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Unread 09-11-2019, 11:57 AM   #21
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Acworth
Posts: 1,163
I spent 12 years in the Navy, at 10 years I got diagnosed with a medical condition. 2 years later they decided I couldn't stay in with that condition (because finding jobs like what I had been doing for the past 2 years, in my field, was apparently going to be too hard. They then screwed me out of ~$40k. By the time I figured out how, I'd gotten to the point where it would be me suing the gov to try and get that money. One lawyer told me it'd be about $50k to pay for the lawsuit that I'd probably win my $40k, but nothing guaranteed. I decided to not spend the money.

But hey, I found a nice job with little travel, nice bosses, and encouragement to move upward in my career. At least, it seemed that way. The job that my boss didn't want, was going to recommend me for, and that the person leaving that management position was going to recommend me for, went to my boss without ever being posted for anyone else (like myself) to be in consideration for. That boss was then way in over their head and their lack of management skills became quickly apparent, and got worse from there. Pay stagnated, and required travel increased.

I realized I had three options -
A. Stay and be like everyone else stuck there in a pretty much dead-end job.
B. Move to a competitor or another position somewhere else - abandoning my parents who I'd move out to me so I could help take care of them and leaving most of my good friends.
or
C. Take advantage of the pay at the job, save and invest aggressively, and put up with the job for a relatively short period of time and retire early.

I choose C currently, and along that route the increasing net worth has given me the confidence to ask for more pay and concessions (like more time working from home) along the way. I know it would suck to have to move, but I also know I have the financial ability to do so if things get too bad to deal with here.

I'm senior enough that I'm mostly left to work on my own, I rarely "report" to anyone on a regular basis, and I can deal with that for now due to the relatively generous PTO policy, flex time policy, ability to work from home for ~1/2-2/3rds of my time each week, and being able to help my parents out regularly.
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Unread 09-11-2019, 01:29 PM   #22
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 206
I had a double whammy during my first week in my first job after leaving the Navy.

#1: My first morning in the new job, I found out that the position I was hired for no longer existed because that project had been canceled. They offered me a different position, which I accepted. After all, I had already relocated and needed a job. But they gave me zero training and could not even give me a list of my responsibilities. It took about 8 months before I felt comfortable and fully productive. Most folks were happy to help when I asked a specific question, but it took time before I knew what questions to ask.

#2: Later that first week, the company did a mass layoff of about 80 people, if I recall correctly. Luckily I was not included in the layoff, but I never felt secure in that job during my entire tenure with that employer.

This was an eye-opening introduction to Corporate America.
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Unread 09-11-2019, 03:48 PM   #23
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Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4,261
My poor son learned early.

He was 10 when I showed up unexpectedly to pick him up after school. He asked why I was there; typically he took the bus. I'd been downsized that morning and the outplacement counselor brought in to do damage control after the message was delivered told me I should tell him I was looking for a new job and the company was paying me to look for a new job. Instead, I told him the truth: in polite company parlance, my "position had been eliminated" and I had 5 months severance and was starting a job search immediately. Six weeks later, I was at a new job.

A few months after that I got home from a business trip and it was late enough that I decided to skip the office and pick DS up at school. He looked at me in surprise and said, "Mom, did you get fired again?"

DS is in a decent corporate job, same industry, but knows to look out for himself.
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Unread 09-11-2019, 05:45 PM   #24
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 21
Luckily, as kids my parents made us work in the vegetable garden, rake leaves, mow the lawn, pick up rocks, hay bales, etc. My father especially instilled in us kids the value of work for the feeling of accomplishment and self worth it gave a person. We saw our father's manufacturing plant shut down several times for layoffs, then in early 80's close for good- he always blamed it on "bad management". Seeing him lose his job after he had worked so hard was eye-opening.

My own clear-eyedness about work began in my first job when my best friend was laid off, and later in my second job when the company "downsized" and many were let go. I understood that I had to continue to add to my skills and knowledge, as well as my savings (401k).
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Unread 09-11-2019, 06:10 PM   #25
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St. Charles
Posts: 1,469
I survived two layoffs.
The first one happened, and this is the truth, because the company planning software did not deduct work completed from backlog, so the backlog was inflated. When someone figured it out, all h$ll broke loose. Luckily for me, I had been working with the R&D department, and they actually DID need help. I transferred as the layoffs were happening. I remember the new HR guy had to do all the dirty work, and when he got through, they laid him off too.

Second time, I was smarter. Big boss retired. He had all the construction licenses for the company (we did design-build at the time). I volunteered to take the tests. (side note: I was in Baton Rouge taking a contracting test when 9/11 happened. Drove back in a rental car.)

When the layoffs occurred, I was about as bullet-proof as you could be. We had 4 projects in progress, using my licenses.

Luck is good. Planning is better.
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