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Old 11-07-2014, 06:52 AM   #21
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I haven't read the entire thread, but it would appear that everyone is assuming (for the most part) that you're applying to work for someone else. What about success derived from entrepreneurship?

Quick excerpt from an LA Times article about Andrew Carnegie from 1902:

Andrew Carnegie's expression of hope that he may die comparatively poor is recalled by his suggestion of an epitaph for his tombstone. In speaking of a famous American inventor he said, recently, "I had no inventive mind, simply a mind to use the inventions of others; I think a fit epitaph for me would be, 'Here lies a man who knew how to get around men much cleverer than himself.'" We hope a long time may elapse before it is necessary to write an epitaph for Mr. Carnegie. He has already done more good, in the distribution of great wealth, than any other man in the world's history. Only a minor part of his money has been bestowed, and he sticks to the declared purpose of getting rid of all of it, substantially, in the same manner. It is also to be hoped that his epitaph, when the time comes to write it, will not be in exact accordance with his suggestion. Probably he does not mean to convey just the idea that occurs to the average reader. Knowledge of "how to get around much cleverer men" is rather suggestive of what in the vernacular we call "sharp practice." It is evident that Mr. Carnegie had no such thought in his mind. A much more appropriate epitaph would be this: "Here lies a man who knew how to utilize the ideas of men' much cleverer than himself."

He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:00 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
do you feel that getting a higher academic education or gaining greater job experience(s) helped you the most in your working career? Or do you consider them equally important? OK, add luck or something else if you like.
To be perfectly honest, experience helped me the most when it came to working through the day to day issues, technical, interpersonal, company politics, etc. Education was well, academic. Three degrees, business and engineering, earned after already beginning my career were personally satisfying to me to achieve but never really made a huge difference in how I performed my job. They were also an insurance policy to make sure I had a head start in case my job went south, as without them replacing my salary would have been unlikely if starting over from scratch. So I'll put a plug in for "luck" too, as I never needed to start over, and my employer paid tuition covered the "insurance" premiums.

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Old 11-07-2014, 07:27 AM   #23
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Success - Measured by Dollars. Important, but there can be happiness for those of us who failed that criteria.
In two weeks DW and I will enter into our 26th year of being retired, never coming close to being millionaires.
Perhaps a different era. Just out of college, with a service obligation, new bride and soon a child on the way... the lifetime goal was not to become wealthy, but to have a safe future. The idea of ever being in the monied class just didn't exist. The ideal then was a decent salary, a home, car, a stay at home wife and a loving, happy family... (four sons)
Personality and inclusion was a major part of the hopes and dreams. Part of this from the choice of a Liberal Arts education. Leadership, but with little or no interest in business, though DW's dad was a successful businessman, owning a mill in the heyday of the New England textile industry.
With esoteric tastes, and no specialization, the fallback was 30 years in the business of retail management with a reasonable degree of success, but lacking the killer instinct necessary to be top dog.

And so, from different era, a different perspective, a different measure of "Success"... In this case, more a matter of 'Nurture", than "Nature".
Success = Happy and Optimistic...
Twin boys of five or six.
Worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities — one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist — their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. “What’s the matter?” the psychiatrist asked, baffled. “Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?” “Yes,” the little boy bawled, “but if I did I’d only break them.”

Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. “What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. “With all this manure,” the little boy replied, beaming, “there must be a pony in here somewhere!”
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:53 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
Both education and experience helped me in my working career. Education helped more in the beginning and experience helped more in the end. My education provided me with the foundation of my career - the base knowledge and ability to figure things out. Experience provided me with a growing stockpile of info that I could rely on to best solve a problem and get the job done.
+1 Advanced engineering degree landed me a good starting job at MegaTechCorp. Education had also taught me how to solve problems and how to adapt to different situations. Experience helped me apply all of that to the real world.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:22 AM   #25
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I agree with the previous poster about the politics/team player thing. Especially in engineering, where asbergers type personalities are more common than in the general population, there are some brilliant people who manage to piss off the people who could advance their career. I've also been involved in interviews where we decided not to hire the most qualified technical candidate because they were abrasive and would piss off people around them. As a result, I was fortunate to work with a team that avoided the egos, backstabbing, etc - we actually helped each other when we got stuck.... And so our teams productivity was higher than groups that didn't pay as much attention to group dynamics.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:57 AM   #26
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Both are important.
In my opinion, more important than either is critical thinking.
This can come about through education, or experience, but does not necessarily follow from either.
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:16 AM   #27
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Education and experience can be narrowly defined. But the two concepts are very broad, and I can't remember a time when either came to a halt.

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