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Switching jobs during OMY
Old 07-25-2015, 07:11 AM   #1
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Switching jobs during OMY

At the risk of sounding like a complete whiner, I'm looking for advice. I'm considering changing companies in my last 2 years of employment, and really wondering if this is stupid or worth it. This is all part of a serious OMY syndrome issue. Here are the details.

I have it good. We are F.I. DW has 2.5 yrs until health insurance kicks in, so I'm OMY in this time so that we are "in sync". The extra cash buffer being built by OMY check is nice too. We also both hit year of 55 in 2.5 years, so this opens our 401ks should we need them. I still think we won't since we'll be using up about 5 years between 55 and 60 to do Roth conversions, gains harvesting, etc. But it would be nice to have the flexibility.

That's about the only thing keeping me at my Megacorp - that 401k to age 55. That along with a decent paycheck. There are no other benefits to wait for. No pension. No health care. My vacation balance is zero (darn right I use it!) so that isn't even a concern. Nothing.

Here comes the whine: the BS bucket exploded the last month. Life was good at Megacorp. And then a GREAT middle manager quit. We got shuffled to a megalomaniac jerk, whose thinks his mission in life is to create globally distributed teams. We had a nice tight local team. He has killed it and made it span across all the world's timezones. Meetings are now at all times, 6AM, 11PM, lunch, etc. Communication is impossible. Mr. Megalomaniac can't understand why in the 4 weeks after hatched this plan, that productivity hasn't exploded.

So that sucks for me, but I could walk. Here's what I don't like about myself. For the first time ever, I've become that cranky old bastard. Sides of me are coming out that are damaging my young colleagues. I like these people. Sure, they are depressed for the same reasons, but I can tell I'm adding to their misery. I don't like what I'm doing. I blow things off. I tell my colleagues that "The Man can fire me" and stuff like that. It isn't me. I wouldn't mind being laid off, but it never comes to me or my departments. It might give me an excuse to not OMY. Yes, there are OMY issues here. I really don't want to not work while DW is working.

So, I'm considering going outside of Megacorp to find something else in this field for the next few years. I'd probably be up front about it the short time horizon. Is this an interview killer to not come in telling them you are ready to be the next CEO?

I don't know. I don't know what drives people to divorce since DW and I have it so good. But damn if I don't want a divorce from this job and from this Megacorp which has changed so much in the last 20 years. I'm doing a lot of mourning and pity partying. This is not good and telling me I need to do *something*.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:26 AM   #2
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I would meet with all of your colleagues and if most of you agree these distributed teams aren't working and are affecting your work-life balance, your team should march to your boss's boss and voice your complaints. Hope for the best.

I think it's much easier to fix the problem at your company, than look for a new job.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:38 AM   #3
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This is a tough situation. A short term commitment is not something companies typically look for when hiring. Does the type of work you do lend itself to fixed duration projects?
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:51 AM   #4
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I would meet with all of your colleagues and if most of you agree these distributed teams aren't working and are affecting your work-life balance, your team should march to your boss's boss and voice your complaints. Hope for the best.

I think it's much easier to fix the problem at your company, than look for a new job.
We're already heading for a mutiny. This may happen.

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This is a tough situation. A short term commitment is not something companies typically look for when hiring. Does the type of work you do lend itself to fixed duration projects?
Sometimes. Software. If you are thinking consulting, I may go there.

However, now that I talk it out, it might just be time to do something different. The software industry doesn't interest me anymore. I feel like the protagonist in "Office Space".

I'm convincing myself if I do anything and want to OMY, it is time for a change.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:19 AM   #5
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I went through the globalization BS a few years before I retired too. They were still trying to make it work when I retired but I didn't see much light through the tunnel. Meetings at all hours, (weekends included), some teams members I had never met face to face, cultural differences, language challenges, local bias, the list goes on. (And very little being done to address those issues)

As yes, I also saw what a change in upper management can bring. Sometimes, a 180 change in management styles, philosophies, and priorities. Work that was considered priority was now considered overhead and/or non essential.

I think change can be good in many cases, but not for the sake of change itself. Often change is based on emotion, fads, not invented here syndrome, or political correctness, rather than the right (or smart) thing to do.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:34 AM   #6
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Where I work contractors pull in a bit more than full timers in exchange for flexibility from the company's perspective. In some places lots of contractors later go full time, but I think most are one and done so a short time horizon isn't any disadvantage provided you're solid to the end of the contract. It may be worthwhile to scope out what kind of projects are out there that could be of interest to you.

We also started late evening CCs to Asia years ago after shutting down European offices. That didn't work for me because I'm an early morning person. I stopped attending meetings outside of bankers hours. Written minutes are distributed after the important ones anyway so I'm not missing anything. So maybe as a compromise, rather than make these all hands, have some subset of liaisons from each site interlock and catch up the local teams during regular hours? We use this role as gateway into program management so there's some level of demand for this job. Our management understands how everyone's work/life balance constraints are different, so they let us iron out the implementation details after they paint the big picture.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:33 AM   #7
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Our management understands how everyone's work/life balance constraints are different, so they let us iron out the implementation details after they paint the big picture.
My management would say they understood work life balance too but they never seemed to practice it. They would also paint the big picture for us but they were never in it. Reminds me a lot of our politicians in government.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:55 AM   #8
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Can you do some short term contracts through a staffing agency like TekSystems, or RHT? You might be able to do 3 or 4 before you retire.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:58 AM   #9
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So maybe as a compromise, rather than make these all hands, have some subset of liaisons from each site interlock and catch up the local teams during regular hours? We use this role as gateway into program management so there's some level of demand for this job. Our management understands how everyone's work/life balance constraints are different, so they let us iron out the implementation details after they paint the big picture.
That subset includes ME, unfortunately. I asked for, and got this job function right before being blindsided by the change. Very unlucky.

Our middle management doesn't understand much. They meddle in every detail. My manager is in even a worst spot. I think he is ready to just quit.

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My management would say they understood work life balance too but they never seemed to practiced it. They would also paint the big picture for us but they were never in it. Reminds me a lot of our politicians in government.
Bingo.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:50 PM   #10
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I see some similarities to my own situation. I left a job and to work one or two more years at another company because the BS bucket was too big where I was, and I was not yet ready to leave the work force. (OMY for me was more like 2-3 more years.) I was middle management and did not tell my prospective employers how long I wanted to remain working--I still wasn't sure myself!

I took a pay cut because the job was so close to home and it looked like an interesting job where I could make a difference. It ended up the BS bucket overflowed there too after only 6 months and changes in management. It was all I could do to stay 19 months. I just quit in April of this year.

I don't regret my choice, but I am so glad I quit and I am loving retirement. My DH is still working but he is now talking about when he will retire.

I am just sharing my saga because I know how tough it is. You don't want to leave the frying pan for the fire, (and you never know what it will be like) but it's also not healthy if you are extremely unhappy where you are.

Only you and your wife can really decide what is best for you, and you two as a couple. Trust your gut.

I wish you all the best!
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:21 PM   #11
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I'm in a similar situation. A nice happy job that would be good for OMY or two turned sour with a very incompetent management change. Ironically, one thing I'm really really good at is worldwide distributed teams, but in our new organization only people with no successful distributed team experience are allowed to set the rules of engagement. Naturally, things are going poorly and deteriorating from that.

So, too bad for them. This place has veered into terrible in the past, but I've managed to carve out a good spot after a few months. I'm hopeful I can do so again. If all else fails, maybe I'll give up my OMY ideas, but I've also looked around for a possible job change. That was discouraging. I think I'm mostly committed to stay, but if I had reasonable prospects to land a consulting gig I'd probably jump at the opportunity.

So many engineers get hired and leave in 18-24 months anyway. I would have no qualms about taking a new job in OMY if that were an available option.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:19 AM   #12
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The issue here is what will happen if it is brought up the the boss...

The boss can do some true management and take it into consideration and maybe implement changes...

Or the boss can say 'this is the future, either change or go'.....


I have had both kinds of bosses and have brought it up to them... BTW, you might be surprised.... your could be different than you think.... also, they might be implementing a decision that was made higher than them... so they cannot change anything....
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:32 AM   #13
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You are FI, you only want to work for 2.5 more years, your wife has some time to fill out to get benefits.

Just quit and go home. If you were the wife that would be obvious.

Be brave!

Ha
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:50 AM   #14
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My only advice: if you do seek another position, in an interview don't even think about mentioning you're looking for short term (the 2 or so years you mentioned) situation. That will kill any chance of getting a job offer. And for any exceptions to that statement, there are untold more that will bear it out.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:35 AM   #15
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I had an employee who I suggested take a golden handshake. He only had 2 years to go. I showed him that the package was so attractive financially, that he could pump gas near his cottage for a month or so to break even.

Here is the rub. He took the package and ended up consulting for 5 more years because he enjoyed it so much. That might happen if you get the right new job...
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:54 AM   #16
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I have had both kinds of bosses and have brought it up to them... BTW, you might be surprised.... your could be different than you think.... also, they might be implementing a decision that was made higher than them... so they cannot change anything....
It was made higher. I think that's why the old excellent middle manager quit. He wasn't a fan of what they were asking for.

Problem is this guy, this guy, well... You have to know him. No way should he be a middle manager.

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You are FI, you only want to work for 2.5 more years, your wife has some time to fill out to get benefits.

Just quit and go home. If you were the wife that would be obvious.

Be brave!

Ha
Ha, right now, my idea to stay in sync is for marital happiness. But I realized that may be a false idea in my mind. She may not care. We need to talk deeper about this.

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My only advice: if you do seek another position, in an interview don't even think about mentioning you're looking for short term (the 2 or so years you mentioned) situation. That will kill any chance of getting a job offer. And for any exceptions to that statement, there are untold more that will bear it out.
Yeah. As someone else said, short shelf life of engineers isn't unusual anyway.

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I had an employee who I suggested take a golden handshake. He only had 2 years to go. I showed him that the package was so attractive financially, that he could pump gas near his cottage for a month or so to break even.
I'm looking for the golden handshake, but it is out of my comfort zone to be a "slacker" or whatever to get bubbled to the first choice for a layoff.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:59 AM   #17
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I appreciate everyone's comments. It got me thinking. I'm coming up with a few ideas and a plan which I'll share a little later.

Thanks for listening to my gripes! For all you retired already, we envy you. Hope to soon be on the other side.
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so similar
Old 07-26-2015, 09:08 AM   #18
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so similar

It's amazing, freaking amazing, my job was so similar to yours, it's scary.

Crazy upper management, dotted line reporting, lots of valueless project managers with pet projects, way too many chiefs, too few Indians (if I can be politically incorrect, which I can now), multiple conflicting priorities, globalized without a clue, work hours varied from 0500 to 2200 including meetings, seminars, travel, etc. Absolutely, no rhyme nor reason. So, ok, I could deal with most of the nonsense. By the way, there's worse out there. I know. Don't ask me how.

Then, the final straw. The ONLY good direct boss man gave notice. My shield, my air cover, great guy, reasonable and rational. He couldn't take it either, I imagine. Worn to a frazzle, by the new international middle management cluster. What a bunch of hosers. Office Space on steroids.

I looked around a bit, market was good, lots of similar work available. But, in retrospect, I didn't want to learn a whole new system of silliness, I was all gamed out. Several family personal issues came up that needed more attention than I could give them. So, I just said "f" it and gave my notice. Once the issues are mitigated somewhat, then I'm going to dork around, keep my eyes open, maybe do a little consulting, part-time work, etc.

Like my daddy used to say, "if you really want to find work, you will...........more than likely, it'll be more than you want".

Time to pull the plug, eh?
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:14 AM   #19
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It's amazing, freaking amazing, my job was so similar to yours, it's scary.
Wow! No kidding! I didn't even explain the project manager and pet project issue that is part of the BS bucket overflow. But you did.

Not sure I should be comforted by the fact these issues run rampant, except for the fact I know I have brothers and sisters out there.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:35 AM   #20
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Wait until it's become intolerable and then quit - no more OMY.
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