PDA

View Full Version : Work life balance and expectations



13122018
13th December 2018, 12:03
Hi,
I work as an IT engineer in the North West in a medium sized organisation on 50k a year with a good pension. My work is somewhat varied as I have a reasonable amount of freedom around projects that I get involved in. I left the contracting market a few years ago after the Mrs wanted to move and I took my job as:
- It's a 25 minute commute from home
- It pays reasonably well for the area
- Good pension
- I can work 2-3 days a week from home (generally there's very little travel requirements)
- Low stress and pressure, this is in part due to the fact that I'm good at what I do, but also as the organisation is a bit disorganised, I only need to work at the level of my peers to do a reasonable job (in some cases, not difficult)
- Flexible hours, e.g. 8 to 4, 10 to 6, etc without the need to do overtime, on calls or formally log hours

The downsides to the role are:
- No formal training/courses available
- Takes forever for senior management to make a decision or change the status quo
- Slow to adopt new technology
- Lack of career progression
- A significant culture of following the highest paid opinion

From what I've seen, most of the roles that would be a step up career wise involve a significant increase in hours, stress and travel, which when you consider the 45% tax on the salary increase just isn't worthwhile. I'm curious on readers' opinion if my assumption on moving up the career ladder is in line with their experiences?

cojak
13th December 2018, 12:31
A Career??

Take control of your own career, don’t rely on any company to sort it out for you - they’ll do what right for them, which means not spending any money in your case.

Take the courses you want to take and apply for a role away from your fur-lined rut.

That’s what a contractor would do and a permie should do.

Old Greg
13th December 2018, 21:15
I've heard of worse ways to live a life. Best of luck to you.

Why coasting at work is the best thing for your career, health and happiness | Money | The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/money/shortcuts/2018/nov/13/why-coasting-at-work-is-the-best-thing-for-your-career-health-and-happiness)

BR14
13th December 2018, 21:29
rare roast beef and horseradish is always my favourite role

Old Greg
13th December 2018, 21:41
rare roast beef and horseradish is always my favourite role

You lack the gravitas.

TwoWolves
13th December 2018, 22:04
All fine until the company suddenly folds or lets you go without warning. Then you suddenly find that after taking it easy for so long nobody wants to employ you.

Old Greg
13th December 2018, 23:01
All fine until the company suddenly folds or lets you go without warning. Then you suddenly find that after taking it easy for so long nobody wants to employ you.

Fair point.

fullyautomatix
14th December 2018, 04:58
All fine until the company suddenly folds or lets you go without warning. Then you suddenly find that after taking it easy for so long nobody wants to employ you.

WTWS.
If you find yourself in the job market for any reason, you will be unemployable because you had an easy life in your last gig. Learn a new skill every few months, IT is rapidly changing and you cannot afford to stay still or you risk becoming obsolete.

Zigenare
14th December 2018, 05:41
Hi,
I work as an IT engineer in the North West in a medium sized organisation on 50k a year with a good pension. My work is somewhat varied as I have a reasonable amount of freedom around projects that I get involved in. I left the contracting market a few years ago after the Mrs wanted to move and I took my job as:
- It's a 25 minute commute from home
- It pays reasonably well for the area
- Good pension
- I can work 2-3 days a week from home (generally there's very little travel requirements)
- Low stress and pressure, this is in part due to the fact that I'm good at what I do, but also as the organisation is a bit disorganised, I only need to work at the level of my peers to do a reasonable job (in some cases, not difficult)
- Flexible hours, e.g. 8 to 4, 10 to 6, etc without the need to do overtime, on calls or formally log hours

The downsides to the role are:
- No formal training/courses available
- Takes forever for senior management to make a decision or change the status quo
- Slow to adopt new technology
- Lack of career progression
- A significant culture of following the highest paid opinion

From what I've seen, most of the roles that would be a step up career wise involve a significant increase in hours, stress and travel, which when you consider the 45% tax on the salary increase just isn't worthwhile. I'm curious on readers' opinion if my assumption on moving up the career ladder is in line with their experiences?

Are you happy?
Do you feel secure?

Do you like films about Gladiators?
Do you bleed your own or do you pay a bleeder?

Old Greg
14th December 2018, 07:44
WTWS.
If you find yourself in the job market for any reason, you will be unemployable because you had an easy life in your last gig. Learn a new skill every few months, IT is rapidly changing and you cannot afford to stay still or you risk becoming obsolete.

Or don't bother and become a project manager.

ladymuck
14th December 2018, 08:59
It also depends on where you are in your life.

Do you have kids? How old are they?
Are you winding down to retirement, or still full of vim and vigour?
Do you want to go back to contracting and uncertain income, or do you just want a better permie job (I think that's an oxymoron)?

Staying put and stagnating isn't good for you or your employer. It's a poor employer who doesn't recognise this even if you get a relatively easy time of it at work. This is also true for those 'contractors' who stay put with the same client for years and years.

As Cojak said - take control of your own career. If you feel something is missing, do something about it. Ask for training, expect the worst and pay for it yourself - maybe negotiate with management that the time you take off to do the course (depending on its duration) doesn't come out of your holiday entitlement and is paid.

You don't get a career by coasting. That's just a job. A career is made by taking / creating opportunities to expand your knowledge.

Scruff
14th December 2018, 08:59
You lack the gravy

Bisto or home-made?

Old Greg
14th December 2018, 09:37
Bisto or home-made?

Bum.

13122018
15th December 2018, 21:44
It also depends on where you are in your life.

Do you have kids? How old are they?
Are you winding down to retirement, or still full of vim and vigour?
Do you want to go back to contracting and uncertain income, or do you just want a better permie job (I think that's an oxymoron)?

Staying put and stagnating isn't good for you or your employer. It's a poor employer who doesn't recognise this even if you get a relatively easy time of it at work. This is also true for those 'contractors' who stay put with the same client for years and years.

As Cojak said - take control of your own career. If you feel something is missing, do something about it. Ask for training, expect the worst and pay for it yourself - maybe negotiate with management that the time you take off to do the course (depending on its duration) doesn't come out of your holiday entitlement and is paid.

You don't get a career by coasting. That's just a job. A career is made by taking / creating opportunities to expand your knowledge.

Hi
Life wise, I'm almost 40, no kids yet,but hopefully soon, so a cushy job suits me for the near future. In addition my wife earns significantly more than me, so financially there's no major incentive to climb the greasy pole and my wife prefers that we both have easier lives.

At the moment, I try the methods already suggested to improve my opportunities - volunteering for work which requires marketable skills, speaking at a conference/public, etc.

I think I'll be in a job rather than a career for a while as the career effort doesn't seem worthwhile, plus the management path seems to be filled with a lot of hot air (e.g. travelling 9 hours for 2 hours of meeting or starting projects that you know will fail just so that the team "can be seen to be doing something")

psychocandy
17th December 2018, 12:48
Be well happy if my mrs earned more than me... Tidy.

No jokes about sliding down my greasy pole from me though ;-)

LondonManc
17th December 2018, 12:51
Hi
Life wise, I'm almost 40, no kids yet,but hopefully soon, so a cushy job suits me for the near future. In addition my wife earns significantly more than me, so financially there's no major incentive to climb the greasy pole and my wife prefers that we both have easier lives.

At the moment, I try the methods already suggested to improve my opportunities - volunteering for work which requires marketable skills, speaking at a conference/public, etc.

I think I'll be in a job rather than a career for a while as the career effort doesn't seem worthwhile, plus the management path seems to be filled with a lot of hot air (e.g. travelling 9 hours for 2 hours of meeting or starting projects that you know will fail just so that the team "can be seen to be doing something")

Knock her up, become a househusband. Sorted.

malvolio
17th December 2018, 13:29
Or don't bother and become a project manager.
Yeah, I've worked with a few that have done that. Most of them didn't get a second gig... :wink