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Old 06-01-2008, 12:49 AM   #41
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Nice summary plex.

Here is something I just stumbled across that may interest any of the legal eagles out there.

U.S. Legal Work Booms in India -

Consult with only myself as your adviser or representative. My thoughts should be construed as investment advice of the highest caliber. Past performance is but a pale shadow and guarantee of even greater results in the future.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:16 PM   #42
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I'm not sure who started the law conversation, but it seems to me that SecondCor has plenty of qualifications and lots of options. And yes, us MDs do get burnout on a regular basis.

SecondCor: I'm concerned that you hanker for a "secure and permanent" job, because you and I both know that such jobs are a thing of the past. It's a seller's market and the best job security is to remain competitive.

As one MBA to another, I suggest you begin thinking of yourself as CEO of SecondCor, Inc. You've got the tools. Use a coach to help you develop a vision and get going on the strategic plan. Do the environmental scan, the SWOT and the financial analysis. Get a second, or third opinion on the plan - or better yet, get the opinions of the Board (this Board ), and then, most importantly, start implementing it.

This approach has worked for me.

This is worth a read: Creating You & Co. William Bridges, Addison Wesley, 1997, ISBN 0-201-41987-4.

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Old 06-01-2008, 03:47 PM   #43
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Maybe a transition from technology to getting a JD/LL.D would be a wise move.
Really? Law is lot more stressful than technology. 60-70 hours week is normal. Demand for getting the job on time is intense. The only motivation is the money. Law is boring and dry.
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Using career burnout as a stepping stone to FIRE
Old 06-01-2008, 04:59 PM   #44
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Using career burnout as a stepping stone to FIRE

I've gone through career burnout several times in my life. I started out as an electrical engineer designing systems in the aerospace industry. Luckily, I had the wisdom to get my MBA at night school so that I had a parachute when that experience got old.

I landed eventually in the chip industry marketing semiconductors to electrical engineers. When that got old, I became a technical writer documenting semiconductors and electronic equipment for electrical engineers and computer programmers.

When working directly for a company became unbearable, I started doing technical writing as a contractor through a small temporary help agency (which meant I was essentially the CEO of my own virtual company, but without a lot of the hassles of actually running a business). Along the way, I figured out how to live well below my means and invest the rest.

My eventual goal is to become an angel investor. Since my circle of competence is in the high-technology field in the area of microelectronics and digital systems, that is probably where I will focus when I get there.

The point is that there are alternatives for using your career skills and experiences in new ways to create income. You just have to go find them and use them.

Loral Langemeier has written some good books on how to build wealth. Her advice is consistent with my experience -- you may hate your career, but it's what you know how to do:
  1. Make a plan for becoming financially independent (i.e., LBYM and invest the rest in income-producing assets).
  2. Also figure out how to do what you know how to do as a business rather than as an employee (because businesses get better tax breaks than employees do, which allows you to build wealth more quickly).
As your investment income grows, there will come a day when you will have achieved financial freedom. Then you can FIRE and never have to work again if you so choose.
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:43 AM   #45
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I swiched from technology (lab Manager in a chemical company) to sales 10 years ago - about your age now.

never looked back - you help your customers solve problems (utilizing all your skills and background) - have a number of projects going on at the same time- manage yourself - and deal in business.

give it a look - take some sales training clasess -
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:04 PM   #46
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I just saw your post. I was in a similar situation, 8 years in the same job and feeling both undervalued and burned out. I found a new job in a different industry (project developer) about a month ago and started last Tuesday. It was a big change, from the public sector to private, and in a different field. I think it's probably one of the best things I've ever done. It's just so nice to be learning new things again. I did have to take a small paycut and lose some vacation time, but the feeling of liberty (ie. not completely stuck) is SOOO worth it.

I figure if I only like my new job for a few years, that's a few years more of joy enjoyment I wouldn't have otherwise. I would rather work a couple of years more than being bored to death at my old job.

If I were you, I would start with friends and family, since most jobs are never posted. Networking can be great (and is how I got my job).

Good luck!
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:02 PM   #47
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With all the excellent comments I feel that a detailed reply is required. I do have an appointment I need to keep in about 20 minutes but will reply to as many comments as I can, starting at the top of the thread and working my way down.

First, an update. I was informed by the contract engineering company on Monday, June 2, that the client no longer required my engineering services, so I am now "betwixt and between" as one of my favorite aunts likes to say.

I was actually relieved when they told me; in retrospect the stress of staying in that job had been increasing nearly weekly as I realized more and more that I was burned out at the job I had been doing for 15 years (various forms of R&D engineering on and around laser printers) and that I was unhappy at the particular firm where I was working.

I've spent the past two weeks decompressing, spending time with my kids, soul-searching, gut-checking, and just taking a break in general. Sort of the mini-sabbatical that was alluded to on the other "Job burnout" thread going on here. I've also spent some time taking notes on and refining what is a must/high want/want in my new job.

Financially, of course, I will be fine for the foreseeable future, but I will need to generate income. I'm on the broad plateau between "living paycheck to paycheck" and FIRE.

OK, on to specific comments:

#2 - RIT - Thanks. My main concern with trying to root cause why the job dissatisfaction was to avoid stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire, so to speak. If I had determined the problem was just with the company that I was at, then switching companies would fix it. As it turns out, after introspection I've figured out that it was three things mixed together: dissatisfaction with the company I was at, extraordinary boredom/burnout with the job function I was doing, and an entitlement attitude that I still need to fix.

#3 - W2R - Too late on the looking while still employed part. My parents said the same exact thing, BTW. Obviously that's the more practical way to do it.

I think I am going to follow the strategy of looking at lots of different jobs and then simply filter out those that don't match my criteria, which includes the pay scale of course.

I am sure something suitable will come along. Employment is low where I live, and I am a capable, well-educated, articulate guy.

#4 - brewer - Good advice. I did end up getting back in touch with the career office at my MBA school and there is a lady there that I'm working with who is very helpful. On the Friday before I was laid off I took the afternoon off and visited with her and took some career inventories. They said, in summary, that I had the abilities to be an engineer and the engineer career path matched my values, but that I had no interest in being an engineer -- my interests are leaning more towards the people realm.

#5 - purron - Thanks for the comments. I do plan to proceed deliberately even now. It seems to make sense to take the time now rather than take just another job that I won't like. I do recognize your point about most every place being roughly the same, but I also think that there is a wide variety of environments and jobs available out there.

#6 - already replied to.

#7 - kronk - I tried to clarify my comments about the family surrogate thing in a later post; hopefully I made more sense there. I think you're probably right in that a consultant vs. employee doesn't really matter these days too much - in fact I was kept on as a contractor last December when the client I was working for laid off full time permanent folks, which made no sense. Ultimately I think doing one's job very well, keeping one's resume/training up to date, and networking are the only job security we have these days.

#8 - my reply to #6.

#9 - barbarus - Again, good advice. My MBA does open doors into management. I may be like those folks who get law degrees but don't become lawyers in the sense that I may choose an alternate path (entrepreneurship) that isn't the most common outcome for people with my background. Oh, and I wasn't in IT, I was in R&D.

#11 - Sarah - Thanks, you're such a sweetheart! Flexibility with the kids' schedules is on my "must" list for whatever I do next. Hopefully my next role will be something I like better rather than just the next "boat" over.

#12 - xynny - Around here the pay for being a PM is higher but the BS factor is also higher. I think I have decided that I like mentoring/teaching people but I don't really like the other parts of management that go along with the job. So engineering management is on the list but rather low for now...sort of a fall back position. (By the by, I've enjoyed reading wisebread.)

Well, I need to leave for now but will post more replies to replies later.

"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:07 PM   #48
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#14 - citrine - a way I was glad to see that having a break down is survivable.

#15 - d - True. Good point.

#16 - xynny - As I think I mentioned, I was in R&D, and yes, in my experience IT was treated poorly.

#18 - LOL! - I don't think there is a connection, but perhaps there is. I was very surprised to see this pointed out. Generally I keep my romantic and professional lives separated, and they tend to ebb and flow of their own accord.

#19 - lsbcal - I won't move because my three kids are here and I have joint custody of them. As to your third bullet, I did find a free counseling service that I may talk to about life in general.

#20 - Caroline - I always love your feedback! Thanks for the vote of confidence!

#21 - BGF - Good point on variety. In retrospect I've changed jobs about every 2 years even if I didn't change employers. Good point about morons in business, hadn't thought of that. Hopefully my BS-meter is good enough for me to mentally mark those folks.

#22 - aworkingrachel - I'm in Boise, which is a large enough city that there are lots of different jobs available here.

#23 - dessert - yes, good point. I'm slowly becoming aware of this.

#24 - Spanky - Good questions, all of them. I'm currently working my way through "What Color is Your Parachute?" as I am not very good at identifying my strengths and likes nor articulating the kind of job I want.

#25 - Linney - The thing I don't think I would like about program management is that I really don't like trying to work via influence, which is what I've seen of that role at a former employer. But depending on the role it could work.

#26 - growing older - Thanks for the excellent reply. I agree with you about coworkers and bosses being both important and transitory.

#28 - Rambler - Agreed. I was spoiled working for one of my employers for 11 years. The world changed during that time as you describe.

#29, #30 - bestwifeever, Rustward - Thanks for the encouragement.

#31 - tryan - I think I am going to try the career change route. One reason is that I know enough now to know that if I take another job in my area of expertise it really will be more of the same - there is not that much difference between the different engineering places I've worked. I was already saving like mad so I can't really do much more in that department.

#32 - DallasGuy - Very astute comments. In my case, it is a combination of career burnout plus didn't like the company plus a bit of an attitude problem that they owed me a job. I'm working on fixing all three.

#33 - kaudrey - Thanks and Hi! - Yes, my career search will involve casting a wide net and probably talking to a lot of people about different opportunities. Thanks for the reminder to try for jobs that I don't officially qualify for - that is usually a weakness of mine.

#34ff - barbarus et al. - I'm not going to law school. There is no law school in Boise and I'm not moving to go to law school because my kids are located here. Also, as plex points out the investment doesn't make sense right now being as close to FIRE as I am. Finally, I would probably stick bamboo shoots in my eyeballs before I would become a patent attorney. I have a US patent to my name and have had to work with those folks before. Ick.

#40 - Buckeye - Thanks for the book suggestion. I just wandered over to the shelves (I'm at the library) and they had the one you suggested right there. I got that one plus about 11 others.

#42 - meadbh - Good advice on both job security and the notion of "2Cor521 Inc." Will do.

#44 - rogersteciak - The point I took from your post is going out and getting the job, not being so passive about it. Good point.

#45 - cvoz - Not sure if I'm cut out for sales but it's an avenue I'm considering.

#46 - GoodSense - Yes, if I look for a job I will look via friends and family.

Again, thanks to all!


"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
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