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Posted Monday, September 11, 2006 2:33 PM
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Andy
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Post #307773
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 5:16 AM
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When my contracted hours were lower I used to do a lot of research in my own time. My wife works nights and I work days so there are no spousal problems on that front.

Now I am expected to work every hour God sends I do absolutely no research whatsover in my own time.

Why?

Because by the time I get home and have fed the kids, done a few essential chores, I am absolutely beat. I am so tired I cannot summon the concentration to play solitaire, much less the concentration required to learn something new.

Come the weekend, I have spent my entire week doing work or chores. I haven't had a breath of fresh air all week and I haven't seen the wife all week.

I have absolutely no motivation for being couped up over a computer screen on what is probably the only sunny day I am going to see all month.
I think it is more realistic to ask my employer for TIME to do research. Set aside 1 or 2 hours a week during the working day to research a new subject. It costs the employer time, but ultimately they should look at that time as an investment.


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Post #308141
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 7:15 AM


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I've found working full-time it's been hard of late to convince employers of the value of training - that's part of the reason I've gone back into contracting.

I worked for one company that wouldn't spring for 200.00 in Teched DVD's... and it's a 8 million dollar company..

Post #308179
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 7:36 AM
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I think the point about company loyalty and stewardship of company resources is totally bogus. I worked for a top 5 bank who spent $20K worth of training on me in 2 years and didn’t bat an eye when laying me off with 17 other well trained staff members. It is my experience that company’s loyalty to employees runs thin these days. You need to be loyal to yourself and do what is best for you and your family If another opportunity arises shortly after you went to training, your company can always counter offer. It is been my experience that companies spend money on what is important to them. If you are valuable enough, they will counter offer.

I would not pay any part of classroom training my company wants to send me to. Leaving the company is a calculated risk the company takes. My compensation is money my company gives me for working their. Why would I want to give it back to them?

In addition, a company who spends $4000 on training for an employee is not a poor company that had to re-arrange a budget to secure training money. It is my experience that training money is the first to go when a budget gets tight.

I am not saying that their should be no company loyalty whatsoever, but what I am saying is that company loyalty should be secondary and taking care of yourself should be primary.

Post #308188
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:42 AM
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Personally, I find the hardest thing about moving on from a job is leaving your co-workers in the lurch... the feeling of guilt soon evaporates when you start getting your restful sleep back ( no more waking in the middle of the night finding that not only have you been working infront of a PC for 12 hours the previous day, but your dreams have now been taken over by the blasted things too)

"The Company" is a 2-headed beast; on one hand it can be your ultra-flexible best-friend, rewarding you with bonuses and empowering you with training privileges left, right and centre (when the market is buoyant)...On the other you will be "persuaded" to attend breakdowns on Christmas Day, threatened with written warnings if you dare refuse, laid-off at the slightest hint of a downturn in the market...

The company looks after itself, and so should we, I couldn't agree more with you Bill.




Post #308215
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:54 AM
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This from a woman's perspective.....

1) Most women opt for a backseat position careerwise to be able to combine home & hearth with job and not lose their sanity - this could be anything from a job that doesn't pay much to fewer hours to not using their full potential.

2) Inspite of the most supportive of husbands (& I picked David's post to respond to since he's obviously one of those exemplary ones) the reality is that women are better at multi-tasking so even if their work-schedules are as rigorous as their spouses' they still end up doing much much more - so for many of us almost the only workable option would be to take a week's break & attend classes - & of course since the week has to come out of your vacation time there's little to no motivation to actually doing this.

3) It's well known that in the IT world in particular, the only constant is change - at a pace so rapid that you constantly have to be playing catch-up - you come huffing and puffing & completely out of breath to what you think is the finish line only to discover that the line's already shifted further ahead. It's not a coincidence that women are a minority in the IT workforce - just get the ratio of male vs. female members on this site alone...

4) The reality is that it has become almost impossible to do justice to both career and family so one half (usually the husband) is picked for the role of "go out and get 'em" and the women get a job that'll still allow them to wear the other fun hats of chauffeur, cook, maid etc..

When I first came here I was thrilled about weekends - two whole days - what a luxury! Not anymore - I've come to dread weekends now - weekends mean that you catch up on all the chores you weren't able to do on the weekdays -

It really would be great if all those companies who tout mottos like "our employees are our best resources" actually put their money where their mouth is - whatever Joel's (on software) methods maybe for hiring developers no one would want to argue about being "treated like a star" - how many companies coddle their employees thus, leave alone give them the time of day ?!?!?!

If nothing else, companies should at the very least offer flex hours, telecommuting, vacation time that is not a joke (10 days a year ?!?!?!?!) etc.. that'll allow the employee to set his/her own schedule to upgrade some work-related stuff..at a pace that's much more doable & doesn't cost in terms of extra time, stress and juggling the eternal work-life balance...








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Post #308251
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 10:27 AM
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Thanks, sushila, for so aptly putting the women's veiwpoint into print!  And family isn't just the hubby and the kids, it's the parents and grandparents as well (having gone thru death of a parent-in-law and grandparent this past year...).

In my company we're rapidly expanding our "traditional" role in the marketplace, bringing in new software (like SQL2005, etc), and we are expected to train ourselves in all these new products, but NOT on company time!  And as so many mentioned, the training budget is pretty tight (we have better luck asking for CD-based training that asking for classes).  And with the expansion comes the overload of projects, all due by the end of the year, many needing the new technologies that we can't yet support.  It places us in a no-win situation.

Company loyalty and employee loyalty is an ever-flexible relationship, varying over time even within the same company.  Every person will need to judge for themselves the level of loyalty they feel from their company, and the level of loyalty the feel towards the company.  I think for most people the two are closely linked - the better your company treats you on all levels, the more loyalty you feel towards them, and vice versa.

I'm always amazed that no matter how many studies are done showing the people who are treated well (no matter what profession) are more productive, upper management treats each study as "new information" - wow, they never thought of that!  And two months later, they've forgotten it again.  (Note:  I have never seen a study that indicated people who are treated like dirt perform better, either short term or long term, so how come so many managers think that works?:hehe

Bottom line for me?  I expect my company to provide some of the training, to provide some time for training, and I expect that I will have to cough up some time of my own and some money as well.  It is a shared responsibility.




Here there be dragons...,

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Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 10:53 AM
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aah.."studies" are a whole new story altogether - almost all of them state the obvious - some of the more remarkable ones being:

1) Older parents raise babies' health risks.
2) More children from broken homes end up as delinquents.
3) Low sleep and poor nutrition raise stress levels.

Who pays for these studies anyway and how can I get paid just to come up with this asinine stuff ?!?!

I agree - companies are the same way - they study and study and study but in the end don't seem to want to put any of their learnings to practice!!!

ps:Sorry about your losses Stephanie - these are the life-changing events that to some extent help diminish the work-related frustrations for it makes you realize that in the "grand scheme of things" work is relegated to a much lower rung and therefore doesn't matter as much.....









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Post #308276
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 11:49 AM
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I guess I'm a lucky one, I've never had any problem getting training things paid for and scheduled (my manager actually told me to put aside everything for an hour or two a day for reading about and playing with SS2k5 Reporting Services).

Of course, I am best at learning by just reading books and then hands-on tinkering, so there is no major budget issue or anything.



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Post #308295
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 11:56 AM
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I don't disagree that many companies show less than admirable...or even appropriate support and loyalty. You can work to change that with varying degress of success.

All of us here have a problem - if we don't update our skills we reduce the chance of making more money, decrease our employability if we get laid of, decrease our value at our current job if a layoff ever happens. We can choose to take whatever time our employers give us - from zero hours to a lot of dollars/time - and leave it at that, or we can seek to do more. Depends on how comfortable you are with skills, how close to retirement or career change, etc, how effective that strategy is.

We all think it's in our employers interest to update our skills, not all our employers agree. Even if you convince this employer/manager, you may well fight the same fight with the next one. It absolutely is worth trying to show them the value, but we can't put our careers in their hands. I know that I need to spend a minimum of 100 hours a year to stay current and expand my skills some. If I can get my employer to support some or all of those hours while I'm at work that's a big plus, but if not - I know what I need to do to advance my career and I'm going to get that done.

While usually a good bit of that 100 hours a year does come out of "family time" in some sense - depending on when I use the hours, I do it for family, not because it's good for my employer. Family is where my #1 loyalty is, and I have a responsibility to stay employed, stay employable, and to increase my value in the market to the extent I can. Everyone can decide how much time to trade for how much increased value, again, from zero to a lot.

Take ownership of your career in all respects. If you work for a manager/employer that doesn't invest in training isn't it worth your time to try to educate them - by making a sound business proposal which might well include benefits they've reaped already through your own private efforts?

I look forward to your continued comments - I hope by the time I'm done I'll be able to coach both sides of this conversation on the training issue.

 



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