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HaemishM
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Reply #3885 on: January 24, 2021, 10:59:55 AM

One of the main signs of a company that has no fucking clue is shortly after a bad downturn. If they start throwing all sorts of shit at the wall to see what sticks when they have previously been reluctant to try really risky shit, somebody in a position of knowing what's really going on with the business has seen the projections and they are shitting their pants. All those risky new ventures are literal panic projects and they will have absolutely no real commitment to them. The minute one of them shows some promise of making money, they will shift resources from the things which might be better long-term but aren't yet showing promise to those projects that might have short-term revenue. If it isn't enough, that's how you get 3 rounds of layoffs.

Korachia
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Reply #3886 on: January 24, 2021, 02:04:09 PM

Thatīs exactly what I am witnessing Haemish. Leadership is throwing so many ideers out there right now. Itīs a huge  drain on the ever slimer ressources. Persistency and determination and well thought out planning are in short demand. Do these panic projects ever turn out to save the company? Probably not.

Getting out, as you all say is probably the right choice. All my friends have been telling me the same.

 I got until summer before the next cut might happen. I better start dusting off linkedin, my CV and start reaching out to some people. But I might spend 3-6 months gaining experience before I really accelerate the job hunt.

Even through itīs hard working in this environment, it is in some ways fascinating being onboard my own company sponsered Titanic cruise..

HaemishM
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Reply #3887 on: January 24, 2021, 03:14:11 PM

Also, remember that the smooth-brained business genius that comes up with these new projects is likely just trying to make himself appear really busy and vital to the company so that he isn't on the chopping block for the next round of layoffs.

Samwise
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Reply #3888 on: January 24, 2021, 03:22:10 PM

Even through itīs hard working in this environment, it is in some ways fascinating being onboard my own company sponsered Titanic cruise..

At my first company I stuck around long enough to see three rounds of layoffs before I bailed.  I did hang in there long enough to get a big raise that I was able to use to help negotiate a better salary at the next company -- if you're already three rounds in and they're trying to retain you with a title instead of a raise, either that ship has sailed (i.e. they're just too flat broke to offer more money even after cutting a lot of costs, which if true is a REALLY bad sign) or you haven't been sufficiently obvious in your desire to leave.  Be more obvious IMO.

At my last company, I recognized all the signs well in advance and I got out four months before the first round of layoffs hit.  Once you realize that the company has peaked from your perspective (i.e. not in terms of how the company is doing in the larger financial sense, but just in terms of what you're getting out of it in compensation, work/life balance, experience, etc), the longer you stay there the more time you're wasting in decline when you could be riding another trajectory upward instead.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
Hammond
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Reply #3889 on: January 24, 2021, 11:13:01 PM

I am going to echo what everyone else has said. You now have a title that should help you find your next job. Company's that are in contradiction are not a fun place to be and most likely it is just going to get worse. Update your resume and start looking.

At my last employer I made it through purchases and sellouts, and finally several rounds of layoffs and it finally got the point I had to move if I wanted to stay with the company. I stuck around because they kept giving me raises to keep me around but moving was the one step I wouldn't do. Thankfully my current employer came literally knocking on my door and I was able to move on.

Phildo
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Reply #3890 on: January 27, 2021, 09:21:52 AM

My company is doing a bunch of hiring right now if anyone is in the market for something new.  Here's the marketing blurb about it.  Link to the jobs site.  Shoot me a message if you're looking at any of the openings.
Chimpy
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Reply #3891 on: January 27, 2021, 09:59:30 AM

That press release is like someone just went up to a buzzword pinata and smashed it the fuck open and used whatever fell to the ground.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Hammond
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Reply #3892 on: January 27, 2021, 11:38:44 AM

If we were doing shots for every buzzword I would be black out drunk halfway through.
Phildo
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Reply #3893 on: January 27, 2021, 11:41:07 AM

Well yeah, it's a marketing release.  But the company is a good place to work and is doing a pretty wide hiring blitz.
Trippy
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Reply #3894 on: January 27, 2021, 12:06:07 PM

They didn't use "synergy", though. Demerits for that.
Sky
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Reply #3895 on: January 27, 2021, 01:23:02 PM

I'm pumping a desynergizing cycle in these troubling times to uplift my conceptual understanding of the intersection of workhabitation and relaxification via introspective exploration of incentivized decentivation.

The business world has nothing on the art world when it comes to bundling bullshit statements.

Korachia
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Reply #3896 on: January 27, 2021, 02:13:09 PM

Sky, you sound like my agile coach. Lots of hot air, enough to drive climate change on her own.

But it sounds like a great place Phildo.
Chimpy
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Reply #3897 on: January 27, 2021, 02:35:34 PM

But it sounds like a great place Phildo.

Except the whole "Reston, VA" location on everything.  why so serious?

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Korachia
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Reply #3898 on: January 27, 2021, 02:56:12 PM

Haha :D Well, some of them did say remote!
Phildo
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Reply #3899 on: January 28, 2021, 08:28:46 AM

I live in the area and I haven't been to Reston in over a year.  My work is 100% remote/paid travel.  Many of the jobs are.
Sky
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Reply #3900 on: February 16, 2021, 11:27:14 AM

Ugh, the admin job for the library system opened up. Huge pita, but the pay is almost reasonable (and much better than I make now). I'm not sure expanding my responsibility from 1 library to 43+HQ is worth 30% more in compensation, though!

Toughest part is that they're exposed to state cuts far more than we are, state accounts for maybe .1% of our budget, but it's their major funding source and gets written out of the budget and cut like crazy. But we're on emergency spending this year at the library already, so things are already rocky.

It's in the same retirement system, so if I managed to eke out the last 9+ years there, it would really help out the pension. Otherwise a straight benefit match for what I do now, but with +1000% commute time (3mins to 30mins, remember snow is a thing here). Though I did that commute for the first 2 years of this job...

It's hard to consider, after 21 years here and knowing the culture/finances of both institutions (the culture is so much better here it's not comparable imo), but it's also a chance to shift the culture there to what we have here (the retiree was a large part of the problem there, culturally). One thing about her toxic leadership is that she trained libraries to treat her like a mommy, so at least initially most of them would just go along with whatever I decided to do...but man, talk about herding cats...

Chimpy
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Reply #3901 on: February 16, 2021, 12:54:06 PM

How much does the system actually do for the individual libraries? Is it just managing a central catalog and ILL stuff or is there a lot deeper integration?

Seems like you would not need to have to support as many people/systems directly. Just that what you are working on is more critical.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Sky
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Reply #3902 on: February 16, 2021, 01:23:00 PM

The lending stuff is another department, the ILS was moved to the vendor's service, which helped a lot, but getting up to speed on the backend of the ILS is probably my main hurdle (which is a low one, to be honest, which is why I'm even thinking about it). I've wanted to move away a bit from hard skills to a more admin/managerial position for a few years now, and this is really the only position in the area that would be a step up for me. Main problem is, most of her direct reports have gone by the way of attrition and her second would be essential to me surviving a year.

On the upside, I've always had a solid working relationship with him, competency- and temperence-wise, we're both on the same page. Buuut, he's a wicked short-timer and I have a concern he wouldn't stay long enough to get me comfortable (I figure two full fiscal years to have a firm grasp). If he left, that's the other half of the institutional knowledge (the IT admin being the other half). I could bullshit my way through it for a couple years, but I don't want to do that. I want to plan for the future positions (as I'm doing currently, grooming the position for my replacement...9 years from now).

Anyway, the positions that are open (afaik) are all the grunt-level support folks. Easier to replace, but I don't see that happening in the current economic climate.

The upside is that they've been pushing for a more admin-friendly setup across the board and have been for years, now. I've been a vocal opponent of choosing admin ease over patron service :D But there is still a ton of direct support needed and afaik one short-timer to share that with.

At worst, I want to put in an give them a 'make me leave my current job' number. Barring some rock star system manager from a bigger system (and why would they want to move here?), there's literally nobody better qualified (except the short-timer who was her #2, I doubt he wants the supervisory role, whereas I've done that and actually like it). MLS or bach+5xp or equivalent, I have 21 years and know /this/ system. But they may need to hit the posted salary for attrition reasons.

Uncertainty makes me crazy, but given the giant crap the government has taken on itself (as our funding sources), even my quiet ride to retirement is up in the air, I could be out next year if there's another cut (and I'll be amazed if there isn't). It's just that the system is even more vulnerable, as their director isn't as good in a survival situation and we have a bit of protected funding that they do not.

I don't know how you guys do it!

Sky
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Reply #3903 on: February 16, 2021, 01:33:04 PM

Another twist is that my library director and I have, for years, been discussing how we could dismantle and decentralize the system. Ditching the redundant staff, having the system staff in actual libraries helping patrons (they tend to be out of touch with patron service), the MASSIVE overhead of a giant facility with maybe a dozen employees left. She's already redesigned the entire ILL system for forward sorting to reduce the need for drivers across 3 counties...and they keep pushing back because they fear change.

So having me inside as basically the #2 power position (and previously #1 as far as influence goes) would be veeery interesting. And my director is on the hiring committee...Our board pres is also on their board and a big fan. I'd be less worried about getting the position as actually doing it, because I care about doing it right.

It's just so much goddamned more work for a proportionally small increase in salary and having to actually commute.

Korachia
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Reply #3904 on: February 17, 2021, 02:30:01 PM

If you factor the time and money spend on the extra commute, is it still worth it?

It does seem like an interesting job, but with more uncertainty attached to it. What is more important for you, a new exciting position or security?
NowhereMan
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Reply #3905 on: February 17, 2021, 04:34:55 PM

I guess my take on it would be, is the possibility to do something you would find meaningful both professionally and as a community contribution going to be worth stress and uncertainty of the higher job?

The extra commute isn't huge in and of itself and the salary bump doesn't sound commensurate with the extra work so, unless either of those is super important, I don't think they're really key factors and probably about even each other out. So I'd say it comes down to whether you think having the impact you can see is actually achievable and whether it's going to be worth the extra work and slog to bring it about. It might even be worth speaking with the No. 2 to get a feel for whether he'd be sticking around another couple of years. You can't rely on it as a certainty but hopefully you'd get a clear idea of whether he's going to be around for the next year at least and some indication of how easy he'd be to keep on for the second (assuming you can put in a fight for some extras to keep him on board until you're settled).

Basically my read from how you've described it is the insecurity (outside massive budget cuts) is probably navigable but the picture you've painted is that actually achieving what you want to do is going to required a tremendous amount from you and that isn't going to be compensated by the money. Is achieving it, and I guess possibly having that as a resume item, going to be worth it more or less by itself?

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Cyrrex
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Reply #3906 on: February 18, 2021, 02:56:48 AM

30% is nothing to sneeze at.  That is top hats and fancy cigars territory right there.

"...maybe if you cleaned the piss out of the sunny d bottles under your desks and returned em, you could upgrade you vid cards, fucken lusers.." - Grunk
NowhereMan
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Reply #3907 on: February 18, 2021, 04:30:21 AM

True, that's a lot of beard oil and firewood but from how Sky has pitched it, it doesn't sound like it's really a factor for him. I mean I think it should be cancelling out the commute worries but unless he's got some financial pressures he's understating/leaving out, it doesn't sound like that's really a deciding factor. I'd say it also balances out some of the risk in terms of job security in the sense that you've got the extra pay 100% versus whatever possibility of having to job search again.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Cyrrex
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Reply #3908 on: February 18, 2021, 07:19:27 AM

I don't disagree at all, I would see it as one factor out of many.  And if you are already doing fine financially, then maybe security is more important.

I just wanted it out there for the record that 30% would probably be considered a HUGE increase on average.  Whether that matters or not is something else.

"...maybe if you cleaned the piss out of the sunny d bottles under your desks and returned em, you could upgrade you vid cards, fucken lusers.." - Grunk
HaemishM
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Reply #3909 on: February 18, 2021, 08:34:13 AM

If you don't need the 30% bump, if you don't need the insecurity that comes with potential sudden job loss, if you don't need the commute and you are close to or over 50 like myself, I don't see any reason to take such a job. That is, UNLESS you feel like the personal satisfaction of fixing a fucked up or inefficient system is worth the extra hassle. Piece of mind and security are just an intangible a perk as accomplishing something worthwhile. The former is going to cause some frustration as you have to deal with some stupid shit but at least you aren't dealing with the stress of "oh shit, it's election time, is the new boss going to axe me or my priorities" while the latter is going to come with huge amounts of stress as you bang your head against institutional calcification and probably outright corruption, but if you succeed, you will look back on your actions with pride.

In short, unless you need the extra money, the pros and cons are all unquantifiable and uniquely personal.

Sky
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Reply #3910 on: February 18, 2021, 11:26:09 AM

I've worked for 21 years in a position of politicians holding the purse strings, they almost shut down my library in 2008.

The 30% is at best a correction to the years of low pay without raises. We're in another cycle of no foreseeable raises, if a Republican president wins in 2024 I may as well retire now so I can at least bank on COLA from the pension fund! But I'm also a low-stress, value my free time kind of person. That's honestly the main obstacle, with all the other obstacles.

I've been lucky enough to make a difference in my community and do work that has helped people directly and indirectly, and doing it long enough to see the second generation of impact and starting to even see a third generation. The new position is less direct feedback, I don't get to directly help people and see the impact in person. But it also has the potential for a much more dramatic impact across three counties, innovating the way we've done with no personnel or increases in funding. I think our budget has gone up maybe $60k in 21 years, the system's budget I'm pretty sure has been spiralling that entire time.

You guys minimize the commute thing, but my commute is THREE MINUTES. 5 if I hit the one traffic light. The means I get to go home for lunch, which means I get to kick back in the recliner and enjoy my backyard (or lately, time to snowblow the driveway without having to wake up early).

Anyway, the money would ofc be nice, but it's more about setting up retirement. NYS pulls your pension amount from your 3 highest earning years, so if I could manage 3 years there, it would mean a 30% increase in pension which WOULD be a big impact. But I also have to hit 5 more years of service (ideally 10).

Basically it boils down to 4 years of reduced quality of life to have the option to retire 5 years early and get the same pension or tough it out for 9 more years and do pretty well for this area (I would retire basically at the full salary I bring home currently, except higher checks because it's not fully taxed). It's a case of my time being worth more NOW but in 4-9 years, money will be much more important and time will be all I have, so.... but this is the crux of it, I think.

The idea of it "looking good on a resume" is a nightmare scenario for me at this point, the last thing I want is to be back out on the job hunt. I'd be perfectly happy finishing out my 9 more years here and retire quietly. But this opportunity at least keeps me more or less in the same sphere, as it's the library system I've worked with for 21 years. If it were at a remote system, I would probably have ruled it out already. If only the system wasn't in such rough shape!

I've been back and forth on this for days now. One day fully convinced to stay, next day fully convinced to go. Either way, I'll have to dust off the resume (which was dated by 2000 standards, heh) and go through the process, I can always decline (and ask for some more personal time as a perq here, I guess).

Sorry to go on about this, I really do appreciate the feedback here. And I realize that a lot of my 'downsides' (hours, commute) seem silly to most of you guys working in the field!

Haemmy, you're over 50? I thought I was older than you (I'm 50 for a couple more months).

Cyrrex
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Reply #3911 on: February 18, 2021, 11:37:15 AM


But I'm also a low-stress, value my free time kind of person. That's honestly the main obstacle, with all the other obstacles.


Man, I am the same.  I can definitely relate to not wanting to give that up, especially if you are financially okay.  I am fortunate in that I have always landed in pretty high paying positions and still having that control.

"...maybe if you cleaned the piss out of the sunny d bottles under your desks and returned em, you could upgrade you vid cards, fucken lusers.." - Grunk
01101010
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Reply #3912 on: February 18, 2021, 01:54:38 PM

I was in a very similar position last year. My old job at Pitt was low stress with a few times of the year where the workload ramped up, but nothing Earth shattering. It had some benefits I miss like an automatic week off between Xmas and New Years, but the free tuition was lost on me with no kids and no desire to go back to school. The cost was crap pay and no real decision making responsibility.

I went on the market after lengthy talks with the wife about our future plan. While we could have managed to get by with her working, it would have been a financial struggle and frankly we both wanted out of Pittsburgh.

I took this job at Kaiser because the pay was double and I actually now have a position where I can make more decisions about how my work goes. Of course with that, I have a constant workflow and adjusting to how to manage my time to get all the items I need done for 6 separate projects still makes me anxious. Work stresses the work/life split, but still not quite sure how much of that is true or just work-speak. I work a bit more now mainly because I am still learning the ropes and sometimes feel completely lost in the newness, but I am grinding thru it hoping it will wear off at some point.

I knew the tradeoffs going in, but wasn't expecting a ramp up in my anxiety levels. Figure those will subside eventually once I get my rhythm. But financially, I am finally in a place where I am not paycheck to paycheck and can easily survive a random tragedy like the car breaking. Helps that my wife also got promoted to fulltime instead of contract work. Feels very strange not to be worried about something happening that is going to deplete my savings and incur credit card hell.

Does any one know where the love of God goes...When the waves turn the minutes to hours? -G. Lightfoot
HaemishM
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Reply #3913 on: February 18, 2021, 03:19:44 PM

You guys minimize the commute thing, but my commute is THREE MINUTES. 5 if I hit the one traffic light. The means I get to go home for lunch, which means I get to kick back in the recliner and enjoy my backyard (or lately, time to snowblow the driveway without having to wake up early).

Yeah, this cannot be overstated. I'm 5 minutes from my work and during the Covid thing, decided to start coming home for lunch just so I don't have to eat in a break room with other people. It is GOLD.

EDIT: I turn 50 this year. Basically, after the age of 45, most people and especially me have to start thinking long-term and not short-term. Not having stress in a job is amazing, as you can actually enjoy the work.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2021, 03:22:14 PM by HaemishM »

Rasix
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Reply #3914 on: February 18, 2021, 03:36:11 PM

I've been thinking a lot about getting a new job, but the convenience and flexibility of my current position makes that a difficult decision. My wife pretty much wants to get out of Arizona and move to a coast, but she's not taking into account how much we get out of our current position.

For instance:
  • I have no set hours. I work when I want. I take breaks when I want. I can take time off flexibly. I can take care of the dog, pick my son up from school, take people to various appointments, and do any week time shopping. I can be fully involved in my son's sports and extracurriculars.
  • I don't have to go into the office. Ever. I do occasionally to keep up appearances. During COVID we're all working remote and there is no pressure to be in.
  • I am paid well for where we live. Should I be paid more? Possibly yes, but getting this salary here would be difficult.
  • I am good at my job and valued. Programs ask to work with me by name.
  • We have a very nice house in a very nice location with no HOA. This took us 5-6 years of looking.

There's a lot of shit we don't have to deal with because I can do it. We don't have money problems because our cost of living doesn't have a ton of factors outside of our control.

I mean, my job could go away tomorrow, that's always a possibility, but that's a possibility anywhere. When IBM cuts, it tends to use a blunt object and not worry about the repercussions, but even areas that underperformed just got people moved to other projects. No one got RA'd.

Sure living somewhere else might be nice, but that's all we're getting IMO. Any significant career move is going to be me grinding for a while and my family wondering where the hell I am while they scramble to get my son to baseball practice.

-Rasix
01101010
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Reply #3915 on: February 18, 2021, 05:41:17 PM

EDIT: I turn 50 this year. Basically, after the age of 45, most people and especially me have to start thinking long-term and not short-term. Not having stress in a job is amazing, as you can actually enjoy the work.

This was also part of my decision - I'll be 48 this year and am focusing on building retirement and eventually buying a house or something. Pitt was nice and I managed to qualify for the pension there, but when this job popped up with more salary, better area of the country (IMHO), a great health plan benefit (KP gives a health allowance which basically amounts to me paying nothing out of my paycheck and only co-pays at nonKP facilities), retirement plan as well as a pension plan after 10 years. I am very much thinking of the future and while retirement is still 25 years away, I am in full saving mode - which I could not do at Pitt with the crappy pay. But that is academics for you.

Does any one know where the love of God goes...When the waves turn the minutes to hours? -G. Lightfoot
HaemishM
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Reply #3916 on: February 18, 2021, 07:25:03 PM

As someone who just recently got a pension, if they offer one, grab it with both hands and wrap yourself around it Boa Constrictor-style. Because fuck a bunch of 401k bullshit.

Sky
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Reply #3917 on: February 19, 2021, 09:18:04 AM

As someone who just recently got a pension, if they offer one, grab it with both hands and wrap yourself around it Boa Constrictor-style. Because fuck a bunch of 401k bullshit.
THIS

Honestly, my internal debate about this new opportunity would be much easier if it weren't for the MASSIVE impact on the pension. If I hit the full 9 years I need to get the full benefit, I'll get around 40% more (tax will kick in, so it may be a bit less, I won't make a taxable amount with full bennies here). The weird twist is that if I get the 3 years I need to set the salary level at the higher level for pension purposes...it will be roughly the same (maybe $1500/yr less) than if I worked the full 9 years here.

But for reals, the pension, especially a government-backed pension, is a golden ticket. Unless you're making a lot of money and have a great account manager, retiring with 60+% of your salary is pretty nifty (and in NYS the 1st $40k of pension is not taxed). Though I guarantee most of you would be shocked at how little I earn in salary!

Even now, with my low pay and 'only' 21 years vested (the milestones are 10/20/25/30 with the last two being the tangible jumps, prior to 25 it's something like 20% of final salary)...If I retired with current service credit (in 4 years, need to be age 55) would bring in enough to pay the bills and keep food on the table (but not healthcare). Inflation would destroy me if I lived longer than a couple decades, which I'm kind of hoping for...so now I'm in the last leg of the marathon to set up the last chapter of life to be pretty amazing. And to dig up money for healthcare.

So the only other golden ticket I'd recommend is healthcare in retirement. If I could get into the school system, they get lifetime healthcare on top of the pension.

Hammond
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Reply #3918 on: February 19, 2021, 09:59:07 AM

I just turned 45 this year and I have been contemplating what might be next. I am well taken care of and well regarded within our company. While we don't have a pensions our retirement is pretty well taken care of.
If I wanted to stay here I couldn't find a job in my local community that pays nearly as well or has such great benefits. I don't have kids or a spouse and really the only thing that is keeping me here is I grew up in the area and I own some rental property. Although the way my current job is going I could probably transition to a remote position fairly easily. We recently hired a entry level IT guy to do the grunt work so it frees me up for more complicated projects.

My is to live next to the ocean someplace that didn't have hurricanes and either do contract IT/programing work remotely or find a gig to leverage my technical skills. My parents had a place in Galveston and I always loved it. Well until the hurricanes came though. 

Sky
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Reply #3919 on: Today at 03:53:49 PM

Plot twist: the library system I'm applying for has a huge ILS merger project with 2 other systems...and all the ILS-knowledgable admins from those systems left their positions. The last admin (or person at all, really) with that knowledge is the person I'm replacing. And if I am hired, I guarantee she ghosts (she don't like me none). She's petty, didn't train her #2 in the ILS (breaking my 'bus' rule...what happens if the only person who knows the system gets hit by a bus).

On the upside, I got this from her #2, who is also tentatively applying...and is one of my references. We hashed out how it would work and we have worked so well together that for the good of the system, we as a team would be better than anyone but someone from a major metro system (and why would they move into our rusty wasteland)...And #2 said he would happily finish his career working with me, so that's a big relief (I don't think I'd take the job without him there).

I'm still applying, but I'm really wary on this one. The upside is, my current boss has a lot of sway with the director over there and that merger has yet to begun, so I plan on pumping the brakes and demanding we get proper support before starting the first phase (which was supposed to start 3 weeks ago).

I also feel my director wants me to get the job, as she didn't inform me of that particular merger issue  Ohhhhh, I see.

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