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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-25-2005, 05:07 PM   #21
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

A lot of people here talk of specialized skills to make you valuable, but I'm in IT, and today's specialist is tomorrows obsolete laid off worker. I have supported desktops, servers, networks, Windows, Unix, Irix, linux, email, Novell, etc.etc.,and I too have seen jobs outsourced and made obsolete. That's why I moved into computer security. Kind of hard to outsource that in my industry. My two bits is work on your people/communication skills. Your ability to communicate with management and customers what they want to hear, and to exude confidence, will make you a valued employee with a future. I'm more than happy to spin off my skills/knowledge to others, rather than hold on to it jealously. My attitude is, "hey, what's next?". It's my ability to problem solve, and manage a project from beginning to end that makes me valuable, not any particular piece of knowledge. But hey, I may just be riding a wave of confidence, as I just completed a high profile rescue of a remote site, thrilled the customer, got offered a job, got asked to come in for a second interview on another job, and got a personal call from my current employer's big cheese stating, "my contributions have not gone unnoticed". So yeah, feeling a little fat and happy right now.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-25-2005, 05:56 PM   #22
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
But hey, I may just be riding a wave of confidence, as I just completed a high profile rescue of a remote site, thrilled the customer, got offered a job, got asked to come in for a second interview on another job, and got a personal call from my current employer's big cheese stating, "my contributions have not gone unnoticed". So yeah, feeling a little fat and happy right now.
Laurence, you da man!!!

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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-25-2005, 06:10 PM   #23
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
* So yeah, feeling a little fat and happy right now.*
Laurence,
Congrats. Lookin like your contributions are hitting the radar! Has your current employer addressed your economic concerns yet?
Did I miss a posting or are you still headed for the door as soon as the right package shows up? The call from the big cheese strikes me as an attempt at damage control unless it was attached to some specific "appreciation" Based on your earlier post, isn't this the same bunch that has been giving you hugs and cudddles but not the rest of the appreciation?
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-25-2005, 06:20 PM   #24
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Damn Laurence you inspire me
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-25-2005, 06:23 PM   #25
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Thanks all,

I've gotten the pats on the head before, this is definitely different. *I think they are trying buy time to figure out just what they need to compensate me with and for HR to put together the paperwork for my promotion/raise. *At this point I've had my boss, his boss, his boss, and his boss above that say something to me, so we'll see.

But yeah, it's funny. *Because I don't NEED a new job, and things may very well work out here, my phone interviews go better than ever before. *I can almost imagine them thinking, "wow, this guy is so confident, he must be hot stuff!". *I even had a lady today say, "you tell me when you can come in for an second interview and I'll make my schedule open". *

So I'm going to interview with them next week, and I figure that means my current management has at least a couple of weeks to wow me before I have a tough decision. *I have to admit the work I've been given recently has been a lot more interesting...
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-25-2005, 09:27 PM   #26
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
A lot of people here talk of specialized skills to make you valuable, but I'm in IT, and today's specialist is tomorrows obsolete laid off worker.* I have supported desktops, servers, networks, Windows, Unix, Irix, linux, email, Novell, etc.etc.,and I too have seen jobs outsourced and made obsolete.* That's why I moved into computer security.* Kind of hard to outsource that in my industry.* My two bits is work on your people/communication skills.* Your ability to communicate with management and customers what they want to hear, and to exude confidence, will make you a valued employee with a future.* I'm more than happy to spin off my skills/knowledge to others, rather than hold on to it jealously.* My attitude is, "hey, what's next?".* It's my ability to problem solve, and manage a project from beginning to end that makes me valuable, not any particular piece of knowledge.* But hey, I may just be riding a wave of confidence, as I just completed a high profile rescue of a remote site, thrilled the customer, got offered a job, got asked to come in for a second interview on another job, and got a personal call from my current employer's big cheese stating, "my contributions have not gone unnoticed".* So yeah, feeling a little fat and happy right now.*
Reminds me of the last woman I dated before DW and I hooked up. She opined that I was wonderful, terrific,
had everything she wanted in a man. Positively gushy.
Then she says, "I'm busy for the next 2 weeks, please
call me then." I didn't and we never saw each other
again. Moral? Don't get too "fat and happy" no matter
how much praise is piled on.

JG
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 08:40 AM   #27
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

To paraphrase some of the recent posters..."talk is cheap."* I spent 5 years slaving away for a large law firm, putting in long, long, long hours doing high-level legal work.* I received plenty of "atta boys" and "great jobs", as well as the occasional "I mentioned your hard work to [BIG CHEESE] the other day during the partner meeting".

What did all that get me?* NOTHING.

A great book I read a few years ago (and own a copy of but haven't had a chance to re-read recently) is "The 48 Laws of Power".* Here are some really relevant ones:

Quote:
Law 11 -- Learn to Keep People Dependent on You

To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted.* The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have.* Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear.* Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest,

Law 13 -- Never to their Mercy or Gratitude

If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds.* He will find a way to ignore you.* Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion.* He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

Law 30 -- Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless

Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease.* All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed.* When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more.* Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions.* Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.

Law 35 -- Master the Art of Timing

Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time.* Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually.* Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power.* Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.
I wish I had heeded the foregoing laws earlier, but as they also say..."you live and learn."
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 11:46 AM   #28
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Okay good post Jay. Law #11, IMHO, still applies to business professionals. Maybe not tech b/c special skills can become obsolete. Important to be very good at something in your field. Nowadays everyone has similar skills coming out of school so there has to be something that sets you apart.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 01:06 PM   #29
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

More important than an MBA or a specific job.

Do what you think you'll be good at.
Learn to turn down a promotion if you wont be good at the new job.*
Do the best job you can.
Do more than the job requires.*
Treat your employer's money as if it was your own.
Stand up for yourself.
Learn how to invest.
Get lucky.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 01:58 PM   #30
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskaverse
More important than an MBA or a specific job.

Do what you think you'll be good at. Do what you can make a living at and enjoy for several years.
Learn to turn down a promotion if you wont be good at the new job.* Turn down too many and they stop asking
Do the best job you can. but remember you have a life out of work too
Do more than the job requires.*The more you do the more they will ask you to do. While you are busy someone else is has time to schmooze the boss and will get the promotion
Treat your employer's money as if it was your own. That works great until they cut your budget 4 times in one year; then try to do your job!
Stand up for yourself. As long as you don't rock the boat
Learn how to invest. Pay yourself first. This is how you RE
Get lucky. Luck is part of it but so is planning.
Been there, none that and have the T-shirt to prove it.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 02:11 PM   #31
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
I spent 5 years slaving away for a large law firm, putting in long, long, long hours doing high-level legal work. *I received plenty of "atta boys" and "great jobs", as well as the occasional "I mentioned your hard work to [BIG CHEESE] the other day during the partner meeting".

What did all that get me? *NOTHING.
I feel your pain, Jay, but I have to disagree with you on one thing -- you DID get something out of that experience - valuable wisdom.

I myself, straight out of business school, worked like the proverbial DOG for my first employer -- got 20% raises, got letters of praise from clients, promotions and new responsibilities, etc. etc. *

New CEO came in, stock went down, "rightsizing" reared its ugly head and Marketing got the axe -- myself included. *I was hurt and enraged at first but I soon realized that they'd done me a VERY big favor. *I no longer think of my employer as "family" I no longer take on new work "because they need me" and I don't take promotions that ask me for 100% more work in exchange for 5% more pay.

You ALSO won't hear me say, as did a colleague and 25-year Megacorp employee, "I want Megacorp to do well and if that means giving back some of my pension, then I guess I'm willing." *Geez Louise!

Unfortunately, you can't get this kind of wisdom by being told -- I see youngsters slaving away here in the belief that the company loves and cares about them. *Caution on the part of us veterans is put down to our being old, slow, and halfway out to pasture. *

They'll learn -- you and I were blessed to get this education early in life -- not by losing our pensions and / or jobs after 25-30 years in harness.

Caroline

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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 02:13 PM   #32
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskaverse
Treat your employer's money as if it was your own.
I don't think the employer would like that. *Most people overspend their own money. *It might be better to treat your employer's money like it belongs to the mob.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 03:14 PM   #33
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskaverse
Do what you think you'll be good at.
Agreed
Quote:
Learn to turn down a promotion if you wont be good at the new job.
I have turned down every promotion ever offered me, knowing I am
much happier as a 40 hr IT peon in the low six figures than a 50-80 hr
manager for a few 10K more. This is a very important point most of
my coworkers have missed.
Quote:
Do the best job you can.
Do a good job, but do not strain yourself. If you are turning
out better work than your immediate coworkers, that is good enough
Quote:
Do more than the job requires.
See previous response
Quote:
Treat your employer's money as if it was your own.
I do not think they would like that.
Quote:
Stand up for yourself.
In IT, I have never found a need to. Your programming
stands up for you.
Quote:
Learn how to invest.
Most important of all
Quote:
Get lucky.
Important, but sometimes this drifts by the wayside
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 09:01 PM   #34
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

A mix of Finance and IT?
Recommend Trading, particularly Interest Rate Derivatives.

A solid mix of IT and Finance, lots of ex engineer types (Nasa/JPL gurus)
MBA optional unless you can find a killer practical course that admirably covers the markets.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-26-2005, 10:04 PM   #35
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Be confident in yourself, and act as if you are the CEO of a one person company.

I don't agree with rule 11, as wildcat alluded to, everybody hates an information pig, and the first time they find out what you do/know can be done/known by somebody else, you've made enough enemies at that point to be the next to get the axe. Seen that more than once. It's your skills and talents that make you valuable in the long run. Overall the list is written in just too cynical a manner for me. How hellish would life be if you disdained your coworkers/bosses enough to resort to subterfuge and manipulation to get your way. People can tell when you are in contempt of them.

The company I'm considering going to wants to do a 2 hour interview with 3 people. GEEZ! I'm torn because it looks like my current company is going to let me create my own new position, and while I may only see ~10-15k more staying put vs. 20-25k more moving on (both of which still leave me below a lot of y'all "alphas") the new company will probably want me in a box, so to speak. I know, great problem to have.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-27-2005, 07:55 AM   #36
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Another Law/Rule: The J. Edgar Hoover Philosophy.

Keep a dirt file. Remember J. Edgar Hoover. LBJ said and meant it, "I'd rather have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in."
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-27-2005, 04:21 PM   #37
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I echo every word Caroline wrote here.* I have experienced the same thing with my current employer.* The trend is: outsource to India or China.* .* This trend will continue as those of us who were software developers will most likely morph into system analyst jobs, integrators or technical project managers.
I was at a course on OLAP/MDX, and some of the folks there were MSFT employees (XBOX team) looking to quickly upgrade their skills. Apparently their entire department had just been moved to India, and the only reason why they were still employedis that they were still training their replacements..... how horrible. In terms of 'white collar' work, are there many jobs that are really 'safe' from outsourcing? The large paycheck is a huge incentive to find someone else to do the job for less...
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-27-2005, 07:47 PM   #38
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
I was at a course on OLAP/MDX, and some of the folks there were MSFT employees (XBOX team) looking to quickly upgrade their skills. Apparently their entire department had just been moved to India, and the only reason why they were still employedis that they were still training their replacements..... how horrible. In terms of 'white collar' work, are there many jobs that are really 'safe' from outsourcing? The large paycheck is a huge incentive to find someone else to do the job for less...
I suspect that anything that requires face time or a person actually being in a particular place will be very hard to outsource. You can't outsorce a nurse, plumber or a salesman. Pretty much any other time of job could be conceivably outsourced. Having said that, outsourcing happens only when there is a large pool of skilled labor in a low cost area. There are only so many such pools and they will be bid up in price from time to time. There is also the question of how much productivity you give up in exchange for a lower price (unit labor cost).
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-29-2005, 12:46 PM   #39
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Having said that, outsourcing happens only when there is a large pool of skilled labor in a low cost area. There are only so many such pools and they will be bid up in price from time to time. There is also the question of how much productivity you give up in exchange for a lower price (unit labor cost).
A mid-size company that my friend works for has outsourced some jobs to India. He is currently in India working with them. I've had long talks with him about outsourcing and I found one factoid to be particularly interesting. He said that most of the fresh of the college engineers in India are paid a lot less than American engineers. But one they pay their dues and get some experience, the pay goes up a LOT. He was saying that a guy with 10 yrs of experience in India makes at the very least 1/3 of what an American engineer makes and probably more like 1/2. He's also seen quite a few Indians go back to India after being in the US a while.

The gradual increase of wages in India seem to making the news too. I read an article about InfoSys (large Indian software house) which is opening up a design center in China and hiring a bunch of engineers there.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-31-2005, 07:34 PM   #40
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I think sticking around with megacorp to get the MBA would be a reasonable choice but be warned: Working FT and going to school PT sucks. I've nevver been more exhausted and drained for so many years at a time. You definately get the best return by doing this, but it will cost you in blood sweat and tears.
Yes, brewer12345, I know exactly what you're talking about. Working FT and going to school PT sucks eggs royally. You almost have to be in a position that basically requires only a live body to be able to do the FT work/PT school thing. For the past 8 months, I have been in a fog working as an engineer during the day and studying for my MBA at night two classes a semester.

I'm heavily leaning toward just leaving for a year and finishing the MBA. I have the money, and I think that my sanity is worth sacraficing a few bucks.

BTW, I speak fluent Chinese and English, but when I tried to angle for a job to set up an engineering center in China, I was told that they have enough people with my set of skills. I guess I'll have learn Klingon to make myself my distinct.
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