Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Career Reflections
Old 12-14-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Career Reflections

I am throwing in the towel and starting to (selectively) look for the next landing spot. My employer is going through a culture change (for the worse) and the "demotivational" messages and actions are starting to ramp up. I have seen this movie before and I am getting pretty frustrated, so it is time to look for the next gig.

I am tempted to reflect on my career as something of a failure, given that I have hopped around like a bunny on crack my entire adult life. Longest I stayed in one spot is 3.5 years, and I have been at 6 shops since 1997. OTOH, I probably know more about insurance companies than anyone except someone who has run several of them, so its not all bad. Maybe I just should have been a consultant and dispensed with the veneer of being a permanent employee.

I am curious, though: am I extremely atypical in the number of my employers, or are others moving frequently as well?
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-14-2010, 05:29 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,438
I had a total of 3 jobs. Two years each on my first 2 jobs and 27 on the last one. I wanted to change a time or two on my last job, but stuck it out because it would have been hard to better myself financially.

Sorry for your employer troubles, but sounds like you won't have to work too many more years. Just let that be your focused.
__________________

__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 05:34 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North of Montana
Posts: 2,753
Probably not. I spent 40 years with 3 employers (one of whom was myself) but I'm in a geographically constrained area. If you live (or are willing to live) in an area rich in potential employers you have more options than me. Sounds like you exploited that advantage.
__________________
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can extrapolate conclusions from insufficient data and ..
kumquat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
I think jumping from job to job has a lot to do with the type of job. Nothing wrong with it if there is pension to protect by staying. When it's time to go ya gotta go.

I was in the car biz and was in 4 different dealers in 35 years. The last one was 21 years. This is very unusual today as most dealership owners spend most of their time trying to figure out how to rip the employees off.

No big deal, just move on. Excelsior!
__________________
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 255
I've been at 6 firms (including a partner at my own firm) over the course of 14 years working after post-grad education, so my average is lower than yours (caveat: I worked for Arthur Andersen when it went under so that was an involuntary change - before you ask I had no part in Enron).

I work in a fairly specialized area and I'm considered successful or better by my peers. Until my present position, I went back and forth from disliking to hating my career choice. All my previous positions have been as a consultant. The current position is the best I've had but I no longer work as a consultant. I no longer day dream about a new career and look seriously at job postings, but I'm still counting the days until I can retire (approx. 3650).

I will measure my own career success by whether it can provide the financial means and work-life balance to give myself and my family a comfortable living, my substantial involvement in their daily lives and a retirement age under 50. I don't use accomplishments at work as a measure although they do provide a certain level of personal satisfaction.

Edit: My average isn't lower than yours, but they are very close. I misread your OP as 3.5 years on average.
__________________
SunsetSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 06:05 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,974
It appears you're not alone - at all. more-workers-start-to-quit: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
Quote:
In February, the number of employees voluntarily quitting surpassed the number being fired or discharged for the first time since October 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And I remember when 7 seemed to be the average number of jobs in a career. I'm convinced that number has increased in my lifetime.
Careers in Transition, LLC - What is the average number of jobs a person holds during a lifetime?
Quote:
Studies show that the average working American will have three to five careers and between 10 to 12 jobs during his or her lifetime.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 06:13 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,182
Megacorp 1 for 10 years, at a place known for lifers.
Megacorp 2 for 16 years.
I don't figure I'm all that typical though.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 06:21 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I am tempted to reflect on my career as something of a failure, given that I have hopped around like a bunny on crack my entire adult life.
Anyone who survives and takes care of himself and those entrusted to him is a mensch, so be proud. It is not your fault that you came along just before the ball of string started to unravel.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 06:42 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
Retch The Grate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Mountain View
Posts: 252
I've worked for 8 different companies in my 16 years of working now. Of course I've spent most of my time in the game industry, and done a number of startups, so that may skew things, but 3.5 years tops per job fits my history too (longest was 3years 8 months).
__________________
Retch The Grate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 06:43 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,667
I just tried to count the number of employers I had in my 25 yrs in the workforce, and I can't do it. There are too many. Both contract jobs and W2 jobs. In both categories there are just too many to remember. A rough guess would be 40 contract jobs and a dozen W2 jobs. BTW, I was in software, and the 90s were a time when you could easily and always benefit from changing jobs. It wasn't as effortless in the 2000s.

Anyway, a couple of things to keep in mind:

1. Changing jobs is usually the best way to increase your compensation. I remember seeing someone on this board recommend changing jobs every two years to maximize salary growth. I never forgot that.

2. We are (or were ) extremely fortunate to live in a place where we can change jobs freely and easily, often improving our lot in the process.
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 06:51 PM   #11
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I am throwing in the towel and starting to (selectively) look for the next landing spot. My employer is going through a culture change (for the worse) and the "demotivational" messages and actions are starting to ramp up. I have seen this movie before and I am getting pretty frustrated, so it is time to look for the next gig.
I thought your present job offered a pension. Don't you want to stay for decades in a job where you aren't appreciated, to do nothing and be passed over when it comes to all the "goodies", and watch less talented folks jump past you on their way up the ladder, while you are stuck with virtually no challenge or possibility of skill development, all so that you can finally, finally, FINALLY qualify for that wonderful, glorious, three figure a month pension?

Then you can listen to those who would say that it's completely unfair that you have a pension and they don't.

In other words, you're young and you gotta do what you gotta do.

Oh, in answer to your questions. I preferred sticking to jobs when I could (though they kept vanishing out from under me). I think those who "job hop" usually end up with higher salaries and lower benefits. But who gets benefits any more, anyway?
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 07:27 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,034
I was lucky in that Nursing was the perfect fit for me . Just when I would start to get burned out I was able to move to a different specialty . In forty years I worked six different areas .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 07:34 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 61
I'm 28 and have had multiple jobs so far. Here's my career path so far:

1 year at a firm my first year out of college
2+ years at my next firm
2 years in graduate school (during this time did two separate consulting projects and an internship)
Currently at a megacorp. My future here is TBD, but likely I'll stick it out until first quarter of 2014. They have a good 401K match that only vests after three years of employment (which would be June 2013 for me), however the way the 401K match is structured they only add it to your account at the end of the year. So even after mine vests, I need to stick around another 6 months in order to get the match.

I have the same mindset as Onward in that changing jobs is the best way to maximize salary growth. I realize that at some point there's a ceiling, but even early on in my career the major job changes I've made saw me increase my salary 50% (before grad school) and then get a 60%+ increase post-grad school. That can't continue forever, but I tend to think changing employer's is the best way to increase my earning potential, but going forward I'll probably stay in most places so any 401K matches I get vest.

That said, if I land in a really good spot and am comfortable in all aspects of my life I'd like to stay put, but I don't see that happening in the short term.
__________________
Klubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 07:35 PM   #14
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,864
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I am throwing in the towel and starting to (selectively) look for the next landing spot. My employer is going through a culture change (for the worse) and the "demotivational" messages and actions are starting to ramp up. I have seen this movie before and I am getting pretty frustrated, so it is time to look for the next gig.

I am tempted to reflect on my career as something of a failure, given that I have hopped around like a bunny on crack my entire adult life. Longest I stayed in one spot is 3.5 years, and I have been at 6 shops since 1997. OTOH, I probably know more about insurance companies than anyone except someone who has run several of them, so its not all bad. Maybe I just should have been a consultant and dispensed with the veneer of being a permanent employee.

I am curious, though: am I extremely atypical in the number of my employers, or are others moving frequently as well?

Brewer, Sorry to hear that things aren't working out for you there. A job change always brings stress; this time of year even more so. Although we have had many differences of opinion here on the forum, I'd be glad to share my thoughts from a management perspective via PM if you'd like.
All the Best,
WS
__________________
Westernskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 08:02 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetSail View Post
I've been at 6 firms (including a partner at my own firm) over the course of 14 years working after post-grad education, so my average is lower than yours (caveat: I worked for Arthur Andersen when it went under so that was an involuntary change - before you ask I had no part in Enron).

I work in a fairly specialized area and I'm considered successful or better by my peers. Until my present position, I went back and forth from disliking to hating my career choice. All my previous positions have been as a consultant. The current position is the best I've had but I no longer work as a consultant. I no longer day dream about a new career and look seriously at job postings, but I'm still counting the days until I can retire (approx. 3650).

I will measure my own career success by whether it can provide the financial means and work-life balance to give myself and my family a comfortable living, my substantial involvement in their daily lives and a retirement age under 50. I don't use accomplishments at work as a measure although they do provide a certain level of personal satisfaction.

Edit: My average isn't lower than yours, but they are very close. I misread your OP as 3.5 years on average.
Interesting to read. I guess I have always thought of myself as having a specialty consulting practice that has one client at a time.

The place I liked best (despite the high burnout factor) was the 12 man hedge fund that the principal (and a great teacher to me) described as being basically a privateer of the capital markets: you just hoped you ran across a stray treasure galleon and not the Spanish Armada. A gazillion person bureaucracy is not a good fit, but that's all there was when I was tossed out in the street a month before Lehman went tits up.

We will see what is out there. Worst case scenario is that I hunker down and suck it up for the next 3 years until ESR.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 08:17 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
Brewer, kudos for coming to the conclusion that your current place of employment is never going to be a good fit and moving on. The truth is you could suck it up and be miserable for the next however many years waiting to be FI, however the problem with being miserable in the work place is it doesn't get left in the workplace.

I think the longest job I ever had was my first out of school and that last 4 years. I did work for the government for a period of 10 years, but that only lasted because I was transferred from location to location every 2 years which worked fine for me. 2 years is normally my attention span done at any place of employment, before the burn out sinks in.

Life is too short to suck it up unless you really have to.
__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 08:27 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Because DW and I are specialized workers, a change of job often means a change of address. So we try to hang on to our jobs as long as we can, cause we don't like to move, but we usually start to get bored after 5 years or so on the job. We have been at our present location for 5 years and DW is once again getting antsy for a change.

I have heard it said that, for some high-flying careers, staying on the job more than 2 years is considered to reflect a lack of ambition and dynamism.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 08:38 PM   #18
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,146
I have jumped around a fair bit, changing both jobs and career fields.

5.0 years US Navy submarine officer
0.5 years semiconductor manufacturer engineer
3.0 years nuclear power plant engineer
8.5 years law firm number 1
6.5 years law firm number 2
3.1 years state attorney general's office (so far)

I believe that you should do what you like at an acceptable salary, not something you don't like, even if the money is great. Three times I have voluntarily taken enormous pay cuts for the opportunity to do something different.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 08:50 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,619
Not counting grad school and post doc:
8 years employer #1
14 years employer #2
2 years semi-retired employer #2 (not a typo)
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 11:24 PM   #20
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I am curious, though: am I extremely atypical in the number of my employers, or are others moving frequently as well?
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
We will see what is out there. Worst case scenario is that I hunker down and suck it up for the next 3 years until ESR.
I hear Buffett's looking for a few good CFOs, and your background couldn't hurt. Best of all, you won't have to move to Omaha! Unless you think that's a good thing...
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reflections on Taxes FUEGO FIRE and Money 91 04-05-2010 04:33 PM
Another classmate passes and reflections on SER fisherman Life after FIRE 11 08-21-2008 06:19 AM
What is (or will be) your second career? Midpack Life after FIRE 60 05-16-2008 05:53 PM
Reflections after 2 weeks off dx Other topics 11 02-09-2005 08:37 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:10 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.