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No. of Recommendations: 0
Having read just now that the average woman takes 11.5 years out of the work force to care for children and other relatives got me curious.

How long did you absent yourself from the workforce, and for what major reason(s)?
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 52% (10 Votes)
Mostly out by choice to retire early.
 10% (2 Votes)
Mostly out by choice to care for children and/or others
 15% (3 Votes)
Mostly out by choice to go to school for a long time.
 10% (2 Votes)
Mostly out involuntarily due to unemployment, health reasons, or some other catastrophe.
 10% (2 Votes)
Unseemly remark about not working in your pants...
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I was out of the workforce several times:

+ 4 years for college (worked over summers and had a work-study job).

+ 9.5 years as a SAHM (I quit my job when I got pregnant...you sure don't hear about that sort of thing any more!)

~ 6 years part-time (25-30 hrs/week).

+ 10 years for early retirement (quit just before my 56th birthday).

And...

Once I quit my job to take a 4-month camping trip. Another time I took 3 months off to move and get married.

Let's face it...I'm a slacker! (I did work hard when I was, you know, actually at work ;-)
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"+ 10 years for early retirement (quit just before my 56th birthday)."


Well, obviously, you should put in 10 more years of hard work, high earning...so you can pay another quarter million in taxes...

so that some women who never work can get a good retirement!


How dare you not work to full retirement age and deprive 'the system' of all the additional tax revenues of ten years of work


Obama
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I've always found it quite humorous when on the original Retire Early message board they'd talk about "choosing" to retire early. I deeply suspicion that in a majority of cases it's not so much a choice as life choosing for you. Whenever they'd talk about retiring early they'd phrase it in a way about what their plans were, like they were set in stone, or they had it all planned out, and that everything was going to fall into place exactly the way they wanted it to. It's not always a choice. Sometimes life chooses for you.

Circumstances happen in life that just make it irksome or onerous to either start over, or someone you love needs taking care of, or your own health deteriorates to the point where the jobs that you did or know how to do are impossible with the new circumstances.

I had planned to keep working till I turned 55 years old. My boss and department head had other plans for me. When the arthritis set in and I gained weight because of it and I started doddering around the halls of the UT Vet School all of a sudden my boss decided that she didn't have any more money to support me anymore and that was the end of that. I thought it would be so easy to just transition into teaching and when that fell through I just gave up. I told Bonnie that I just didn't want to start over again.

I was at the edge of a nervous breakdown and every morning I woke up dreading going in to teach. I just gave up. And that was the end of my working career.

Art
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No. of Recommendations: 5
"I was out of the workforce several times: + 4 years for college (worked over summers and had a work-study job). + 9.5 years as a SAHM (I quit my job when I got pregnant...you sure don't hear about that sort of thing any more!) ~ 6 years part-time (25-30 hrs/week). + 10 years for early retirement (quit just before my 56th birthday). And...
Once I quit my job to take a 4-month camping trip. Another time I took 3 months off to move and get married.Let's face it...I'm a slacker! (I did work hard when I was, you know, actually at work ;-) - alstromeria

--------------------


When employers decide to let you go, fire you, lay you off, they don't have any qualms about it. When the shoe is on the other foot they don't hesitate to throw your life into chaos. They don't care. Why should we care about them when opportunities come in life to either change direction or do something more interesting or fun?

I've never worked anywhere where they really gave a shit about me. They paid me as little as they could and got rid of me when they didn't need me anymore.

After working at the University of Tennessee Vet School for seventeen years I thought I was part of it; and that I'd easily be able to ride it out for another 7 years till I turned 55. That didn't happen. When they wanted to get rid of me it all turned around in the blink of an eye. So much for them loving me. There was no love. It was just another job.

Art
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Art:"When employers decide to let you go, fire you, lay you off, they don't have any qualms about it."

When the company (Management) decides to lay off folks, that's it. Someone has to go.

My first job I learned that Motorola had a bad habit of hiring lots of engineers to work on a new product line and after it was designed and shipping out the door, half the engineers would also be shown the door. Good experience while there but bad experience getting laid off. They had repeated that cycle a few times, and would again in the future. It was good 'training ground'. I wasn't the only one to go....half the department was 'laid off'. It didn't help that the country was in a recession at the time.

SO I went off and had 11 job interviews and half a dozen job offers. This time I was a lot more selective and moved to General Electric.


They took good care of me and it was a company that didn't hire/fire.

Until Neutron Jack (Jack Welch) took over at GE and decided our department had to go out of the 'systems engineering' and 'specials' business and over the next six months 'terminated' 50 of those jobs, including mine. HOwever, they gave us months and months to go looking for new jobs......(and would pay travel if the other hiring entity would not)......

SO I wound up at MCI.....where I stayed for 17 years. And bailed out just before it totally collapsed and thousands went out the door.

-------






Art: " When the shoe is on the other foot they don't hesitate to throw your life into chaos. They don't care. Why should we care about them when opportunities come in life to either change direction or do something more interesting or fun?"

You do your work, you get good reviews......there are always ups and downs and managers you have to work with for a while until something changes...or you move and change it yourself.

It's harder to replace folks with degrees and technical experience vs jobs that you can learn in 30 days on the job training.

-------


Art: " They paid me as little as they could and got rid of me when they didn't need me anymore."

That's how most businesses work.

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Art: "After working at the University of Tennessee Vet School for seventeen years I thought I was part of it; and that I'd easily be able to ride it out for another 7 years till I turned 55. That didn't happen. When they wanted to get rid of me it all turned around in the blink of an eye. So much for them loving me. There was no love. It was just another job. "


Likely you went through a bunch of managers......and one of them figured out that you were eating up too much of the budget. And not doing enough work at higher levels to justify the salary. That's always a problem. It helps to get a few steps up the management ladder.....

------

t
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It helps to get a few steps up the management ladder.....

In my experience, a minority of people--fewer than hold the position(!)--are talented managers.

I never aspired to it myself--heck, I had my hands full managing my own self, although I did enjoy project management (I enjoyed the meetings, especially learning how other functions worked, and weighing in on group decisions, and the excuse to touch base with colleagues on the project...nice break in my lonely cubicle existence ;-). My husband loved managing people technically and was good at it, but little interest/talent in administration other than determining project plans and tracking against them. He didn't like the people stuff--except hiring, he liked that, and socializing some, but the problem-people stuff, No. He's grading his very last class at the moment and doesn't like that, either. Work is usually work, not play.

Interesting career, tele. At least GE left you with a small pension to remember them by.
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I chose the pants option.

I have never been absent from the work force for longer than three months. When I was pregnant with my first, I had to leave work @ 7 months due to premature labor. At the time, my company only paid for three months maternity leave, so I was back at work 4 weeks after delivering.

With my second child, I worked until the day before I delivered, and returned to work 4 weeks later, again.

Additionally, there were 3 gaps due to unemployment; one for 3 months (with 3 months severence), one for 4 months (6 weeks severence) and one for 6 months (3 months severence). The usual cold/flu, car repair, etc. were other reasons for absence, never more than a week and usually 2 - 3 days.

Started working full time 1971, haven't stopped yet with the exceptions above. Far less than the average 11.5 years!
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That didn't happen. When they wanted to get rid of me it all turned around in the blink of an eye. So much for them loving me. There was no love. It was just another job.

As my mentor used to say "As soon as you start to care, then they own you."
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I have a bit of a problem figuring out when one should count being officially in the workforce. Does it begin after on graduates from high school, college or when one hits a certain age?

That said, I entered college immediately after graduating from HS. I took a part-time job the summer before my sophomore year and kept it until I graduated w/ a B.S.

Using that as a start time:

+6 months - while my new hubbie and I moved to the Boston area and bought a house.

~1 month - when we moved back, after he finished grad school.

~4 months - for first son's birth.

~4 months - for second son's birth.

~1.5 months - recovering from foot surgery, worked from home ~ half-time

~6 months - I was paid to leave in a "job action" at the ripe, old age of 61.5 years. Being in IT, I knew it would be thankless to try to get a new job at anywhere near my old salary, so I officially retired at 62.

As a retiree I was allowed to continue on my old company's health insurance plan, as long as I paid for it, until I hit 65. I have Medicare now, but continue to pay around $375/month for family coverage w/ my former employer, since my youngest is only 21 and heading into grad school. This includes a Part D equivalent drug coverage for both myself and MDH.

PM
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No. of Recommendations: 7
In my experience, a minority of people--fewer than hold the position(!)--are talented managers.

Not only that, but as someone who moved up the management chain, I found that the higher I moved, the more I did not like the people I worked with.

When I was an individual contributor, I actually liked a lot of the engineers, technicians and operators I worked with. I enjoyed doing things socially with them occasionally. As a level 3 executive, I was surrounded by asshats. I avoided those greedy, lying, backstabbing careerists like the plague.

I can look back now and see how it all happened. One day I'm working on a project and realize that my manager is not really doing a good job allotting resources. I can see that our organization is getting a lot less accomplished than we could if we had someone making better decisions. Because my motivation is more actual accomplishments, I think that if I accept that job, we'll do better. After some adjustments to the new position, I do achieve more, but I realize that we could do better if our next level manager were replaced by someone with more of a clue . . . Before long you are rubbing elbows with asshats and you finally realize it's this way all the way to the top. And once you get to the top, you have to deal with investors and shareholders who are even more clueless.

Whenever I hear tea-baggers extolling the virtues of for-profit organizations over government, I always think that they clearly never worked for a large corporation - or they weren't paying attention when they did.
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Whenever I hear tea-baggers extolling the virtues of for-profit organizations over government, I always think that they clearly never worked for a large corporation - or they weren't paying attention when they did.


You got that right. I recently stepped down from my management position back into an individual contributor position, and my life is about 150 times better for it.

It is so frustrating to see bad decisions being made, or decisions being made that don't take into account the REAL work that is done--not the work that upper level people THINK is being done by those in the trenches. I wasn't high enough on the food chain to be rubbing shoulders with the really big people, but I was high enough to see all of the "don't tell the Emperor he's wearing no clothes" moments, of which there were a lot.

Now I still know it goes on, but I don't have to come back to my employees and explain how doubling their workload and removing their administrative support is "a really great thing in the long run," or explaining why they aren't getting a bonus this year, even though we exceeded our plan, or "yes, I know you scored an 'exceeds' on the objective measures on your performance review, but...."

I now work 40 hours a week, and take my hour for lunch, and come home and sleep like a baby.

And... the good thing is, I really like what I do in my contributor role. It's easier to measure when I'm doing a good job, I get to deal with a wide variety of people, and it's mentally challenging. Not in the way that management can be mentally challenging trying to deal with the DoubleThink.
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