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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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I want opinion on which job

I now find myself in an enviable position when times are not great for most. For about 4 years I've been biting the bullet and working a temp contracted job waiting for it to lead to a full time permanent position. A few months ago, not wanting to put all my eggs in one basket, I applied for a civil service state position that I'm well qualified for. The job wasn't open at the time but I had inside information that it would be opening up before the end of the year so I took my civil service test and made sure I was qualified for the job. Fast forward to last month. The new full time position I've been holding out for at my present employer was oked and I took the job. The qualifications and description of this job were written for me but Im worried because its a brand new and fairly high profile position with lots of opportunity for fail, although it does pay well, has good benefit package and is a good resume stuffer for me. Its all good until yesterday I got a letter from the state to set up an interview for the civil service job. I stand a very good chance at getting this state job if I want it. The benefits and pay are a wash between the two jobs (the job I have now has better pay but not as good retirement as the state job), the opportunity for advancement is about the same and the commute distance is the same. The big difference between them is the job I have now offers a variety of issues to solve day to day, I never know what Im going to have to deal with and I have some flexibility in my schedule. As you might imagine, the state job is none of that, it'll be the same thing day in and day out and the schedule is set in stone. The good thing about the state job is job security. Its civil service so once Im in, barring something really stupid, I will be there as long as I want. I like what I would be doing at both jobs. I guess what it comes down to is do I take a boring job that practically guarantees a good retirement and benefits for life or do I sacrifice some stability for a more "exciting" and sometimes real PITA job? Something else that bugs me, who in there right mind (nearing 50 years of age) even considers turning down a good state job in this economic question mark we live in today.
I think I know what Im going to do but I just want to hear about others who have had a similar decision. What did you decide and how did it turn out?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 12:04 AM
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From what you described. I'd take the state job.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 01:09 AM
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:16 AM
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In my opinion, it depends largely, in the long run, on what you want your daily activity to look like - routine or "who knows what." Personally, I would much prefer the "who knows what" prospect rather than (possibly mind numbing) routine. If you know what's on the far side of each and every hill, there's little joy in cresting the next hill - month after month after month.

As regards, the state job being more secure, I might beg to differ. It would appear that, according to news reports and articles, the private sector is doing better than the public sector in the current environment. It's difficult to pick up a newspaper, news magazine, or watch national news without hearing of a city, county, or state government reducing its workforce because of the lingering debt crisis. Not to mention reducing health care and retirement benefits.

Civil service job security doesn't seem to mean as much as it did, say, 15 or 20 years ago. And unions throughout the country seem to be losing what was once cast iron ability to protect its members regardless of what it cost the appropriate government entity - local, state, or national.

There's my two cents for what its worth. Best of luck with whichever alternative you select.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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In my opinion, it depends largely, in the long run, on what you want your daily activity to look like - routine or "who knows what." Personally, I would much prefer the "who knows what" prospect rather than (possibly mind numbing) routine. If you know what's on the far side of each and every hill, there's little joy in cresting the next hill - month after month after month.

As regards, the state job being more secure, I might beg to differ. It would appear that, according to news reports and articles, the private sector is doing better than the public sector in the current environment. It's difficult to pick up a newspaper, news magazine, or watch national news without hearing of a city, county, or state government reducing its workforce because of the lingering debt crisis. Not to mention reducing health care and retirement benefits.

Civil service job security doesn't seem to mean as much as it did, say, 15 or 20 years ago. And unions throughout the country seem to be losing what was once cast iron ability to protect its members regardless of what it cost the appropriate government entity - local, state, or national.

There's my two cents for what its worth. Best of luck with whichever alternative you select.
You make good points, and they are all points I've considered.
PA has not been in the habit of "laying off". In hard times they tend to furlough or they just dont fill vacant positions when they become vacant. To abolish a civil service position takes alot in PA. I'm pretty confident in saying the civil service job is more reliable than what I have now, how much more is unknown. The people I work for now like having me around but if the management changes, that could be a different scenario all together and I could be gone in a second (not a "right to work" state). I will say that it doesnt happen very often but it has a time or two.
The economy isnt so much of an issue where Im at, being seen as being valuable is what keeps you here. If the upper levels see you as a value, you are good, if they don't you may be in trouble.
Anywho, I hate the idea of doing the same drab thing over and over for years. That said, I think I'll set up an interview with the state and see what they have to say anyway. The state position does have the opportunity to move in a direction to become a much more exciting job down the road but thats only if all the stars line up (not likely).
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 12:00 PM
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A tough decision for sure, and it sounds like neither one is a bad choice. They both have their pros and cons. There's no way to predict which one will be the "best choice". There will be challenging moments and lessons learned in each one, and rewards in each as well.

Being in a similar situation is a possibility for me. I think the financial aspect of it works out about the same, or maybe even going the state employee route is better. I might earn a higher salary as a contract employee, but I don't get the long term benefits that the state employees get. What happens as a contract employee is that the means with which I try to live within is higher in the present (which is nice), but there's very little retirement savings happening, and that will need to change (I'm 39 and just finished grad school).

For me, in the end though, what is important is will I look forward to getting up and going to work every day? I have had previous careers where I got rather bored after some time, and dreaded working. It wouldn't matter how much they paid me, I would still be unhappy. I need some excitement, and new challenges / experiences in my work.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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For me, in the end though, what is important is will I look forward to getting up and going to work every day? I have had previous careers where I got rather bored after some time, and dreaded working. It wouldn't matter how much they paid me, I would still be unhappy. I need some excitement, and new challenges / experiences in my work.
It's been some time since I've had a job where I look forward to going to work (1993 to be exact). Don't get me wrong, I've had a couple decent jobs since then that I didn't hate but they haven't been jobs that I look forward to going to. For the most part, I've always been a "work to live" kinda guy and not the "live to work" kind. The job I have now is a job I don't hate and at times I get alot of satisfaction from it but most of the time, there is someplace or something I would sooner be doing.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 10:52 PM
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If your want to be Lazy and set a limit for your achievement take the state job, but if you want to see your true self and face challenges then go the other way.

Wish you well and may God guide you and be by your side always.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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If your want to be Lazy and set a limit for your achievement take the state job, but if you want to see your true self and face challenges then go the other way.

Wish you well and may God guide you and be by your side always.

What if being "lazy" is myself and the "challenge" actually is getting up and going to the same job and doing the same thing every day.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:37 PM
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If the state job's pay is sufficient for your lifestyle, enough to pay for mortages yet still can take a vacation to Malaysia , then for the job security it offers, I would take it. Age do matters, and at my early 40's, I don't find that I have that energy to be remaining in the top all the time.

The job may be boring, but you could add in your own extras to improve things around the office, automate certain things, take part in community programs with the state department, etc... The most important thing is leaving the office without having any worries about timelines and what you may have forgotten to do. Leaving the office that way and riding the V .... PRICELESS. (sounds like a Mastercard commercial)

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:40 PM
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What if being "lazy" is myself and the "challenge" actually is getting up and going to the same job and doing the same thing every day.

We all have this mindset that a normal routing job is doing the same thing everyday and its the same and nothing improves.

well be remembered that nothing remain the same in this world and every second is different and if you can understand this then you will also know the a job that you feel routine is not routine and its different every day. How much you contribute in term of quantity and quality in the very same job everyday can make difference on how you judge your job and your good self. There many hidden lesson that one can learn in their daily duties.

You can remain in your present job and look at it from another angle and be happy doing it daily. you are what you think you are and not your true self. look within you and you will find answers that you need and dont limit yourself. Build your confidence, your very own confidence to face the challenges ahead.

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Hope it is of some help to you sir.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 01:54 AM
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there is an old saying, flip a coin and don't bother with what the flip decides, but do what you are hoping the flip will be while the coin is in the air....It sounds like you are lucky to be in your situation, don't sweat it, and don't burn any bridges... ie; leave all your options open till you are sure you are happy with the decision you make. It's always worked for me.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 02:42 AM
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there is an old saying, flip a coin and don't bother with what the flip decides, but do what you are hoping the flip will be while the coin is in the air....It sounds like you are lucky to be in your situation, don't sweat it, and don't burn any bridges... ie; leave all your options open till you are sure you are happy with the decision you make. It's always worked for me.
Very nicely put sir.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 03:27 AM
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 05:55 AM
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What if being "lazy" is myself and the "challenge" actually is getting up and going to the same job and doing the same thing every day.
I hope this was not on your resume!

I should tell what job I think you should take and then you would know its the other one you want! Ha! Ha!

I have always picked the wrong job. I still have one!





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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 01:51 PM
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There are jobs, careers, and vocations. The goal should be a vocation - something that you want to spend the rest of your life doing. The thing that you love to do. If it's just about the paycheck or security, you'll resent it after awhile.

Take the job that will make you happy.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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There are jobs, careers, and vocations. The goal should be a vocation - something that you want to spend the rest of your life doing. The thing that you love to do. If it's just about the paycheck or security, you'll resent it after awhile.

Take the job that will make you happy.
I left my chosen vocation behind 20 years ago. Now I'm trying to make the best of the field I'm in. The rest of my life is not as much of a commitment as it once was.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 01:32 AM
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Can't tell you what would be best for you, but 5 years ago I was in the opposite situation - sitting in a gov't job that was pretty cushy, somewhat interesting, and could have stayed for life - when I was offered a job on the outside with more pay, more variety, more challenges, but less security. I left the govvie position, 5 years later I still think it was the right move. As for security, I would suspect it would take a lot to actually lose your position, but I think employee benefits at all levels of government will be up for consideration over the next few years.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 08:10 AM
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I am taking in consideration that you are 50 and have a family.

I would 100% take the Civil Job. If you were younger, let’s say in the late 20's through early 30's I would take a job that could lead to a more prosperous career ahead of you.

That said, I would take the Civil job for Job Security and Routine. Although I would hate conducting a "routine job" (not having to think outside the box) it comes with perks that support a better life with your wife, kids, and your bike

If you can get in and get out around the same time of day with little to no stress and the Pay is enough to fully support your family, your hobbies, and emergencies AND you get a solid retirement plan, then I wouldn't look another way.

I am basing my entire statement on my Father, who was in a position that was more of a "Career", doing well in a large medical company (Around $200k). He HATED his job. He would have to work late, stress was incredible, his life was miserable. He then had an opportunity to still have challenges, but with a bit less responsibilities. He was able to get home from work on time, spend time at home, and do what he loves to do outside of work. To see the transformation of how much "healthier" he was, there is no doubt in my mind that sometimes, it’s just not worth it.

We work to live. We should not live to work.

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 08:51 AM
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You know that was well put! It really does make a difference to know yourself. How well do you know yourself?

I worked with a guy that all he wanted was routine. As humans I think we all want some, but this guys was nuts. He wanted to park in the same spot every day and when he couldn't it bugged him!

Later in life I realized he is the norm and I'm not the norm.

Now I'm on my way back to morn! Kinda! Ha! Ha!





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