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How to move on from a vital position?

mhajicek

Titanium
Joined
May 11, 2017
Location
Minneapolis, MN, USA
To the OP
If the owners thought you were vital, they would not put you in a situation where you’re looking for a new employment. One way or another they would communicate to you how important you are to the operation. If that hasn’t happened, you are probably not vital in their opinion.

I had an employer that I informed I would be starting to look for a new position, and why, and they should start looking for / training up my replacement. A few months later I found the right place to move to, and put in my notice. It was at that point they took notice and told me how important I was and how hard to replace. I said "If I was that important, why didn't you address any of my concerns?"

Moving was the best thing I could have done, and put me in a much better position.
 

Plane Parts

Aluminum
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
There is no such thing as a "vital position" for you. There is for the shop but you'll see how vital you are when they run out of money and fire you. You are selling your time to them. You are not obligated to sell your most valuable resource because they depend on you. I once quit a job when a raise I was promised never came to fruition. When I asked the boss he said, "we just don't have the money but you are vital to the department." Then I'm really not that vital. Just walk away. You owe them nothing as they owe you nothing. It's the way it works.
 

TheMachinist27

Plastic
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
It's been several months, how did it go? What did you end up doing?
Hey. It’s funny, earlier today I thought about giving an update. Then I pop in and see my thread back up top, haha…

So… I had a talk with the GM around the time I posted originally. Basically offered them two options, either a decent raise or a slight raise and some extra vacation to stick around a bit longer. They gave me my preferred option.

But I told myself, if in six months, things aren’t looking up? I’m done. I’m finding a way out.

Well, it’s been about six months and if anything, it’s worse. The entire shop is pissed off about this or that. The company has handled wage compression in about the worst way possible, take a guess how that went… on top of just more stress getting piled on. Really, the whole shop from the “manager” down are just plodding along day to day with no light at the end of the tunnel.

I could go on and on but that’s not to anyone’s benefit.

Truth is, I regret staying. The guys who moved on before my post, and since, were the wise once, and I was just too timid to do so. I have gotten a dang good helper a few weeks back, but he’s already seeing the fractures in this shop, and I wonder how much he will put up with, just like the last guy.

Unfortunately, the decent job opportunities in the area are gone now. But, the sad thing is… while I used to love machining - I was one of those who ate, slept and breathed this stuff - the stressors of the last few years of this job have beaten that out of me. Despite my accomplishments, I don’t love it anymore. It’s just a grind with no satisfaction.

What I may end up doing is just taking some time off. I can afford to take months, or even years off if I desire, to recuperate and reevaluate. Maybe look into a different trade, or see if there is a quality shop in the area.

I’ll bow to the wise folks here who urged me to pick up roots months ago. Wholeheartedly, I should have listened; outside of a paycheck, I’m no better off than I was, perhaps worse mentally.

We’ll see how things continue to go. I believe come late July or early August, I will exit and take some time for myself.
 

jccaclimber

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
Sorry that it didn’t work out, but at least you were able to prove it to yourself. Two thoughts:
1. It’s always easier to get a job while you still have one. Also, while there might not be clear posted openings, those that left your shop, if still on good terms with you, are now a network that can help you get in elsewhere.
2. I used to always take time off between jobs, and should probably get back to that. The hiring manager always says they want me tomorrow, and I politely explain that can start in 3 weeks, 4 weeks, whatever my notice period plus a trip is. They accept, and we continue on. I also confirm with them when I get back that I’ll be seeing them the next day so they know I won’t no-show on them.

It entails a bit of risk for everyone, but I wonder if you could get away with doing that as well. Interview with the understanding that you’re available in 6 weeks from written offer. Use two as a notice period if appropriate, then for R&R the rest?
 

snowman

Diamond
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Location
Southeast Michigan
I'm in the same boat right now...it's taking on water, but it's built out of foam so all that seems to be happening is all the employees are soaked, tired and cold. I've got cash in the bank, interviews lined up, but for some reason still feel guilty about "loyalty". I told a coworker last night that the only thing keeping me there is her and a couple other employees, trying as I might to improve things for them, building their confidence so THEY can land on their feet. It's all for naught though, because in the end, they too are adults.

I've also had pretty frank discussions with hiring managers. The previous advice of "have a new job lined up" isn't necessarily the case anymore. Setting real boundaries is now more acceptable. The "real reason" as previously alluded to can be as simple as, I am good at managing my money, I don't live beyond my means, and the workplace was no longer a growth environment. While you are doing nothing more than trading your labor for an hourly rate, that rate is variable. I will take less dollars per hour for a growth environment. Taking time off between jobs to clear your head is more acceptable. Simply put, in the great resignation, some employers are listening. If the employer you apply at is not one of them listening, they failed the very first test of "what's my work life balance going to be like".
 

TheMachinist27

Plastic
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
(snip) While you are doing nothing more than trading your labor for an hourly rate, that rate is variable. I will take less dollars per hour for a growth environment. Taking time off between jobs to clear your head is more acceptable. Simply put, in the great resignation, some employers are listening. If the employer you apply at is not one of them listening, they failed the very first test of "what's my work life balance going to be like".
Very good point. I wonder if my situation is fairly common - driven employees become stagnant in un-engaging jobs, and move on to places that are forward thinking and reward that drive, instead of grinding it down.
Thanks for this.

When the oxygen mask drops out if the airliner ceiling, you put your own on first. You can't help anyone else if you're the one that needs help.
I like this a lot. Quite sobering.

Thanks guys. I will report back in time.
 








 
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