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To those still working--are you at the zenith to your career?
Old 12-09-2010, 02:24 PM   #1
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To those still working--are you at the zenith to your career?

I have been thinking lately that I am probably at the zenith of my career. I am fairly high in the structure of my company but I don't think I will move up. I am well regarded here and I do think if I played the game, I would be given the opportunity if I wanted to, but I have been thinking that I am likely to decline it!

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).

But it is sort of an odd realization for me, as that has always been a goal, but as I got closer, it is losing it's attractiveness.

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?
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:29 PM   #2
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I'm as high as I expect to ever be, but fortunately I'm exactly where I want to be on the so-called "corporate ladder" -- at the highest title/pay grade below management. At this point the only promotions available to me would be to management, which I absolutely do NOT want. It wouldn't be worth the extra pay to me.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #3
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More like the nadir.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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I remember one time some asked me if I would ever want my boss's job. My thought was no however I knew I had to go thru it in order to get the next promotion. It was a long 26 months when I did it.

Fast forward. Today I am at my final level and I am fine with it. I have been here about 2.5 yrs now. A couple of years ago I was thinking if I would be willing to do what was required to take the next step. The answer was and is nope! I have gotten the ego stroking if you do this you know you are going to move up again. My thoughts are yeah and I have less control over my life than I do now. I have several peers who are in the same boat and we all get excited about the next chapter, not what could have been. We do have one guy we are pushing as we think he would be great to move up in a couple of years. Yesterday I was in a meeting with a peer of mine who got ticked off in the middle of the meeting and just walked out. Everyone thought he was kidding. I knew his BS meter was pegged. I went back to his office and asked him if he was putting in his retirement papers. He said I am close.

I think we all know what is best for us deep down.

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Old 12-09-2010, 02:43 PM   #6
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No doubt I could go a little higher if I wanted to work a little longer....right now I'm higher than I thought I'd be before about 2 years ago, when I decided to change agencies. Basically, I waited too late in my career to make my move, so if I want to retire on time in 2 years, I might not get any higher. Of course, that's up to me, nobody's making me retire, but regardless of my position, I'm ready to go. There is little doubt that had I changed agencies 10 to 15 years ago, I'd be a good bit higher on the ladder & bringing home more bacon. But...I was really comfortable and wasn't so motivated to make the jump at that time. Looking back, maybe I should've given it a little more thought. Basically, my retirement, while it will be decent, could be more decent had I made my move a few years earlier.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I'm as high as I expect to ever be, but fortunately I'm exactly where I want to be on the so-called "corporate ladder" -- at the highest title/pay grade below management. At this point the only promotions available to me would be to management, which I absolutely do NOT want. It wouldn't be worth the extra pay to me.
What Ziggy said
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:54 PM   #8
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No I am really enjoying being an Ensign (bottom of the officer pay grades)...sort of like being a cute fuzzy puppy who is not house broken yet...and it's all good! In June, I'll be expected to at least scratch at the door to go out...a couple years after that, well, will have to open the door to get out...and will have more puppies to nurture!
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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What Ziggy said
+1
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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What Ziggy said

+1
What figner said
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:32 PM   #11
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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.

Realistically, I never wanted the brass ring. Recalling my senior yearbook section, my ambition was to do as little as necessary to get by and my favorite song was Jimmy Buffett's "Cowboy in the Jungle".

I'm by no means lazy, but I tend to work for more esoteric rewards than what is generally provided in the modern workplace.

So, yeah, I'm here, yippee. I'm rapidly approaching songwriter John Eddie's "Forty" (NSFW) so excuse the uncharacteristically maudlin tone.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:38 PM   #12
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Wow, I know I am exactly where I want to be, not going any higher, DW holds that job!


Edit: OH, did I fail to mention I retired 5 years ago. I know, it said for those still working, I just couldn't resist.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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I've actually stepped one notch down voluntarily because I was so miserable managing people. Thankfully I'd made a lot of connections in the company so was able to move to a different organization and go back to being an individual performer without the move being detrimental to my long-term employment at megacorp.


Now I work from home full-time as a project manager, have the freedom to plan my day and I mostly like my job again.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:51 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:55 PM   #15
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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...
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by hakuna matata View Post
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!.
This is how I feel (although 'love' is too strong a word - maybe 'under the realization that the grass isn't greener elsewhere until retirement' is better for me). I am at the top position in my company in my area. I have no desire to go above this level because I don't want to deal with all the non-technical issues that the senior leadership of the company has to deal with.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:14 PM   #17
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What figner said
+1

What cj-Ziggy-figner said
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:28 PM   #18
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I reached as far I am going to go 3-4 years ago. I had a job audit to see if I qualified for the next classification level. I realized it was a stretch. I didn't get it but they gave me a hefty raise to indicate that they thought I was doing good job where I was. That smoothed things over for me. Since then I focused on having fun doing new things at my current classification level. Recent changes though, have made my job not so much fun and it doesn't look like it will be getting better. I announced my retirement a couple of months ago. 5.5. days to go.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:08 PM   #19
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I am as far as I ever wanted to go, and I have politely refused the next step up the ladder several times. Unfortunately (hindsight), I reached the ultimate job/position that I was working towards at age 39, so I've been at the zenith for almost 18 years. Too long after a career where I was in most jobs for 3 years, the longest was 5 years. I am beyond ready for a change...
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:28 PM   #20
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I'm at my zenith. There is only one more rung on the corporate ladder, and I have seen too many guys thrown off that rung...

I'll climb down before I go further up, and have told the powers that I'm not interested. I've got 2 years left (max) running Japan, and a couple/three years beyond that heading Asia without double hatting Japan as I do now. Then I'll be done...probably, unless I catch a case of "one-more-year syndrome".

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