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What were/are you most proud of in your career?
Old 05-04-2015, 08:57 AM   #1
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What were/are you most proud of in your career?

Someone recently asked me that thinking back on my whole career, what am I the most proud of. I thought for a little and said "being able to retire early". I sort of said this tongue in cheek, but upon later reflection, this is the truth. Sure, I had my moments, and have some certificates, awards, pins, etc. But that all pales in comparison to being able to RE (although a lot of that may be in hindsight - as time goes on, everything I did at work becomes less and less significant in my life). If someone had asked me that when I was still working, I probably would not have answered "Continuing down the path to retiring early at some point". What about others?
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:38 AM   #2
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A couple things come to mind. One is being creative, versatile, and adaptable enough to survive numerous rounds of layoffs while the majority of my co-workers fell by the wayside. Without this, ER would have been much more difficult.

The other is some "shining moments" in the software I created; foremost is a diagnostic program I wrote that uncovered a flawed hardware design that could not be detected by any other means available short of heavy use at the customer site. Detecting and resolving the problem before the hardware was shipped to customers saved the company big bucks.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:51 AM   #3
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In my early years in the Air Force I flew search and rescue missions and directly contributed to a dozen lives saved and supported many other missions. My second career as a business analyst was much more boring, but allowed me the satisfaction of a family life. But it feels good to know I was able to help others get that opportunity too.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #4
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What I am proudest of is eliminating the practice of paying women less ("light duty") in the grocery industry as a result of 3 of my investigations in 1971. Over a shift women lifted as much as their male counterparts. My supervisor determined that the elimination of the practice in a few months in the PNW vs the risks of litigation that would drag on for years would have more impact on the earnings of women than the recovery of back wages.

Incidental to that the wall that existed between grocery and white goods was eliminated enabling the industry to move to a true 'one stop' shopping store.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:29 AM   #5
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Surviving 2 recessions and capital markets implosions over 20 years and still successfully bailing on the career is what I am proudest of. There were a few odds and ends I thought I did well, especially at one point in the crisis, but now that time has passed they don't seem that personally important any more.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:34 AM   #6
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Just getting to be in the high tech field, and ending up in mid-management position in one of the largest company in the world ... I had to overachieve on many things which were stacked against me.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:39 AM   #7
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Not killing several of my managers, co-w*rkers and subordinates who richly deserved it.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:55 AM   #8
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There were a lot of things as I think back. I don't think I was unusual in this but I developed into a go-to person who could get things done by finessing the results rather than through confrontation (after REing I was told my coworkers called me the velvet hammer)--with the confidence that comes from experience.

Mostly though it was my ability to read anyone's handwriting
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:24 AM   #9
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Proud I was able to provide a decent living, while not neglecting my family. Now that all the smoke has cleared, my former occupation and accomplishments mean little to me, while my family now means everything. Coworkers were (for the most part) great, and I reminisce about the good times we had, but they are all gone now. Titles were nice at the time, but the further I rose in megacorp, the less happy I was, and these days nobody cares that I held this or that position.

This is worth watching- Ted Talk by Harvard Business Professor Clayton Christensen. (or if you prefer reading: HBR How will you measure your life)
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:35 AM   #10
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Continuing to have and develop interests outside of medicine. Having enough leadership skills to be asked to run for (and turn down) the position of Chief of Staff at a major Silicon Valley Hospital (I put family and my own sanity first.) Taking ownership of my work and my position. Treating parents of the children I saw respectfully as partners in the care of their children, even if they were homeless or undocumented, or Silicon Valley computer engineers or a members of the very large Saudi Royal family passing through on a world tour.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:36 AM   #11
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Achieving a high level of expertise in an advanced technical field (nanotechnology).
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:43 AM   #12
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My first two jobs out of college with a BS/EE were for Defense companies who made air combat training systems (Navy calls them Top Gun, the Air Force Red Flag).


I got to be part of the team that made the display subsystem used for debriefing pilots after their training missions and they could replay the entire day's mission from any plane or angle.


After Desert Storm our company got many comments from the pilots that the reason they were able to come home was due to the training.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:46 AM   #13
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That's a nice article you linked, tucker. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:52 AM   #14
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I'm most proud of having led an initiative that significantly improved the quality of service at my organization and beyond.

Oh, and I also helped to save some lives.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Head View Post
Not killing several of my managers, co-w*rkers and subordinates who richly deserved it.
LOL, and that too for me.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:55 AM   #16
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Oh wow, one last opportunity to write my own performance review!

I leaped tall buildings in a single bound, stopped a powerful locomotive with my bare hands and caught bullets in my teeth. Oh, and my department came in with in budget two years in a row and I completed all required continuing education courses.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:03 PM   #17
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I am proud of my MBA degree; successfully navigating my career across multiple industries and company cultures; learning as I went along; having an impact as mentor to some younger colleagues and direct reports; and ultimately retiring at the tender age of 47.

Like others, I earned many "chairman's awards" and "vice president's awards" over the years, all of which I tossed into the company dumpster as I made my way out to the parking lot for the last time.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:06 PM   #18
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I'm interested to find that many/most people are proudest of personal goals achieved and of processes rather than outcomes.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truenorth418 View Post
Like others, I earned many "chairman's awards" and "vice president's awards" over the years, all of which I tossed into the company dumpster as I made my way out to the parking lot for the last time.

All that crap never made it to my desk, unless it came with a check.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:34 PM   #20
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Proud knowing that the highways, bridges, buildings, etc that I worked on are making life easier for a lot of people. But I'm more proud that my career got me to a point where I could end my career early.
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