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Career crossroad at age 34 (married guy with a kid)
posted on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 18:23

I worked at a semi-gov institute in the middle to senior management level (carrying the title of Senior Manager). Everyday I was working on administrative procedures and dealing with gov people. I doubt that what kind of skills/knowledge that I have gained apart from bureaucratic and office tactics/politics.

Although the institute is likely to be continually funded by gov but it seems to me that I was consuming (I don't want to use "wasting") my life and energy.

I asks myself many times that I have to move on to another area and start at another career path.

I have a research postgraduate degree from a HK university and have worked in this instit. for almost 5 years. Given my current family situation as captioned, I hope somebody can give some advice to me and let me have some insights about where to go next....

Thanks a lot in advance.

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Anonymous's picture
Posted Friday, 29 July 2011 12:23 PM

Dear QM

As you have a job which seems to support your family, the easy way is to search for other jobs you would like to work in while you are still in your present position.

There is no use asking whether it is good to do something. Once you have something in hand (ie your job), you can go out and look for other things that you like.

Don't struggle with the "ask myself" thing. Spend times after work and on weekends to search for jobs you like.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Saturday, 02 July 2011 08:34 AM

I myself was a chemistry graduate and then went into IT. I threw away the idea of doing research and wanted more human contacts, and so I changed my field and ride the IT wave at that time. I now have been in Financial System Support roles for the last 10 years or so. I too have been contemplating the change of direction too.

You got to ask yourself, why you entered a research role to begin with ? Did you wanted to produce some kind of results that will benefit humankind, or did you want to enjoy the research experience itself ? Did you believe in your research ?

I genuinely disliked the "politics" when I was in my 20s, but in my last role, I worked in a bio-tech company, and I can see how my background can fit the industry so perfectly. Even though you may see politics as a bad thing, but try to understand why those politics happen, and what is the goals of the individuals who are involved in those politics. Cos if you understood this, then really there is room for negotiations. A win-win situation can happen.

Often, R&D is tied to the commercialisation of a product/concept. Research is never about finding out things which adds no value to society. What I did not learn in my 20s was the "big picture" in science. My exposure to the bio-tech company allowed me to see the "reasons" of the cut of R&D projects or redirection of funding and further research, plus the bureaucratic and tedious quality control or validation processes. It is to buy credibility and integrity of your results. It is indeed all about marketing, but in a chaotic global world, you have GOT to be truthful, honest about your results. No matter how much paperwork sometimes it seems.

I can only suggest to "hang in there", and start to view from a managerial viewpoint, where the direction of your research department is going in the global context. Or how you present your results to the government, cos it is going to be used to change social decisions. Being ethical with the results mean allowing the decision makers to truly see all angles and make good decent informative decisions. There should be no further "add salt or add vinegar" at all !

Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Monday, 09 May 2011 04:15 PM

Whether or not you like it this is a stable job with guaranteed income for you to support your family. Why don't you tell me if you're willing to or can afford to lose it?

Having worked there for 5 years you should know what it's like working in those semi or quasi governmental bodies, but then I’ve got to tell you that work in the commercial sector is the same too! Office politics is everywhere, and I'm afraid to a certain extent it’s unavoidable! That's why we've been stressing on the importance of EQ rather than IQ these days!

The other way round, what can you do next? Only if you can find yourself another job can you really seriously think of quitting. Don't tell me you're going to quit and sit at home without another job on hand!

Perhaps you can go "test the waters" and try seriously looking for jobs and send out some applications to see how the responses are before making up your mind?

Honestly, I'm not convincing you to stay or leave. But bear in mind that we humans do often tend to forget to treasure what we are in possession of and instead focus on what we don't have.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Tuesday, 03 May 2011 11:32 PM

Hi, nice to meet you. Just saw your post while checking the website.

What type of job do you want? and can you describe your ideal working environment?

I think you can always find another job, but it is difficult to know unless you start working in it... also there is not much you can do if it is still a bureaucratic and office tactics/politics environment.

I think you can try a new career if this is what you prefer, but it is not a good idea to change job just because of boredom.

What do you think?

Anonymous's picture
Posted Thursday, 28 April 2011 04:48 PM

By the way, do you have any specialty like accounting or finance knowledge in additional to administration experience? Any area or industry you would like to switch to?

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