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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-31-2005, 07:37 PM   #41
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
mebbe so, farmerEd - I have no scientific data to go with. Just observations:

My company, "I've Been Mauled" just laid off 13,000 worldwide. This is common knowledge. A little-known additional fact is that they HIRED 14,000 more back -- in India. If you're Indian, high-tech is a GREAT place to be right now.

My compadres, laid off in the past few years, have been out of work for months or years at a time, and when they do go back to work, it's at lower pay and with fewer benefits. I'd move to a smaller and more nimble company in a heartbeat if I could find one that paid anywhere near the salary I've worked up to over the years.

For those of us who have been left after the exodus, work is very trying. Twice as much work, half as many people, and half as much budget to make anything happen. We're also re-orged regularly as management tries to cover more bases with fewer live bodies.

The one good thing -- there's the knowledge that you could be out the door at any minute -- GREAT incentive to LBYM and RE.

FWIW,
Caroline


Hm...13000 fired world wide. This sounds suspiciously like Hewlett Packard.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-31-2005, 07:54 PM   #42
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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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.
Sounds like a true veteran of the the tech industry. Yep, to stay in technology you can't simply defend the fort. You almost have to be a bit of an adventurer and have quite a bit of wanderlust (no, not that kind that makes your girlfriend smack you).

I see all too often the fort defenders fighting for the Alamo while I have already high-tailed out the place. Also, the guys who can't or won't share and can't make those around him better aren't the ones who are promoted.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-31-2005, 08:14 PM   #43
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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Originally Posted by Laurence
...I have supported desktops, servers, networks, Windows, Unix, Irix, linux, email, Novell, etc.etc....I may be riding a wave...or just completed a high profile rescue...
You doing some heavy lifting there...

O Laurence, thou David, thou great-martyr,
Thou mighty warrior and judgment-seat of the Emperor,
Thou didst set at nought the blood-stained hands
Of thy tormentors.
Who with His hand alone can conquer the cruel despot’s strongholds
Thou didst scorn the emblems of the Cæsar, and laugh the judge’s threats to scorn.
Conquered by a broiled fish—
O Laurence, wreathed with laurel amongst warriors,
O martyr and mighty foot-soldier!

No not really....

Regards and good luck..looks like you have upper management or something written all over you...
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-31-2005, 10:17 PM   #44
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Holy cow, I now can say I've had a sonnet(?) written about me. Soon you'll be able to enter any tavern and hear the bard sing of my adventures.

It's programmers who do the heavy lifting, that stuff splits my head open. Had to just tweak some .xml the other day and almost knocked the monitor in with my head before I got it.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 08-31-2005, 10:43 PM   #45
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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Originally Posted by Laurence
. . . Soon you'll be able to enter any tavern and hear the bard sing of my adventures.*

. . .
Eeek. That's enough to make you want to quit drinking.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-01-2005, 12:49 AM   #46
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
Eeek. That's enough to make you want to quit drinking.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-01-2005, 06:52 AM   #47
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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Originally Posted by BunsOfVeal
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.
Heh, I worked FT and most semesters I took three classes. There was a long period where DW and I had to schedule dates on Friday nights because it was the only time we saw each other for more than 15 minutes at a time. She was doing the FT/PT thing too, but took longer to finish her degree at a slower pace.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-01-2005, 10:09 AM   #48
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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* From Buns of Veal:* Hm...13000 fired world wide. This sounds suspiciously like Hewlett Packard.
Alas, no, B of V -- big layoffs are still a common occurrence in IT (and elsewhere, these days).* Back in the day a 13K layoff might be rare, or at least uncommon.* Nowadays, we don't even blink.

Back in B-school (back when the earth was cooling* ;-) a rep from Apple computer came in to present.* He was very frank -- "we pay you very well when you work for us -- but when needs of the business dictate, we WILL lay you off."* I thought at the time it was a pretty insecure way to live -- I had yet to realize that what he said applied to the entire industry.*

I don't regret my career -- it's been berry, berry good to me. But those entering this field MUST manage their own career, keep current with changes, and above all else, LBYM so they can weather the inevitable slowdowns.

Caroline
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-02-2005, 10:31 PM   #49
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
Heh, I worked FT and most semesters I took three classes. There was a long period where DW and I had to schedule dates on Friday nights because it was the only time we saw each other for more than 15 minutes at a time. She was doing the FT/PT thing too, but took longer to finish her degree at a slower pace.
Hm...15 minutes is usually all I need for "meetings". Hehe, couldn't pass that one up.

Seriously, my company and the school are in very intimate contact, and neither wants FT employees taking more than two classes a quarter or eight classes a year. Frankly, I'm so exhausted most of the time that the good weeks are when I think I'm going to drop dead only once. The bad weeks, don't even mention those. It's the first time this year that I actually have time to post on this board thanks to a much needed 3 week break.

Caroline, "I Have Been Mauled!" Yeah, I thought about that after I made my conjecture about HP. Then I realized that what you are saying. Hehe, good one.

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean by instability. I have lived in 6 states in the last 12 years all thanks to working in the technology field (I'm in IC design). I never dreamed that I would get to see so many places on computer companies' dimes, but then again, I didn't realize I had so many off-plan "benefits".
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Re: Relax and let the career come to you!
Old 09-04-2005, 09:25 PM   #50
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Re: Relax and let the career come to you!

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.
I'm a little late to this thread, but congrats Laurence!

Two thoughts: first, do you really want to work for a company that needs three people to take two hours to make up their minds about your potential? If that's the way your industry works, well, OK, but I'd sure hate to route an unusual budget request through that bureaucracy. Second, if your contributions are not unnoticed then why are they still unrewarded? That squeaky sound you hear may not be your wheels-- it could be management keeping you fat, dumb, & happy while they're dragging their feet. "Designing your own job description" sounds like the prelude to updating a resume'. Despite my trepidation at a two-hour job interview (unless it also involves frosty beverages) I'd plan to go to the new job. You've given your current/former employer more than enough opportunities to figure out how to do it right, and if they haven't already recognized what you achieved on your Hawaii trip then they're not gonna ever get around to it.

I'm not trying to kill your motivation, but you might enjoy these videos from Intel's UK spoof of IT personnel. I sure hope it's not how your current or future employers view IT department heads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan
Agreed, but what is the shortest path to get there? If the energy sector isn't where I want to be, should I start making plans to leave as soon as it's feasible? Even if that means getting an MBA on my own nickel? Or be content to bide my time until the perfect opportunity presents itself?

As for outsourcing and other IT issues...I'm a finance guy who likes technology, not a techie who likes finance.
I've made a career out of killing people & breaking things without ever worrying about profits so I may lack some credibility here-- but geez, Soup, what's your hurry? The shortest path isn't necessarily the best one, let alone the most profitable or most fulfilling.

Here's an analogy. In 1986 Congress passed legislation that required military officers to have a whole bunch of "joint" training & experience before they could be promoted to flag rank. As brand-new O-3s we were almost 25 years away from having to worry about flag rank, let alone joint education, but many immediately started whining maneuvering to get first crack at the new "opportunities". Career-planning seminars immediately degenerated into complaints about how we junior officers needed to get the time to complete the curriculum, get into the right schools, be eligible for the right jobs, and so on.

Finally a senior officer said "Settle down. 'Joint' won't affect your current job descriptions for at least five years. You all need to spend the next few years doing the best you can at the jobs you have now, and let the pendulum swing a few times before you start worrying about the NEXT job." Reverting to Marine Corps terms he said "Be a good grunt." In my case that saved me a whole lotta effort for no perceptible return.

It could be the same in your situation, too. Maybe instead of being so focused on the express lane to your next job it'd be worth spending more time digging into your current one. Joining a professional or community or service association (like the Rotary or Toastmasters) might be a seemingly unrelated career step that'd actually help you broaden your contacts & exposure while seeing others in their career fields. Another poster here recommended becoming the office's Excel & Powerpoint geek so that you're always involved in helping (those who desperately need it) while being able to keep an eye on new projects. You'd need these skills in just about any field, let alone energy, so why not develop them now instead of trying to find the "right career" right away.

As for school & family-- nothing motivates you toward getting those advanced degrees & skills (or advanced whatever) like having a family. Nothing can support you & help you like their love & loyalty, either. Erma Bombeck used to say that people get married so that they can worry about money. It's all too easy to become so focused on getting things done before you acquire family responsibilities that you keep on doing things and somehow never get around to the acquisition step. Achieving goals as a team is what makes the whole family thing worthwhile.

So perhaps your current career/job is a good place to relax, look around at how you can help, network with a group of people that can use your help while exposing you to other skills & opportunities, and maybe even introduce you to your future spouse. When the right opportunity presents itself then you'll be more than ready to recognize it.

I think it was Jarhead who commented on the seemingly desperate urgency of some Young Dreamers to blitz through a couple of the best decades of their lives so that they could ER. It's not a sprint-- it's a marathon. If you start the pace at a five-minute mile then you won't even make it to the turnaround. While the last 10 years of my career did a lot to encourage my ER, the first 14 were challenging, exciting, demanding, fulfilling, and, oh yeah, fun. A lot of that happened because I wasn't always looking around trying to find a better opportunity outside the current situation.

Personally I think gas turbines are fascinating. Instead of rushing right into Nuclear Power School the minute I finished college, I spent six months in a lab trying to find the right combination of rare-metal coatings to put on gas turbines so that the Navy could fly them around at sea level without having them rust off the wings. That pit stop (so to speak) had no apparent application toward making me a nuclear engineer-- but it taught me a lot about the Navy's research bureaucracy, budgeting, finance, and the aviation community. I met plenty of officers in the Washington DC area, some of whom were a big help later on, and I also spent plenty of quality time with my spouse-to-be. I wouldn't have enjoyed all those benefits if I'd immediately rushed from the graduation ceremony right into the next nuclear classroom. Maybe you can achieve more by taking your time as well...
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-04-2005, 10:24 PM   #51
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Good advice, Nords, but how do you judge when you have stayed too long and are no longer on any track to something bigger and better?
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-04-2005, 10:46 PM   #52
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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Originally Posted by BunsOfVeal
Good advice, Nords, but how do you judge when you have stayed too long and are no longer on any track to something bigger and better?
Well, yeah, that cuts right to the heart of my credibility. The military very obligingly tells you when you've overstayed your career welcome. Reading the phrase "Best wishes on your future endeavors" in a naval message has stricken fear & trembling into the heart of many a warrior.

I think Laurence's thread nails this question better than I ever could.
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Re: Relax and let the career come to you!
Old 09-05-2005, 05:06 PM   #53
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Re: Relax and let the career come to you!

Nords,

Thanks for your response to this thread. Your post was filled with a great deal of wisdom, much of which I was subconsciously aware, but never put together quite the way you did. The second half of your post (although all of it was very good), hit me particularly hard:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
As for school & family-- nothing motivates you toward getting those advanced degrees & skills (or advanced whatever) like having a family. Nothing can support you & help you like their love & loyalty, either. Erma Bombeck used to say that people get married so that they can worry about money. It's all too easy to become so focused on getting things done before you acquire family responsibilities that you keep on doing things and somehow never get around to the acquisition step. Achieving goals as a team is what makes the whole family thing worthwhile.
I was going down this path for the past 10 years without being conscious of it. While I was working hard, billing hours for the firm, writing articles for legal publications, etc... many of my friends and former classmates were meeting their significant others, getting married, having kids, building businesses, and in general getting on with their lives. Now 10 years out of law school, I don't find myself particularly "ahead of the game". In fact, I consider myself pretty much behind the pack. Many of the foregoing individuals have gone on to higher positions in the legal profession, loving wife and kids in tow, while I'm still trying to decide what I ultimately want to do with my career. I know that I shouldn't look at my career (or life for that matter) as a race, but it's rather difficult sometimes, having harbored a competitive mindset for so long. Now that I'm living with someone, and indeed contemplating marriage, my perspective is beginning to change, and I'm starting to let go of my single-mindedness desire to win, be the best, etc...

Quote:
So perhaps your current career/job is a good place to relax, look around at how you can help, network with a group of people that can use your help while exposing you to other skills & opportunities, and maybe even introduce you to your future spouse. When the right opportunity presents itself then you'll be more than ready to recognize it.

I think it was Jarhead who commented on the seemingly desperate urgency of some Young Dreamers to blitz through a couple of the best decades of their lives so that they could ER. It's not a sprint-- it's a marathon. If you start the pace at a five-minute mile then you won't even make it to the turnaround.
Being at a crossroads in my career (i.e. a job that doesn't pay as well as I'd like, nor is exactly what I'd like to do), your advice comes across as pretty solid (except for the "spouse" part -- I've already met her). Instead of focusing on what I don't have in terms of career, perhaps it's a better idea to focus on what I do have, and build from there.

Constantly planning for the future, or comparing the present to the past, is no way to live. You miss so much of what's going on around you, and once those things are gone, they will never come again.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-06-2005, 07:45 AM   #54
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Jay, I heard part of a show on public radio yesterday and the guest was a psychologist that wrote a book on "performance addiction". He talked a lot about how some people are never satisfied with their work performance, excercise performance, etc. and always push and push themselves to higher levels. Though they often are quite successful, they are not happy. One solution he mentioned was to spend more time thinking of others rather than yourself. It looks like you have figured this out on your own : Now that I'm living with someone, and indeed contemplating marriage, my perspective is beginning to change, and I'm starting to let go of my single-mindedness desire to win, be the best, etc...

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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-06-2005, 10:01 AM   #55
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

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Jay, I heard part of a show on public radio yesterday and the guest was a psychologist that wrote a book on "performance addiction".* He talked a lot about how some people are never satisfied with their work performance, excercise performance, etc. and always push and push themselves to higher levels.* Though they often are quite successful, they are not happy.* One solution he mentioned was* to spend more time thinking of others rather than yourself.* It looks like you have figured this out on your own.
I'd like to think so. Trying to be the "best" is a rather lonely pursuit, and at the end of the day it's likely to be a Pyrrhic victory based on the sacrifices required.
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-07-2005, 02:16 PM   #56
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Just to follow up on my previous post. In reading a bio for the recently-deceased Chief Justice Rehnquist, the famous quote provided was:

"There are dangers that come with successful careers. One can slide almost imperceptibly into a situation where the demands of the job are automatically accorded priority over other, more personal commitments."

Apparently the quote was part of a commencement speech he gave back in 2002 to graduating seniors at Marymount College. He told them to be careful with how they managed their most precious commodity -- time. "Time is a wasting asset," he said. "Most of us realize it too late before expending a lot of it unwisely."
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Re: Relax and let the career come to you!
Old 09-09-2005, 04:57 PM   #57
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Re: Relax and let the career come to you!

Thanks for the input Nords...I WISH I could belong to local community groups and have a family, but being forced to relocate every 6 months (and then every 18 months once I finish this program, if you want to keep moving up the ladder) makes that extremely difficult. Hence my desire to get out at some point in my 5-year plan.

Why does this company force you to move around so much? I guess they think it builds character. And maybe it does, but I think there are other ways to get there that don't take such a large toll on your personal life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
It could be the same in your situation, too.* Maybe instead of being so focused on the express lane to your next job it'd be worth spending more time digging into your current one.* Joining a professional or community or service association (like the Rotary or Toastmasters) might be a seemingly unrelated career step that'd actually help you broaden your contacts & exposure while seeing others in their career fields.* Another poster here recommended becoming the office's Excel & Powerpoint geek so that you're always involved in helping (those who desperately need it) while being able to keep an eye on new projects.* You'd need these skills in just about any field, let alone energy, so why not develop them now instead of trying to find the "right career" right away.

As for school & family-- nothing motivates you toward getting those advanced degrees & skills (or advanced whatever) like having a family.* Nothing can support you & help you like their love & loyalty, either.* Erma Bombeck used to say that people get married so that they can worry about money.* It's all too easy to become so focused on getting things done before you acquire family responsibilities that you keep on doing things and somehow never get around to the acquisition step.* Achieving goals as a team is what makes the whole family thing worthwhile.*
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Re: Relax and let the career come to you!
Old 09-09-2005, 08:40 PM   #58
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Re: Relax and let the career come to you!

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Originally Posted by soupcxan
Thanks for the input Nords...I WISH I could belong to local community groups and have a family, but being forced to relocate every 6 months (and then every 18 months once I finish this program, if you want to keep moving up the ladder) makes that extremely difficult. Hence my desire to get out at some point in my 5-year plan.
We used to move a lot in the Navy (19 moves in 20 years between the two of us) and it's not easy. But being in the Navy meant that we had common ties with the people at our new duty station and we might even have served with some of them before.

I don't know how Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, or Toastmasters work but I wonder if the group chapters might make the transition to a new location easier to network. You'd like to think that you could contact them a few months in advance and set up a happy hour or dinner.

Families will put up with just about anything as long as your check is deposited on time!

"If you want to keep moving up the ladder." Well, it's tough to decide when enough is enough. If you want to hang out until retirement just halfway up, will the company let you?
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-09-2005, 10:29 PM   #59
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Laurence:
Quote:
The company I'm considering going to wants to do a 2 hour interview with 3 people.* GEEZ!
At this point, and in your situation, you should be interviewing them.

Remember, this stage is akin to a courtship.* The marriage can be something entirely different.

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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?
Old 09-10-2005, 05:30 AM   #60
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Re: Career: how to get where I want to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
Laurence:
At this point, and in your situation, you should be interviewing them.

Remember, this stage is akin to a courtship.* The marriage can be something entirely different.

It always is.

JG
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