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Old 06-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by plex View Post
Not to mention, that sort of model only works in a market glut
Ever since I can remember (and that goes back a long way), new inexperienced college graduates have been willing to take almost any job almost anywhere to get experience. There has almost always been a glut of college graduates available for companies.
Originally Posted by plex View Post
they are almost certain to go bankrupt when an inevitable shortage occurs.
So, it happens on someone else's watch. The senior management staff and government program staff has moved on by then. It's no longer their problem.

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Old 06-20-2010, 12:34 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by HpRyder View Post
Ever since I can remember (and that goes back a long way), new inexperienced college graduates have been willing to take almost any job almost anywhere to get experience. There has almost always been a glut of college graduates available for companies.
And they are willing to put up with long hours, low pay and all kinds of B.S. just because they *need* to get a few years of experience on their resume. Especially these days, assuming they even can find a job in their field, new grads are practically indentured servants, held captive by a terrible job market and a need to gain experience to open more doors.

"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-20-2010, 01:29 PM   #23
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I work part-time. I arranged to keep my health benefits and still contribute the max to the company 401(k). This was all worked out with my employer well ahead of going part-time.

I had many management duties, but most of those were jettisoned when I went part-time. I dumped all those responsibilities onto someone who worked for me. They even got my old title and a pay raise. For myself, I try to keep pretty strict hours so that I do not get caught working more than I am paid. I am also certain that I still make a difference at work. I have developed new products that the company is selling and continue to contribute to the bottom line and I have saved the company money in many other ways. Folks used to be jealous when I went home early, but not anymore. They know I don't make the salary I used to.

If I had been older then I might not have considered part-time work, but would've just retired (my spouse works). My kids are still in school and thus we are somewhat tethered to this location which is a reason to stick around.

So what worked to keep me around:
(1) Part-time work with health care
(2) No hassle, liberating work environment
(3) Well compensated.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:07 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I'm already at that stage. I don't want any more promotions. I've been promoted all I care to be promoted: a senior-level non-management position where the next "rung" up the ladder is management. No thanks.
W*rk became unbearable ( and very unhealthy) after promotion to management. That's why I took the early retirement.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:24 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Moscyn View Post
Is there anything your firm could have done to encourage you to work a few more years?
Yeah, they could have stopped discouraging us from working:
- commuting
- face time/hours in the building
- meetings
- uniforms (military, civil-service, contractor, aloha, whatever)
- mandatory musters for mandatory briefings
- lack of autonomy (and in my case I had a lot of autonomy, but still not enough)
- artificial funding constraints.

And, in general, the attitude of "We don't do it that way" or "Nah, that doesn't work here"...

In retrospect I was fortunate to have a clearly-defined endpoint where I could make a clean break. Even then I had to politely extricate myself from the offers to let me stay on active duty just for a few more [insert time period/crisis event here]. Samclem has pointed out that it's almost a Helsinki syndrome where you feel guilty about abandoning your fellow hostages and forcing your captors to somehow continue on without you.

Even after eight years of ER I still enjoy work. I just don't see any reason to put up with all the dissatisfiers and hassles that have grown up around it.

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Old 06-20-2010, 04:37 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Moscyn View Post
I attended a company organised talk on Ageing Population and its impact on companies. There was no surprise on the findings - the usual suspects of skills disappearing with baby boomers who are retiring. However, I was disappointed that the talk did not touch on what my company would do to encourage people to work longer. It wasn't that they did not care, they seemed to realise that this is a big problem and wanted the experienced staff to work longer. I guess if firms have a set of benefits or priorities for the "older" staff, it could be deemed discrimination. I don't think I would have resigned yet, if there were some arrangements of entitlement of taking 6 to 12 months sabbatical for employees who reach 50 and have been with the firm for a specified number of years. That would have worked for me. Is there anything your firm could have done to encourage you to work a few more years?
Unfortunately, I have seen too often how older, more experienced workers are usually the first ones to get the boot when a company downsizes. And those older workers often have a heck of a time finding an employer willing to give them another chance at a stable, well paid job.

Nowadays, companies seem more focused on quickly adding a few bucks to the bottom line by getting rid first of the highest earners (often older folks) rather than retaining knowledge and skills long term.

If my firm wants me to work longer, then it has to completely change the way it does business. When I go to work in the morning, I want to actually do real work. I don't want to waste time on office politics and the rumor mill, I don't want to spend half my day in endless meetings (high on talk and self-promotion, low on productivity) and I don't want to spend time on something that HR cooked up just for the heck of it (required Powerpoint training when I have used it for 15 years, team building exercises, month-long evaluations, retreats...). Then my firm would be a good place to spend 8 hours a day.
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:37 PM   #27
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The Air Force is a little different than the other services. Their is a direct civilian match for AF pilots. I remember a meeting with a General Officer and the subject came up about letting pilots have a separate career path. One that did not include command. Like their civilian counter part, the would come in, fly, and go home. While this would not work for the fighter pilots and direct combat support pilots, it works for just about all others. The General's answer was 'Well we hear that from the young guys, but we know as they get older that's not what they want.' Case Closed.

Well I for one, would still be flying if they would let me fly like an airline pilot, and I would venture there are a lot more like me.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:25 PM   #28
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There was no career path, per se, for wafer bitches technicians, except if you impressed the management, you'd get good raises, and job grade increases. Then. of course, one day they'd look around and say "how come you make so much money", at which time they'd attach the bullseye to your shirt...

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