a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by veen
veen  ·  225 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 26, 2023

Things are going down south at a rapid pace at work due to corporate overlords making certain decisions. I'm angry and disappointed but I'm pretty dure these decisions won't be reverted despite 70-80% opposition from my colleagues. Or put another way, I feel like it's naive not to start looking around for something else when everything that made working here great is on the balance.

Any advice is much appreciated. At least the job market's good...

kleinbl00  ·  223 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Go shop yourself around. Your new overlords clearly don't care much about loyalty and the old guard is likely already out there. Also keep in mind that you can freely and safely reach for careers virtually unrelated to the one you have now and that you can apply for stuff that you will feel is out of reach - in growing your authority as rapidly as you have your resume will demonstrate breadth and aptitude. Any employer worth their salt will hire an under-qualified problem-solver over a qualified seat-filler, especially in smaller, niche employment.

My wife and I have basically divided our hires into two categories: "employees" and "entrepreneurs." "Employees" will do the job we hire them to do for as long as it's convenient and profitable for them and then they will do the exact same job somewhere else. "Entrepreneurs" are yours for as long as you can keep them busy and challenged and the more you diversify their workload the more valuable they become. No judgement on either group of people: "Employees" just figure their life is elsewhere and this is that job that they knew they'd have to get when they graduated school. "Entrepreneurs" want their daily routine to mean something.

We lose "employees" to family shit or relocation - of the four we've lost, three have had babies and straight-up never came back to work. We lose "entrepreneurs" to greater opportunities - two have gone into practice for themselves (one came back, one moved to Minnesota), two have gone on to get higher degrees (one of them is now at a hospital we transport to regularly, one is coming back).

My wife's guiding principle as an employer is one she learned from her first boss, who we're still in touch with and hang out with regularly: "make sure your employees leave your employ as better people than they came in." We pay for education. We emphasize autonomy. We manage as little as humanly possible. And while I recognize that some bosses just suck, any organization worth working with will recognize that you're contracting for a talented individual's expertise in exchange for reselling it to someone else and the most valuable people to manage are the ones that naturally want to stretch.

veen  ·  220 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You hit the nail on the head. They're gonna get our group of entrepreneurs and force it into a megacorp of employees, and I just don't see that work no matter what they say. Entrepreneuring requires freedom, autonomy, the ability to tell management to fuck off. None of that will be the case because it doesn't fit the mold.

Honestly, I am having a hard time thinking of things that would be out of reach (feels like they're in my 'unknown unknowns') but you make a very interesting point. In hindsight I'm happy I made the career moves I did the past year or two because it's given me much more confidence in my abilities to do other types of work.

kleinbl00  ·  220 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah I was gonna say "well, I don't know that we want our employees to tell us to fuck off" but yeah, a few of 'em get real strident about stuff just because "strident" is where they live and you're right, we roll our eyes and smooth back their fur and pat them on their heads and let them come around to the thing that we knew wasn't anathema to them, it was just new and it's going to be okay. And yeah, every major decision we've had to make that impacts the way our hires work or live has been workshopped extensively 'cuz frankly? The less we have to do to keep the place running the more time we have to do other shit. Managing unhappy people sucks. We've never had to do it where the cause of the unhappiness was us, and I'ma bust my ass to keep it that way.

You're a talented guy with a diverse set of interests and if you apply for a bunch of random shit by saying "my opportunities for career growth are stunted under new management" who knows what you'll find. I mean, shoot the moon. Go apply to be an astronaut or something. Map the Marianas Trench. Establish a bicycle collective in Vanuatu.

I reckon there's going to be... a lot of civil planning in Ukraine in another 18-24 months. Future-shaping amounts.

ButterflyEffect  ·  225 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Always support getting out early and while you are ahead. Doesn’t sound like there’s much indication that things will change in a way you support?

veen  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not really no. Our small company got taken over by a big corporate three years ago, and they've been letting us do our thing for a while. It seems like they ran out of patience.

user-inactivated  ·  225 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Mind if I ask whether you want to stay in transit GIS, and what level of seniority are you at now (e.g. specialist, project manager, etc.)

veen  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In rapid succession I've gone from n00b junior specialist, to medior specialist, to near-senior specialist, decided I was fed up with GIS work and moved laterally to a medior consultant position partway through last year. I have attained an esoteric track record of projects in all corners of sustainable transportation policy. On the plus side, that means I have a cursory knowledge of a lot of other places to work; on the minus side, none of them jump out at me right now as the place to go to.

user-inactivated  ·  223 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Way to make that lateral move. Only a couple from my GIS cohort wants to stay in GIS. It seems the natural progressions are (1) become data specialists/DB admins/Architects or (2) transition to manager in field of interest that GIS afforded exposure to.

With this in mind, is it fair to state your interest is management/consultation of sustainable transit? Is there an emphasis on type of transit or what aspect of sustainability?

Asking since I have a relatable experience in the field you transitioned out of (great job, btw), and I want to understand if there is overlap between in your role now and interests of EU companies I’ve done work with for renewables. Not because I have an in per se, but hoping to provide an adjacent field to consider.

Also, jfc, kb’s first two paragraphs sums up some key realizations I had during my time between jobs recently that I am still sorting through. After your response, I’ll see if I can collate relevant advice from my time job hunting to add to that.

steve  ·  225 days ago  ·  link  ·  

find out if your company has a track record of giving decent severance packages. If they do? try to time your departure accordingly. It can be tricky, but I've pulled it off, and watched several other people pull it off too.

veen  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Severances are part of federal labor laws, so it's more of an eligibility question. A cursory look leads me to believe I won't be eligible unless they actually fire me, which doesn't seem likely as they can't fire without six months notice as I have an indefinite contract. Might be worth looking in to though.