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author's profile photo Michelle Crapo

What is your requirements or thoughts on a fun / good / great job? Have they changed?

As I was sitting her, trying to think of a different approach to a problem, I saw three deer run through. I thought about how carefree they looked. OK so they ran the other way when one of dogs noticed them.

Then I thought of my perfect job, and I thought how different it was than when I first started. Anyway here it goes:

  1. Money to pay the bills - not huge salary. Work from home most of the time. Very important now I got used to it. (Including benefits)
  2. Good boss. Great boss.
  3. I have to be learning and allowed to use at least some of the things I learn.
  4. Decent work hours. I don't mind ramping up for projects. I don't want to be 70-80 hours all the time.
  5. Time to learn.
  6. Vacation

And I could go on - here's the fun part.

What I remember I used to want:

  1. Large salary. (Including benefits)
  2. Vacation
  3. Location - fairly close - 2 hours away was fine.

If I remember right those were the only concerns. Which was good leaving college - however this was in my mind probably for the first 5 years or so after college.

And my perfect job - of course had nothing to do with computers. It was training horses. That was a good hobby but not quite practical.

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  • Jul 26, 2019 at 07:43 PM

    I would add:

    1. Working at something I enjoy (makes it much easier to get up in the morning!)

    2. Good retirement plan with employer match (may only be applicable in the US?)

    3. A boss/employer who understands that I don't need micromanagement - lets me do what I need to do for my clients without standing over my shoulder and knows that I'll reach out if there are issues that I need assistance with.


    • Jul 26, 2019 at 07:49 PM

      Great adds! I would hate my job if I didn't like what I was working on most of the time. Some of the time - wellllll.... I want to throw the computer out of the window.

      Oh YES - I'm from the US a great retirement plan would be nice.

      Micromanagement... Oh boy - totally agree with you on that. Another great point too. There are a lot of those out there.

      Interesting response!

  • Jul 27, 2019 at 01:24 PM

    Time to learn and develop beats everything else for me, even if i need to do it during my commute. Tolerating long lag times, sometimes years, it takes from what i have learned until i can actually apply it helps, too.

    • Jul 29, 2019 at 11:35 AM

      Years... Yes sometimes it takes years to use what I've learned. I was on 4.6C in this job until last year. It was hard to find some gems to learn about it Teched. (2 years ago, too much going on last year) We basically did a reinstall. NOW I can start using things. I also am very lucky to be going to Teched this year. I'm thinking it will be something I can use. I hope. (On-premise HANA) NW 7.5C. Woohoo! This has been a fun year so far.

  • Jul 27, 2019 at 05:18 PM

    :D 2 hours is very far :( I am currently staying like 15 min away from my office and still think that it is very far :D :D

    When I was fresh out of college, I used to thing that staying near my home with an average salary would be the only thing I wanted and then I started working at a Port and just after 2 days, I left the job :D I planned very poorly there.

    So here I am now, 2000 miles away from home, always thinking about how to earn more :D :D ... A lot of things changed in 7 years and hopefully I will change more in a better way :) . But one thing I don't want to change is the intrest that I have to learn new things :P

    • Jul 29, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      Agree - learning is very key to happiness. 2 days!!!! Wow that must be a record. I once worked only 9 months for a company.

      • Jul 29, 2019 at 12:18 PM

        Mine was a consulting assignment. I got there at 8am and had solved their first problem by noon. They said "we only had the one, thanks" and headed me towards the parking lot.

        But that was my very first consulting assignment, and I have learned how to evaluate potential customers a lot better now ;)

        • Jul 29, 2019 at 12:21 PM

          OK - I think you may win! Amazingly short time. I would think they would have called you again. Did any other large projects come your way from that company?

          • Jul 29, 2019 at 12:26 PM

            No. I was hired by a consulting firm shortly afterwards and the one time they called me back, I didn't have the time (nor the inclination) to work for them.

            • Jul 29, 2019 at 12:29 PM

              I don't blame you - not working for them again. I was just thinking maybe they were trying you out to see if you would fit for a larger project... Then it wouldn't have been so bad.

              Consulting firm... Been there, Done that. It depends on the consulting firm and client. I've ended up working a ton of hours per week. I'm happily working in-house again. I hope you are having good luck with your job now. (No comment needed. It is your job now.)

      • Jul 29, 2019 at 04:09 PM

        haha :D :D yeah 2 days and my second least is 6 months in an another company :D :D BTW these two are my direct payrolls only not any contract. I lasted 3 and half years with my first company(IT) though :)

  • Jul 27, 2019 at 07:55 PM

    My current status is effectively: Work when I like, doing what I like. And highly paid for doing so. Fortunately, those who pay me are happy with what I produce. So win-win all round.

    • Jul 29, 2019 at 11:40 AM

      Wow. I wish it were that way for me. ;) Work when I want - very cool. It sounds like an independent consultant?? I don't think I could do that. (Never say never) I would always worry that I would find a new job next. So I don't think I'd ever take a vacation.

      I love your job.

      • Jul 29, 2019 at 12:47 PM

        I'm 50/50 employed/independent. I have a fiscal target and a days worked target for the year. If I exceed both, I don't worry about taking vacation and "not being paid". I've never had a problem finding that next contract. Having said that, I've held my current contract since 2006. Many many different projects under that contract though. Any one of which could have been my last.

        And although I work when I like - I like to work! No shirking!

        • Jul 29, 2019 at 02:54 PM

          I often consider what I might do next. Right now I have a pretty cushy public sector job with some significant golden handcuffs: a state-funded pension plan. Pensions are practically extinct in the US, so this is not something that would be easy to walk away from. But, in another year's time I'll have 20 years in with this pension plan, which is an important milestone in that it unlocks the potential for early retirement. That option comes with financial penalties, of course, but at least it is possible, so that's something I'd like to have in my back pocket, just in case.

          So, once I pass that mark, do I stay on where I am, continuing with the "day job" and contributing further to that pension? Or do I move on, do something else for higher remuneration, but less in terms of benefits? Or, seek out something like what you're doing, Matthew, as a semi-independent consultant? Greater risk, greater reward, but also... greater risk.

          • Jul 29, 2019 at 06:16 PM

            I've taken risks from time to time. Mostly, I've lost. But the one time it paid off - it paid off my mortgage... The trick is never to risk what you can't afford to lose.

            However, I've never been concerned about my ability to find new work. That could be delusional... but it's worked so far!

            • Jul 29, 2019 at 06:30 PM

              Very good points. I used to be much more risk-seeking in terms of my career, but then I had a kid, got married, bought a condo, etc.... Now the kid is 21, the condo is paid off, and my wife makes more than I do anyway, so what have I got to lose?

              Of course, I expect to win every time I buy a lottery ticket, too. Somehow that one never seems to work.

  • Jul 30, 2019 at 12:05 AM

    One of the things I value the most in my current job, but which I never could have planned for and could only humbly express thanks for when the time came: a team that was not only able, but willing, to close ranks and pitch in when I was suddenly unable to work for an eight-week stretch due to a family emergency in 2016.

    This team went the extra mile to support all of my tasks while I was reduced to a 10-hour work week, during a crucial time in our project delivery. I will always be grateful to them and to the company that made that possible: SAP.

    • Jul 30, 2019 at 11:35 AM

      That is so important. Your team must be amazing! It's great to work with people that you like and they like you. Ahhhh.... BUT how could they not? You are an amazing person yourself.

      • Jul 30, 2019 at 03:48 PM

        And once again, I'm blushing. Thank you. And it's true that the team members I work with have always had each others' backs when it really counts.

  • Jul 30, 2019 at 05:11 PM

    My expectations definitely have changed over time. When I was younger, the work hours or location were not that important, as long as I was well-paid and doing something I liked. Then, for a while, I couldn't really be picky and had to work wherever my work visa was sponsored (probably an unfamiliar situation to many SCN users).

    But now, since I have a kid and a citizenship, my top most priority is so-called "work life balance", which incorporates several items from your list: working from home at least partially, commute below 30 min., flexible hours and no "on call" responsibility or any kind of constant bothering outside of regular office hours. Just as you wrote, if there is a project or something I'll be there on the weekend, at night, whatever is needed but this should be an exception, not the regular operating conditions.

    Having something interesting to do and opportunity to learn is the second priority. (It's not fun working on a system just to keep the lights up.) The bosses come and go, so it's less of a factor. I'm a good worker, so I'm usually able to get away with some stuff, in the worst case, cough, cough. :)

    Monetary compensation is still important (I have bills to pay and wouldn't want to feel bamboozled by being paid less than others) but it's something I could sacrifice in favor of more important things.

    As my kid gets older and retirement age draws nearer, I'm sure money will become the top priority again. It's like a U-curve. :)

    • Jul 30, 2019 at 05:23 PM

      MMMmmmm.... My one and only baby is 22. He's still in college. I haven't u-turned yet. But I could see myself doing it. (I am, of course not including my furry family members.)

      I like your comment about "bosses coming and going". So when a good one goes and a bad one appears - I can't always just pick up and leave.

      Also did you see the 16 year old that won 3.3 million dollars? He was simply playing a video game. I guess it is called "esports". New word for me. I highly doubt I could ever get that good now. But wow - what a job. Work for one weekend make 3.3 million dollars and retire at 16. I'm sure he won't but in theory he could. Unless he is more mature than most - it will go too fast. Then again there are always more ... I'm not really sure what they call them "esport games" ???

  • Aug 05, 2019 at 08:47 AM

    That's a tough question. Of course a lot of things have changed in the meanwhile because also your needs and expectations change when you are getting older. But I would agree to your points but would add "flexibility": to work from home at short notice, e.g. when your children are ill. Within SAP I am happy to have that advantage. The distance is also important to me... 2 hours is really far away, I would say. I have 50 km to drive and still struggeling from time to time ;-)

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