first64riv

Looking for career advice

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As a new member I just wanted to say that I have been impressed with the many thoughtful responses to this thread. Myself I am not good at tolerating injustice towards me or anyone else so I would definitively try to address the personal attacks from the coworker/colleague with the boss, provide that addressing them directly with the person causing the trouble has failed. If I had the feeling that I can't approach the boss with my concerns then that would be a good reason to start looking for something else. Yes, sometimes we can sit things out and time will take care of our problems for us, but sometime we have to do what we deep inside know needs doing. This may well include accepting a lower income, at least temporarily. I know this may be controversial but money is not everything. If you can't stand the thought of getting up in the morning to go to work then no amount of money in the world will make you feel better.  Bottom line, try to effect positive change in your current company but if that fails then don't give them any more of your time. Life is too short. 

 

Stefan

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insisted on being paid in gold. He actually quit rather than accept a check.

 

cant say that I blame him.....................................!

 

funny stuff!

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He was a good worker, hated to lose him. I suggested he get an account at the local bank just so he could cash his check but he refused. Our checks were drawn on a bank 50 miles away so for the few weeks he worked for us he would drive to that bank just to cash his check. 

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I really felt bad for the young fellow with severe OCD. I realized he had to go when I found him out in the drive way rearranging the stones. He would spend time arranging the community tool box. Even down to lining up the screwdrivers by size. Of course the other guys began to play with him. He would get all the screwdrivers arranged, the guys would mess them up on purpose and he would have to rearange them again, sometimes 4 or 5 times a day. He just couldn't help it. 

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46 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

He was a good worker, hated to lose him. I suggested he get an account at the local bank just so he could cash his check but he refused. Our checks were drawn on a bank 50 miles away so for the few weeks he worked for us he would drive to that bank just to cash his check. 

 

The material handling company I worked for employed 800 factory workers and they got paid in cash - this in the mid 1980's. Brinks pulled up like clockwork every Friday and handed out 800 envelopes full of cash. It was part of their union contract. The rest of us got checks.

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9 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

He was a good worker, hated to lose him. I suggested he get an account at the local bank just so he could cash his check but he refused. Our checks were drawn on a bank 50 miles away so for the few weeks he worked for us he would drive to that bank just to cash his check. 

 

I would think the solution here would be cut a check, have him sign it, then give him cash.  Keep the check in your files in case there are any IRS questions later.

 

I once negotiated a deal for an early car, it was 60K and the buyer agreed to the price.  I wanted to do a cashiers check, this was back in the day that cashiers checks were commonly used and trusted.   He said no, I want cash in a briefcase.  I didn't want to do that, so the deal fell through.  Silly me, the car in question is now a 250K+ car.

 

A friend of mine said the solution would be to write a check to the guy, write on it "refused", and keep that as a record of what you paid the guy in cash.

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Trim,

 

I am one of those that will only do cash for buying or selling of a car. If the other party opposes, I too walk.

 

dont care the dollar amt.

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Not much time for a lengthy response- I usually charge for that, and don't want to take anything away from the book I'm writing as I prepare to most likely retire soon from a career in human resources as a recruiter and career development specialist with a large healthcare company.  This was my second career after 23 years Navy.

 

There has been a lot of great advice given here that you'll need to sort out. 

 

Looking at your original post, a Defense contractor position is exactly where I was headed when I left the Navy.  It would have been an easy transition-just change from uniform to suit and pocket the difference.   I chose not to because of where the job was located (Washington DC) and the insecurity of a job like that.   It's even worse today. 

 

If you are interested in a change, focus on your skills rather than specific job experience.  Too often we allow what we've done to frame us and box us in.  It's more important to focus on your skills and then explore possibilities with blinders off.  Who knows, you could parlay your skills into a job in the healthcare industry like I did.   

Terry 

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1 hour ago, Terry Bond said:

Not much time for a lengthy response- I usually charge for that, and don't want to take anything away from the book I'm writing

:) There's an example of a red flag if I ever saw one.

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Actually Terry really articulated one of the most important points here in the last paragraph.  Many times skills are transferable, especially in the project, management, & technical sales roles.  Java script, not so much.  Assess what's transferable and what you like and that might be a good base for the plan.

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I have worked at the same company for the last twenty years. I started at age 40 I am an engineer. I have a sharp wit and used to give my opinion whether I was asked or not. I have had a lot of success and run the show now. I have wanted to leave many times over the last twenty years of dealing with people. New management every few years has proven to be giant hurdle for me. They come in and want to change the way my department works or the way I do my job. I just decided to give them a little bone to shut them up and it wouldn't hurt my ego much. I have improved at dealing with the people who think they run the show. We just had a GM leave a year ago and go to a new company because of a situation quite similar to what you are dealing with. He took a big drop in pay but is but glad he did it. We stay in contact. You are learning new skills for sure with all this going on and at 40 you may want to stick it out for financial reasons. If you were 60 like me or my last GM maybe make the move take less money and be happy.  

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34 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Actually Terry really articulated one of the most important points here in the last paragraph.  Many times skills are transferable, especially in the project, management, & technical sales roles.  Java script, not so much.  Assess what's transferable and what you like and that might be a good base for the plan.

If I had it my way, I'd be doing something in the automotive world.  I've been looking but not much of that going on here in So Cal.

 

Chris

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1 minute ago, mike6024 said:

There are Japanese auto manufacturers with NA headquarters in Torrance. Honda is one. Toyota was another, gone now. Not sure what type of jobs they have but I would suppose marketing? There's several of these type facilities in Torrance if I remember right. If Honda has 25k employees there that is no small operation.

 

image.jpeg.30d7368a637c1bd1d878f58bc11945fa.jpeg

 

American Honda Motor Company, Headquarters    Torrance, California, United States, Number of employees    25,000

I'd prefer doing some sort of engine design but my background is not there.

 

My wife and kids and myself went to Frisco/Plano area and Toyota was hiring like crazy.  Everyone I met there were extremely excited to have Toyota moving there.  We were contemplating a move to TX but it felt just like San Diego.  That area didn't have the "Texas" feel.

 

Chris

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Toyota has a huge Camry plant near me.  Many folks I know either work or worked there.  I don't know a single person who liked their job.  The ones that stay a while like the money, but they all say having absolutely zero flexibility gets old fast.  My father was an electrical contractor there.  He even observed what he thought were seemingly odd ways of handling employee needs and requests.  He was glad he was actually employed by someone else.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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28 minutes ago, 39BuickEight said:

Toyota has a huge Camry plant near me.  Many folks I know either work or worked there.  I don't know a single person who liked their job.  The ones that stay a while like the money, but they all say having absolutely zero flexibility gets old fast.  My father was an electrical contractor there.  He even observed what he thought were seemingly odd ways of handling employee needs and requests.  He was glad he was actually employed by someone else.

 

There is something to be said about the flexibility of a small company.  I can pretty much dictate my own schedule and hours.  It certainly helps with things that could only be done during normal business hours.

 

Chris

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Not going to give you career advice but I will ask - where are you located and are you willing to relocate (for example - Huntsville, AL).  I have a lot of connections in the defense industry in North Alabama and might could help you out

 

Bob

Edited by Bob Hill (see edit history)

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7 minutes ago, first64riv said:

 

There is something to be said about the flexibility of a small company.  I can pretty much dictate my own schedule and hours.  It certainly helps with things that could only be done during normal business hours.

 

Chris

Agreed.   I work for a huge company, but my position allows me to have extreme flexibility.  I can work any reasonable hours I want and can take off almost without notice as long as my work is done.

 

Flexibility and having a company car I can use all the time (just pay my own gas when I'm not working) are worth almost as much as the paycheck.

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9 minutes ago, Bob Hill said:

Not going to give you career advice but I will ask - where are you located and are you willing to relocate (for example - Huntsville, AL).  Ihave a lot of contacts in the defense industry in North Alabama and might could help you out

 

Bob

Bob,

 

I live in the People's Republic of California, San Diego to be exact  This is where my parent's ended up when they fled Vietnam in 1975.  As much as I would love to get out of this huge social experiment of a state, my folks are getting up there in age and my wife and I feel the need to stay close.   That's a whole 'nother topic for another time.

 

My wife and I will get out of California but right now is not the right time.  So, it's only a matter of WHEN not IF.

 

Chris

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Best of luck with it.  I spent a couple years very early on in the car biz, I worked for a company that basically taught the finance manager in the dealership any trick they didn't already know to extract as much money as possible from the poor unsuspecting customer.  I might write a book on it someday.  A little more selling after that, building materials, wholesale which was actually fun. But close to 30 years in health insurance and related, last 10 contracting with the government.   Less fun but more financially rewarding.  I mention only because as dry as it sounds the opportunity was there for my situation.   Opportunity is everywhere but keep an open mind.

 

One thing my boss told me when I was in the car biz, for some reason this business attracts losers,  stick it out and the cream rises quicker than others.  Not sure I agree but it was an interesting point of view.

 

In the meantime you can always relax behind the wheel... 

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Luck , Chris. Your own business ? I am sure THAT subset of this topic would go to dozens of pages , and run for many moons. Luck. 

 

Luck. Mom turned 21 the day Pearl Harbor was hit. 76 years ago to the day. She became a .45 toting Naval Officer because of it. I came along and ruined her military career. So many soldiers , sailors , and airmen lost not only their military careers , but their entire universe , that , and subsequent days. But you know much more of that than I do. We all know so many examples of good and bad luck , but I promised you an explanation of my good fortune when I was slightly more than half your age. 

 

My learning curve had flattened significantly at Boeing. A lot of my work consisted of checking other people's work. Sometimes we were working double overtime , and in the interest of productivity , I would just re-do the work of others , submit my substitution up the chain , and submit their mess to the "round file". I had a great Canadian friend , a REAL engineer , (McGill grad) , at "The B" give me a bright idea. Gordy , whose learning curve was also leveling off , said "you know Carl , with a very small amount of training , you could do MY job".  Hmmmmm............... (!!!!). He and I took off for the Promised Land. He relocated to 'Frisco for United Airlines , I walked through the door of Pacific Airmotive Corp. directly across the runway from Kelly Johnson's Skunk Works (ever see and hear a U-2 take off ?) at the Hollywood Burbank airport. Lucky , lucky me. They had JUST papered up to do complex novel engineering on a Boeing 727.

The only heavy jet experience they had to date was the interior of the Playboy Black Bunny DC-9. The cumulative Boeing electronic engineering experience at PAC at that time was one engineer with early , (Pre-War) B-17 time. Uh , oh. I just got a call. GOTTA GO ! I'll be back , sorry. But MAN I got LUCKY ! ............... ,  T.B.C. ,   - CC

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Boeing had advised PAC not to take the job. Said even they could not do these mods themselves. If they COULD do it , it would take them 6 months. I don't think the ink was dry on a 60 day to certification contract when I sat down to interview. I got to teach them how a  modern Boeing airplane was wired , and where the truth really resided. NOT in wiring diagrams (remember the "round file" above ?) , but rather in an alpha numeric system in RJ charts , also in EPRs , and MCOs. They just didn't build 'em like they used to , and they don't now , either. I might have qualified to sweep the floor a few years ago when I was still strong enough to do so. Next I pointed to an engineer's signature on some material B. had sent. Yeah , Mike there was my boss ! I've got his number. He likes me a lot. I was also a pilot with flight engineers training , and had done well in off hours courses at B. I could talk the talk , and I could do the work. I did do the work , 12 , 14 , sometimes 16 hours a day , all 7 days of the week. We needed each and every one of those hours , and just barely made certification on day 60. PAC liked me a lot. Sometimes you get lucky.

 

Sometimes not. Those meddling , commonist , big gummin , over regulating , business busting , tree hugging , agitating , EPA (there was no EPA back in those Great American days) , jerks hadn't stepped in to ruin a good thing yet. I don't know. Maybe they were responsible for the walls caving in. I really just don't know. But what I do know , was that things were booming back then. Maybe a bit like England in the early 19th Century under George The 4th. L.A. had that  infamous smog. Cal kids these days know nothing of smog. Eye burning , choking toxic atmosphere , reducing visibility and making people sick , some dead. "Summer cold" was the diagnosis of my ailment according to the native Californians living in the complex where I got my sleep. Further details might make a somewhat humorous read , but let's get to the bottom line. I had to get out of that foul "air". Too sick. I NEVER got sick in the clean Pacific Northwest. Once I left , I never got sick again. I might have risen to very high levels with that great company. Too bad those pointy headed scientists messed up a good thing. They cleaned up the So Cal air , made it a wonderful place to live , and in came everyone. It would have self limited with the poison gas folks had to breathe , would have become unlivable , would not have become so overpopulated , and now look at the resultant fires. Too many Southern Californians. Regulation. Ugh. Bad luck. 

 

Luck , both good and bad followed. And therein may lie some pertainant insights for you , Chris. It has to do with the element of luck , particularly in running your own business. Let's see : I can't remember. Did you say you have children ? If so , you can't trust to luck , particularly by the time you are in your 40s. 

 

But it it is after 2:00 here , and it is not the Day of Infamy anymore. I am glad the discussion has become more automotive related. The Mercedes-Benz electronic transmission began for the 1996 model year. I have 5 and 7 speed examples behind 6 , 8 , and 12 cylinders. I particularly like driving the 5 speeds in the vehicles with proper shift gates. You always know where you are by feel. Some people like paddle shift. I am too old fashioned for that. Gimme a 'gate , please ! 

 

Past old man's bedtime. I will get to it , but it takes me a week to accomplish what I used to be able to do in a day. In part , a concentration thing for me.   Tired , old ,    - Carl 

Edited by C Carl
Add a needed comma (see edit history)
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A little more automotive biography in order to preserve this topic : When it comes to transmissions in my ancient Cadillacs , I am also a bit picky. I like the crash boxes behind the late (inherently balanced) Leland V8s. 1924 - 1927. Of course the first year of the new Nacker offset blocks V8 (side by side rods replaced fork and blade) did retain a crashbox in 1928. I have never driven a '28 or '29 , so I guess I can not speak from experience.

 

Alright. I did re-read and see that in fact you do have two young sons. It might be beneficial for me to wrap this up without going on with more biographical experiences. Yes , it could be interesting to some (My attorney at one of the world's foremost international business law firms told me : "You could write a book about it") , I have actually been trying to do a rolling censorship of this long-winded soliloquy. I was tempted to describe in some detail the mods we made to the Air Micronesia (a subsidiary of Continental) 727 , and the subsequent Ethiopian Air Lines 707 , but though certainly entertaining , it does not further the discussion here. I also decided not to go into detail about the Rx "Big Mike" forced upon me in order to relieve my fellow tenants of my whining about my "Summer cold". It has to do with drinking , but the hangover from the every three day dose had its own drawbacks. 

 

Lets see then if I can skim through relevant life chapters. After PAC , back in the clean Northwest air , I joined an old friend and became a tent maker. We developed the finest 2 (3 in a pinch) man expedition tent the world has still ever seen. I could go into fascinating detail here , but I would rather have you Google the thing up. It was cleverly called the "Omnipotent". And it was indeed such. Overwhelmingly labor intensive (originally more than 170 pieces in an integrated double structural wall - inner water vapor permeable  , outer wall waterproof - tapering truncated conical tension structure) , 12 hours per tent !!!! We worked well together - for a while. As I spoke Spanish , I went to El Salvador in '75 to set up a slave labor sweat shop as per then current U.S. practice. Commercial attaché at our embassy sent me with a letter of introduction to his counterpart at the embassy in Quito , Ecuador. He sent me to the H.Q. of the Pacto Andino , a South American Common Market , in Lima , Peru. So I developed the most favorable arrangement for production and sales in S.A. , and export  back to the U.S. Manufacture to be done by Ecuadorean military , sales to Peruvian military (each country had different regulations , made for distinct necessities). Then 2 things happened to make my efforts irrelevant and inadvisable. Luck. Bad and good. You just never  know what is just around the corner. NUMBER ONE : some of you guys will remember in the mid '70s , our gummin made it illegal to bribe foreign officials in furtherance of biz. Now the playing field was tilted against us. Bad luck you wouldn't be prepared for. NUMBER TWO : Our incredibly sophisticated product caught the attention of some ex-DuPont guys. Long , great story , but we ended up making the world's first Gore-Tex (TM) consumer product. A winning , easy to produce tent called the Light Dimension. At that point , I figured I had it made. We grew and grew. You know : Inc. Magazine "100 Fastest Growing" list several years in a row , $xx,xxx,xxx in sales , (and that is in early '80 dollars) , 157 employees , even made Time Magazine. We even had sharp guys using a Wang computer which was pushing us in the direction where Amazon ended up. THIS trend , and my long range planning , gave me the knowledge to pick Amazon as a winning survivor off the bottom of the tech bust a generation later. I would love to give you the details of the rise and collapse of our company. It would give you an enormous perspective of the potential pitfalls of your own business. I did come out O.K. In a way. As I said above : "We worked well together - for a while".

 

Real estate and construction in a rising market followed. Great luck. And then came land development. I learned how to , and why NOT to do it in King County , Washington. Bad luck. Next came buisiness adventures with an embezzling , sociopathic , strangely connected ex contract operative for The Outfit. He had almost 20 years in when he got re-assigned (should he choose to accept it) , to a Middle Eastern country where his cover was blown. He did not accept , and out he went. Good luck ? Bad ? I kinda think our gummin wanted him out with a lesser level of retirement benefits.The first adventure was absolutely fascinating. Went down to Bolivia to broker the sale of some of their natural gas infrastructure , Y.P.F.B. , which was being privatized. I had a perfect apparent customer ! What luck ! I had a super connection to His Excellency , The Minister of Oil and Gas of another Middle Eastern country. Lucky , huh ? Unfortunately , however , His Previous Excellency had become previous due to some ill-advised , expensive joint venture in yet another Middle Eastern country. Left my guys country strapped for cash. In any case , I was awarded an audience with His Excellency , and a most impressive leather Ferrari briefcase emblazoned with an elegant gold leaf Coat of Arms , and beautiful Arabic script. Good luck , bad luck , you just never know.

 

These adventures go on , and on , and on , and on , and on , and on. Good guys ; the best was a Captain , U.S.N. , ret. , led Seal Team 6 at one point. I could go into fine detail about the projects we worked on together. We lost one due to Nine - Eleven , but I will not complain about our relatively insignificant , comparatively miniscule loss. Far worse luck was inflicted that day. You just never know. 

 

I had meager goals. Just wanted $5 - 20 million in the bank. Nothing extravagant , mind you. Just a nice comfortable retirement. Did I tell you how I hit the high end of my range by running up the land development money in the stock market ? All my dough in Intel as the  bubble went up , out on Monday just after the bubble burst. Out only 2 or 3 bucks off Intel's peak at $145 on Friday before. Ya just had to glue yourself to CNBC , and pay particular attention to Abby Joseph Cohen , and ignore guys like Lou and Alan with their "New Paradigm"  nonsense. Anyway , put it all in Amazon at $6 , yes , that's right Six Dollars ! Hard to believe ? It is true. Amazon bottomed out at $5.71 , IIRC. And I ought to. I was there ! Check me out. See where Amazon was in the basement. What INCREDIBLE good luck ! Oh , I spent an enormous amount of time figuring it all out ! A LOT of time. And every last bit of my entire life's experience. All the good luck and bad luck led up to that bubble , burst , and recovery. Now would you like to know how I got screw balled out of my well-deserved small fortune ? Clue : it had everything to do with some looney lady born on December 7th , 1920. Oh what miserable bad luck. I'd'a still had quite a garage full , and 10 , 15 , 20 or more left. I can't go on. I have never written so much about all this. I just can't go on , Chris. I hope nothing like this ever happens to you. I averaged 70 hour weeks for about 30 years. I had to work fifteen 20 or 21 hour days in a row at one point when things were going sideways in three time zones in the U.S. and another in Holland. You wonder why I have had two heart attacks ? My doctors don't. Oh yeah : I needed 4 phone lines. I needed to always have a spare. Sometimes I was on three simultaneous calls. That is why I needed a 4th. Always had to have an open line. Sound like fun ? Wanna give it a try ? Start a business. You might just have the "pleasure". My doctors are very concerned about present stroke danger for me. And I never smoked.

 

Clue ? Listen Chris : Think twice before you even think about starting your own business in your 40s with a wife and children. Think about luck , and the lack thereof. If you do make that fateful decision , work with O.P.M. And : be prepared to sacrifice precious , priceless  family time. And be sure to give your wife the final say. 

 

I am a very loving kind of guy. I give a massive amount of my time to others. You will not be imposing on me to personally communicate with me. P.M. , or phone if you like. Or not. You see how I do tend to run on. But I really am sure you get the point. I will post this now , and proofread it later. Thumbs beginning to ache.    - Carl

Edited by C Carl
Minor corrections , and clarification (see edit history)
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I've not read all the responses, so I may be a repeat of other observations:

  1. You are or were looking at an alternate job at about $25k less than current gross.  In short, the guy you have difficulty with is going to cost you $25k the year you leave the job.  He will cost you $50k at the end of the second year that you have left the job.
  2. One of your responses described what you wanted out of your next job.  The paradigm  shift is to see more than your side of the equation. A company hiring somebody is not as interested in what that person wants as much as what they, the company wants.  The next employer wants you as an investment of their time and expense.  You are looking to provide that but in a manner that is rewarding to you. 
  3. You are describing the current events in your company as though you are surprised.  Oops, all jobs are like that.  Humans can be hard to get along with.  Someone has already mentioned the cliche about "everyone being a winner" in today's society.  Just because those in control of our educational system currently espouse this idea doesn't mean that people will be equal or respond equally.  You are always going to run into the range of human motivations from ultra lazy to ultra ambitious.  The personality of any of these people in that range will be supportive of their motives such that it may be unpleasant to be around them.
  4. You are at the peak age where the next decision needs to be your best decision.  You and others are correct about age limiting opportunities after the age of 40.

As for advise? Figure out what you want.  If it is to be happy, you might be happy being a greater at Walmart.  If it is applying technical skills, be prepared to change and learn with the times.  If it is managing people, recognize that it takes effort to deal with all these potential personality types.  If it is managing process, then recognize that you would constantly analyze processes and evaluating change and that you can hire people to apply new technical skills with less expense than retraining yourself.  Just as importantly, recognize that there are differences in the generations.  Generally speaking, the younger generation thrives on new technology but is less able to manage people, the later generations are better at understanding people and making people work in concert with each other.   Remember folks I said "generally"!

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