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Thread: Time to Reinvent Myself

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    personal reinvention, sure, but why do you have to reinvent your profession?

    can't believe there isn't another ev company hungry for qualified engineers with experience in the successful development and launch of an electric vehicle.

    eta: ah, the last sentence of the o.p.
    Last edited by L.W. Baxter; 11-11-2022 at 10:49 AM.

  2. #37
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    My career has included big corporations where I had a lot of resources but existed at the whim of distant decision makers, and start ups shooting for the moon but crashing to earth (ask my wife about our burlap year). The last 23 years have been a small company formed with friends, designing and making products to meet an identified niche market. We were never going to cash out big, but it has been a good living for a group of loyal employees. We make the decisions and control our destiny. This kind of company is not what they teach in b school (have to always be growing), but it has been the best for me. Something to consider.
    - Rick

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quell drag, Kat.

    I know a guy who owns a small drone company in the Phoenix area, they are busy. Your skill set might be transferable?
    Gerard>
    Albuquerque, NM

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic, save the country.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    Quell drag, Kat.

    I know a guy who owns a small drone company in the Phoenix area, they are busy. Your skill set might be transferable?
    I would think so. My background is mechanical engineering and program management.
    Pet photography, the degree you get when you fail aromatherapy - Duck D.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    I need to find a way to get away from this corporate crap and be my own boss.
    Good luck.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

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  6. #41
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    It's their loss not yours. Give yourself till the end of today to wrap up grieving over this lost opportunity.
    I think we can shake a lousy client or effed up gig in a day or two (or less), but a job takes a bit longer. It's a different type of injury altogether. When a client goes awry we usually have five more where we can focus our good energy in order to shake off the bad. But a job - you just have the one source of unfiltered angst and it'll really rattle you.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Kat, take some time lick your wounds and figure out your next move. As someone who's reinvented himself sooooo many times and publicly documented right here on this very forum I know the feeling all too well.

    Keep in mind you're wicked smart, with loads of practical and corporate experience, have faith that you will land on your feet. As many other people have said it might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

    Best of luck, and don't feel bad about sharing we are here for you.
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    they are giving us a severance package, but no career counseling. The problem with branching out on my own is that I donít know what I actually want do.
    I got hired back to help with a restructure, at great rates. But knew that wasn't going to last long so spent some time talking to the contacts that I'd made through that job, asking if they knew of any opportunities out there. Got another short term gig, did the same again and again.
    Some were great, some weren't, but I could live with those as I knew that they weren't going to be for long.
    I set up a business entity and a bank account with a name that was appropriate for the industry, cards and an on line presence, and gradually that morphed into a very nice little business that only needed two or three days a week to keep me in groceries and the flexibility was great.

    It was a difficult time at first, I did several gigs that I didn't like, but they helped me establish the direction I wanted to head in business wise.

    I'm trying hard to be retired now, just sticking to drawing boat plans which is a great hobby that brings in a few bucks, but more importantly has made me a lot of very good friends, but there are several of my previous customers in the woodworking machinery game who contact me from time to time asking for help. I can pick and choose with those as I can either go and do that or pass it on to the guy who took over when I decided that I'd had enough.

    But the key thing was that I was leveraging the contacts I'd made when in full time employment which is capital that is very useful, and hard to build from scratch.

    Best of luck,

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    It can’t be stressed enough. People hire people they know. And people hire people they like. Talking to people gets people jobs. Sending blind resumes has a low single digit payoff.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    I need to find a way to get away from this corporate crap and be my own boss.
    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Good luck.
    Two of my recent hires were attracted to us because we aren't that corporate crap, and now that they're here they still can't believe the freedom they have. Fewer beancounters, more support.
    Small(er) companies are out there. Maybe less applicable to your level of engineering, but we're out there.
    "Visionary" is he who in every egg sees a carbonara.

  11. #46
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    What John and Blue said. My only cold hire was right out of school. Since then it has been people I know. My partners now are people I met at other jobs. My customers now were my customers at other companies I worked.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Sigh. #48 and #46... yeah. As much as I might wish that the world didn't work that way, it does.

    My response to a recent "if you could send a message to your 20-yr old self" question was "Networking matters. It sucks, but do it anyway. Play frikkin golf."

    Meritocracy is a glorious ideal, but it's not our world.
    "Visionary" is he who in every egg sees a carbonara.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    Two of my recent hires were attracted to us because we aren't that corporate crap, and now that they're here they still can't believe the freedom they have. Fewer beancounters, more support.
    Small(er) companies are out there. Maybe less applicable to your level of engineering, but we're out there.
    The last 3 jobs I have had are "small" companies. The first one after I got let go was a place which had empowered employees - it was a great place to work and because of the work of all of the empowered employees as a team, we grew in an environment which was happy and hard working. We made product that people said wasn't possible in our industry. The second one was a family owned business that I worked at for nearly 15 years. It had a lot of "structure", but still wasn't corporate. Ultimately, the second generation of the family that had just taken the helm as I arrived were working to squeeze the place for income for the family in a way that necessitated a downward spiral of benefits for employees. I learned a great deal there and made great friends, but am glad to be out of there. The place I am at now is a very small company with three owners who are equal partners. We make great products that are having an impact on the world and keep developing new and better stuff for our customers. We're pretty empowered to do our jobs and there's very little in the way of management interference. We all work together well and share in the rewards both in terms of benefits and money. I hope I get to retire from here when the time comes.

    They're all different and it helps to know someone on the inside before deciding what the company culture is like.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  14. #49
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Weíve never met. Iíve never been a part of corporate America. Iíve never been laid off, only fired a couple of times for cause.
    All I know of you is through your Bilge posts, and the highlight of your posts is humor. I donít recall any anger or spite or serious complaint. Humor will get you over this, soon to be handled, bump in the road.
    Laugh.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    I spent my career being pretty good and not very like-able. Not a raging ass, but competence, reliability, and attention to detail were job one. Didn’t work out so well for me at the end.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    I think we can shake a lousy client or effed up gig in a day or two (or less), but a job takes a bit longer. It's a different type of injury altogether. When a client goes awry we usually have five more where we can focus our good energy in order to shake off the bad. But a job - you just have the one source of unfiltered angst and it'll really rattle you.
    I think it is a perception of scale. It hurts - no doubt more like being a jilted lover in a relationship that promised a future of wine and roses. the difference we all need to keep in perspective is we are all at will as "an employee" - moreover working at a start up is always crapshoot and good to remember nothing is secure and feeling of employees importance is self generated by those working for a paycheck. Even the stock options promised are worthless after they canabalize the shares for the benefit of founders, venture capitalists and saviors. Those who promise future gains are clouds in coffee. I should know too as I have been redundant a few times after I have worked hard and made others real stake holders/owner millions and me get shown the curb.

    it is far better to be with a team with outstanding ethical values showing the care and direct compensation of those who drive innovation, profitability and work in remaining with long range vision. A rare chicken with teeth. It is why others here like me are on our own shingle after a series of schooling of hard business knocks.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 11-11-2022 at 02:57 PM.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Sad to hear. Some ideas:

    Step 1: Breathe. Breathe in and out. And again in and out. Continue to breathe. Still breathing? Ok, you are still here. You are still alive. You can go on living.

    Step 2: A "trick" out of Dale Carnegies "How to stop worrying and start living" - (worth reading, it is full of stories of people who were forced to turn their life around - and did so). Anyway - the trick is to ask yourself what the worst is that can happen now. And then accepting it as the worst that can happen and trying to improve on it. Just guessing, but perhaps you will find that the worst that can happen now is that you run out of funds in 2 years (or whenever). So, any payed work will improve on that. But actually - starting new payed work (likely?) does not even have to be tomorrow - you probably have some time until you have to. So, if you start payed work again before you are broke, that is an improvement compared to being broke.

    Step 3: There are other tricks and recommendations in that book as well.

    Own story: I hit a professional crisis in 2018. I stayed in payed work, but it was a pretty deep crisis. Being squeezed out of a job is never nice. Amoung other stuff, I read the above book in 2018 which had been recommended to me. Come autumn 2018, it was clear I would be in an unbearable situation at work from early 2019 on. Way out - we (my wife and I) bought a boat, I took a sabatical and we went sailing in 2019. It was the right thing. Instead of panicking over the upcoming unbearable situation - I took time off and did what had been a dream for more than 20 years. Yes, I knew that I would have to find a job when I came back, that I might be unwanted in the old company. That was the risk. But I just did not feel like running after jobs, did not want the panic of being under time pressure to find one, of having to accept anything that might be offered. Reasoning was, that the main difference between job hunting in late 2018 and late 2019 would be, that we would have spent a sabatical sailing and would be somewhat poorer for going some time without income. But we would have made a dream come true - the long sailing trip. The strange thing - when we came back, there was a job waiting for me. And it suits me better than the one I had before. At close to 60, I am learning new stuff, I am part of the people shaping the future of the company, ... . It has worked out. And my wife and I are both glad we took the opportunity to go sailing. Also I am much more aware again, that all the work and business crisis are far less threatening then entering Faroe Sund from the South at night in a fresh southerly (one of the less than perfectly sensible things we did on the cruise). But - it worked out and we did get away with it. I have been told just this week twice by some younger people something along the line that I always remain so cool under pressure - and the secret is just, that I know now, that all this business pressure is not about life or death like going into Faroe Sund from the South in a fresh southerly in the night ...

    So - yes. Go your way (with Paul of course, you are not alone ...), how ever crazy it may seem, and tell your story here in 2 or 3 years. Only you can make your future what it will be.
    Last edited by Henning 4148; 11-11-2022 at 03:56 PM.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    I think you are well out of it. I'm surprised they are not belly up. I'd have packed up my desk the day they ran a truck downhill and pretended it was being driven by electricity, and not a Georgia Overdrive (gravity). You have been way to loyal.

    ETA I just checked their share price, they did you a favor.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    That’s rotten—especially after you uprooting yourself to work there. I bet Northern Michigan could use a good engineer…

    Jeff C
    Donít expect much, and you wonít be disappointedÖ

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Sorry to learn of this turn of events.Even if it is a stressful time,there has never been an easier time to look around for alternatives as almost all openings are advertised online.With good and recent experience of electric vehicles,there ought to be opportunities out there and if the warmer climate appeals, there may be places that suit.Best of luck with the next step.

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Sorry to hear of it , but you guys are resilient and proactive. I can't remember if you kept your house in Hell or not , but it'll be interesting to see your next steps.
    I'm sure they'll be forward .

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Best wishes for your upcoming adventure!
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Sorry to hear this and I wish you luck with whatever you do.

    As far as being your own boss goes, most consultancy work isn't like that. Your life becomes dependent on the whim or whatever of the client. Short contracts can be like that. If you can develop a set of products or services that you can sell then you can get a bit closer to being your own boss. It might seem a fine distinction but the difference lies in the degree of compromise to your values, lifestyle, whatever.

    I'm sure there's a market for engineering solutions for individuals and small businesses but the marketing required could be prohibitive. Here, there are collectives of architects, engineers etc., which could be a nice way to operate but I've no idea whether that sort of thing happens there. Maybe you should move to San Francisco . I hope it all goes well for you.
    Rick

    Lean and nosey like a ferret

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Sorry to hear this Kat.
    I have been through 11 reorganisations of work where the job stayed the same, just the Co name changed.
    Anyway, I survived intact until 2014 when I was forced to move against my will, but did .
    We had to leave the beloved BOI's in Northland NZ to move here to the Waikato.
    Now, we love living here so look forward, stay strong and I am sure you will find your feet firmly planted somewhere.
    I once thought I was wrong, but I was wrong, I wasn't wrong.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Another incubator I worked with a bit: Sustainable NW. I got the impression they were part of a larger network, so might be able to suggest resources wherever you decide to settle in.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Just saw this - bummer - maybe.

    I had the impression your former 'boss' was encountering 'difficulties' - have to wonder where they're headed.

    Doesn't matter for you, though - been down this road, myself - and it's stressful, even if your circumstances weren't perfect. 'We prefer the devil we know', and all that. This may look like a blessing - but only in hindsight.

    So... where do you guys really want to live? As I understand (could be wrong), Paul is 'retired'? No kids? Would seem you have unlimited options.

    Cool, eh?
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    It sucks, Katherine. I hope you find something worthy of your talents and brings you stimulation and joy.

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Katherine - I’m sure you will be fine.

    Most of us have been through this - I remember the first time it happened to me, the only helpful advice came from an older man who just said, “Andrew - you will get another job!” And indeed I did.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Sorry to hear that.
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  30. #65
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Your unemployment thread has elicited some interesting experiences Kat.
    Seems once you get past 55, unless you have an irreplaceable skillset the aholes in HR have been warned to aviod a certain demographic population.
    At 55 I was asked how long I intended to continue working.
    What?

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    This may look like a blessing - but only in hindsight.

    So... where do you guys really want to live? As I understand (could be wrong), Paul is 'retired'? No kids? Would seem you have unlimited options.

    Cool, eh?
    I hear central Europe is nice... One of my students is a nationally-ranked youth equestrian (jumping). If horses enter into the calculations...

    Tom
    Ponoszenie konsekwencji!

    www.tompamperin.com

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Yes. the mid 50ties and beyond. Age discrimination. It is a topic, but at the moment with not enough youngsters entering the labour market (at least in Germany), it is less of a topic than it has been in the past.

    There are ways to deal with it (in Germany): In short: Don't insist on a permanent contract if you are in the relevant age group. Aim for a temporary contract (which can get extended if you are good) or work through a staffing agency / engineering service provider.

    Then - what was the "average number" of staff you were responsible for in the last years? That number would roughly equal the size of company for which you might be of interest as a general manager / CEO. Age is less of a topic in senior / top management than further down - and the smaller the company, the easier to become senior / top management if you come from big corporations and have been a manager there. For smaller companies, work experience in big names in their customer portfolio is always very interesting.

    ...

    There are possibilities - you will find something when you try. But do not sacrifice too much of your private life again for a job. As you have just found out, it may not be worth it. Also think about work culture - I could imagine that you might feel better in foreign transplants (BMW, VW, Airbus, ...) which may have a slightly less aggressive background from their home countries regarding the handling of their staff. Or in smaller companies, where everyone will know you as Katherine and not just as a staff number on the headcount list

    But before you try - it may be good to win some distance, look back to what you dreamed of back when you were 15, 16 or 17 and see if you can come closer to those dreams with your next step. As Tom has written - a few years in central Europe might also be an experience if Paul is fine to come along. We normally do not bite and have places where boating or riding is possible.

    About going self employed - it is a question of how much you need to earn. If you are not under pressure to bring in money regularly for the say next 2 years, that is a very good base for trying to go solo.

    Marketable skills - I am sure you have more marketable skills than you are aware off right now. It is unlikely that they all will be needed in your next job unless you go for CEO / General Manager, but anyway. A more dimensionable matrix might help you to identify your skills. Something like:
    In which phases do you have education and experience (Selling, product definition, development, procurement, production, delivering, after sales service, ...),
    in which areas (controlling, program management, staff management, product engineering, production engineering, production planning, production line management, logistics, ...),
    in which specific fields (mechanical, electronics, mechatronics, software, ...),
    on which products, ...
    ...
    Something like that.
    Looking from a matrix like that, you may find that you have a lot of skills which would be of interest not only in automotive but for example also in robotics, in traffic control, in public transport, in aerospace, in medical technology or ... . Or even in running a company focussing on solutions for horse owners.
    Last edited by Henning 4148; 11-12-2022 at 02:32 AM.

  33. #68
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Very wise advice from Henning^^^
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  34. #69
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Thank you, Andrew!

    There is some more that I just thought of: Collect feedback from people who know you. Foremost of course Paul. Assuming you do not have to find a job immediately, seek out people who you have worked with in the past, talk to them (or even pack Paul in the car and go visit them) and get their view regarding on which topics you are far above average and on which topics you didn't do too well. And also on where they could imagine you doing well. That includes (if possible) former managers. Having feedback like that from say 20 or so sides will help you to view your skills and capabilities matrix from a different perspective.

    Personally - looking back, I have mostly worked in interface positions. Interfacing between different departments, interfacing between my employer and external stakeholders, ... . I did not seek out interfacing jobs actively, it was more that I was suggested for these jobs by others or that they were offered to me. They have been and are somewhat removed from the core of my formal education - but that is life as well. So - what others see in you is also of relevance for where you have good chances. Personally - I do not have many illusions about why these jobs were offered to me. One of the jobs had been turned down by one or two others who had been approached before me. But that was never a problem for me - quite the opposite, the people who offered me these jobs were pretty glad that they could finally fill these jobs and probably did not expect quite as many miracles from me as they would have from their first choices. :-)

    More business areas where you might be of interest: Machine tool producers, also for 3d printing, for fibre reinforced plastic production, ... . Green energy. ...
    Last edited by Henning 4148; 11-12-2022 at 03:26 AM.

  35. #70
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    Default Re: Time to Reinvent Myself

    Bummer.
    Two weeks ago, Burlington VT was warmer than Phoenix. There is a company there, Beta Aviation, that is developing electric airplanes. That is all I know about them.
    Can your spouse take up the slack?

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