Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I've been holding out on you all ---- Changes for Future Millionaire's Career Path

For the last week I’ve been holding out on you guys about something pretty major happening in my life with an indirect relationship to finances. I’ve been holding out, not because I didn’t want you all to know, but because it was difficult for me to post about it because I was pretty upset about the changes.

As I’ve discussed in past posts, my “lateral growth opportunity” project in Valdosta is ending soon and I’m moving back to Atlanta. Until last week, the plan and commitment had been after this project I’d be returning to my old department and doing the job I love. Don’t get me wrong I’ve enjoyed the project in Valdosta but its not what I think I’m most successful at or something that I find extreme joy in. My old role I truly loved so I kicked butt at it and “was ‘da bomb”, which is in part the reason I was given this growth opportunity designed to fast track my climb up the corporate ladder.

Before I jump into telling you all the major work happening, I thought I’d give you all some background about what the company (or more specifically my office/branch of the company) has been going through for the last few years which will better explain the reason for these changes.

The office of the company I work for is taking some pretty big losses on two projects that were worked on over the last three years; both of these projects have recently ended. By big losses I’m talking about 13 million dollars, we typically only make between 1 and 1.5 million of profit on a project, so 13 is a pretty big loss. There’s also one other project that broke ground last year that’s headed down the road to take some pretty big losses as well.

The last couple of years while we’ve had a ton more projects that were a big success and made up for the losses (including the project I’m currently working on), the efforts of most of the big wigs has been directed towards these two “looser” projects and how to try and keep from losing even more money. Because they were focused on the “looser” projects the big wigs were not out selling our company so that we could win more work.

On top of that our preconstruction department’s been swamped for the last two years with two really big jobs. Between the two projects, its more volume than we typically do in a year so that’s good, however about 9 months ago both of these projects broke ground so that department is not very busy. Between no current jobs in preconstruction and no new jobs coming in from sales for the there’s not going to be a lot of work in that department for the foreseeable future.

Without getting work awarded it means that there’s no need for a preconstruction department. The decision from up above has been made that people in the department except for the two highest positions are being transferred into another department due to a lack of work and there’s not a time line for when the department will be resurrected (although IMHO it better be soon or else this office of the company’s going to be sinking, no preconstruction means no construction and no construction means no money).

The decision from above to dissipate the preconstruction department was made on Monday and since it was guaranteed I would be returning to preconstruction

I got a call that afternoon from my boss’s boss’s boss (the big dog of the Atlanta office) telling me the news. Not only am I not going back to Preconstruction but I’m going to the current problem project that won’t be completed for two years and will be there for the duration of the problem project.

Anyway I won’t get into all the details of this problem project but word on the street (trust me construction companies or at least mine is worse than a high school when it comes to gossip) is that not only is this project headed south as in losing dollars and behind schedule but it’s a real rough place to work. The management “sucks” on this project - there’s a huge micromanage mentality and almost daily verbal abuse. In fact, within the last four month seven people who were assigned to this project have resigned from the company, somehow that tells me something’s wrong when that many people leave. On top of bad management the Owner is shall we say difficult and the Architect and Engineers aren’t the most helpful to put it politely.

I’m all for helping out the company where I’m able and I can understand a company decision has been made to dissipate the department temporally. But I don’t want to be in a bad working environment nor continue in a role that’s not my first love for another two years. On top of performing a role that I am not a big fan of and possibility not enjoying my day to day job, my advancement (ie promotion) within my chosen career path is going to be delayed for at least two years – maybe longer since my preconstruction skill set will be rustier when this project is completed.

I’ve talked to several influential people about my concerns and it appears that I don’t really have a lot of options within the company,. However, in this day and age I do have options outside of the company. I get calls from head hunters fairly often, but I’m just not the type of person to job hop. Until this turn of events I’ve been extremely happy with this company, even turning down slightly higher paying offers because there’s more to life than an extra 5 or 10k a year. To me its about the quality of life, role, experience, and very important to me the quality of the people I work with.

I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve talked to my friends and family about it a lot – although they were not that helpful. My mom’s first reaction was to ask me if I had a current resume, Mr. Be-Mine’s suggestion was to start calling my contacts at other construction companies, and of all people this surprised me but The Council said to look else where too.

But I’m hesitant to do that because I’m a loyal person plus I have a lot invested in this company. As my boss puts it I’ve got a lot of “stock” as in I’ve earned a lot of respect and am viewed pretty highly and to have to go start over somewhere else I wouldn’t have the same “stock” level there at first, it would take years to build it up. On top of that I love my job (well when I’m doing the role I love), I love the company (until they pull crap like this), and most importantly I love the people that I work with and the culture we’ve all worked together to create (although on the jobsite for the project I’m being sent to I’m not so sure that will be the case). This is all food for thought.

Anyway…so long post later – I just wanted to share with you all what’s happening in my life. I hope you all have been having a better last week than I am. On the bright side Thursday morning I’m heading up to Atlanta for work and will be in the ATL until Monday, so it won’t be like one of my usual 9 hour round trip drive for a quick jot up for just the weekend.


Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog it is very good.

As to your dilemma you’re still young, I would keep as many work options open to yourself as you possible can. Your only responsibility is to protect yourself. Trust me a bad work environment can lead you down a path that is sometime hard to get out of.

You probably already know what you’re going to do, just trust you heart and take a leap. It will all work out…

Have a nice day.


"Future Millionaire" said...

Thanks M for your words of encouragement. I pretty much have made up my mind. I think I'm going to sit tight and ride it out for a few months - at least go to the project and see what its really like. If it truly is a bad work environment then I'll have to activity explore my options. Its just not worth it for me to come home from work every day unhappy and upset.

tracyho said...

Thanks for your great post ,

Keep going , you will make it ,

Tracy Ho

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