Career Change – Deciding to Look

Some people might think that writing this is a bad idea.  And they may be proven right.  But the process of changing jobs has been one of the most significant events of my life, and has included some of the most meaningful religious experiences that I have ever had.

I do not wish to ‘burn bridges’ in the least, so I will avoid names of people and companies, as well as details I feel are irrelevant.  I mostly want to present the basic circumstances from my perspective as a background to the religious experiences – which for these posts, will be the real point.  I would welcome comments, and hope that my experiences might help someone else.

For about 15 years, I worked for a company that I mostly liked.  It provided for the basic needs of my family, provided interesting things to do, and had good people to work with.  I generally and genuinely liked what I did.  The company was a medium-small family-owned company, and was very successful, making the family quite wealthy and the company quite stable.  The pay was a little low, and the hours were a little long, but when you mostly enjoy the environment and the work, it was not bad.  My engineering leaders seemed to think quite highly of me, and I felt valued in spite of the somewhat low pay.

Then the founder died.  A son of the founder was the president of the company at the time, and somehow got ‘voted out’.  I do not know the details of this, only the results.  The results were that three of the grandsons took over the leadership of the company.   I suppose the politics of a family business can be complicated.

With this change of leadership came a change in values which became quite glaring over time.  I would like to simply sum this up as the company making what I felt was a fatal shift from leaders to managers.  This shift of values and emphasis had a negative impact on my career, and the career of many others.  A few prominent people were banished to lower roles, a few very talented, educated, experienced folks were fired.  And all of this happened during the economic problems that the world is still trying to climb out of.

I was removed from the R&D group, and placed in more of a process role under the supervision of a middle-manager.  This felt like a demotion of a couple of levels, and although it did not result in a decrease in salary, it did come with a decrease in status, reputation, and the scale of projects and work.  When this was told to me, I went home for the rest of the day and sent out resumes.  This served as a last straw, even though other straws came after.  I knew that if things did not change and improve for me, it was only a matter of time before I would quit.  When I went back to work, I let several supervisors and company leaders know of my disappointment, and that if things did not get better for me I would be looking for another job.

The company hired an engineer from outside, and put him in the R&D group, knowing that I was upset about being moved out of it.  They did this without advertising the position internally.  I was furious.  This engineer quit two weeks later.  This time, they promoted an engineer from within to that position, but it was not me.  I was disappointed.  A sales engineer position became available, and I applied for it.  They chose to promote a man from the shop floor for this instead of me.  I was embarrassed.  They created the position of Director of Engineering, and promoted a man with no education or experience in engineering at all.  I was insulted.  The straws kept adding up, and the job search was on in earnest.

During this time I turned to fasting and prayer.  There was more at stake than my disappointments at work.  I had a wife and children to worry about.  There is more to life than one’s career.  Was searching for a job the right thing to do?  Was I letting my ego get the best of me, or was I following the spirit?  I tried to seek God’s guidance in what I should do.  I tried to remove my personal feelings from the situation.  The result was a subtle feeling that it was time to look.  I interpreted this as coming from the spirit.

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7 Responses to “Career Change – Deciding to Look”


  1. 1 Reading January 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Not much to say at this point, but wanted you to know I’m reading. This is timely and relevant for me.

  2. 2 WVS January 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Looking forward to more, Eric.

  3. 4 Dave Johnson January 28, 2012 at 1:06 am

    I can appreciate what your going through. But I also know that the Lord does hear and answer our prayers and a better job will come if it hasn’t already.

  4. 5 Michelle January 28, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Is there going to be a part two to this?

    I hope your search goes well. I’m sorry for all the stress you have been through.

  5. 6 TexasMomm January 28, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I guess you could take it as a compliment that “managers do not promote individuals whose competence might threaten their own position”. That was a good article you linked to. I liked the quote:

    “A ship in port is safe,” says Captain Hopper speaking of management, “but that is not what ships were built for,”

    perhaps we settle for mediocrity in order to stay in our perceived safe harbors. You are right – There is more to life than one’s career. – I know, I gave up my career… May the new paths you travel open the way to greater light and knowledge for you!

  6. 7 Paul January 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Eric, all the best in this process. I am reading and enjoying your description of your journey, though I would not enjoy the journey itself.


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