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Anyone taken a step back in their career?

0b5cur1ty

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Has anyone here (voluntarily) taken a significant step back in their career? From a management/senior position 'back to the work floor'? I'm thinking of situations like running a business/department back to 'just' working in it, IT manager back to engineer/sys admin, school manager/head back to classroom teacher etc.

If you've done this, what were your reasons? How has it worked out? Would you do it again?

Input is appreciated: Thanks in advance.
 

ter1413

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You looking to do that? If so, what do you do?
 

Flambeur

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I will probably do that pretty soon.
 

0b5cur1ty

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Originally Posted by ter1413
You looking to do that? If so, what do you do?
I'm thinking about this subject, but looking in this thread for peoples' experiences rather than specific advice and so don't want to prejudice the discussion by explaining my particular situation at this point (though am quite happy to do so later on after people have had the chance to respond to the general question).

Originally Posted by Flambeur
I will probably do that pretty soon.
Thanks for responding. What kind of step back are you looking at and what is your motivation to do so?
 

Milpool

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Voluntarily. . . no. Forced. . . yes (shit economy).
 

Spats

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I used to shovel Shinola...
 

Flambeur

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Originally Posted by 0b5cur1ty

Thanks for responding. What kind of step back are you looking at and what is your motivation to do so?


Basically following my interests and concentrating more on lifestyle and opportunity based on my own drive/intellectual capacity rather than being totally at the mercy of politics/economics/etc. It really is about looking 10, 20, 30 years ahead and trying to figure out where you want to be, and deciding how to move towards that. Now of course, all of that may change and evolve, but at least moving in the right direction, as opposed to drifting, is what counts.
 

Flambeur

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Originally Posted by Milpool
Voluntarily. . . no. Forced. . . yes (shit economy).

well yes, there is that too.. Experienced it for myself a couple years back.
 

globetrotter

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at least 3 times - first time, I was doing well at what I was doing, and very young. basically, I felt that I wasn't getting the credit I deserved and told my boss to fuck off. took me back a big step and went to school. not that it was a bad thing in the long run, but it made my life tough for a couple of years.

then, when I was older I wanted to have a more wider focus on my career - that is, most people who do what I do are experts on one geographic territory, I became an expert on one and then requested to transfer to another, and then did that again. each time I had to learn the territory and the customers, and it dropped my income for a year or so. but in the end it paid off.

the last time, I was doing very well in israel, but made the decision to leave and I knew that it would take me a few years to get back to the top of my game. it took me two years to get back up, but now I am doing much better than if I had stayed put, much better


so, I've done it and it has paid off, but it has been tough every time.
 

Blackhood

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I seem to take a step back every time I opn my ill-educated, unthinking mouth.
 

longskate88

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I believe this is called "downshifting," no? I like the idea of once you have a comfortable financial background and don't feel like you 'need' the fancier material things those higher-end jobs can buy.

Personally I would want to achieve the higher-end job first, prove I can do it for a few years, THEN downshift. Just in case you change your mind, you'll have the experience.
 

0b5cur1ty

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Thanks for the feedback guys!

Has anyone else done this and care to share their experience?
 

Tangfastic

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I've tried to do it within a company unsuccessfully.
Basically it was looked upon as an odd move to make, HR wouldn't know how to grade my pay and it didn't fit into their idea of internal career progression.

I suppose you will encounter this sort of thinking even moving from one firm to another. Be prepared to explain why you are prepared to take a pay and status cut at the very least. My reasons were for career development (the area I want to get into pretty much has to be learned from the bottom up) and location which were valid reasons to me, but perhaps hard to explain to a rather faceless bureaucracy.

Ive done it successfully in fieldwork from a junior supervisory to a technical role (for more money), but that isn't unusual in that field.
 

MasterOfReality

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I took a step back and moved to a different field because I didn't like where I was heading.

Financially it set me back about 6 years, career wise I had to start nearly from scratch again. I spent about 12 months debating the pros and cons of such a move.

Did my mining engineering degree, completed my compulsory one year as a miner (actually spent nearly 2 years underground), did my time in various departments and was on track to sitting the statutory mine manager written and oral examinations and $350k a year as a registered mine manager.

Noticed that all my time was increasingly being consumed by scheduling/planning and zero design work, and all mine managers were highly strung, stressed out individuals on call 24/7. I tried to reposition myself to get more into the technical services area but was getting pushed towards management.

Decided it wasn't worth it and quit, re-enrolled in a Phd in mining rock mechanics and now work as a mining geotechnical engineer for a consultancy, doing all the underground and open pit design work I can handle.

Its great, keeps the brain active and although the pay isn't as much as what I would be on if I followed my previous course, it provides much higher satisfaction.
 

0b5cur1ty

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Thanks for the examples - this is the sort of stuff I'm looking for.

Keep 'em coming!
 

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