchior » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:15 pm

My company had a big merger about 2 years ago and I was promoted to a manager with my own team at that time (after 3 years in a non-management position). I had been management at my previous job for about 10 years so it was nice to be back in the saddle. Since then I've pretty much stagnated in the position (company growth significantly slowed down). Personally though I finished my undergrad and have started my grad degree so I'm really treading water (in a very good position) until I have more cards to put on the table. Plus, all my peers have advanced degrees in my current field (IT Security). I've decided to actually pursue a Masters in Data Analytics/MBA since I figure getting a degree in something I am generally an expert in is sort of silly and figure I should EXPAND my job skill set. That way if I want to make a change...I can.

User avatar
EvilHomer3k
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7338
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

Re: How is your career going?

Post by EvilHomer3k » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:16 pm

I am as high as I'll ever be in my current job. My boss will never leave. He's been here 20 years, is about 1 month older than I am, and when looking for a house recently would only move within the same elementary school his youngest kid was.

That said, I am the Associate Director of Information Technology (basically number 2). I manage a programmer. Manage all of our student workers. I am payed well for what my basic job is (web administrator) but just okay for an Associate director. I haven't had significant raises (about 25% more than when I started 10 years ago).

I don't plan on leaving unless I go to another college. I have three kids and free tuition for them. It's tough to walk away from free tuition (which is about 30k per year here).

In order to advance somewhere else (Director level) I'd likely need to go back to school to get a Masters in Business or IT Management. I'm qualified enough to apply but not enough to get a job over someone else with the degree. So overall, I'm topped out unless I get a masters or give up the free tuition.
That sound of the spoon scraping over the can ribbing as you corral the last ravioli or two is the signal that a great treat is coming. It's the washboard solo in God's own
bluegrass band of comfort food. - LawBeefaroni

User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 22918
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

Re: How is your career going?

Post by RunningMn9 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:35 pm

Hmmm...an interesting question.

I guess it's going well, although I don't really think about it too much. I've been doing what I do in various forms for 19 years now. Spent the first four years of my career at a smallish Telecom company and did various things for them, including managing one of the Software teams for the last year I was there. Spent the next 10 years at Intel in one of their Telecom subdivisions. After a few years there, I really burned out. There was a good 6 to 12 months there where I just fell through the cracks and did very little. I have no idea how I kept my job there through that.

But towards the end of that another manager who had heard good things about my first year there noticed that I was doing very little (I was stuck in a corner of the building that had been abandoned three months earlier, leaving just me and one other guy over there with 20 empty offices in every direction). He brought me over and put me in charge of one of the new components they were developing with my own minion. After that I moved up to Software Project Lead for the remaining years there (we were sold off in 2006 but I stuck with them until laid off in 2010). I enjoyed those SPL years because I felt more in control of hitting deadlines. I ran all the development meetings and dealt directly with the Project Manager. I did well enough in that position that in 2009, another engineer and myself were assigned to an offsite project to save them (they were always late and had high defect counts).

We got the project done, on time with zero known defects. We were both laid off the next morning as the manager deciding our fate was the manager of the offsite group. That sucked, but reinforced my distaste for profit-driven Corporate America(tm).

From there I landed a job with an engineering contractor working for the Dept of Defense. Changing the priority of my job from making someone else money, to making it more likely that a soldier returns home safely was kind of a big deal for me. Of course, funding for such things is more unreliable when you are subject to Congressional whim and not profits, but it's mostly worked out. Last year, my funding ran dry at my employer, and it looked like the fun times were at an end.

But a friend of mine (one of the guys I went to Scotland with in 2013) runs one of the other engineering companies and he hired me right away. Aside from a decent salary increase, he's also the greatest boss in the land. His purpose in life (as he sees it) is to provide an opportunity for other engineers to enjoy a good life providing for their family and doing something that they can believe in. Making money for himself is almost irrelevant. As a result, he does things like pay for all of our healthcare premiums (at my previous employer I was paying $310 per paycheck) so we don't have to worry about it. He makes sure that everyone puts at least 6% in their retirement plan, and fully matches that with another 6%. He pays for us to talk to financial consultants about out futures so that we all have a handle on things. We are compelled to take time off from work to spend with our families and to attend golf outings (for team building purposes).

I will remain his loyal servant as long as is humanly possible. In my 19 years, I've managed to increase my gross compensation by about 400% from where I started out as a young lad. But that is almost entirely irrelevant compared to the situation I have with this employer versus any other place I've ever been.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range

User avatar
LordMortis
Posts: 60292
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:26 pm

Re: How is your career going?

Post by LordMortis » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:51 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Carpet_pissr wrote:
The Meal wrote: as far as titles go, I'm comfortable with my place in life. I watch younger, more eager, go-getters get larger amounts of responsibility without any jealous emotions cropping up. I do not aspire to bigger pieces of the pie and do not feel like my talents are getting squandered. I have suitable amounts of ownership over my demesnes, and generally work with capable coworkers who do a good part with their own plots.
Wow, that could have been spouted from my very own brain. Hail, complacent brother!
Ditto. Was going to quote that exact paragraph. Things are good here.
I have never been climber. But climbing finds me. My title changed this year from EDI Coordinator to IT Coordinator but titles mean nothing to me. I only worry about having one because I need one for a lot of paperwork, a business card I never hand out, and the signature of my email. Responsibility always find me though. Irrespective of title change. "This needs to be done. It falls under your purview. It is now your responsibility." Eventually, they say "Wow. we value you. Have a raise." Then quickly they say "We pay you a lot of money. This needs to be done. It falls under your purview. It is now your responsibility." Right now I need a second person but at the same time, I'm constantly left with the impression that my position is at will and they pay me too much money for a job they only notice when things go wrong.

I am responsible for everything. I never asked for it but I got it. No one bothers me or works with me unless I need to spend money, need authorization for paperwork, or something goes wrong. My boss, her boss, and his boss don't even really know what I do for a living because I am responsible for everything.

My stress it too high but my work is certification free and jack of support trades, so I'm afraid of what an alternate job would be like. So I work really hard hoping to kept around long enough afford an early retirement. (another 11 to 15 years off)

User avatar
Captain Caveman
Posts: 11684
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:57 am

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Captain Caveman » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:57 pm

I'm a tenured-track assistant professor at a research university. It's been a long, neurotic ride, filled with anxiety about publishing and securing grants, but I've almost made it to the promise land. My tenure review occurred last semester and went really well. It'll hopefully be official soon. After that, as long as I don't embezzle money or date my students, I should have a job for life. Not a bad gig.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 58904
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:00 pm

Just date them after they graduate, and I'm sure you'd be fine. :)
Silver - 2k

Autobots and Starfleet officers — we fight together!

User avatar
Chaz
Posts: 7379
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:37 am
Location: Southern NH

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Chaz » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:04 pm

Better?

About seven years ago, I fell sideways into my current line of work (software QA) with no direct experience. Started out as entry level, and after three years, I was an assistant lead, and overseeing a small team on a project. The environment was fun, but the hours were long and the pay wasn't spectacular, though fine at the time. Then the company downsized, and I got laid off. That was actually not so bad, because there wasn't any real room to move up there, and I wasn't crazy about the direction things were going.

After about three months of unemployment, I got a job at a company with a very different focus, but doing the same basic job. I was hopeful for this one, because the company was looking for someone to start a testing department and process from 0. That didn't work out super well, since nobody at the company had a background in QA, so I had no support for professional development, and limited buy-in from various departments. Also, the company started circling the drain, I had less and less work, and an hour and half commute each way. Pay was better though.

Left there for a different company at the same pay, but much closer. This place was better run, but super boring. They're a very safe company, but not really growing. It was kind of like working at Dunder Mifflin minus Michael Scott. Pay was the same, and it became obvious quickly that there was no room for growth or development.

At the end of last year, a buddy's company moved their office to downtown Boston, and were hiring for my position, so I wound up taking a job there. Commute is bad, at an hour and a half bus ride each way, but I also get to work from home two days a week, and they gave me a 20% pay bump. More importantly, there's room to grow. My department head wants me to move into a lead role with our testing team in India, which is definitely a good thing to have on a resume, and hopefully I'll be able to move into a producer role at some point.

So generally, yeah, things are looking better after about three years of treading water.
I can't imagine, even at my most inebriated, hearing a bouncer offering me an hour with a stripper for only $1,400 and thinking That sounds like a reasonable idea.-Two Sheds

User avatar
MHS
Posts: 9413
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:21 pm
Location: Longmont CO

Re: How is your career going?

Post by MHS » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:05 pm

LordMortis wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:
Carpet_pissr wrote:
The Meal wrote: as far as titles go, I'm comfortable with my place in life. I watch younger, more eager, go-getters get larger amounts of responsibility without any jealous emotions cropping up. I do not aspire to bigger pieces of the pie and do not feel like my talents are getting squandered. I have suitable amounts of ownership over my demesnes, and generally work with capable coworkers who do a good part with their own plots.
Wow, that could have been spouted from my very own brain. Hail, complacent brother!
Ditto. Was going to quote that exact paragraph. Things are good here.
I have never been climber. But climbing finds me. My title changed this year from EDI Coordinator to IT Coordinator but titles mean nothing to me. I only worry about having one because I need one for a lot of paperwork, a business card I never hand out, and the signature of my email. Responsibility always find me though. Irrespective of title change. "This needs to be done. It falls under your purview. It is now your responsibility." Eventually, they say "Wow. we value you. Have a raise." Then quickly they say "We pay you a lot of money. This needs to be done. It falls under your purview. It is now your responsibility." Right now I need a second person but at the same time, I'm constantly left with the impression that my position is at will and they pay me too much money for a job they only notice when things go wrong.

I am responsible for everything. I never asked for it but I got it. No one bothers me or works with me unless I need to spend money, need authorization for paperwork, or something goes wrong. My boss, her boss, and his boss don't even really know what I do for a living because I am responsible for everything.

My stress it too high but my work is certification free and jack of support trades, so I'm afraid of what an alternate job would be like. So I work really hard hoping to kept around long enough afford an early retirement. (another 11 to 15 years off)
Life in a 6-person company will always be like this. Technically, I'm the trainer, but I do project management, grant writing, tech writing, tech support, QA, etc. My biggest gripe is that my boss (company owner) holds his cards close to his chest and seemingly has a pathological need to keep us in the dark as much as possible. I love what I do, but being given 2.5 weeks to learn an entirely new database management system that we developed using an outside contractor with whom I had no contact, then write all the documentation and context-sensitive help for it, and then train clients on it, having seen it for the first time 2.5 weeks ago just about drove me over the edge last month. That kind of stuff happens all the time. He expects us to pull stuff out of thin air and either forgets he hasn't told us anything, or will give you a 30-second overview and expect you to be an expert. He'll know for 3 months about an RFP with an 11-30-14 deadline, and not tell me about it until a week before its due, than act shocked when I'm pissed because "it's all the same stuff as the last one." No, it isn't. Every contract has its own requirements. These are the kinds of things that will lead me to punch him someday, except not really because I assume every place is like this.

User avatar
Moliere
Posts: 12004
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:57 am
Location: Walking through a desert land

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Moliere » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:07 pm

Captain Caveman wrote:I'm a tenured-track assistant professor at a research university. It's been a long, neurotic ride, filled with anxiety about publishing and securing grants, but I've almost made it to the promise land. My tenure review occurred last semester and went really well. It'll hopefully be official soon. After that, as long as I don't embezzle money or date my students, I should have a job for life. Not a bad gig.
Image
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

Jeff V
Posts: 30880
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Nowhere you want to be.

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Jeff V » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:11 pm

My story is similar to Evil Homer, even down to my immediate boss being with the company forever (30 years in this case) and being my age. I might last past his retirement, but by then I'll be too old to want the headaches of his job.

I am field IT supervisor for a Fortune 500 company. Among the facilities I am responsible for are the nominal corporate HQ in downtown Chicago (~400 users), the IT and functional corporate HQ in Warrenville (~850), a logistics facility in Bolingbrook (~550), a pre-media design department at the Ace Hardware corporate HQ in Oakbrook, a packaging facility in Lemont, and mail presort locations in Aurora and Downers Grove. By far is the busiest region compared with my peers (the guy who is supervisor of the Chicago North region has more facilities but half the tickets). My region also contains all of the important folks (the C-level people, various VPs and directors), you know, high maintenance people. My department is responsible for what is called "site IT", in addition to user support, we are also responsible for managing the data centers and all of the IT infrastructure. Current projects include moving our downtown office, an equipment refresh in the Oakbrook data center, and assimilation of the newly-acquired presort facility in Downers Grove.

The higher up the ladder, the fewer the rungs. There are 12 managers at my boss' level nationwide (including Canada), and just 2 directors. There is a senior director based in Glasgow, KY. There is also a group, support engineers that are manager-level but each without any reports, that do project management and other supporting roles for the whole of the North American field IT staff. Not sure about other countries. Our interest in the Philippines involves a large number of contractors from Accenture, and a support company wholly owned but managed from a home office in India.

The job is stable, which is more than can be said for most IT jobs these days. The pay is okay, maybe I could do better, but right now I'm risk-adverse. Jim Cramer did a segment on our company about a year ago, raving how well our stock was recovering after a terrible 2012; praising the company's future outlook while adding, "but you wouldn't want to work there." In other words, a lot of the company's current success is on the backs of the employees, trivial fixed raises that are less than cost-of-living, crappy benefits that they manage to make crappier by the year, and elimination of bonuses that used to be paid to all employees. On the other hand, the company is very supportive of family life: nobody is expected to work more than 40 hours per week (if you have to work late one day, you can get the time back later in the week), and it is never a problem if family issues require time away from the job (I was allowed a week off for my dad's funeral; and when my wife had to go to the emergency room the day after getting home from my son being born, I was excused the rest of the week to take care of them). So it might not be very upwardly mobile, but it's very much the kind of job I need at this point in my life.

BTW, in late 2011 I interviewed for a job in a different group (web hosting) that at the time was managed by the woman who hired me at a different company which was acquired by my current one. The job wasn't for a novice, and I would have needed substantial training to get up to speed. Another guy got the job, which was then promptly eliminated when all departments were ordered to give themselves a 10% haircut during the 2012 down-turn.
Last edited by Jeff V on Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39912
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: How is your career going?

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:18 pm

LordMortis wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:
Carpet_pissr wrote:
The Meal wrote: as far as titles go, I'm comfortable with my place in life. I watch younger, more eager, go-getters get larger amounts of responsibility without any jealous emotions cropping up. I do not aspire to bigger pieces of the pie and do not feel like my talents are getting squandered. I have suitable amounts of ownership over my demesnes, and generally work with capable coworkers who do a good part with their own plots.
Wow, that could have been spouted from my very own brain. Hail, complacent brother!
Ditto. Was going to quote that exact paragraph. Things are good here.
I have never been climber. But climbing finds me.
Lol, I actually wrote out that I had turned down a couple of promotions that would have moved me into management, but decided it sounded too much like rationalization.

The next level up is a craptonload of more responsibility and headaches for an incremental amount of more money. No thanks. When I was younger I *wanted* management and especially project management, because just like in school everyone wants to do a great job and so it's easy to get everyone to work together. Hah. What a life lesson. Getting people to meet deadlines with no carrot and no stick is not something that I would consider fun.

I make more than I should for what I do on a daily basis (but less than I should for what my job title and description are) although I have occasional opportunities to earn my pay, which is when it gets fun. I'll also game the system and seek out responsibility and pay as I approach the end of my career to pad my pension, assuming it still exists at that time.

I work with a great team although bossman leaves something to be desired.

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15527
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish

Re: How is your career going?

Post by coopasonic » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:19 pm

MHS wrote:I assume every place is like this.
I am not going to say anything because it would be wrong to crush the worldview that is keeping you from punching the boss. Of course you work at a company of 6 and I work at a company of 40,000. There was a time I worked for a company of 10 and it was closer to your experience on some points. At a company of 40k nobody expects anything to happen fast and I am always getting praise for answering questions and providing documentation in a timely manner.
-Coop

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39912
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: How is your career going?

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:20 pm

Captain Caveman wrote:I'm a tenured-track assistant professor at a research university. It's been a long, neurotic ride, filled with anxiety about publishing and securing grants, but I've almost made it to the promise land. My tenure review occurred last semester and went really well. It'll hopefully be official soon. After that, as long as I don't embezzle money or date my students, I should have a job for life. Not a bad gig.
Cool stuff. Congrats.

Jeff V
Posts: 30880
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Nowhere you want to be.

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Jeff V » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:29 pm

The nice thing about being in management is that slaves who report to you keep up with technology so you don't have to. This has been a motivating factor forever -- technical work was always something I could do, but skills upkeep is a chore, and not having documented evidence of skill (ie, expensive certs) always made finding new work more difficult than it should be. When my current company acquired my former company, it snapped a string of 7 years of management work and while I was a little leery about getting back in the trenches, I had no real problem doing so. But I was already over the pay grade for that position, and that's not a good place to be.

User avatar
Jaymann
Posts: 8174
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:13 pm
Location: California

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Jaymann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:30 pm

An American success story. I literally started out scrubbing the floors. Then I switched industries and after a quarter century worked my way up to second in command. Then the big bosses forced the President into retirement, and I was afraid they would promote me and, you know, expect results. Fortunately they brought in a guy from outside who is easy to work for. Now I am so damn efficient I get my work done in a few hours per week and spend the rest of the time dinking around.

The only minor irritation is the HR Director acts like she's the boss of me. But she is totally stressed out 24/7 and I am posting on OO. Like water off a duck's back.
Jaymann
]==(:::::::::::::>

User avatar
LordMortis
Posts: 60292
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:26 pm

Re: How is your career going?

Post by LordMortis » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:32 pm

my ... company ... holds his cards close to his chest and seemingly has a pathological need to keep us in the dark as much as possible.
This. And it's by far the worst part of the job. Work is done Mushroom Management style by the upper management, the parent corporation, our customers, and people who I don't even answer to but for whom my job is symbiotic to. It adds tons and tons of stress where stress doesn't need to be.

The company operates like they plan to shut my position down any day now but they concurrently load me with more and more to do with no fore warning and no back up plan. My customers and their contacts sit on new work for me for months at a time and then impose one week dead lines on me with no regard to me work load. My corporate offices does the same thing.

...

To the management conversation. I have always sought to stay away from management, with the notable exception of briefly getting into teaching. Managing people is the worst stress. I always knew this but it really really really became clear when I was teaching. Why I even pursued teaching makes no sense to me.

User avatar
dbt1949
Posts: 20383
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:34 am
Location: Hogeye Arkansas

Re: How is your career going?

Post by dbt1949 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:36 pm

I'm still going strong as burden on society and caretaker. In my caretaker roll I've moved up to the management position. :angry-cussingblack:
Ye Olde Farte
Double Ought Forty
aka dbt1949

User avatar
EvilHomer3k
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7338
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

Re: How is your career going?

Post by EvilHomer3k » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:20 pm

A few things to add about my job. My boss is a good friend of mine (well before I started working here). He's easy to work for and actively works to get raises for us when possible. He hires people at the highest salary he can. In general I manage myself.

The college puts in 7.5% (as long as I put in 2.5) for retirement. I have 23 days of vacation, 14 holidays, and "as much sick time as I need" (though after creating our timecard system that seems to be about 30 days before HR complains to you). The insurance isn't great but I'm no my wife's great hospital insurance so I don't care. (since taking a management position my wife works at least 50 hours per week and only makes about 7,500 more than me). I have a 37.5 hour work week with 2.5 hours of email/server update/work from home time that needs to work out to 40 hrs/week over a pay period. Overall, it's an enjoyable job and a good place to work. I hope it didn't sound negative. The only bad part is really the pay (and that's not terrible).
That sound of the spoon scraping over the can ribbing as you corral the last ravioli or two is the signal that a great treat is coming. It's the washboard solo in God's own
bluegrass band of comfort food. - LawBeefaroni

User avatar
Remus West
Posts: 32749
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 5:39 pm
Location: Not in Westland

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Remus West » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:21 pm

Well, that all depends on perspective. I continue to receive high marks in all of my reviews from all concerned parties - administration, students, and parents. My students continue to make gains in their test scores above the expected (well over 90% began the year close to 4 years [or more] behind grade level in testing. While they do not test at grade level they have closed that gap nearly in half for the majority of the kids). I do, however, make less now than I did in the past due to pay freezes and "voluntary" pay cuts to teaching staff. I do still make a livable wage.

On the coaching front, I have been asked to join the board of directors for the club for which I coach. It is an entirely unpaid position (all board positions are) and merely an "opportunity" given based off of the respect the parents, players, other coaches, and current board members hold for me according to the email I was sent asking me to consider it. I haven't decided yet but probably will accept. It only require 2 more nights a month out of my oh so much free time.

I think I chose poorly (see what I did there) picking endeavors when financial compensation is considered. :?
No chance I quit either pursuit though. Love them both. :D
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

Madmarcus
Posts: 2457
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:18 am

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Madmarcus » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:58 pm

My evaluations are good but not stellar mostly due to things that I could change if I was willing to put in more effort on tasks that I do not believe would directly help my students. My work environment is stellar and my boss is generally good to work with. My pay is acceptable. I"m in year 16 at my current employer (with 12 in more or less the same position) and I expect I'll be here a while longer.

The state says I can retire in 11 more years (age 60) with no loss in benefits. I do not think I will be in teaching that long even though I enjoy it.

User avatar
Captain Caveman
Posts: 11684
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:57 am

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Captain Caveman » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:07 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Captain Caveman wrote:I'm a tenured-track assistant professor at a research university. It's been a long, neurotic ride, filled with anxiety about publishing and securing grants, but I've almost made it to the promise land. My tenure review occurred last semester and went really well. It'll hopefully be official soon. After that, as long as I don't embezzle money or date my students, I should have a job for life. Not a bad gig.
Cool stuff. Congrats.
Thanks.

I'd totally do what's depicted in Moliere's cartoon above, except it mistakenly assumes I'm not pantsless at work already. When grant-writing, comfort is king.

User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 14019
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: How is your career going?

Post by Carpet_pissr » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:13 pm

coopasonic wrote:
MHS wrote:I assume every place is like this.
I am not going to say anything because it would be wrong to crush the worldview that is keeping you from punching the boss. Of course you work at a company of 6 and I work at a company of 40,000. There was a time I worked for a company of 10 and it was closer to your experience on some points. At a company of 40k nobody expects anything to happen fast and I am always getting praise for answering questions and providing documentation in a timely manner.
Yeah, I would say most MICRO companies are like that.

My immediate boss for 16 years was the owner, who sold only because the other owner wanted to, and my boss didn't want to continue with only one owner, or a new, unknown owner.

So I went from working for a company of 17 (really, though a company of 10 or less in the US), to 7,000. It's quite eye-opening, but I am actually very excited about all the new possibilities and opportunities ahead.

It's also very humbling to see how much working in such a mushroom-esque environment stagnated/stunted my "business IQ" if you will, after so many years of working in a bubble. It's like I was in a time warp, and talking to modern colleagues with this new, progressive, huge company is like talking to aliens. We literally do not speak the same language, so that cultural part is a bit rough (and embarrassing).

Post Reply