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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-08-2006, 04:46 PM   #21
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
There were a lot of others that weren't true either but I wasn't going to burst his bubble.
I know what you mean, but it's a perspective thing. For example,
you can feel like all the tough decisions are being made by you. Thus,
that becomes your reality. To put it another way
(according to George Costanza) ...............It's not a lie
if you believe it.

JG
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-08-2006, 07:10 PM   #22
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Re: Professional Downsides

Tech writing/editing:

PROs
-- Good work if you like technology, but not enough to be an engineer/scientist
-- Ditto if you like to write, but not enough to be a journalist/essayist/novelist/poet
-- Can focus on left or right brain activities depending on druthers...designing tech docs, writing extremely or less technical doc, writing introductory doc, troubleshooting doc, helping others with their writing, thinking up examples and illustrations (fun!), learning new products and doc tools
-- Good balance (for me) among learning things, creating things, and fixing things
-- Although almost all practitioners are introverts, there's a huge mix of backgrounds with degrees (or not-) in practically anything (good colleagues)

CONs
(in industry...no doubt quite different in govt)
-- Frequent long hours & work on weekends (hard deadlines dictated by admin and/or engineering)
-- No longer seem to have R&R between grueling projects
-- Usually little respect from other groups (engineering, mktg, admin)
-- Little job security and stagnant pay for all but top stars. About half of my former colleagues are making less than they were a few years ago, some a lot less.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 04:54 AM   #23
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
I know what you mean, but it's a perspective thing. For example,
you can feel like all the tough decisions are being made by you. Thus,
that becomes your reality. To put it another way
(according to George Costanza) ...............It's not a lie
if you believe it.

JG
Or maybe any decision you make is hard just because you have trouble making decisions.

I've had "big bosses" that feel compelled to be "in charge" and make all the decisions. They liked to think "the buck stops here." What they don't realize is they have prevented anyone below them from making a decision.

I don't mean this as a slam to kcowan. I do have to snicker at some of the CEO things he said.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 05:28 AM   #24
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
2B,
It appears that you did much better than I have done. I am only making 5.87X starting salary 28 years ago. That translates to 5.87% annualized - slightly better than the rate of inflation. If it was 10x, my current salary would have to be $180K. This is only possible at the VP level in the Midwest.
Spanky
As another computer scientist/engineer from the same era, I am making exactly
7.5X what I started making 27 years ago.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 07:16 AM   #25
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
Or maybe any decision you make is hard just because you have trouble making decisions.

I've had "big bosses" that feel compelled to be "in charge" and make all the decisions. They liked to think "the buck stops here." What they don't realize is they have prevented anyone below them from making a decision.

I don't mean this as a slam to kcowan. I do have to snicker at some of the CEO things he said.
Okay. I see your point. I have been a CEO several times, and it's
a tough job. But, the positives far outweigh the negatives IMHO.
Obviously not a job for the faint of heart, unless you are CEO
of your own flower shop, for example.

JG
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 08:11 AM   #26
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
I am only making 5.87X starting salary 28 years ago.
Interesting comment (so I did my own calculation). After 35 years (same field, different jobs) I'm slighly in excess of 14x my starting salary.

In reality, it dosen't mean much. Am I overpaid now? Was I underpaid 35 years ago?

- Ron
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 08:52 AM   #27
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Re: Professional Downsides

Regulatory Compliance Director in a pharmaceutical company. Started out as a Microbiologist in another pharmaceutical company doing testing of the manufacturing environment and products for sterility. Moved to doing chemical testing and then testing of products on live animals.

Changed to Quality Assurance inspection supervision which included on-line inspection of sterile and electronic/critical care medical device assembly and associated processes. Promoted several times within the Quality Assuance organization, moved a bunch and ended up a Corporate Compliance and Quality Assurance consulting role.

Pay is 15X starting pay in 1974.

Good points:
Had the chance to live in many different parts of the country including areas outside the US.

Was exposed to many different types of products, manufacturing methods, facilities, and system.

Was in positions to make a difference in the quality of the product going out the door.

Paid a decent wage with some added benefits that has allowed me to get to FI.

I feel I am making a difference in somebod's life because of how I do my job and my personal refusal to compromise on product quality.
Bad points:
The usual BS bucket filling issue we all encounter but with the additional 100 buckets of governmental oversight from FDA, ATF, OSHA, DEA, and a host of other non-US governmental agencies and third party auditors and inspectors.

The industry is very different today than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Regulations and agency expecations have gotten to the point of absurdity without value.

Corporate management is less educated in what it takes to actually operate the business at the manufacturing level. This is a great loss and one that has caused a misdirection in allocation of resources and spending to the point that the industry in the US is likely to disappear.

Like any other job...management seems to be more concerned with "appearances" instead of getting the job done effeciently. Too much emphasis on being politically correct and not enough on common sence.

Innovation and creativity is killed off early in most people. Mega. corp. is about molding a person to fit a specific shape and if you stray too far from the ideal mega corp robot your career is toast.

Companies are no longer able to move fast. Any new idea or concept is met with reluctance and even if it is approved (5 years later and after 4 committees have reviewed and modified the original proposal beyond recognition) it will fail to be adequatly funded or managed and will fail in 2-3 years.

The folks that are fast tracked are usually those that are the best looking and have the ability to steal ideas from others and present them as their own without a shred of guilt. Backstabing and lying are desired traits and these folks tend to move up the ladder.

Enough for now........
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 11:37 AM   #28
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
Okay. I see your point. I have been a CEO several times, and it's
a tough job. But, the positives far outweigh the negatives IMHO.
Obviously not a job for the faint of heart, unless you are CEO
of your own flower shop, for example.

JG
I agree. I loved both the jobs as CEO BUT people that have never been there have no idea of the trade-offs.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 11:43 AM   #29
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
Or maybe any decision you make is hard just because you have trouble making decisions.

I've had "big bosses" that feel compelled to be "in charge" and make all the decisions. They liked to think "the buck stops here." What they don't realize is they have prevented anyone below them from making a decision.

I don't mean this as a slam to kcowan. I do have to snicker at some of the CEO things he said.
Hey I am here. Stop using the third person. You are welcome to snicker. But then you have never been a CEO. Have you?

When you delegate properly, most decisions are never made in your office.
When you hire direct reports that you trust, then only the decisions that they have trouble with end up being in your office. Believe me those are tough ones! Always.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 12:45 PM   #30
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan
When you delegate properly, most decisions are never made in your office.
When you hire direct reports that you trust, then only the decisions that they have trouble with end up being in your office. Believe me those are tough ones! Always.
I agree with the above but on the "the buck stops here" issue, the buck still stops with the boss. I tried to hire people who I thought could replace me and I trusted them to get the job done -- worked well. But the few times the S*** hit the fan I took the heat. I did not ever pass it down. Of course, that was not altruism in practice - it payed back in loyalty.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 01:26 PM   #31
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Re: Professional Downsides


I think this might answer a lot of questions: CEO's Spanked as Kids

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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 02:22 PM   #32
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
... But the few times the S*** hit the fan I took the heat. I did not ever pass it down. Of course, that was not altruism in practice - it payed back in loyalty.
Well also delegation never absolves the CEO of the responsibility. This is why I thought it was such a joke when Enron execs tried to use "lack of knowledge" as a defence. This spate of bad CEOs has done little for their reputations.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 02:24 PM   #33
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
I think this might answer a lot of questions: CEO's Spanked as Kids
Maybe it is more a sign of their ages. I wonder how 20 randomly-selected 60Plus-year-olds would answer?

PS Yes I was spanked with a razor strap.

I hope my kids have a chance to be a CEO. They were never spanked.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 06:22 PM   #34
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan
I agree. I loved both the jobs as CEO BUT people that have never been there have no idea of the trade-offs.
I once made the comment in front of a number of women engineers that women engineers are overall smarter than male engineers because they decide early on in their careers not to pursue upper management positions. I narrowly escaped serious physical harm. However, the truth is that most women engineers will not work hours or chase transfers that enhance their promotability at the expense of their real life.

Going for the "brass ring" requires a total sacrifice to the company. For a very few it is repaid. For most it is not. Like me. It ain't sex discrimination. It's a fact of life.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 07:31 PM   #35
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
I once made the comment in front of a number of women engineers that women engineers are overall smarter
You should've just stopped right there. No one would have disputed your logic...
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-09-2006, 10:17 PM   #36
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Re: Professional Downsides

I am older than most of you. My Father was an Engineer with the COE and would tell me that his female co-workers here head and shoulders better than the men. But, mind you this is in the days when Engineers sat on tall stools at drafting tables, the guys would try to look up their skirts. Although I was in what is now called advanced placement math and science programs in high school, there was no way I was going to subject myself to that nonsense.

Today employers risk lawsuits big time tolerating that behavior. Women do think in broad terms about their quality of life. The fact that mother has a profession does not change the fact that family comes first. In every society mothers risk their lives for their children, foregoing management positions is a minor sacrafice.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-10-2006, 04:59 AM   #37
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Re: Professional Downsides

When I graduated in the early 70's I believe that the average woman engineer (very few) was far superior to the average male engineer in technical skills. There were a lot of societal factors reducing the number of women in engineering. Most of the ones I knew had engineer fathers. I don't think there is a difference now between average abilities plus there are a lot more women graduating.

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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-10-2006, 09:03 AM   #38
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
So you're the one to blame for messing up our periscope techniques!
Maybe a little.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-10-2006, 11:41 AM   #39
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
When I graduated in the early 70's I believe that the average woman engineer (very few) was far superior to the average male engineer in technical skills. There were a lot of societal factors reducing the number of women in engineering. Most of the ones I knew had engineer fathers. I don't think there is a difference now between average abilities plus there are a lot more women graduating.
Change agents are usually the most talented in any field. Once women didn't need to be change agents to be engineers the skills tend to the mean.

My daughter started as an engineering major but changed to finance (it isn't often that a controller can run CAD). It is interesting to watch her handle tech executives ... she shares their analytical skills, understands their needs, and has a woman's understanding of group dynamics.
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Re: Professional Downsides
Old 10-10-2006, 01:58 PM   #40
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Re: Professional Downsides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
I am older than most of you. My Father was an Engineer with the COE and would tell me that his female co-workers here head and shoulders better than the men. But, mind you this is in the days when Engineers sat on tall stools at drafting tables, the guys would try to look up their skirts. Although I was in what is now called advanced placement math and science programs in high school, there was no way I was going to subject myself to that nonsense.

Today employers risk lawsuits big time tolerating that behavior. Women do think in broad terms about their quality of life. The fact that mother has a profession does not change the fact that family comes first. In every society mothers risk their lives for their children, foregoing management positions is a minor sacrafice.
I got a kick out of this Brat, so much so that I cut and pasted it into an email and sent it to DIL, a Chem Eng grad and plant manager at a local facility of a major chemical company. She says she doesn't think the guys have changed from your description, but the gals dress for work these days! No skirts worn to work ever. They'd probably be a little awkward climbing to the top of 80 ft tall batch tanks and might not look good with the steel-toed shoes and hard hat!

Yeah, I'm a little older than most of the posters here too Brat.......and it really is a different world today!!!
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