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  1. #1
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Job change, or career change?

    Which would you choose?

    My current situation at work is getting tense. I have a director who's got some personal issue against me and takes it out on my supervisor, who is now growing weary of backing me up when I take a contrary position to the director. (The director is neither a scientist nor engineer, and often it's up to engineering and R&D to tell the director that what they want just isn't possible on the timeline or budget they've requested.) As such, work isn't a pleasant place to be for 9 - 10 hours a day, and more days than not I find it difficult to drag myself into the office.
    This isn't the first time I've dealt with this in my industry (bio-tech), and I can't imagine after almost 2 decades in the business that it's going to be any different if I simply switch to another company... but that's always an option.
    My fiancee, OTOH, is having a phenominal run at her job; awards, promotions, etc. All the things that make it feel like it's worthwhile to show up and put in the effort. Because of her good fortune at work, I have the opportunity to make (what is for me) a difficult decision, since I've never been in this position before:
    Do I stick with what I've done for the past 20-ish years, and find a new company hoping that it won't turn out to be the same situation I'm fixed in now?
    Or, do I take a far lower stress job (lab tech, or other position with fixed hours and duties) but still within the realm of what I currently do? (Pay would be less than current, but still within 70%. Hours could still be long, though.)
    Or, do I switch gears entirely and try to find a new career path based on something I'd truly enjoy doing everyday, regardless of the pay? (Most likely it would leave me more free time outside of work, and a considerably lowered feeling of dread regarding my work day)
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Take something less stressful.

    I lucked out and my current job, while sometimes mentally draining is a LOT less stressful, and I make a few dollars more per hour.

    Money can't buy your sanity. I find no reason to have to be stressed at work or not want to go. Granted, I wish I didn't have to work, but I don't mind work once I am there I have a supervisor that wishes he was allowed to pay me more (yea, really!) A great group of guys to work with, and I make a decent amount considering I don't have a degree.

    In the end, I would just see if you could change some lifestyles that would allow you a less stressful and possibly lower paying job.

    And, if you could find one that only requires you to work 40 hours a week, more time for cycling

  3. #3
    BF Risk Manager
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    I will be interested to hear of your success in switching fields in the Greater Eastside-Seattle area. I don't need to tell you about our unemployment situation and the legions of qualified and over-qualified applicants for any position. Perhaps you would be better off in looking elsewhere but within the same industry.
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  4. #4
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
    I will be interested to hear of your success in switching fields in the Greater Eastside-Seattle area. I don't need to tell you about our unemployment situation and the legions of qualified and over-qualified applicants for any position. Perhaps you would be better off in looking elsewhere but within the same industry.
    If I were to switch fields entirely, it would not be to another scientific endeavor. I'd go with a technical skilled labour position because I know they're always hiring at the LBS and need people with the ability to both turn a wrench and handle themselves on the sales floor. With my bio and engineering background, the opportunity could exist to get trained as a fitter.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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    I would love to work at an LBS...

    But, I am pretty sure I have more opportunity to make money where I currently am. Not to mention the LBS I would want to work at is about 30 miles away, far too many miles to drive each day (and WAY to many to bike-I sweat profusely)

    Good luck on whatever you decide to do!

  6. #6
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    All the money in the world still sucks if you:

    A) Don't have the time to enjoy it
    B) Hate going to work
    C) Die young from the stress or burn out before you are 50.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  7. #7
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nymtber View Post
    I would love to work at an LBS...

    But, I am pretty sure I have more opportunity to make money where I currently am. Not to mention the LBS I would want to work at is about 30 miles away, far too many miles to drive each day (and WAY to many to bike-I sweat profusely)

    Good luck on whatever you decide to do!
    It's not about the money, and the LBS is only 6 miles away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    All the money in the world still sucks if you:

    A) Don't have the time to enjoy it
    B) Hate going to work
    C) Die young from the stress or burn out before you are 50.
    a) that is a current issue
    b) that is the primary issue
    c) already burned out, only dead on the inside, though

    Currently suffering gluteal transportational vision perceptionary problems. (Just can't see dragging my arse to work today.)
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  8. #8
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    I used to have visions of chucking it all and becoming a butcher. I wound up switching jobs w/in the field and I'm very happy now. I guess you know yourself and your field, if you think a job change w/in the field will lead you right back to where you are now, then yeah just go become a wrench.

  9. #9
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    One would think, that after 20 years, one would learn to give their boss what they wanted! MHO

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    I used to have visions of chucking it all and becoming a butcher. I wound up switching jobs w/in the field and I'm very happy now. I guess you know yourself and your field, if you think a job change w/in the field will lead you right back to where you are now, then yeah just go become a wrench.
    This is my 4th discipline in the my field. Started out in diagnostic R&D with a small company, moved to production R&D with a large company, then to production manufacturing with a medium company, now manufacturing engineering with a medium company.
    I've seen 4 different paths all lead to nearly the same place, with this one being the worst; engineers have all been sent to week-long project mgt. training seminars and we're expected to act as working/technical PMs; yet we have none of the authority to enact the actual job details thereof (hiring, scheduling, purchasing, etc.) So, 25% more work to accomplish, 0% of the authority to get it done properly, 100% of the responsibility for project outcome, and 0% compensation increase (not that money alone would make this tolerable, though.)

    I'm done with the stress. It's ruining my ability to enjoy the rest of my life. I used to bike commute every day, and now I don't even do that because I can't enjoy riding my bike if I know I'm just going to end up at work. Seriously, that's how I feel about it.
    I will happily work a low-stress lab production job with a routine schedule if I can find one. I'd gladly take a job with the LBS for the variety of daily activity without the BS I deal with right now. Maybe it would be a totally different pile of BS, who knows? I'm willing to take that chance.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    One would think, that after 20 years, one would learn to give their boss what they wanted! MHO
    When you're given a project deadline that someone pulls out of their arse, and you show them the critical path timeline with zero slack and a 6 day over-run and explain to them that no matter how much money or how many people you throw at it, it simply WILL NOT HAPPEN on their desired deadline, but you're told "It's your job to make it happen" it is literally impossible to give the boss what they want.
    My director doesn't need an engineer. She needs a magician.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    One would think, that after 20 years, one would learn to give their boss what they wanted! MHO
    And just how much do you let them walk all over you?
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
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  13. #13
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    One would think, that after 20 years, one would learn to give their boss what they wanted! MHO
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    And just how much do you let them walk all over you?
    To the extent that it's possible, sure I give my boss what they want. Up until recently, the requests were within the realm of my expanded job description, and physically possible.
    Sure, there's that "other duties as assigned" statement that everyone throws in as a CYA for when they assign new job details in a changing business, but "Hey engineer, act as a PM now but your title and authority is still engineering" isn't reasonable; and bending the laws of time with regards to my job just isn't possible.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  14. #14
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I made a similar choice a few years ago, and went with the career change. It worked out great for me.

    I was in an engineering position with a high tech company, and got fed up with the expectation of longer work weeks and stagnant salaries. When the expectation was 55 -60 hours a week, I looked for a change.

    I took a faculty position at the community college, joined the union and enjoyed every day until I retired a few years ago. Working in education is far from perfect, just like in private sector management can be pretty stupid, that seems universal in management these days. I had loads of flexibility in work schedule, lots of time off in summer and around holidays and I enjoyed the students (for the most part). I did well in education because of my private sector (read real world) experience, so I felt great about the work and the quality of life improvement. It wasn't perfect, but pretty close.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  15. #15
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    When the expectation was 55 -60 hours a week, I looked for a change.
    Yeah, gotta love it when the company throws the concept of work/life balance out the window. My director has no life outside of work, and her direct reports all spend an additional 4 hours working at home in the evenings, so she expects that everyone will do that. An actual statement from her when someone complained about putting in a couple 65hr weeks was "maybe you need to reconsider your dedication to the company if you're not willing to put in a little extra effort."
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  16. #16
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    I'm kind of going through this right now.

    A bunch of things that were little nagging things suddenly all came together in the perfect storm of employment unhappiness.

    I've been with my employer for 20 years, in the current department for 13 and in my position for 8.

    Up until around 6 months ago, my only complaint was that I wasn't getting paid enough. It was the proverbial "dream job," you know what you're doing, you've got most of the ability and capability to do your job and you like the people you work with and you like the overall mission of the job. Then people were hired "above" me (for doing "my job" at a MUCH MUCH HIGHER pay rate than I've made) people were hired "below" me (at a much higher pay rate that I'm making), then the job changed and I realize I've been hosed for years and I'm kind of stuck and being forced to start over at the lower than entry level for my job, for much less pay than a new hire would make.

    I'm considering leaving. I hate it that much.
    Last edited by The Golden Boy; 06-02-10 at 12:31 PM.
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  17. #17
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    A few years ago I left a job that I basically liked because of conflicts with the boss. I took another, similar job in order to make my life easier, which it has. However, looking back I wish I would have stayed and let the boss have his problems. Perhaps he would have fired me or changed my job to the extent that it wouldn't have suited me, but I wish I had stayed and forced his hand.

  18. #18
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    ^^If you would get paid more to quit and be hired right back on it sounds like time to have a serious conversation with your boss. Sounds like getting your ducks in a row to leave might not be a bad plan.

  19. #19
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
    Then people were hired "above" me (for doing "my job" at a MUCH MUCH HIGHER pay rate than I've made) people were hired "below" me (at a much higher pay rate that I'm making), then the job changed
    Quite a few of us engineers are considering leaving since the company passed over at least 5 qualified engineers for the newly created Project Manager position in charge of a 9 person department full of Chem-E's heading up formulaic production scale-up from R&D, and instead decided that the most qualified candidate was our former graphic artist, who has no formal scientific training, and whose only product familiarity is through editing copy for our product manuals.
    Yeah... this is bound to end really well.

    *edit*
    I should clarify this, before I've pissed off any graphic artists in the place: It would be fine to put our former GA in charge of a scientific department as a PM if they had actual training as a PM which exceeded that of the people they're managing. It's not like I expect everyone with a PMP to have extensive technical knowledge for every contract they're brought in on... But for a resident Project Manager (by title) to be effective, I believe 2 things are necessary: 1) a technical working knowledge of the product and the underlying scientific principles behind its operation, and 2) a higher level of PM training than the individuals you're hired to manage.

    It's difficult to instruct people how to proceed on a project when you don't understand what it is that they actually do. It's difficult to stay motivated on a project when you have to explain everything to your "boss" before they can do their job.
    Last edited by CliftonGK1; 06-02-10 at 01:06 PM. Reason: clarification
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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