first64riv

Looking for career advice

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I've had very similar experiences...

At one point in my life I owned a typesetting company. We got a certain amount of "walk in" business typesetting resumes so I've rad a lot of them aside from those addressed to me. One of my favorites was the guy who had never held a job for more than about 10 months and invariable "left for more money"... he had about 5 or 6 or those in succession. He did get another job, but the music stopped there. Last I heard, he's been out of work for a long time.

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I have a business that is ten years old this year. We contract services. If I had the foresight ten years ago I would have just opened a bank and be done with it. Invoices at Net 30 are paid in 60 to 120 days. The larger the organization you work for, the less capable they are at making timely payments. And it is CERTAINLY NOT something that can be taught by example!

 

THAT is the stuff you think about at 2 and 3 AM in the morning.

 

I have two shining exceptions that I really appreciate.

 

I get calls from marketing companies who will bring in huge amounts of business. The poor young telemarketer doesn't have a script to answer me when I say "Look, I have customers who I consider to be personal friends, and they are deadbeats. YOU want to bring a bunch of strangers in for me to work for? No way, not here."

 

In your instance, draw a graph, the x axis being "want", the Y being "need".  You will have quadrants; Don't need, Want; Need, Want, Don't need, Don't want; and Don't need, want.

Start a business that fits into the "Don't need, Want" quadrant- gifts are a great example, green technology (replace the light you forget to turn off with a more efficient one), any trends du jour.

 

It is a circus out there!

 

 

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I don’t know if any of this will help but here goes. I’ve owned a computer service bureau for longer than you have been alive. We have over 45 employees. My main sales guy, systems guy, data entry mgr and clerical mgr are all at the top end of the job description. The only growth potential is in the pay check. They realized that when they signed on to a small family owned business. If you don’t see a potential for growth in that department due to your contribution to the company write your resume and then rewrite it and look for another job.  As others have said if I was interviewing you and your reason for looking was you didn’t get palong with other management you would have a very short interview. The reason I say that is your title is top management and I or any prospective employer would not know it was in name only. You have a masters you have 10 years experience in a large and small organization. That is a huge plus in the market place. Be more positive about that and forget about the personal problem when talking with other companies. Find a head hunter (do not sign any contract that has you pay anything) and have them go over your resume. Give them the requirements you need to take a new job. Tell them you are testing the waters but feel you could do better in a larger or more progressive company. I’ve had to help some of my guys move on due to this and it is actually what I’ve told them to do. It wkorks. It’s easier to get a job when you have a job - maybe it’s just because everyone wants what someone has and that makes an employed person more desirable. I totally disagree about your statement of not having any training in the last 4 years since you got your masters. Think of it this way I’m and old man that has been somewhat successful if you consider having the second largest computer service bureau in the Chicago/midwest area is successful and I would hire a guy with 4 years of experience over a guy with a higher degree formal  edcucation as long as that experience was in my industry.  

I would also talk with the CEO and let him know the personal attacks by the sales guy has to stop. It is hurting moral and is detrimental to the whole company.  You may not think other staff know what is happening but they do. Small businesses have a way of knowing/seeing all that is negative and they are watching what will happen. 

If your boss says if you leave they will be “circling the drain” allows you the power to talk with him 

good luck and listen to your wife - you’ll be happier in the long run 

Dave S 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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15 hours ago, first64riv said:

 

From my post that would be the short of it.  However, from a long term perspective...the short of it would be...

1.  In my past ten years, I realize I have not grown in my skill set.  I am afraid that when I'm at the 50 year old mark, it will be that much more difficult to get a good high paying job.

2.  I'm not the type to stay stagnant.  I am always trying to continue my education.  That's why I went and got my Masters.  This happened when we were owned by a larger corporation.  In the past 4 years since we were released from the large corp, I've had no career training.

3.  Mainly afraid my marketable skills are becoming obsolete.

4.  Being in the toxic environment is sort of new.  I've dealt with a lot of dysfunction here but the recent events take the cake.

 

Chris

 

 Chris, your comments say " I want to change, and I want all of you to agree with me",  or at least that is the way I read it.  Perhaps flip a coin. 

 

  Ben

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34 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

I don’t know if any of this will help but here goes. I’ve owned a computer service bureau for longer than you have been alive. We have over 45 employees. My main sales guy, systems guy, data entry mgr and clerical mgr are all at the top end of the job description. The only growth potential is in the pay check. They realized that when they signed on to a small family owned business. If you don’t see a potential for growth in that department due to your contribution to the company write your resume and then rewrite it and look for another job.  As others have said if I was interviewing you and your reason for looking was you didn’t get palong with other management you would have a very short interview. The reason I say that is your title is top management and I or any prospective employer would not know it was in name only. You have a masters you have 10 years experience in a large and small organization. That is a huge plus in the market place. Be more positive about that and forget about the personal problem when talking with other companies. Find a head hunter (do not sign any contract that has you pay anything) and have them go over your resume. Give them the requirements you need to take a new job. Tell them you are testing the waters but feel you could do better in a larger or more progressive company. I’ve had to help some of my guys move on due to this and it is actually what I’ve told them to do. It wkorks. It’s easier to get a job when you have a job - maybe it’s just because everyone wants what someone has and that makes an employed person more desirable. I totally disagree about your statement of not having any training in the last 4 years since you got your masters. Think of it this way I’m and old man that has been somewhat successful if you consider having the second largest computer service bureau in the Chicago/midwest area is successful and I would hire a guy with 4 years of experience over a guy with a higher degree formal  edcucation as long as that experience was in my industry.  

I would also talk with the CEO and let him know the personal attacks by the sales guy has to stop. It is hurting moral and is detrimental to the whole company.  You may not think other staff know what is happening but they do. Small businesses have a way of knowing/seeing all that is negative and they are watching what will happen. 

If your boss says if you leave they will be “circling the drain” allows you the power to talk with him 

good luck and listen to your wife - you’ll be happier in the long run 

Dave S 

Dave,

 

Thank you for the thought out reply.  It does help.  I would never disclose that I didn't get along with certain employees and as a matter of fact, my response to a pre-screen interview to that exact question was:

Why are you looking to leave your current position and what are you looking for in your next opportunity?

I’m ready for a new challenge with a larger company.  I am looking for a company that will give me the ability to focus, sharpen and expand my skill set.  I would also like to be part of a well-structured company with a great culture and vision.

 

----------------

I still have a lot of thinking to do.  The flexibility I have here is certainly good but there are so many more variables to think about.

 

Thank you

Chris

Edited by first64riv
Clarification (see edit history)

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22 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 Chris, your comments say " I want to change, and I want all of you to agree with me",  or at least that is the way I read it.  Perhaps flip a coin. 

 

  Ben

You know, this is one of those things that as you write you're kinda answering your own question.  I'm not trying to have everyone agree with me, I just want to hear other people's life experiences and decisions they have made and how they've turned out.  I appreciate you taking the time out to read through the post.

 

Chris

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Have you thought about crushing this sales VP?  Seriously if he's always in the way, pushing back hard might be a text to take.  Boss is telling you how valuable you are.  Test it.  Could be just what he wants, actually.  Or guy finds out tangling with you constantly becomes a chore and collaboration might be the better route.  Just a different take on it.

 

I am a program director in govt. Contracting as well, and I get it when you raise concern on training, etc.  Trust me, big companies are marginally better at most.  Two thoughts, first, make the investment on your own it will pay off and second, don't sell yourself short

  Take a fresh look at what's making you worth $100k and if company x thinks so, in time another one should, but tell therm what you have done, not that your stagnant.

 

Interview experiences on both sides represent the truth is stranger than fiction adage for sure...  good luck!

 

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I was told this many years ago and it proved to be true

 

" one door closes another door opens" I know there is nothing worse than being at a job that you don't get along with somebody and having to look over your back constantly. The day drags... to the point that you don't even want to get out of bed to go to work.

I feel for you man, I know what I would do, but everyone is different and so are their situations....... 

         

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as an aside-

 

I have always been an impatient person and always want to getterdone! Well, a few weeks back I read that patient people are far more successful in life all the way around, then those that turn on a whim-me.

 

My wife is very patient and took a new position about 6 years ago. She was at the bottom of about 15 employees in her group, as a newcomer. Today she runs her dept. So many have left and she, like the cream went straight to the top!

 

Patience is a definite virtue that took me way to long to learn..................

 

ps, your buddy who is getting on your nerves could just be gone one day ........... life is always in a transitional state.

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I once had a job applicant phone me to check on the status of his resume. I asked him to come in for an interview. He replied that he could not since he was in prison and wouldn't be released until the end of the month. I asked why he was in prison (privacy laws were less strict then).  He replied that he was sentenced to 60 days for assault. I asked who he assaulted. He replied "My ex boss".

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I'm amazed at the number of responses to this thread.  Thank you everyone.

 

I think, after reading, I do know I'm worth more than what is being "offered".  I will seek training on my own and continue in my current position.  I will definitely be "the guy" here and will just keep working and doing what i was asked to do.

 

As for the VP guy, the only thing I can do is continue to be professional and push back as needed.  I can't do the tit-for-tat thing, that's just not in me.

 

As for the future, I'll continue to keep my options open.  I take Marty's phrase "...sometimes a One-Man Band can be better than a Symphony Orchestra " and I will start a plan where I can gracefully exit but have something to step into and maybe take a risk with my own business.  I've already got something technology related in the works.

 

This is an evolving decision, so input from this point is still appreciated.

Chris

 

 

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18 hours ago, alsancle said:

So is the only issue with your current job the fact that you don't get along with the VP of sales and you feel the CEO is not dealing with it?

 

18 hours ago, first64riv said:

 

From my post that would be the short of it.  However, from a long term perspective...the short of it would be...

1.  In my past ten years, I realize I have not grown in my skill set.  I am afraid that when I'm at the 50 year old mark, it will be that much more difficult to get a good high paying job.

2.  I'm not the type to stay stagnant.  I am always trying to continue my education.  That's why I went and got my Masters.  This happened when we were owned by a larger corporation.  In the past 4 years since we were released from the large corp, I've had no career training.

3.  Mainly afraid my marketable skills are becoming obsolete.

4.  Being in the toxic environment is sort of new.  I've dealt with a lot of dysfunction here but the recent events take the cake.

 

Chris

 

I guess my free worthless advice based on this would be:

 

1.  There is always more opportunity in a small company than a big one for exceptional people.   Consider your ability to influence your current company vs influencing a company of 50,000 employees.

 

2.  Don't overvalue formal education.  Degrees may help you get a job but they had very little value in doing a job or keeping it.

 

3.  Knowing comes from doing.  If you are in a smaller environment performing a number of different tasks those skills should be valuable elsewhere.   If you feel stagnant,  take on more responsibility.   

 

4.  Age bias in high tech related jobs is real, but generally for average or below average people.  If you can provide value,  there is always somebody that can use you.

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1 minute ago, alsancle said:

 

 

I guess my free worthless advice based on this would be:

 

1.  There is always more opportunity in a small company than a big one for exceptional people.   Consider your ability to influence your current company vs influencing a company of 50,000 employees.

 

2.  Don't overvalue formal education.  Degrees may help you get a job but they had very little value in doing a job or keeping it.

 

3.  Knowing comes from doing.  If you are in a smaller environment performing a number of different tasks those skills should be valuable elsewhere.   If you feel stagnant,  take on more responsibility.   

 

4.  Age bias in high tech related jobs is real, but generally for average or below average people.  If you can provide value,  there is always somebody that can use you.

You've provided great advice.

 

This is the reason I posted on this board.  I knew it would offer a plethora of advice and it's delivered hundred fold.  Thank you!

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34 minutes ago, mercer09 said:

so Restorer..................... did you hire him???????????????????

 

 

 

:lol:

No but maybe we should have. He might have worked out better than the young fellow we hired who was pathologically OCD. Maybe even better than the fellow who refused his first pay check saying he didn't believe in banks and insisted on being paid in gold. He actually quit rather than accept a check.

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2 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

No but maybe we should have. He might have worked out better than the young fellow we hired who was pathologically OCD.

 

Phones and Internet have destroyed an entire generation's ability to focus.

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41 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

2.  Don't overvalue formal education.  Degrees may help you get a job but they had very little value in doing a job or keeping it.

 

 

Amen.

 

When my students (business related Construction Management courses - Estimating, Specification Writing, Planning and Scheduling, and etc) would begin to think that they were ready to go out and take on the world I always knocked them down a bit. I told them that I had just spent 40 hours with them - they had barely a general rudimentary knowledge which would enable them to learn,  and that they would learn more in their first week on the job than it just took them 4 months to learn.

 

Because they were all hoping to become project managers they often made fun of the tradesmen that actually do the work and make things happen. We always had at least one or two tradespeople or Mr. Handymen enrolled in our program looking to become project managers or expand into general construction and I would have one of them bring in a carpenters square and explain all of its uses. It created an instant appreciation for those whose contribution is "hands on"

 

When I was working for the Federal government I watched a "kid" fresh out of the military start as a GS-3 mail clerk. He had a GED. He slowly worked his way up the ladder and is now in Executive Service - 18 years later.  His highest degree is still the GED. Experience trumps formal education even in the government.

 

The point of all this is that in all probability your job experience may well make you the expert in the classroom. That is particularly true if the course is being taught by a professor with no real world experience. Go ahead and take the courses if you want to - they look good on a resume but may not add much to your knowledge.

 

 

Edited by vermontboy (see edit history)

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17 hours ago, Pluto said:

Here's some advice and worth every penny you pay for it. During the next five years, live two lives.

 

A. Do everything in your power to make the company that employs you successful beyond anyone's dreams, even the sales guy and the CEO. Be a man in every old-fashioned sense of the word, be decent, cordial and the one that people go to to solve their problem. Make yourself indispensable. You will grow as will the company.

B. Figure out your future and make a detailed plan to get from here to there. Make it your life and death,  body parts in the vise passion. At year four, begin your transition. At the dawn of year five, you are there. You can do it in three. Or two.

 

If you aren't the lead dog, the view never changes.

 

This was what I was saying but said in a way it make sense.  Notice as well that this is only Pluto's 3rd post...  wow, welcome to the forum Pluto.   Looks like you've got a lot to offer!!

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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8 minutes ago, Luv2Wrench said:

 

This was what I was saying but said in a way it make sense.  Notice as well that this is only Pluto's 3rd post...  wow, welcome to the forum Pluto.   Looks like you've got a lot to offer!!

 

Reading the posts out loud to my wife last night, Pluto's post really helped me.  His advice was key in my future planning.

 

Chris

Edited by first64riv (see edit history)

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18 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

If there's no future at your company, then why are you still there?  Not being a jerk, but it really is that simple.  I wouldn't leave over personal issues, you can fix those.  If there's no future, you can't fix that.  Make the best of what you have there right now and make plans to be somewhere else inside 2 or 3 years.  Start putting aside some money to ease the transition.  So to be clear...  I wouldn't leave now unless you feel it is a step up (either in money now or future growth). 

On this track starting now.

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About 25 years ago I was working in a very bad spot with a totally incompetent supervisor who thought everyone had his own low life personality. I didn't realize I was suffering from clinical depression until I came out of it, During my employment I had a talk about how bad it was and how the single person was the source. In a discussion about options the idea of hurting him enough to put him out of work for a few months was brought up. My friend threw out a figure of the cost, then asked what the job paid. We agreed that the job didn't pay enough for the cost or the risk. Shortly after that conversation I quit the crumby job and got another that paid $10,000 a year more. About 6 months later the target man was fired for absolutely inappropriate behavior.

I don't think incompetent, or even competent, managers know such conversations happen. It was  topic, not acted on, but brought up in the course of due diligence. Traits of an effective employee.

 

In my working career I have had three similar situations. Looking back, the good bosses lulled me into a sort of long term complacency. The three jerks I left netted me a significant raise and advancement to enjoy owning too many cars. Looking back, I owe the biggest thank you to those clowns and their heinous lives.

 

Makes me a pretty good boss, too.

Bernie

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Hello again , Chris !  Late night. Had time for detailed follow up now. Read all the great advice you have got since my earlier response. By the time I read your post #14 , I knew what my next offering would be. Your post #19 corroborated this. Response #28 beat me to the punch line. The bottom line therin , is THE BOTTOM LINE ! Having spent quite a bit of time just now studying this incredibly helpful experience based advice , I now have to get back in harness here for a while.

 

However , in order to give formal immunity by making this a car related thread : My present automotive interests focus on electronic transmission Mercedes-Benz , not quite "Antique" just yet , and inherently balanced V8 Cadillacs , those being 1924 and up. No real interest in most Cads of the '80s for reasons so many of us have experienced with a lot of Detroit iron of the decade. Please throw a couple of car lines in , and then we can get back to business , formally protected.

 

I am so proud to enjoy the privilege of being a part of this forum. What a fine group of loving , generous people ! Always ready to "lend a wrench" , so to speak. I am sure that some of these great folk would literally give the shirt off their backs. Oh , and I will reveal how a 23 year old kid could get such a high paying responsible job during the Southern California Aerospace Boom. It WAS a specific experience thing.   - Carl 

Edited by C Carl
Add the letter "b" to "it" to make "bit" (see edit history)
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20 minutes ago, C Carl said:

Hello again , Chris !  Late night. Had time for detailed follow up now. Read all the great advice you have got since my earlier response. By the time I read your post #14 , I knew what my next offering would be. Your post #19 corroborated this. Response #28 beat me to the punch line. The bottom line therin , is THE BOTTOM LINE ! Having spent quite a it of time just now studying this incredibly helpful experience based advice , I now have to get back in harness here for a while.

 

However , in order to give formal immunity by making this a car related thread : My present automotive interests focus on electronic transmission Mercedes-Benz , not quite "Antique" just yet , and inherently balanced V8 Cadillacs , those being 1924 and up. No real interest in most Cads of the '80s for reasons so many of us have experienced with a lot of Detroit iron of the decade. Please throw a couple of car lines in , and then we can get back to business , formally protected.

 

I am so proud to enjoy the privilege of being a part of this forum. What a fine group of loving , generous people ! Always ready to "lend a wrench" , so to speak. I am sure that some of these great folk would literally give the shirt off their backs. Oh , and I will reveal how a 23 year old kid could get such a high paying responsible job during the Southern California Aerospace Boom. It WAS a specific experience thing.   - Carl 

Thanks for following up Carl.  Those Aerospace hey day stories are told to me very often when I hit the trade shows.  That's about the time my dad was hired as an RF engineer at General Dynamics!  Thanks for keeping us "on-topic".  -Chris

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