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Survey -- the safest place to be

Henry Wong
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Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40


Had an interesting discussion with a friend... which went like this...


All things being equal, where is the safest place to work? For someone that is really senior? ... and by safest, I mean the most chance of being highly valued, and hence, least chance of getting laid off.

Henry


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Rohan kanade
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Joined: Oct 22, 2009
Posts: 106
Safest place to work for is the place which have the best and largest amount of salesmen.


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Bear Bibeault
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
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  67

The only relative "safety" against layoffs lies in working for yourself.

That, of course, has its own set of risks.


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Avishkar Nikale
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Joined: Aug 06, 2010
Posts: 173
I would say a big organization which thrives on innovation & banks on experience of their senior staff

or

a nice promising start-up where you would steer a team with your plethora of expertise

Depends on what flavor you like.


Regards,
Avishkar Nikale
Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Henry Wong wrote:All things being equal, where is the safest place to work? For someone that is really senior? ... and by safest, I mean the most chance of being highly valued, and hence, least chance of getting laid off.


Find some really obscure technology or process that is critical to a company and is disagreeable enough that no one wants to do it, and complicated enough that it can't be outsourced easily. You'll be safe - but you'll likely hate your job and have no prospects outside of that company.

One really needs to determine if one wants safety in the micro sense (a guarantee of staying with a single employer) or safety in the macro sense (that one is working in a field and location that provides opportunities). I generally find that the only guarantee of safety is to do difficult things that people value.

Cheers!

Luke
Henry Wong
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Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

The "sales man" response was the one that came up during the discussion -- which I agreed most with. It is definitely "safer" working in a profit center than in a cost center. Hence, you can argue that it is better to work in sales than in engineering. Of course, the counter argument there is that you have to do what the customer wants, which could involve any type of technology.

Henry
Rohan kanade
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Joined: Oct 22, 2009
Posts: 106
Look at Oracle, it hires great salesmen, even if their products are not genuinely brilliant , they make good money due to their sales team. But on the other hand, Sun used to hire the best engineers, but their sales team was not that strong, and look what happened to Sun.
Henry Wong
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Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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  40

Rohan kanade wrote: But on the other hand, Sun used to hire the best engineers, but their sales team was not that strong, and look what happened to Sun.


Don't completely agree. More than a decade at Sun -- worked with a ton of sales reps that were very successful and whom I regard as still having the Midas touch.

I do agree that Sun has issues with retention of their good SRs... but considering the problems that they had over the last many years, that is not surprising. Great sales reps may be able to sell refrigerators to eskimos, but why should they? Those same contacts available to SRs to sell, can also be used to find easier and higher paying jobs.

IOWs, maybe if Sun created better core product (instead of lots of technology that didn't see the light of day), they would've been able to retain the better SRs.

Henry
Rohan kanade
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Joined: Oct 22, 2009
Posts: 106
Henry Wong wrote:
Rohan kanade wrote: But on the other hand, Sun used to hire the best engineers, but their sales team was not that strong, and look what happened to Sun.


Don't completely agree. More than a decade at Sun -- worked with a ton of sales reps that were very successful and whom I regard as still having the Midas touch.

I do agree that Sun has issues with retention of their good SRs... but considering the problems that they had over the last many years, that is not surprising. Great sales reps may be able to sell refrigerators to eskimos, but why should they? Those same contacts available to SRs to sell, can also be used to find easier and higher paying jobs.

IOWs, maybe if Sun created better core product (instead of lots of technology that didn't see the light of day), they would've been able to retain the better SRs.

Henry


I am just 20 years old, And what I said was based on my experiences with my surroundings in India's Sun offices. Ofcourse with your seniority, you do have greater insights. But i always felt that working with companies with better sales people is a good bet.
Henry Wong
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Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

Rohan kanade wrote:
I am just 20 years old, And what I said was based on my experiences with my surroundings in India's Sun offices. Ofcourse with your seniority, you do have greater insights. But i always felt that working with companies with better sales people is a good bet.



I think we are discussing two different things here. I think you are saying that it is better to work for a company that has better sales, to which I totally agree. Of course, you want to work for such a company. Companies that do well grow in size.

I just have a bit of an issue with your premise. The premise being that when sales are bad, then you have a bad sales team. In the case of Sun, near the end, it was more of an issue with the product. You just can't sell when you are no long competitive. And near the end, the sun product line was just no longer competitive in terms of price or performance.

Henry
Deepak Bala
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Joined: Feb 24, 2006
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    5

Safest place to work for is the place which have the best and largest amount of salesmen.


I am sure you meant a place where salesmen make the most profit for the company.

Yes I agree that this is the case. The other case would be where you maintain a large system that is very unlikely to be replaced. That would give you some cushion but would be boring. That scenario relates to Luke's comment.

I guess it depends on what we want when we mean safety. The answer may well lie in another question 'What would you like to do that would ensure that you retain your job but keep you on your toes just enough'.

a nice promising start-up where you would steer a team with your plethora of expertise


Startups are usually very volatile. They cannot take a hit and project failure is not an option (Unless you are very well funded and can make a comeback somehow). Its the opposite of safety. The stress involved to ensure job safety is another thing to keep in mind


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Tim Holloway
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Joined: Jun 25, 2001
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  21

Avishkar Nikale wrote:I would say a big organization which thrives on innovation & banks on experience of their senior staff


Good luck with that one. Big organizations are not known for innovation. Far more often, they get their innovations from buying smaller companies.

As for banking on experience, in the USA that died out in the 1980's when the term "perma-temping" was coined and even the most senior employees became commodities, with their industry knowledge being valued little and their knowledge of how things work internal to the company valued not at all.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Deepak Bala wrote:I guess it depends on what we want when we mean safety. The answer may well lie in another question 'What would you like to do that would ensure that you retain your job but keep you on your toes just enough'.

Startups are usually very volatile. They cannot take a hit and project failure is not an option (Unless you are very well funded and can make a comeback somehow). Its the opposite of safety. The stress involved to ensure job safety is another thing to keep in mind


What we mean by safety was what I was hinting at in my original post. Essentially, do you want a safe job or do you want a safe career? The two can be very different, and I think a lot of people fall into the trap of focusing on the first at the expense of the second.

As Tim points out, workers have become a lot more disposable in America these days, if not the world. And while that's caused issues for people used to long-term relationships with their employers, for a later generation like myself it's made employers just as disposable. I don't worry too much about the specific safety of my job - I'm far more focused on ensuring that my skills, experience and location are in demand so that I can easily find as good or better jobs.

To say that a startup is the opposite of safety is only true when you refer to job safety. It can be completely untrue when looking at it from the standpoint of career safety. Working for a failed startup can provide valuable skills and experience that larger, more established enterprises simply cannot. And even a failed startup can make a reputation for someone if it was known for good, innovative technology.

So what do all of you think of when you use the term safety? Job safety or career safety?

Cheers!

Luke
Deepak Bala
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Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662
    
    5

To say that a startup is the opposite of safety is only true when you refer to job safety. It can be completely untrue when looking at it from the standpoint of career safety


True. But we are taking about job safety here.

So what do all of you think of when you use the term safety? Job safety or career safety?


For someone that is really senior? ... and by safest, I mean the most chance of being highly valued, and hence, least chance of getting laid off.


I interpret Henry's statement as someone that is senior, whose work is appreciated, and whose job safety is almost guaranteed. I also infer that this person would not want to switch jobs.
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Deepak Bala wrote:I interpret Henry's statement as someone that is senior, whose work is appreciated, and whose job safety is almost guaranteed. I also infer that this person would not want to switch jobs.

And someplace that doesn't look to show senior people the door just because they are very senior.

Government?


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Deepak Bala
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    5

And someplace that doesn't look to show senior people the door just because they are very senior.

Government?


Err... I am not trying to say this would be a place where incompetence is tolerated. Just saying this would be a place where someone senior need not exert themselves but at the same time would be expected to get regular work done. The need to learn bleeding edge stuff is not required.

This was my interpretation. I could well be mistaken
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

Deepak Bala wrote:
To say that a startup is the opposite of safety is only true when you refer to job safety. It can be completely untrue when looking at it from the standpoint of career safety


True. But we are taking about job safety here.


Interestingly, my other discussion went here too -- and the counter argument here is career safety is job safety. Having the ability to get a job (on the chance of getting laid off) can be considered the same as, or even better than being safe in a specific job.

Henry
Tim Holloway
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Posts: 16305
    
  21

Henry Wong wrote:
Deepak Bala wrote:
To say that a startup is the opposite of safety is only true when you refer to job safety. It can be completely untrue when looking at it from the standpoint of career safety


True. But we are taking about job safety here.


Interestingly, my other discussion went here too -- and the counter argument here is career safety is job safety. Having the ability to get a job (on the chance of getting laid off) can be considered the same as, or even better than being safe in a specific job.

Henry


That's a matter of perspective. Time and effort spent on the "next" job is going to have to come from somewhere, that that somewhere it the current job. Not that it's that easy to give the old "110%" to the current job when you know that regardless of how good you are or what you know, you're still likely to need to be able to quickly get a "next" job thanks to the breakdown in employer/employee loyalty.

As Auld Bobbie Burns once observed, "The Best-laid Plans O' Mice and Men...". But that's just the beginning of the cost, since there's also the hits you take to self-esteem, the reluctance to make expenditures that would otherwise boost the economy (and corporate profits), the gnawing at one's health and sanity.

I've lately come to the conclusion that too many people are concerned only about the price they pay at the cash register, and forget that it's sometimes the LEAST of the expenses - as anyone who owns a cellphone quickly finds out. And of course, not all the costs are borne directly by the purchaser, but that never stopped most people anyway.
Avishkar Nikale
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 06, 2010
Posts: 173
Be loyal & smart with the work you do, not your employer.

(I don't mean that cheat your employer, but understand that they are in business for profits,
your loyalty will mean a lot when the organization is doing good, but when the times are bad
you will never know who may be showed the door.

Garner skills & remain true to the nature of work you do.
)

arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3275
Security for me is to keep my skills and knowledge current and up to date.

In addition to that networking gives me not only an added confort, but also direct referalls without having to go through a recruitment agency.


It is also quite safe if you have a good domain and the overall system knowledge. Just technical knowledge alone is easily disposable.


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