Mos's thread about real life


As a December college grad, and starting work two months ago, I have quite a few questions for you more seasoned posters about life beyond academia. I’m just going to post them whenever they come to me.

To qualify my first question, I really enjoy my job, but it’s obviously not my dream job. How long after starting my a job is it fair to me and the company I work for to send out resumes?

One of the weirder things I have noticed since starting work is that this is the first time in my life that people don’t have preassigned peer groups. A few of the guys at my work seem like they would be fun to hang out with, but besides the couple of them I feel like I am going to have to go more out of my way to meet people. Plus, to give you a clue of my office demographic, there are four bathrooms, three of them are mens haha.




then keep sending out resumes. If on the other hand, the job is in your field, you need to show prospective employers that you are not just job hopping and are willing to show some loyalty to the company. The company has an investment in you and don’t really expect to break even on their investment of training time, etc. for several months - so for you to jump jobs within a couple of years looks bad to the prospective employer. That said, you can get by with a jump in two years by explaining unusual working conditions (make sure they are and are not industry norms), or some other reasonable excuse. Always try to make the new company think you are seeking them out for positive reasons and not that you are running from a bad situation. Most of the time though - you should give a job about 5-7 years. The reason for this is so you are vested in their retirement plan. This may not seem important now, but it will when you get ready to retire. Another bit of advice. Start investing in whatever 401K or deferred comp savings plan the company offers. Make sure you invest whatever it takes to max out the company’s matching funds - this is free money and will grow tax deferred (much faster than other savings) and will be out of temptation to play with until you are ready for retirement. Also invest in a ROTH IRA and make annual payments to it. If you set your budget up to pay your savings plan before paying your “play fund” - you will be surprised how quickly it grows! This sounds hokey now, but you will have many more options concerning when to retire and your lifestyle to do so. These savings are more important than the image you project as far as clothing and car you drive. You can dress well enough from J.C. Penny unless you are in some high powered marketing or legal firm. A Brooks Brothers look for daily office wear is way over the top and you will be better served socking those funds away! Good luck!


Since you only asked about sending resumes, I’ll answer that you should nearly always have resumes out there until you do have the dream job and a fair amount of confidence that you’ll retain it.

You should also make positive contacts with those in your profession (or who are at least tangentially related) who are not in your company. You don’t have to have an agenda to have a web of positive relationships with those who may have much to teach you, who may be able to help you at some point, or who may be able to give you a job at some point. These relationships are often beneficial for both parties, in fact.

I do wonder: why do you feel the need to be fair to the company you work for? It speaks well of you that you seem to want to work with some integrity, but I do wonder about that, since you also need to watch out for yourself to a large degree. Just a question.


The company I work for now is in my industry (aerospace engineering) but generally is not someplace people work for more then 3 years. I couple people left two weeks ago that had been with the comapny 4.5 and 5 years and people kept saying “they have been here forever, were they the person who has been here the longest?”

I enjoy my job, but a job at one of the big boys (nasa, northrup, lockheed, GE) would be a career while where I am at now is just a job.

Expect me to bump this thread randomly, I had other topics in mind, they just escape me right now.


Hate to disagree with geds, but I would have said two to three years. You don’t want to spend TOO much time in a place unless it’s giving you the opportunity to grow and learn and expand your horizons. I don’t think you OWE your employer more than a couple years, though if they’re really bending over backwards to help you and make it a good place to work, that can certainly factor into your equation. But if you’re at all ambitious and have your heart set on the dream job, as it seems you are, I’d be wary of letting too much grass grow under my feet in the current position. (In my own case, I spent 2-1/2 years in my first job after graduation, 3 years in the second, 2-1/2 in the third … and because each time I moved on I was going to something better and more challenging, the people I left behind didn’t berate or resent me – they understood.

  • Btw, I’m not a job hopper by nature. I’m still in my fourth job … 31 years later!


However, check to see when you are vested in the company’s pension plan and factor that into your decision. Some companies vest you in 2 years, others 5, 7, or even 10 yrs. If it is a long time, jumping to a higher paying job where you plan to be vested sooner makes more sense than waiting around. On the other hand, if the company vests at 3 years, it would probably be worth staying around that long. Most of us have had multiple jobs and jumping more frequently during the early part of your career is more acceptable. You just don’t want to get the reputation of being a job hopper as that could cost you the dream job you are looking for. And it is always better to look while you have a job than it is to look for one when you are unemployed - the options can be played to your advantage and you aren’t pressured to take the first thing that comes along. Good luck!


I suspect there is no traditional pension plan and that could be one of a number of possible reasons the company is seen as more of a stepping stone by most employees. They offer less than the industry norms most likely.

Companies that get into situations that call for downsizing will let employees go that were just hired, so don’t hesitate to shop for better offers. My son got caught in such a downsizing in '08, less than 6 months after he was hired by a local firm that specializes in instrumentation for aerospace and other process industries; this week he went back to work for them for nearly twice the salary they paid him then, and they sought him out and had to absorb some gouging, as he really didn’t want to leave the current employer and shot them a price that he believed would be a deal-breaker… and they accepted his terms. For those just getting started in the new career, mobility often equals big steps forward in compensation while growing roots often means smaller steps.


Agreed. And watch those around you and see what they do. You might not want to be the first to jump ship for a better opportunity, but you certainly don’t want to be the last.


look for companies that are top heavy with gray hair - many are looking to bring in fresh meat to replace the old folks that will soon be retiring. A lot of them are actually laying off or in-scenting the older workers to leave in favor of cheaper new labor. These will give you a chance to build a career before the cycle come around for you. If you are smart with your investments (see above post about saving), you will be prepared to either move on to another job or enjoy the early retirement.


I wish I had the answers to give you.
In the hospitality industry where having a broad variety of positions front and back of the house and in the various types of establishments early-on played into me evolving into a gen mgr and consultant later. It is not the time spent it’s the knowledge acquired.
!8 months in a full serve going from busboy to waiter on to captain and shift supervisor, a seasonal in a resort hotel type setting,learning white glove service in Fine French restaurant ,a stint in an ethnic pub, oneman show in a small local bar, headbartender in a high volume high profile restaurant, a year as a receiving steward/purchasing agent,. selling on premise beer and spirits… and building a reputation as " the opening crew" was a great path for me. The opening crew idea served me well as a consultant. I did the headhunting, vetted and hired the staff, designed the image, established performance norms and set the overall tone of a new place. Being able to work and more importantly understand each position help me work with owners designers and builders in getting a working plant built. When you have worked behind 15 bars you know what works and what does not from an operational standpoint. You can prevent building something that hinders the work flow instead of permitting it to flow naturally.
When I was asked to help open the restaurant complex in the WTC back in the 70’s I would be working in a world that went from mobile commuter coffee carts at the Path station exit to Windows on the World. Joe Baum, the overall visionary of the whole ball of wax, tasked me to assist in designing, implementing, and improving the beverage flow operations from loading dock intake to garni on the glass in front of the patron.
Daunting task? Not at all!!! I had developed and mastered all those skill sets (on a much smaller scale for sure) so the scope did not scare me nor did the amount of work-if I could bartend bus&wait tables along with prepping& cooking 50 brunches all alone in a neighborhood bar every weekend this sounded easier-I’d even have staff to work with!.
Transfering that type of thing to the deskbound world in a traditional coporate setting is hard. BUT the idea is sound-- if you really understand the basics of your business from the ground up the idea of running it from the corporate presidents desk down becomes intuitive. You can spend you energy looking forward not trying to pach-in stuff after the fact.

You are young-- embrace the mistakes and missteps- learn from doing. Rejoice in trying new ideas. Go down the wrong path? See what’s there you might find yourself on that road sometime down the line.

The wonders I’ve seen in my 60 plus years pale next to what will happen as you mature. Stopping to smell the flowers should be as important as moving your career forward. On second thought it should be more important!


Ohmygoodness…aerospace engineering…I’m sooo impressed…your great at math!! (so is My Beauty!!)

If I remember correctly…you are the little girl that once did the long jump or was it high jump…excuse me, Smiles, I know you’re not a little girl…but to have somebody posting here from when I remember them posting as a sophmore in HS and now has a job in aerospace engineering field…mygoodnessgracious is all I can say right now…


Living alone is really different. I sort of enjoy it, but some weekends I don’t say a word to another person.


HEY!!! It’s about time you posted!!

How are you!!?

ANd you can come visit and stay here…have a floor for ya!!! (The cadets all slept on the floor so I figure why change it!). In all seriousness please do think about it…ok!

Yeah…living alone it 50-50. Somtimes I absolutely loved it…and other times…I was so lonely…so I worked lots and lots of hours.

I lived alone a total about 15 years…you gotta really like yourself…I had to fix some of my habits…like use a plate when buttering toast before heading out the door…or I’d come home with crumbs and ants on the counter. Now making the bed and having a clean apartment was just for me…funny how childhood instilled “have to’s” chores stay with ya. (something I wished I had pushed more on my own kids).

Oh, and talk about wasting food…I never could and not have learned to cook for one…I mean…really. So I ate out alot and not the best of foods. ( I treated myself almost everyday to something…North End feast, Chinese, fried clams. ( I’m glad I did it then, because I can’t do that now.)

And it feels weird to come home late at night…now when I was at Billy’s store I’d get off work at 9:30, if I went to the Eliot for a brew…I’d get home around 12 PM…I walked to and from eveywhere in Boston even from the Eliot at night…and yes, at times I got nervous…so I never told anybody where I lived or when I was leaving…I just left… Sometimes I felt like I had to sneak into my own neighborhood and aparatment as to not make any noise for safety reasons. (of course walking home in the middle of night isn’t exactly safe). This was before beeperes and cell phones and internet.

One time I had an opportuniy to live with a familly as their “nanny”…and that was great!! Absolutely wonderfully wonderful. I had a car…and didn’t have to pay insurance or gas…I had air conditioning and cable tv FREE and I had gourmet food most of the time and of course I accompanied the family on trips and dinners out…it was great!! And they paid moi!! Nice, nice gig! ANd it didn’t start out as a job…and to this day I believe it wasns’ta job because it was so good…so if I wasn’t living alone at that time, I may never have had that opportunity… About 6 months later…I met Hubby…TA-DA!!! And he knew the Husband of the family I was living with …small world.

Now I was younger then and I had the weight of marriage on my mind…and to me at tha time living alone meant I was a failure and it took a couple of years to adjust to lving a single life. Now I wasn’t a professional I was a Nurse’ Aide and a sales clerk…not exactly high paying positions and of course would dictate my address. Unless of course I met somebody who new somebody that had a small in home apratment… I lived on Brattle Street in Harvard Square in the Rockefeller Foundation (we’re chatitng MING vase here) home as a house sitter for free rent…awesome!! I lived in a mansion with 8 guys…(Pre Jersey Shore and reality TV) I saw all the coming and going of the revolving doors front and back.

I had tried the roommate thing…had to be interviewed and accepted by all of the granola crunchers…boy that was a terrrible interview…They failed…big time…ya’know peeps who claim they are “free for all” are not really.

I had one apartment in Boston where the landlady was always going throught my things…crazy … (and I caught her)…hehe…(I grew up on the right side of the tracks).

So it can be what you make of it…If I knew then what I know now…I would have not have been so anxious…(my anxiety and anxiousness is so much a part of me that it has it own room).

Now when Hubby and the kids drove out to Ohio for about a week…I didn’t say a word to anybody…I holed myself up in my place and stayed behind closed curtains… I HAD THE PLACE TO MYSELF FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALMOST 20 YEARS!!! I COULD DO ANYTHING I WANTED…SO I READ A BOOK and CLEANED THE HOUSE (kids rooms)!!! LOL!!!

No computer, no phone other than the kids and hubby! And yes, I enjoyed every minute of it…:slight_smile:

I’m planning another trip for them…lol!!


Oh man, I can relate to so many parts of that.

I chased an earwig around the kitchen for a few minutes today before it hid behind the stove, I immediately bleached everything.

I move in with one of my friends next month, he is an absolute neat freak and has a house that is 4 years old.

Living alone has made the monthly trips back to my parents rough. It’s hard to deal with 4 other people all weekend. If I could afford it I would consider sending them on a vacation for half the weekend.

Don’t even get me started on finding the future mrs. miles. I had a mrs. miles for almost 2.5 years but that ended a few months ago. It’s weird being graduated and not automatically being introduced to more female friends. (the office has 4 bathrooms, and 3 of them are mens haha)

edit- and here is a picture of my dog wearing an off clip on bug spray

Mia is my favorite


John Grisham’s books…moi’s fave…hmm…probably the Rainmaker…love Rudy.

Right now I have The Testament ready to check out here at the library. I think I read it before but can’t remember…I’ll find out around the 3rd-5th chapter…then it’ll dawn on me.

Hi WAYNE!!! I just got your message…so sorry…fireworks and all…and I was with the family and didn’t need to carry my phone…so I heard no incoming calls.

Hi WiT!! Always wonderful to chat with you!!! And the young Lad took [pic’s just have to download and arrange and send…

Fireworks were everywhere over the week-end…didn’t have to leave the yard. Neighbors…awesome fireworks show…Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night and Monday night. BOOM BOOM BOOM.

Had the typical burgers and hot dogs…made pasta salad (it was really good…amazingly enough).

KenA, the caterpillars are in the apple tree and azalea bushes.

Milesofsmiles roommate…cool…and in a house…that rocks…dishwasher I hope.



LOL!!! LOL! Oh, WiT!!


as the young folk say no disrespect…
You know I love you guys but I’m still waiting for the photos from the Johnny K race week-end meet-up :eek:

Todays lesson about life- it’s usually counterproductive to wait by the mailbox in hope of…


rainmaker is good but a time to kill is probably among my top 3 books of all time and the movie is even better!!! Grisham is one of the authors i always look for new books to come out from, others listed below (in descending order).

jeffrey archer
vince flynn
david baldacci
brad thor