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OT: Considering Career change (long)

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Old 04-10-2002, 02:17 PM
  #11
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Know how you feel 26Scarab.
I was a tool & die maker at Duncan Electric/Landis & Gyr Metering for 13 yrs and 1 day. (Made the electric meters on the side of your homes) We were a manufacturing plant. At one time there were so many employees (1300), that the shifts had to be altered to free up the parking at shift change. The last 3 yrs I was there, it went down hill. Last I heard it was around 200. It is now an assembly only plant, bought out by Seimens. The future looks still grim for the remaining there. This was all mostly done because of NAFTA. Landis & Gyr moved most of the lines down to Mexico during my last 2 yrs there for the cheaper labor. I decided to get out on my own terms. Did home construction for 3 1/2 yrs to make a complete change to decide if i wanted to stay in the machining field. Now at Purdue since July in a small shop doing machine work, but not at the fast industrial pace as before. Love it.
The moral.........you can still do what you enjoy, but just using a different time clock. With so much going to plastics these days, I think your profession will still be needed. Good Luck dude.
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Old 04-10-2002, 04:38 PM
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26scarab – Sorry buddy, but you are fighting the Law of comparative advantage. An economic principle that states people, and businesses, will gain by specializing in what they do best (read lowest-opportunity cost), and exchange for goods for which they are a high-opportunity cost producer. The classic example is the attorney who can type 120 words per minute. The attorney must decide if his time is best used typing, considering he charges $200 an hour, or hiring someone for $10 per hour who only types half as fast. The lawyer’s comparative advantage lies in practicing law. The attorney will gain by hiring the typist and spending the additional time specializing in the practice of law.

Sorry again if that doesn’t sit well, buts it’s one of the key principles that govern economics. It’s a law that is just as real, just as unchangeable and “there” as laws such as gravity are in the physical world. That’s why free markets are so important. People, businesses, and even governments, need to be free to work with the principle - rather than beat themselves against it forever like the idiots in North Korea. Put crudely, gravity is real – what goes up will come down, don’t waste your time fighting it.

Put fifty little countries (call them states) together and let them trade freely, and look what happens. Couple of hundred years later, the Europeans say, wow, maybe we should try that. You get the Euro.

Others here have stated it in the negative sense, “viscous cycle.” But is mother nature viscous by blowing the **** out of eastern Florida occasionally? No, mother nature is indifferent. So don’t live there unless you can afford the hurricane insurance.

Your on the right track my OSO brother. But if your going to look for a new profession, get with one on the right side of comparative advantage.

Chart – Right on! When’s the last time the government fixed anything. The government is there to draw the lines, not tell us which plays to run.

p.s. Yes, I know – that’s way more than 2 cents. Sorry, back to boating

Last edited by Uncle Toys; 04-10-2002 at 05:13 PM.
 
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Old 04-10-2002, 05:22 PM
  #13
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26Scarab,

Sorry about your situation. Glad to see you are willing to be the master of your own destiny. Keep your chin up my OSO brother. Remember, NEVER depend on ANYONE else to bail you out especially the GOVERNMENT! The government is NOT an employment agency nor a bank! They are elected BY US, FOR US! This is NOT A DEMOCRACY it is a republic and the government that governs least governs best! Funny, Barry Goldwater had that same philosophy and lost because of it. And don't forget, when unions were formed they were done so out of necessity and had teh best of intentions behind them. Today, they are the biggest contributors to inflation and loss of jobs this country has ever seen. They think they have teh power to hold out over corporations, when in fact they end up shooting themselves in the foot. If you work for a firm in a non-union capacity, they will pay what you are worth. Unfortunately today, many companies are forced to pay union members MORE than they are worth and hence the jobs go elsewhere. Certainly this is not the case in every instance, but more often than not, that is what happens. The union leaders will tell you that the big bad company left because they do not care, but often that is a lie. I think 26Scarab pointed out that if these lay offs continue no one will be able to afford their product. Companies realize this, it is just that labor leaders failt o share this with the rank and file and also forget to tell them that that they (labor leaders) make their money on the supression of the group they are supposed to be helping. Remember, if union members had all they wanted or were paid what they were worth the leaders would be out of a job. Saw happen in my home town in teh pulp and paper industry TWICE!

Sorry to take so long. Good luck to you!

Shane

Best of luck to you my friend and let the free market enterprise work FOR YOU!
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Old 04-10-2002, 05:31 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback guys !

Uncle Toys, Getting on the right side of the "comparitive advantage " is easier said than done. But I understand where your coming from.

Rambunctious,
I do work for Plastech ! Right now we have tons of work BUT they are laying some people off in the design dept. , we don't have enough people to do the work we have now...hence the outsourcing thing.

The unfortunate thing is I really love the career I've chosen, not too many people can say that.


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Old 04-10-2002, 06:53 PM
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The big problem is the strenght of our dollar. There is as much as a $3,000 difference in the cost of an automobile from the USA compared to Japan. This will shift as Asia comes unglued due to the economy there. That should shift some jobs back. This won't happen overnight but will happen. I would try a service job. Our manufacturing jobs are leaving fast since we don't want to do them. Try the Mortgage business. It has been good for many years and everyone wants or needs a Mortgage. Thats what I do so if you want to try move to Holland and I will give you a job with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. We have been #1 for the past 10 years. It is not easy but is rewarding and safe. When the economy drops so do rates and people refinance. When the economy is good people by houses. Good Luck and keep looking. Just don't quite your day job until you find something
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Old 04-10-2002, 07:15 PM
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As a corporate leader who is deeply involved with the sourcing initiatives that are being driven by the global economy, I have the following information for you all (real data):

China 1.3 BILLION people at $.36/hour
India 1.0 BILLION people at $.81/hour
Mexico 102 million people at $1.60/hour
Eastern Europe 304 million people at $2.20/hour
Taiwan 22 million people at $3.00/hour
Japan 127 million people at $18.50/hour
Western Europe 330 million people at $20.00/hour
USA 278 million people at $20.30/hour

Not only are China and India going to be world superpowers they are going to do it in record time! They are literally skipping over 100 years of manufacturing development. Put simply they have the people power and low earnings expectations that are attracting EVERY company that is in the global manufacturing market.

Another fact: of all the engineers currently getting educations at our universities the total percent that are Chinese is40+%. The US by comparison is a whoping 5%. I'll give you one guess who will be making most of the things that are currently manufactured in our "get rich" without an education, unionized society. Hint: it won't be the USA.

So, is it finally time for the unions to concede that they need to work with manufacturers or do you think that they will ingore the signs just like the automotive industry did in the 60's? News flash, this is EXACTLY the same as that was and we all know what happend in the 70's/80's with the automotive industry. They have and are beating us at our own game because we got complacent. Consumers want it cheap and they want it now. Make it that way or find a new way to make a living.

Period!
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Old 04-10-2002, 08:02 PM
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Well Vyper340,
You get what you pay for. 100% of the products we've gotten back from our overseas designers has been SCRAP ! But who cares about a quality product it was cheap, and as far as the bottom line shows a profit for the "SUITS" keep it up !
I'll do my part , when I have to help one of our overseas lower payed employees , I will show him my paycheck and tell he's getting the shaft and that there is a better life for him than working for slave wages!
As far as unions go , I don't know too much about them (my industry is not unionized) but I think they have caused alot of problems. In my business if you don't produce your on the street, in a union you get a raise.
Yes my hourly rate is quite higher than those listed but it took almost 10yrs of work to get to this point. I'm grateful for it and don't think I'm owed anything.
You don't see people in those countries listed boating , driving cars...etc. because they CAN'T AFFORD it! They are being taking advantage of from GREEDY corporations !
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Old 04-10-2002, 10:26 PM
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26scarab – Worrying about the “greedy” corporations will not advance your cause. Businesses, just like individuals, are trying to further their interest to survive. It’s the correct strategy. If you look at long-term averages - 25 years, 50 years, 75 years – the average return on equity for all businesses is remarkably stable at around 12%. There are short-term extremes, but they don’t last long.

If you’re going to pick a new career, you need to focus on two things. First, the industry attractiveness. Second, how you can differentiate yourself in that industry. Let me warn you, from working in an industry where we try to understand long-term industry attractiveness daily – it’s [email protected]%*ing tough! If you’re in the automotive industry, I don’t have to tell you, that’s not an attractive industry. If you want to pursue an attractive industry, read stuff from Porter of Harvard. He’s the world guru of that subject matter. But find someone’s work summarizing Porter. Reading him directly will cure insomnia!

The second approach is what I would suggest. Focus on what you know best – yourself. Find ways to differentiate yourself within your industry. Write something and get it published, teach a class, give speeches, mentor new people. You need to find a way to “brand” yourself, cultivate an image. An image (or brand) offers a shortcut for the “suits” to quickly know what they are getting and what to expect from keeping you employed. I think Jack Welch said something like, “you want job security, be excellent” (maybe it was Bill Gates and certainly I am paraphrasing). A book I would recommend is “Jack, Straight from the Gut.” That will get you inside the head of big business. Easy to understand, plain English (but you can skip all the crap on the acquisitions).

You’re on the right track, you’re thinking ahead. Plus, you like what you do. That puts you ahead of 90+% of the people out there. Be bold!
 
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Old 04-10-2002, 10:34 PM
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Also "Real Data"

With our current trade agreements we are positioning ourselves for more dereases in earnings and employment.
A few # s to throw around which don't even come close to telling the real tale but do point in a certain direction

In 1999 the U.S.A impoted $81 billion in goods form China and Exported $13 billion to China..... hmmmmmm do the math.... although 170,000 jobs were created from those exports, ONLY 1.1million job opportunities were lost...

Chinas urban poverty level is rising at an alarming rate....
with unimployment being the main reason, while rural emplyment is rising.. why is that ? where do they typicaly build factories ? It seems there are great concerns as to the social standards and the goverments role in bringing stability to this country

there were 1.3 million jobs lost in the manufacturing industry in 2001.....hmmmmm

ps. wonder what will be left out in those 100 skipped yrs... good luck

How's Korea doing.? 52.5 % of Koreas workforce is temp/day labor .... at best this is substandard....and the gap between perm full time employees and temp is far stretched....... how long can this remain without some sort of adjustment ?

Does anyone actually think that the global workforce will lay dormant for much longer .. steadily working away as those above them flourish . Well, the corp owners and international investors would like to think so . It si up to us and our ELECTED officials to see that trade policy be put in check , Even Mexico is over it's head with importing more than they export.... it appears to be a viscious cycle

not being a Corp leader but just a honset owner of an American biz employing American citizens for fair American dollars
Maybe we should all do a little homework on the status of free trade and flex the muscle we WORKERS have seeing as we are the majority here.....
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Old 04-10-2002, 11:03 PM
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Sorry 26Scarab.... wasn't much help there but i got sidetracked..
anyhow...I have always found it best to be as diverse as i can be , if it means continueing training so be it.... maybe look into your companies education policy .. most have something avail. use it to your advantage while you still can...

Uncle Toys hit it on the head.
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