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More perks less pay ???

More perks less pay ???

More perks less pay ???

I see plenty of jobs going unfulfilled in the ads and they mostly have one thing in common.
High demands and intrusion on personal life.
Apparently these "we want to own you" positions are becoming difficult to fill even in these miserable economic conditions.

I find this a good sign. I want Engineers to demand more quality of life and less pay so this factor will work into employers expectations.

Some of the things i would like to see go away.

1 24/7 on call with pager.
2 PTO vacation management with no sick time.
3 Frequent travel requirements.
4 Frequent weekend work in addition to full weekday work.

So how about it guys, lets kick back and consider NOT buying that boat or new car and spend the difference on our free time.

Engineers have for too long been workaholics.

Balance makes best eh ???

Do you agree ??

RE: More perks less pay ???

Already there.

RE: More perks less pay ???

YEP - Just takes the right company and for the engineer to push or pull the right buttons....

RE: More perks less pay ???

Depends on the person.

I love my career choice.  I feel a great responsibility to clients and projects, so I sleep with my cell phone, take a lap top on vacaction, and travel when ever required.  Now that I have kids, I work after they go to bed to allow me to spend time with them on a daily basis.  

My weekends are mine, but I answer the phone if it rings.

This attitiude seems to have paid off with promotions and salary increases.  I have not traveled much in the last 3 years, but I just booked a trip to Maui with my wife and kids, with my frequent flyer miles.  

My wife is very understanding, more than likely since she is an engineer as well.   

RE: More perks less pay ???

I have found that at this point of my career, time is more valuable than money. My compensation is adequate for my experience and responsibilities but it's still a full time job that requires my presence in an office some minimum amount of time.

It would be great if I could trade some money for more time off. Something like unpaid vacation. Unfortunately many positions, mine included, requires that I keep things moving along which entails close involvement with the happenings at work.

RE: More perks less pay ???

I've always wondered how people put up with jobs like that.  Fortunately I've never had to.  

In past I've deluded myself into thinking that I needed to work 70+ hours per week for months on end to meet my employers' commitments to a customer, or to keep some tin-pot start-up afloat for a while longer, but I'm now completely cured of that disease.

My weekends have always been my own, aside from occasional business travel.  If anyone asks, I say it's for "religious reasons".

If people are rejecting positions with absurd working conditions, I too see that as a positive sign.  If those absurd working conditions are truly required and there is no work-around solution that can be found, the people who will put up with them deserve to be handsomely compensated.  

RE: More perks less pay ???

The only thing I really miss at my current job is flex time.  We have to work until 5 no matter what time we get here.  I would rather come it at 6 or 7 and leave by 3:30.  5 oclock really ruins my evenings.  I have been here over 3 years and have worked only one Saturday.  

But I get unlimited sick time (have had this at most companies), and great pay.  The medical could be a little better.  I never paid a dime out of pocket at my last place.

But I sacrificed a few perks for a better position and a great raise.

If you don't get what you want, leave.

However, I am getting to the point of making a lateral move to see if I can get better hours.  The evenings are for family, and this place cuts into that too much.

RE: More perks less pay ???

There are different roles for different people.  Some guys love the on-call life style, others need the work-life balance.  Hopefully you can find a company that can fit you to your role of choice.

I've had the opportunity to do both roles with the same company and really enjoyed each role.  

The problem comes with engineering companies that really abuse their engineers.  Interviewed with a company that told me to expect to work 60-70 hour weeks and that my salary would be based on 40 hrs, with no OT.  I asked my interviewer why they would undersell their jobs like that.  His response:  "Oh we charge our clients for every hour you work, but you only get paid for 40 hrs per week".  The rest is profit for the company!  Needless to say, I didn't accept the offer.

There are companies out there that value what engineers bring to the table and treat them well.  If your company doesn't to that, then you need to make a change.  You can buy that boat and have time to enjoy it.

RE: More perks less pay ???

I remember in school a professor told me if you go at it from the start saying 50+ hrs/wk is unacceptable that sets a precedence. If you are ok working extra they're ok asking you to.

I couldn't do 60+ hrs, I work to live not the other way around.  

RE: More perks less pay ???

Strange as it sounds, my boss said to me, no matter how much you are willing to work, if you are productive, they will always find you more work.

If you fail on a project because you did not have enought time for it, you will be rewarded with less work, and maybe fewer pay rases.

RE: More perks less pay ???

Generaly not here, unless your on probation, or do it more than a few times. People in the power field are probally harder to find than other fields.

RE: More perks less pay ???

I agree with those who suggest that different jobs are for different people.  I'm single, moved to a new town in a new state, and if I didn't have work to keep me company all I would do is waste time and money on hobbies that I am already satisfied with my progress on.  

That, and some jobs need that kind of response.  Outages in some plants can have costs that go into the millions per day, and that cost doesnt stop after 5pm and on the weekends, and if work I am responsible for is going to take place, I want be there for the good of the folks who employ me.  (It's happened before, it will happen again, I don't get overtime for it, but I don't think I am being paid poorly even if my coworkers do, or I wouldnt have taken the job)

Really, each of us decides what work we are willing to do for what pay.   If jobs like the one first mentioned dont get taken, they will have to change their expectations in terms of demands or offered salary, as you mentioned. That, or absorb the costs associated with looking for a perfect match for their offer.


RE: More perks less pay ???

Why does it have to be one or the other?  I think engineers are generally underpaid (when comparing to other professions) without working all the extra time that most of us do.  

RE: More perks less pay ???

I hear you Kenat.  I'm just saying that most engineers don't make enough to say. "just make my pay less, because I don't want to work extra hours".  I'd honestly have a hard time living on much less than I'm making now.

RE: More perks less pay ???

" I'd honestly have a hard time living on much less than I'm making now." Because, in another thread, you have admitted that you'd rather stay where you are, all things considered.

I could certainly take a 40% pay cut without fretting overmuch, but then I have always been pretty mercenary in my attitude to pay. So far as I'm concerned I have only one life to live and if my employer wishes to use that life up they can pay accordingly. Otherwise I'll take the time to do things I really want to do.


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: More perks less pay ???

"I'd honestly have a hard time living on much less than I'm making now." There once was a book on how to live on $150,000 a month. It seems dumb, but the basis was he was expected to live in a type of house, and drive a type of car. But the bottom line is these expectations were not realistic, they were self imposed. So you really can live on less, you just have to set out to do it.

RE: More perks less pay ???

You have no argument from me about our value versus the pay we can command- if we work just as wage slaves.  Best to get out of the wage slavery business as soon as you can.

Obviously there are still a lot of people out there who confuse employment with indentured servitude, even if the pay sucks.  People need a life distinct from their work, or they're headed six feet under about a year after they retire.  That life outside of work doesn't just happen:  it needs time to grow.

I want my pay to match my value in the marketplace, and to my employer.  I'm not satisfied unless it is, nor am I satisfied with my performance unless I'm doing my best to be of financial use to them.  I do these things because I value fairness and because I understand the nature of business, not because I give a rat's @ss about money.

All that said, if you "can't live" on 20% less than you make now, you should give some serious thought to how you can fix that, before the marketplace does it to you.  Spend some time separating your needs from your wants, and don't undervalue your services.

RE: More perks less pay ???

With fuel and food prices rising, and these are not included in the current inflation figures (They were in the past, but they wanted to remove the volitity), you had better get ready for a decrease in purchasing power.

Good time to start a garden, and stacking fire wood, and leave the AC off.

RE: More perks less pay ???

I had a manager tell me once that companies like engineers to get loaded with debt through the wife, the 2.5 kids, the $250,000 mortgage, the SUV, the mini-van, the boat, the camper, the expensive vacations, etc.  That way they cannot leave the company and have to make themselves content with whatever they receive from the company.

Another manager's father-in-law was a VP for a major oil company and never worked more than 40 hrs/wk.  His philosophy was if you can't get your work done in 40 hrs. and you're not goofing off, management needs to hire people.  He did not understand our generation working themselves to death and missing so much of life.

RE: More perks less pay ???

Speaking of perks, One question for all on this string:

Is continuing education, industry training, education tuition reimbursement assistance, etc pretty common among most employeers of engineers?  If so, what metrics are placed on it?  Like how many industry training classes are you eligible to attend?  Or how much of your tuition gets reimbursed, per class, on average?  

Our company has some level of tuition reimbursement, it's about 75% on  college classes.  We also have some access to industry trainging seminars and the like, but depending on your manager you may not get to go to any or you may get to go to as many as you want.   

RE: More perks less pay ???

We have 100% education tuition reimbursement, if the class is a skill we would use in our present job, and you pass the course. However, PE clases are not. But we do have free classes for weight loss, cardio, etc.

Industry training classes are paid for by the company, as long as they are approved by your manager, and he has a budget for it.

RE: More perks less pay ???

On training, many companies have decided to stop training once you hit your mid-40's because they will not get the return on their investment.  I disagree with that thinking but I have seen others hit that and experienced it.

HR has a lifecycle for employees and they look for people who know how to manage employees across the decades of work.  I think that's pretty silly, too.  Some people shouldn't be trained beyond college because they won't do anything with it.  Others should be trained until they retire because they will use it tremendously as long as they can.  Some are lifelong learners and others are not.

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