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Side Projects

Side Projects

Side Projects

Hi Guys,

I wonder how many of you have side projects. And where are you at this time.

i will start with mine, did this while having a full-time job.13 companies in 17 years.
1. started doing research year 2001
2. do research on two subject before i build my first prototype in 2011, didnt finish it due to feasibility issues.
3. started on another subject again, now in the design stage. i hope it will work this time...

thank you in advance for sharing.


RE: Side Projects

Quote (MacGyverS2000)

Wait, you worked at 13 companies in 17 years?!

I am on number 6 in 7.5 years. I might be able to beat him. Check back in 10 years.

RE: Side Projects

I've done a few short run manufacturing side projects when my shop has been set up between moves, all automotive parts and tools that I've manufactured and sold myself after finding the existing commercial market severely overpriced. I'm at my third company in ten years, recently bought what hopefully will be my final house and currently in the process of setting up shop again so hopefully this winter I'll be back at it.

RE: Side Projects

well my longest stay is 4 1/2yrs, 3 1/2 yrs, 2 companies for almost 2yrs.and the rest is 4months and 8months. before 2011 i stay so long but after 2011 when i started my prototype thats when i hop a lot. so anybody there with side project. how it ruin your career? hows it going.

RE: Side Projects

A good friend of mine and I had a conversation about job-hopping just last week... he had a shaky feeling about hiring this guy several months ago due to his apparent job hopping (new place nearly every year). Four months later and the guy has decided to move on, but not before using every possible benefit the company offered (which will likely force him to revisit the benefits for everyone to tighten it down and reduce abuse like this).

Personally, I don't care how good someone looks on paper... if they can't seem to hold a few jobs for several years each, they're not reliable enough to warrant me spending hard-earned time/money on. I'll be the latest in a long line of hops, and I don't have time for that.

Dan - Owner

RE: Side Projects

And here I managed to work for only TWO companies in 49 years. Granted, the second company was bought/sold/sliced/diced/spun-off/repurchased/merged so many times that in 35 years I had 28 business cards:

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Side Projects

13 companies in 17 years...

Good news .... seems my situation is not that hopeless.
I am going to have a good evening!

You made my day. Thanks for sharing.

RE: Side Projects

back to the topic, what is meant by side project? Is like a hobby or a business on the side?
sorry for my lack of understanding.

I am doing a side project but this is aimed at business / value creation.
Started in 2014, in parallel to my work, its moving but technology is also moving so there is a risk that when I hit the finish line it is all obsolete. Thus I am speeding up right now.

Yes it distracted from main work, I admit have been using company resources for printing research papers, etc. Borrowed also CPU processing power at times...all below radar.
What I was doing could also be easily confused with my main job. Funny is when some documents were left in the printer and a colleague brings them up saying "I think this is yours" ... :)

I also used company unlimited access to engineering standards, to obtain FOR FREE certain standards I needed for my side stuffs.

I do not encourage people behaving in this way. I don't feel guilty either. I hope my project will fly.

RE: Side Projects

I guess my feet are stuck in the mud.
Or I like what I am doing.
2 Companies
4 Different "Projects", transitioning responsibility
35 Years

RE: Side Projects


You are not the only one. I am on my second job since I graduated in 1982.


RE: Side Projects

Graduated in 1973. Ten years ago I just completely erased the first 2-1/2 pages of my resume. No negative effects at all.

RE: Side Projects


Quote (rotw)

what is meant by side project? Is like a hobby or a business on the side?

a business.

RE: Side Projects

4th job since graduation 26 years ago, and this one will carry me to retirement.

First one lasted 3 years, second one 7 years, third one 8 years, this one has been going 8 years.

RE: Side Projects

i guess i need to change subject title from side projects into number of companieswink

RE: Side Projects

13 in 17 may be a bit excessive, but I'd hope older folks aren't surprised or griping about job-hopping becoming the norm as it was a well-predicted consequence of the shift from pensions to 401ks. With pensions there is serious incentive not only for the employee to remain loyal but also for the company to retain employees through lean periods. With 401ks OTOH there is more incentive for companies to hire or fire year-year based upon the next year's P&L predictions than retain them, and also for employees to job hop in order to roll high-cap/low performing 401k funds into low-cap/high performing IRAs.

RE: Side Projects

Yes, despite technically having worked for only TWO companies in 49 years, I did manage to earn three traditional pensions, in addition to later getting 401k's. Two of those pensions were the old type defined-benefit pensions where when I turned 65 I was forced to start taking monthly payments (and pay taxes on them). The third had been converted from a defined-benefit pension into a cash-fund pension which was similar to a 401k in that you could defer until you were 70 before having to take it (I waited until I was almost 69). Actually the company that converted their pension into a cash-fund, EDS, also had a 401k with matching of the first 6%. And while they still owned our company not only did I get my 401k matching, they also continued to contribute monthly to the pension fund, at least for all those employees who had been working their when they converted the old pension into the cash account. Even after they sold our subsidiary, if you were fully vested in the pension, which I was, they continued to pay a guaranteed annual 5% interest, compounded monthly, into the account.

So today, I'm collecting multiple pensions, Social Security (both me and my wife) as well as having both our 401k accounts (in her 40+ year career, she never worked where they had a pension plan, but her last job did have a 401k) rolled-over into IRA's which are now managed by a so-called 'wealth manager' (they used to be called investment advisors, but wealth manager sounds better). I have to say that we're doing pretty good, our house is almost paid-off (and worth better than four times what we paid for it 30 years ago) and the stock market has had a very positive impact on our IRA's of late.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Side Projects

Try surviving in an economic climate where the best a company can offer you is a two-week look-ahead. Yes, you better believe there are job hoppers in abundance, and no, it’s not their fault.

With respect to the OP, my side projects tend to morph into a situation where I have “simultaneous clients”, some with far more interesting work than others. Other than that, my side project is training dogs and travelling with a performance show, which we are trying to nurture into becoming our semi-retirement plan.

RE: Side Projects

This song (nina simone) should be renamed as "I have no pension benefits" :)

Ain't Got No (I Got Life)"

I ain't got no home, ain't got no shoes
Ain't got no money, ain't got no class
Ain't got no skirts, ain't got no sweater
Ain't got no perfume, ain't got no bed
Ain't got no mind

Ain't got no mother, ain't got no culture
Ain't got no friends, ain't got no schooling
Ain't got no love, ain't got no name
Ain't got no ticket, ain't got no token
Ain't got no God

And what have I got?
Why am I alive anyway?
Yeah, what have I got
Nobody can take away?

Got my hair, got my head
Got my brains, got my ears
Got my eyes, got my nose
Got my mouth, I got my smile
I got my tongue, got my chin
Got my neck, got my boobs
Got my heart, got my soul
Got my back, I got my sex

I got my arms, got my hands
Got my fingers, got my legs
Got my feet, got my toes
Got my liver, got my blood

I've got life, I've got my freedom
I've got the life, (add:) I've got my daughter

I've got the life
And I'm gonna keep it
I've got the life
And nobody's gonna take it away
I've got the life

Sorry to hijack the topic...but it has drifted a lot anyway...

RE: Side Projects

tryin to get back to my original post. i understand everybodys conclusion that job hoppers have issues. well not all, everyone has a goal and you work to achieve your goal.in my case i did it as i try to earn much in a short time for my side projects, im for the highest bidder.

i made this post to know if somebody takes a similar path. how you handle it. how it affects your life and career. where are you now. sorry guys im just a bit stressed and looking for somebody here with the same situation.

more info.
1. tried to start 3 businesses(non-engineering related) hoping i could be able to resign from my full-time job and focus on my project but sadly my 2 business folded(hard to run a business without a heart, dont love it), 1 still kicking but income still not enough thats why im still in the corporate world.
3. bancrupt. lost my house, car, savings. back to square one.
2. this would be my last adventure, if it didnt work then i will focus on my career. im getting old. anyway, i still have a very healthy career as my fall back.

you should not give up unless you are forced to give up-Elon

RE: Side Projects

If you are smart enough, dumb enough or you have enough of a stomach to have stayed with a major company ( chemical, utility, oil and gas etc) for 30 years you could walk away with $2 M 401 K and almost a six figure per year defined benefit pension. A number of people in this group have never interviewed since they co-opted with the company during college and then stayed with that company. They may not like their job or the company, but as they approach 50, they "settle in"" and you wouldn't get them to leave even if you pulled them with a chain block!

RE: Side Projects

There was a period in my career where it was 6 jobs in 15 years......but with only 2 different companies. You read that right: one company I was with 4 separate times.....another 2 different times.

Lately I've been on my own.

RE: Side Projects

I worked two previous jobs out of college before taking the position where I am now. I told my parents that I liked the area, thought it would be an interesting job but I did not think the company would last a year. Nearly 34 years later my office is about 50 ft away from where I started. However, the company has changed 6 times. I do have the premier parking spot (IMHO), the only one that gets shade in the afternoon. It's right outside my office but I have to walk a 1/4 mile to get to my office as they took away the badge reader at this end of the building so I can't get in. Everyone else parks far away down by the employee entrance. No door dings on my vehicles and the exercise is good for me.


The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Side Projects

I just finished my fifth design (and my last) an electric motor. I have had 5 jobs in 10 years. My most recent I have held for over 4 years and plan on keeping it.

RE: Side Projects


Quote (plasmid)

I just finished my fifth design (and my last) an electric motor
is this your side project

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