Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The sort of OK escape

posted Fri, 08 Oct 2004

I have been working really hard on my job search. You know, the new job I want to get in Colorado so I can live closer to my mom. I have identified the major employers in Denver and Colorado Springs and bookmarked their websites. I have sent my resume to the retained search headhunters in Denver. I have spoken to the Rice and UT alumni in Colorado who were willing to speak to me.

I must be free!

I have done everything in the job-search strategy I defined in August except actually apply for a job.

But I’ll get to that.

There are several reasons I want a new job:

1. I want to live closer to my mom.
2. I want to work in an industry that will still be in the US when I retire. I work in heavy manufacturing. Most heavy manufacturing is moving to Asia. I have no interest in running a factory in China. I am sad about this part because I really like manufacturing. It’s fun to work at a place that makes something. It’s a lot more fun than working at a place where you just move money around, like an insurance company (my first job out of college).
3. But even though I like manufacturing, I don’t want to run a factory. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to advance. In my company, if you haven’t run a factory, your opinion is worthless. And you’ll never be a VP.
4. I want to work at a company where being smart is not a liability. There is a real anti-intellectual bias at my company. My VP (who went to Yale!), makes snide comments about MBAs. (As if being an MBA means someone is smart…) My boss has more than once told me not to use “such big words because they make people feel stupid.” I have told him I am not sure what words he means – that I use the right word for what I want to say and that I do not know what is in everyone else’s lexicon.
5. I want to work with really smart, well-educated and well-rounded people. I spoke with a Rice alumna in Colorado last night. When I called and asked for Hilary, the woman who answered the phone said, “This is she.” I gasped. I am so unused to people using the proper grammar. I asked if she had been an English major. Nope. Electrical engineering. Of course. My college boyfriend was a EE, but took English classes with me and got better grades than I did in the Faulkner class (one of the reasons we had to break up – couldn’t I be better in my own major?). I know I am a snob about this, so no nasty comments. But I like being around people who know a lot of interesting things – who are well read and who are intelligent. Usually, but not always, this correlates with being well educated. There are people like that at my work, but I would consider them the exception rather than the rule.
6. I have not had a promotion in five years, but I have had three new jobs in that time. Each job has been made up especially for me, so has not been graded. My current assignment is on a special project. They won’t promote you to go onto a special project and they won’t promote you while you’re on it. They won’t let me move to another job right now – “You’re too important where you are. We can’t replace you.” We originally thought this project would end in 2006. Then it was delayed to 2007. Then we acquired a competitor. Now instead of needing to install SAP in 50 factories, we need to install it in 73. I might be on this project until I retire. I have to escape.

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