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Old 12-09-2010, 08:11 PM   #21
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Glad to see so many folks are where they want to be! I agree with the majority as the next level above me is all uber management and really isn't my forte. Of course given how bad I screwed up the title of this thread--maybe I have hit the top! Not sure what I was trying to type there.

I love my job as an Architect but the higher one goes up, the less actual Architecture you end up doing. Above my level it is all about staffing, marketing, running a business, etc. Things that I just have little interest in, I can do them and do them well, they just don't excite me. There are plenty of people here who enjoy those roles but I guess for me I didn't go into Architecture to be mainly a paper pusher. I like actually designing and building things!

So I am happy and content at my current level and likely will finish my career here unless circumstances change. But I don't know what the incentive would have to be in order for me to push for the next level. Right now I am not seeing anything that would make it a draw for me. Then you add in that I would have to buy into that level and financially with the timing of my retirement it makes no sense.

Don't be so sure all those people really enjoy those roles, as much as they might enjoy the money and prestige more. Most things involve some form of trade-off and what each person values most. I think the wisest people can recognize where the proper balance lies (for themsleves) between challenging work, enjoyment, monetary rewards, family/personal time, politics, etc, etc. And then that's what they aim for. I suspect with the thought you have put into this, you will happy with your decision down the road.

I also declined the next step twice in the past. I am pretty confident I have the skills and intelligence. I am also pretty sure I know "how" to play the game....I have to do it periodically at my level. But I don't have the personality for it every day or long term. At least once a week I see or hear about something that convinces me I have no regrets.

Ok - I will admit there was a brief 48 hour period a few years ago when I had second thoughts. But then my boss' position was eliminatd with no notice. I am pretty sure it was because he pissed off the wrong person.....
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #22
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I'm right where I want to be and have been in this job for the last 15 years. I have minimal supervision and really enjoy the autonomy. The next step up is a small increase in base pay with a very large increase in the BS factor. No thank you

I plan to stay the course, get the key to the golden handcuffs and then struggle with the "one more year syndrome"
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:43 PM   #23
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My next and last job will be the zenith. And since I am FI, if I don't like it, no problem, I can just quit.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:16 AM   #24
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Me... nope... on the downslope....

I had an OK gig with mega.... and got to live in London and New York on their dime... but with power struggles they eliminated the group I was in (the head of a number of diverse groups) and I got moved back to my hometown, but at a lower position...

Fast forward a couple of years and more politics and merger winners and losers... they put in some young thing to manage our group... she did not like all the people with experience and got rid of them over a few years...

I got a job in a very small company... and am in charge of HR, admin and finance... but the pay is a lot less than my really low job at mega... but I am happy and know that my work makes a difference...

I will more than likely stay here the remaining years until I retire... and in fact have thought about going part time in maybe 5 years or so.... with another pay cut... we will see...

About the same, we call it the "ski slope career", I'm going downhill fast, laid off twice as tech continues to consolidate, pretty much need to make what I've got last, at my age the prospect of getting a gig at a start up of small tech co is nil (why hire someone who is 50 when the work force is teeming with 30 somethings)......it was fun while it lasted.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:36 AM   #25
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As depressing as it sounds, I don't think I ever had a zenith to my working life. My job history is too choppy to qualify for that term. Where I am now is the "home stretch". I like my job, it is not too demanding, very regular hours, office close to home, salary and benefits good, nice co-workers, so I am in the "putting in my time" mindset until I decide to pull the plug.
I have no ambition to reach higher although I have been approached recently to do so. My response was "No way would I ever consider it". I am not sitting in meetings all day with angst-ridden managers splitting hairs and wringing my hands over some stupid new directive. And I lack enthusiasm for grovelling to higher ups or having to travel to stay in some motel in boring old Harrisburg on a regular basis. Just the thought of the PA turnpike makes me nauseous.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:43 AM   #26
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WhoDares, let's embrace the place! I'm right there with you!
I have the same rather checkered (albeit interesting) job history.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:14 AM   #27
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About the same, we call it the "ski slope career", I'm going downhill fast, laid off twice as tech continues to consolidate, pretty much need to make what I've got last, at my age the prospect of getting a gig at a start up of small tech co is nil (why hire someone who is 50 when the work force is teeming with 30 somethings)......it was fun while it lasted.

You sound a lot more like my sister.... she was in tech and got laid off when one of the contracts was cancelled.... so they told her she was on her 60 days... before the 60 was up, they got a new contract and went out and hired some young people... but still said goodbye to my sister...

She did admit that her skill set was 'old' and that she did not want to learn anything new... so retired at 54... and I think loving it...
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:03 AM   #28
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In many ways it is sort of freeing as I don't care and don't have to play the bullshit that is often associated with moving up. I am high enough in the company structure that I don't have to worry about retribution if I piss someone off (unless it is the board!) so I feel I can just do my job the way I want and finish it out without ever implementing "the Peter Principle'.

Anybody else feel that way? That they are as high in their job as they will ever go? If so, how do you feel about it?
I am definitely at the zenith of my career. I was in charge of a large department, one of three nationwide. As technology improved I was sent out to close and consolidate the other two data centers, and the j*b that was once my sole responsibility was now split into three sectors. With this split in the responsibilities my hopes for any continued upward mobility vanished. I now have less responsibility and less travel, offset by a larger salary and tedium.

Am I ok? Well once I decided that my w*rk did not define me, and that my family and friends came first, it totally changed my outlook. I'm ok with calling it a j*b now, where at one time it was my career. Earlier this year I turned in my retirement date, and while I may be there for another 20 months, 20 days, 12 hours and 59 minutes, I no longer worry about playing the game. What a feeling of freedom!
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:02 PM   #29
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I am just starting a new career from scratch, since I got a little disillusioned with my last career. In my last career, I felt that I had no room to grow. Since I'm still in my early 30s, I hope to stick with the new career for another 10 to 20 years. We should definitely be FI by then.

That's my plan, at least. When I started my last job, I thought I'd be doing it for at least 5 years, but bailed in year 3.

(wow, that's a lot of "career" talk for the FIRE forum!)
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:37 PM   #30
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*sigh* I thought I would run out the clock here for the next 3 years, but now I am having serious second thoughts. No raises for the next 2 years, the workload is spiralling upward, and management has upshifted from "insulting" to "abusive.". It might be time to find somewhere else to find the next 3 years.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:12 PM   #31
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In order to go to the next level (partner) I have to buy my way in, and frankly I don't think it is a good investment for me! It is an excellent company but the return is out of sync with when I want to retire. That in combination with what I see as a lot more stress for not really that much more money---I honestly think I would decline. I have talked to my friends in associated firms (and here) that are at that level and I just don't like the terms that they had to agree to. Then I see the stress they have, and right now that level is the one that is taking it in the shorts financially to keep firms afloat. Now granted in good times that is the level that also makes the big bucks but I don't see the good times coming back robustly before I retire (2015 or 16).
It sounds like you're saying that you don't want to make a risky long-term investment with money that you're going to want to use for retirement in a few years... seems like smart asset allocation to me.

In the military, unless you're a four-star admiral the "career zenith" was what happened when you failed to promote. Everything after that involved a death spiral lower orbit... I won't torture that analogy any further.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:53 AM   #32
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My last couple years in megacorp it was assumed I wanted the next level. Was able to grow my group and recieved alot of visibility within the company. What I never needed to say was that "there was no way I wanted my bosses job".

The board had replaced the president and now my boss was under the thumb of a new VP ... metered like a lab rat. Very petty things like timecard changes and travel expense mistakes were charted. He received a couple "UNSAT" ratings on his annual review. Was no longer able to do the job he loved.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:21 AM   #33
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What's a career?
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:33 AM   #34
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I guess it is correct to say that I'm where I want to be, as well. I never wanted a corporate job and I don't want to own my own business, so this job represents, if not the zenith of my abilities, the intersection of what I'm willing to give up in exchange for that check every couple of weeks.
During my "tragic years" (e.g. when I was still wor*ing, but still a member of MegaCorp), I felt exactly as you do, today.

My father was the "creator" of many failed business opportunities along the way (therefore, I decided to work for someone else at an early age, and let them take the risk). I was happy for many years just to be a "salaryman"...

Nothing wrong with that at all, IMHO . I still was able to retire (not early, but before the age of 60) at the same net income of my "accumulation years". I would have rather contribute "my intelligence" to preparing for retirement (e.g. investments and a retirement plan) rather than for the success of others, or some monolithic company.

I feel I came out ahead of the game, after all the cards were done dealing...
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:42 AM   #35
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rescueme, my dad is also a failed entrepreneur and I'm sure that contributed to my desire for the salaryman's role as well. I have so many other interests besides work that I can't imagine devoting any more bandwidth to the job than I currently do.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:51 AM   #36
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I'm definitely at the zenith. I've been in a corporate VP role for ten years. When approached about entering an executive training program to prepare me for the next step (President/CEO) I told them "we needed to talk". I informed them I want to be part of the five-year plan, but don't count on me for the ten year...response was "but you're not old enough to retire!"

We'll see...
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:01 PM   #37
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I've been in a corporate VP role for ten years.
And you have time to post here (in the middle of the day)?

Get back to wo*k ....
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:49 PM   #38
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And you have time to post here (in the middle of the day)?
Get back to wo*k ....
Hey, have a little consideration for the poor employees who can get their own work done while their career-zenith bosses are distracting themselves with this board...
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:54 PM   #39
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Hey, have a little consideration for the poor employees who can get their own work done while their career-zenith bosses are distracting themselves with this board...
Are you saying that we have a "boss from Hel*" represented here ? ...
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:01 PM   #40
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Are you saying that we have a "boss from Hel*" represented here ? ...
He seems to fit the mold, assuming he isn't really a 16 YO girl posting from her mom's basement in Missoula.
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