Author Topic: Help me, I have boreout  (Read 10208 times)

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Online NANDBlog

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Help me, I have boreout
« on: June 28, 2017, 09:25:12 am »
For those, who dont know, boreout is:
"lack of work, boredom, and consequent lack of satisfaction are a common malaise affecting individuals working in modern organizations, especially in office-based white collar jobs."
I had boreout before. I was working at my previous employer. We finished a project, it was semi-challenging. I did most of the busywork in a week or two, and then I did the PCB design.. That was the last challenging task I did in my life. It was in beginning of 2015. For the rest of the year, I sit at my workplace doing nothing.
Well, I wasn’t doing anything. I redesigned the main product of the company. It was supposed to be about 15% cheaper with the same specifications, and easier to manufacture and assemble. Never went into production. I also had potential a big project coming up, very challenging, I was very excited. Last month I've met someone from the company, they still did not do it.
For about 8 or 9 months, I did nothing. I got a mail or call or meeting, worked on it for an hour or so, sent a reply. I was really really bored.
When someone offered me a new job, I quit. When I look back, I would have been bored until now, and the salary is better. But I've hit rock bottom again. There is nothing meaningful to do at this company. All we have is a small linux computer, running the 100 lines of code, which we might sell.
I'm not even kidding. I'm the engineering at the company, with a boss, who is interested in 3D printing, open source and I guess fairy tales. They need me, because if they need a new value resistor on the board, I have to do that. Otherwise, nothing. And it's not like the board is selling like crazy, we are looking at installing 3 demo units this month. Woo-hoo. Other incomes for the company keeps me afloat, until the MBA changes his mind and sacks me. Probably. But maybe not, because he needs my boss, because he is the only one keeping the main income source working. End of story. I have a job, where they will not fire me, but I have nothing meaningful to do. I became Wally (from Dilbert).
Literally, I do nothing at work for days. I go to work, sit at my PC, open web browser, start looking at daily news, look at it 20x the day, write for the eevblog forum and other 2 forums. In the meantime, I keep the appearance, like I'm working. I hate that. Alt tabbing and leaving one of my screens for continuously scrolling linux bullshit, having two or three SSH window open...
Sometimes I desing a PCB just for the fun. I have a folder with 11 PCB projects, that are completely useless, like 12V DC input hat for raspberry PI zero. Nobody needs that. I designed it, because I don’t want my abilities to completely go to waste.
And then there are the dreams. I am talking about the time, just after going to bed, when you think. Brain free roaming. I have ideas. They tend to go in the "Lets kickstarter this PCB". I've tried engineering consulting. I had one job. That was fun. Since I have infinite time at work, I did the bulk of it, doing two jobs at the same time! This is probably unethical, feel free to judge me. When I see a new EEVBlog video uploaded at home, I don’t watch it. I can do that at work.

The situation is bad. Effecting my health. I cough every morning after waking up. It's philological. And I'm tired in the evening. After doing 8 hours of nothing. I have low self-esteem, and I feel depressed. My fuse is shorter. I drive above the speed limit for the commute, because going 50-70 is just boring, the car feels like not moving at all. And it is just meaningless.
Should I quit again? Should I move? I moved to Belgium 5 years ago, it was exciting and everything. I am learning French, its the 4th language for me. The 3.5 hours I'm spending at the language school (replacing 2.5 hours of work) is my top moments of the week. Should I just go to my boss, and tell him that: “hey, I need to work on something, otherwise I will move on and work somewhere else.” And it has to be something I choose, because the last ‘huge issue’ we had that a 5m long USB cable had too much resistance, and the marvelous engineering solution was to order another type.
 
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 09:34:59 am »
You're in the wrong job, plain and simple. There is only so much Youtube-ing and boredom at work you can take before you just can't be bothered going in at all. It seems like you're at that stage.

Perhaps take a short break, even if it's just a few weeks with time to yourself. Work on some projects at home you've been putting off and if after that time your opinion hasn't changed, look for another department within the company or a new job entirely... something that will challenge you. An idle brain, especially one which is clever and capable helps nobody.
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 09:41:29 am »
The company is less than 20 people. I am doing hardware and firmware. I was hoping it can keep my mind occupied, as  I was only doing hardware in my previous, and only firmware before.
I am in fact in that stage. Last week, none of my bosses were in the office (thats like 50% of the time). It was 34 degrees in the office (very unlikely weather, so we are not prepared with AC), so I just wrote them a mail, that I finish work from home. I went shopping instead, logged in to my PC from home, made an SVN commit, and watched TV.
When I do teleworking, I dont even bother doing anything at all anymore.
 

Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 09:44:39 am »
I've had that feeling working for a small company as the only engineer before.. I can tell you what worked for me.

Start looking at your company's product from a product manager or inventor point of view.

Who uses it and how do they use it? where do they use it and when do they use it?

What would make them switch to another product from a competitor?

Is there any solution that's totally different that would meet their fundamental needs in a different way?

Then you can think about how can you make the product better... or make a new product that is better...
what extra feature can it have? what would the users say if they saw this?

Then make up a plan, get your company excited about it and run a project to make something cool.

....or leave the company, develop your idea yourself, and become their competitor.. :-)



Otherwise have you considered physical hobbies? gym, running, swimming? sounds like you really need to move.
 
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Offline hans

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 09:58:48 am »
Nandblog, I read your posts on the forum and I think you're a source of consciousness and knowledge to engineering.

To me it sounds like you're severely under-challenged. I think this is potentially as worse as being over-challenged and leading to a burn out. To me it sounds you're not in "your zone". You may feel others complementing your value in the company, but maybe that's because they don't have a clue like you said.

Maybe the company does not know what you can do. In my previous experience, I worked at a small place where they parted with a HW engineer making many mistakes, leading to failures and face-loss at customers. The managers and director got very scared and anxious of any hardware developed themselves and only wanted dumb and simple solutions, or just buy OEM products, because they don't believe in their own expertise. Their own company processes and personnel. They tied up themselves, and who can untie them? I don't know.. I am not a business process engineering guy. What I do know is that I don't work there now anymore.


On the other hand.. having some "easy time" also meant I had the freedom to research my own product idea's. Maybe for the company, maybe not. Are they interested in you doing more R than D from "R&D"? Maybe that can give a boost to your work load/capacity ratio.

Also would you ever expect to find the perfect company? Good intellectual work load, little adhoc, no pressure/hard deadlines, good colleagues, nice office environment, short travel, no calls/mails to be answered from home, good pay/holidays..
In my experience there is always things to be wished for. And maybe some stuff bothers you more than others. If so, then change it.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 10:01:48 am by hans »
 

Online CJay

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 10:25:00 am »
You've answered your own questions really, the most ethical one would be to approach your boss and ask for some blue sky work, maybe get a budget for tinkering with an open ended aim to create a product that interests you and could be sold by the company, maybe negotiate some sort of royalty or commission deal perhaps, at worst you get to learn new skills or play with new technology?

Less ethical but possibly more rewarding would be to build your own consultancy business but you need to be aware of the legalities, most contracts will claim title to any work created on business hours by employees so you could, if caught, be causing yourself a deep pit of troubles.

I think the least satisfying solution would be to move unless you're willing to accept that you'll be in the same situation or worse in another couple of years and take the short term satisfaction.



M0UAW
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2017, 10:29:43 am »
Since I have infinite time at work, I did the bulk of it, doing two jobs at the same time! This is probably unethical, feel free to judge me.

From what you've described, I don't blame you for a moment, but it may be contractually ill-advised.

Employment contracts often (though not always) state that any IP which you create during your period of employment becomes the property of your employer. The last thing you want is for there to be any doubt, or dispute, over the ownership of the work you do. That could have serious consequences for both you and for the other people you're working for.

It sounds to me as though you just need to quit and find a new job - not necessarily in that order. I quit my job and started working as a consulting engineer a few years ago, and I've never looked back. It *is* hard, though, just not in the same way. On the plus side, I have no 'boss' as such, and nobody trying to tell me how to do my job. On the minus side, I have to worry about contracts, insurance, money, and providing customer service.

Don't stay put where you are, though. Skills go stale over time, and interview questions about your past employment will get harder and harder to answer satisfactorily the longer you sit around doing nothing interesting or worthwhile.

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2017, 10:52:52 am »
Electronics engineers should either be passionate, or get the heck out and stop wasting everyone's time. Only the true believers should prosper, the faithful to our esteemed profession. Those who leave should be outcast as untouchables, unworthy to be called engineers. (OK, OK, I am not being serious!)

But seriously, I knew a top engineer who was on a great salary as Director of R & D. He threw in the towel to be retrained as a social worker. He is a lot happier despite the much lower pay. Another decent engineer I knew quit to work in administration at Australia's Country fire Authority and loves it. Another two I know became viticulturists. Another one a home handyman.

Variety is the spice of life. My previous job was developing hardware and firmware. My new job is managing and guiding a team of engineers, and hardware development. Money is good. But I miss firmware development a little. In any case, I am happy.

We need to ask ourselves, do we work to live, or live to work? The French generally are the former. Aussies often the latter. A neighbour retired and has nothing to do because his whole life was work. No hobbies, no community involvement, nothing. He just goes for lonely walks each day. I never want to be like that.
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 11:47:23 am »
Afraid I don't have any solutions.  I had a job like that before; I tried to keep myself entertained with busy work -- your "useless" PCBs are a fine example -- as well as breadboarding circuits, playing in the lab on notionally work-related stuff, that sort of thing.

I've been on contract since, which feels just -- I get paid for work I've actually done -- and I get to use that free time between jobs on my own projects, which are, necessarily, also my own business expenses, and professional development.  (Ya know, I should punch a clock when I'm writing on the forum, because I could probably write off that as donated labor...  :-/O )

If 'keeping interested' means changing your job regularly, that's your prerogative.  Most engineering jobs are in the 2-5 year duration, and a lot of those are probably drawn out long after they've been productive (cases like these!).  Consider doing shorter and more numerous contract jobs -- this is easy and common in the US, I don't know if it's necessarily practical in the EU though.

Don't be afraid to get another job.  If your contract allows you to have multiple jobs at once (plus relevant IP and ownership related clauses), you might as well, eh?  Who cares if they're paying you for full time; if you don't have to physically be there (telecommuting!), that's their problem.*

*Okay, this kind of reasoning may lead to legal trouble, so I'm leaving it up to you to decide how far to bend any obligations you might have / take on. :)

Don't be afraid to negotiate the nitty-gritty of an employment contract, either.  Read that contract.  Write notes on it.  Scratch out or modify the parts about working hours and IP and ownership and non-compete that you don't like.  More often than not, the interviewer or manager you're negotiating with won't realize that you can do this -- they may not have ever had someone sit down and read the contract before!  They might have to "clear it with upper management" first.  Just gently remind them that, you're here for them -- if they want to take the time to consider your employment, that's fine; but it's their time that's ticking, not yours. ;)

(Again, unsure about contract law in the EU, but I don't think it's so grossly different that the above isn't close enough.)

Good luck!

Tim
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 11:49:28 am by T3sl4co1l »
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 11:53:10 am »
Maybe you can reassign your time. You can, instead of doing repeat[job->boredom], you can do them at the same time.

That's how I work and how I keep myself entertained. That's how I keep myself sane working 12 hrs a day.

 

Offline Gribo

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2017, 12:03:37 pm »
One of my prior jobs was like this. The designs I made went into production, and suddenly I had nothing to do. So I learned new, related skills, tried to find parts of the process which I can improve, automated other parts of my job (More free time :D ). In the end, I quit, cause I realized that besides a paycheck and nice history, I didn't have anything there. In the next job, I didn't have time to breath.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2017, 12:27:59 pm »
Finally it explains why so many keyboard warriors with multi thousand post count on this forum, posting about always anything with no substance.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 
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Online CJay

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2017, 12:34:40 pm »
Finally it explains why so many keyboard warriors with multi thousand post count on this forum, posting about always anything with no substance.

How's the plywood in your bathroom and did you cat recover from having the shiiite scared out of it?
M0UAW
 
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Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2017, 12:35:32 pm »
Nandblog, I read your posts on the forum and I think you're a source of consciousness and knowledge to engineering.
Thank you. Yes, I'm under challenged. Burnout and boreout have the exact same symptoms, only with a different cause.
Also would you ever expect to find the perfect company? Good intellectual work load, little adhoc, no pressure/hard deadlines, good colleagues, nice office environment, short travel, no calls/mails to be answered from home, good pay/holidays..
No, not really. I dont think that would exist. It's just, different people tolerate the balance differently.

Less ethical but possibly more rewarding would be to build your own consultancy business but you need to be aware of the legalities, most contracts will claim title to any work created on business hours by employees so you could, if caught, be causing yourself a deep pit of troubles.
I am really not sure how to work as a consultant. I understand the concept, and I've seen people with other professions working as a consultant. I am also relatively young. I dont want to work at a consultancy firm. Every time they find me with a job offer, it feels like they want me for a one time job. Like I should quit my dayjob, sign with them, they place me at a company for 6 months, when the project is done, goodbye, earn your money elsewhere. And money does not seem good enough to chance a longer unemployment. What I could do, reduce my current job to part time, and work on something else.

Don't be afraid to negotiate the nitty-gritty of an employment contract, either.  Read that contract.  Write notes on it.  Scratch out or modify the parts about working hours and IP and ownership and non-compete that you don't like.  More often than not, the interviewer or manager you're negotiating with won't realize that you can do this -- they may not have ever had someone sit down and read the contract before!  They might have to "clear it with upper management" first.  Just gently remind them that, you're here for them -- if they want to take the time to consider your employment, that's fine; but it's their time that's ticking, not yours. ;)
I negotiated a better job title, chance of teleworking and flexible hours at this company. And somewhat better salary. So I can negotiate. Though, they had trouble filling my position for months, because everyone was lacking the skills that I have. The skills which are needed, but not being used enough.
I could probably negotiate down my current job to a part time.

I've been on contract since, which feels just -- I get paid for work I've actually done -- and I get to use that free time between jobs on my own projects, which are, necessarily, also my own business expenses, and professional development.
As I said above, I dont know how to be a consultant. I dont know how much to charge, how to build my social net (or whatever its called). Probably I could use some career coaching.
Electronics engineers should either be passionate, or get the heck out and stop wasting everyone's time.
I have passion. I wanted to be an EE, that is how I identify myself, and I'm proud to be one.
The issue is, I don't have enough EE challenge. That is one of the reasons I spend sometimes hours on this forum, answering questions.
We need to ask ourselves, do we work to live, or live to work? The French generally are the former.
I was born and raised in Hungary. Post communist country. Part of the so-called 'lost generation'. Things are going so well, that according to recent statistics, half of the young population wants to leave.

Finally it explains why so many keyboard warriors with multi thousand post count on this forum, posting about always anything with no substance.
Yeah, I tend to answer engineering questions, helping others in the process.
 

Offline brabus

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2017, 01:50:31 pm »
Just cal me if you consider coming to work to Italy.
You WILL have a lot of fun. >:D
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2017, 02:23:24 pm »
As I said above, I dont know how to be a consultant. I dont know how much to charge, how to build my social net (or whatever its called). Probably I could use some career coaching.

I'm not sure there's a good 'general' answer to this one.

Do you have contacts at contract manufacturers you've used? They sometimes get customers approaching them wanting both design and manufacturing services, and the design element is often outsourced.

Have you worked with people who have subsequently left, whom you might be able to approach for work?

I found, fairly soon after I started doing consultancy work, that word got around. The phone started to ring, even though I'd never advertised. Almost every job I've had for the last few years has been via word of mouth.

Are you interested in any particular subject besides electronics? Could some electronic device benefit that other area at all? Build a prototype and take it to a show. Demonstrate it to anyone who will listen. Even if they don't want your prototype as-is, it may give them ideas for things which can be done, which they'd never thought of before.

Knowing what to charge is always difficult. I made a conscious decision on day one not to try and win every possible contract by quoting a low price. Bear in mind that if you charge X, and some potential customers complain that it's a lot, those same people will probably complain too even at 3/4X or 2/3X. Also bear in mind that there will always be someone cheaper than you overseas somewhere, but a race to the bottom in terms of both price and quality doesn't help anyone.

You do need a certain level of experience - not to mention confidence - to be a consultant. I'm very much of the opinion that there are two types of people who take this route:

- the experienced, capable engineers who are sick of working for someone else's benefit, and who can do better on their own. Clues are that they're always busy, somewhat more expensive than you might expect, and generally quite free and open with knowledge and advice, even if they can't take on your project any time soon.

- people who can't get a good job working for someone else, and who strike out on their own as an alternative. I wouldn't advise working with one of these, even if they're cheaper than you might expect, and can start tomorrow.

Online Kjelt

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2017, 03:19:18 pm »
Ok so you have time, do you also have a budget say thousand euros to buy hardware?
Unless you know everything already I would suggest to look at the latest developments. EE can be a very broad topic from analog to digital , microcontrollers, fpgas , socs do you know it all? Different manufacturers? Can you improve your current system? Make it cheaper or better ? Can you add to the quality?
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2017, 03:42:16 pm »
Both my managers are not interested in any improvement for the current system. It doesn't sell. It doesnt sell, because it is a small linux computer, forced to be a smart meter. It is very expensive to produce, I have no idea why would anyone buy it. So I draft a lower cost version. Nope. I made a version, which is approximately the same price, but better functionality. Nope. That is about as much as my proposals go. Nope. The MBA boss is not from technology field, he doesnt understand or cares about what I say. The other boss, as I said, is a dreamer, coming from the software world.
"I want software defined hardware. Something which is not limited by the design." You smell that? I smell something... Its not built down to a price, its not built to specification. Its built for his dreams.

I'm not sure there's a good 'general' answer to this one.
Thank you, these all sound like a good advice. My issue is with the decision. Let's say, that from tomorrow, I am a consultant. The only thing I would achieve is that I would be unemployed.
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2017, 03:55:04 pm »
Unemployed with a purpose, though  :-+

I was very lucky in that I was able to transition into it very gradually, from working 5 days a week at a regular employer, to 3 days a week + 1 day consulting, to 3+2, then 3+3, then 3+4, then very soon afterwards, 0+5.

It's a very big step, no doubt about that. You do need confidence and skills, a reasonably well equipped lab, and a network of contacts (or at least, a good plan on how you're going to get one). (Note, not necessarily in that order).

Offline JacobPilsen

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2017, 04:01:03 pm »
The other boss, as I said, is a dreamer, coming from the software world.
"I want software defined hardware. Something which is not limited by the design." You smell that? I smell something... Its not built down to a price, its not built to specification. Its built for his dreams.
(I smell FPGA.)
What is your dream technology???
 

Offline vodka

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2017, 04:12:29 pm »
Both my managers are not interested in any improvement for the current system. It doesn't sell. It doesnt sell, because it is a small linux computer, forced to be a smart meter. It is very expensive to produce, I have no idea why would anyone buy it. So I draft a lower cost version. Nope. I made a version, which is approximately the same price, but better functionality. Nope. That is about as much as my proposals go. Nope. The MBA boss is not from technology field, he doesnt understand or cares about what I say. The other boss, as I said, is a dreamer, coming from the software world.
"I want software defined hardware. Something which is not limited by the design." You smell that? I smell something... Its not built down to a price, its not built to specification. Its built for his dreams.

I'm not sure there's a good 'general' answer to this one.
Thank you, these all sound like a good advice. My issue is with the decision. Let's say, that from tomorrow, I am a consultant. The only thing I would achieve is that I would be unemployed.
.

Mount a little corporation and you sell the improvements that you think that may have

 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2017, 04:29:24 pm »
Make a potted tree thing that extends taller everytime someone lies and when it reaches the top a flag pops out that says "You all suck, I hate my job!" >:D
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*
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Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2017, 05:10:05 pm »
This is a common malaise in modern corporations. Not limited to engineering jobs.

I have a nephew, very smart kid, went into accounting and marketing.
Landed a job on one of Wall Street's "investment" firms. Excellent pay, bonuses and benefits, way above what any engineer would make.

He was put to work selling near-junk bonds. He had to be creative to bundle up what was essentially dog s**t with some mid-performing stocks and make an "attractive" portfolio. Cleverly employ financial indicators to make them palatable to investors.

He could only do it for year and a half.
He traded his huge paycheck and the glamour of living in New York City, for a job as an investing consultant in a small Texas city.

Was a little difficult at first, but the last time I spoke with him, he did not regret the decision.
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2017, 05:17:17 pm »
There are some horrible jobs for engineers around.

A software engineer friend of mine was offered a job for making porn software and the pay was amazing. He thought it was a dream come through. He did not even last a year and needed deep cycle counseling for several years, to get out of that kind of mindset.

It is so important to have a job that fulfills your abilities and challenges you.
If your current job does not do that, get a new one quickly.
Or start your own business.

 
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Offline vodka

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2017, 05:37:12 pm »
There are some horrible jobs for engineers around.

A software engineer friend of mine was offered a job for making porn software and the pay was amazing. He thought it was a dream come through. He did not even last a year and needed deep cycle counseling for several years, to get out of that kind of mindset.

It is so important to have a job that fulfills your abilities and challenges you.
If your current job does not do that, get a new one quickly.
Or start your own business.

What did you happen to his friend for terminating with the mind fused? 24h/7days working? Contract by zero hours?
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2017, 07:11:24 pm »
...
...
Thank you, these all sound like a good advice. My issue is with the decision. Let's say, that from tomorrow, I am a consultant. The only thing I would achieve is that I would be unemployed.

To avoid "achieving unemployment"...

The first step of thinking about consultancy is first you have "identified your first three" customers (give or take one).  Also, make sure this first three is from your employer's customer base, their using you will not cause an issue with your current employer or else you would need to factor in lawyer fees.  If you "close" (as in close the deal) less than 50/50, you have a customer now.

Finding the first three customer is easy comparing to the next part.  Next is "how do I get the next three", and then "can it be done again after these next three for next year's next three."

Only when you can identify a way to a potential customer stream do you have a viable business path.
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2017, 07:27:16 pm »
A ready stream of customers is a good thing. A small handful of repeat customers is OK too. One customer who becomes a business partner may be all you need.

Online Kjelt

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2017, 08:51:46 pm »
Don't quit your job till you can make more than 60% of your salary in your new role. Then is the moment to switch. If your current job takes only two hours a day, spent the other six and evenings on your new job.
 

Online Berni

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2017, 05:23:03 am »
For some people this is actually there dream job to be payed for slacking off. But it certainly is the exact opposite of a dream job for an engineer.

But just keep this job while looking for a new one, that way you never loose your income.

It does not always mean you get all your fulfillment from the work you do at your job. Most engineers i know including myself still do all sorts of personal projects at home. Only in these projects you get the freedom to build any crazy thing you would want. It doesn't have to be built down to a price, it doesn't have to furfill a bloated bullshit list of features, it just has to do something cool.
 

Offline technix

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2017, 07:05:37 am »
You can try start with trying to make your off time less boring. Side projects are always good ideas, especially if you can gain more than just fun in it. Or if you have some savings you can try pursue some higher education (post-grad programs for example, as the school will assign things to you and keep you busy, and I doubt your boss will have problems with you attending school given the usual tasks are done)

I was not into video games but as of recently I have been playing a lot of Pokémon games to entertain myself during off time just to keep the boredom at minimum (cartridges are expensive... And I am not that good at it)
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2017, 07:37:36 am »
Don't quit your job till you can make more than 60% of your salary in your new role. Then is the moment to switch. If your current job takes only two hours a day, spent the other six and evenings on your new job.

Many companies will force you to sign exclusive agreement when you sign working contract.
For example, many full time contracts will not allow you to wok for another company.
Some companies also request you not to work for another company in the exact field for x years after leaving original company.
Some companies will request you to sign an IP waiver, all IP generated in paid time, or all IP generated with company resource, or all IP inspired by paid work, are property of company, not you. Some will have some mercy by giving you a certain percent of cut, some will claim 100% ownership.
 

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2017, 08:36:47 am »
(I smell FPGA.)
What is your dream technology???
It is an ARM11. Old, boring. What makes it boring is that the only thing you can do with it is run linux. And linux is boring.

Mount a little corporation and you sell the improvements that you think that may have
There is no money in this sector, unless you get the government issued 'green certificates'. I cannto do that, not a native speaker, not an MBA. The other way is consumer marker, with cut-throat profit, and competing with the chinese.
Don't quit your job till you can make more than 60% of your salary in your new role. Then is the moment to switch. If your current job takes only two hours a day, spent the other six and evenings on your new job.
I dont plan to. There is a good Dilbert comic strip for:

You can try start with trying to make your off time less boring. Side projects are always good ideas, especially if you can gain more than just fun in it.
That is part of the issue. Boreout causes the exact same symptoms as burnout. I have no energy at the end of the day. Sometimes I dont have energy to play computer games, just to sit in front of the TV and binge watch something. Sometimes I binge watch something that I already saw. Imagine your life, but without actually wanting to do stuff.
Many companies will force you to sign exclusive agreement when you sign working contract.
There are 2 consultants* working at the same company. IP should not be an issue. I can politely ask them to change my contract if it wouldn't allow it. This isn't communist china or wild west capitalism. I have a lot of leverage on the company, as it is very hard to find a replacement for me, and legally very hard to fire me. Even if they would fire me, I could live from social security for some 2 years, and I have some so called 'fuck you money'.

*I am actually planning to speak with them, ask them how they run their business., how they started. They are not electronics, but still.
 

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2017, 08:55:20 am »
That is part of the issue. Boreout causes the exact same symptoms as burnout. I have no energy at the end of the day. Sometimes I dont have energy to play computer games, just to sit in front of the TV and binge watch something. Sometimes I binge watch something that I already saw. Imagine your life, but without actually wanting to do stuff.
So this really has to change or it will spiral you down. You are the only one able to break the spiral. Some suggestions: more physical activities like biking to work perhaps or walk in the break. Take regular planned (coffee) breaks and make the day more structured for yourself. Anything (does not matter) that makes you happy: do it , plan it, find other people with the same interest and start or join a club and do it.
 

Offline capt bullshot

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2017, 09:03:23 am »
I dont plan to. There is a good Dilbert comic strip for:
This particular Dilbert would be funny if it wasn't the truth. Most of Dilbert is true in the company world. From your description in the first post in this thread, my first thought was: Do you happen to work for the same company that I do? I'm in a similar situation for now about two years, and managed to keep alive by doing several projects on my own.

That is part of the issue. Boreout causes the exact same symptoms as burnout. I have no energy at the end of the day. Sometimes I dont have energy to play computer games, just to sit in front of the TV and binge watch something. Sometimes I binge watch something that I already saw. Imagine your life, but without actually wanting to do stuff.
I do know these symptoms, this is really bad. You've got plenty of time to start whatever project or activity and one doesn't have the energy / motivation. It's an spiral leading to no good ending. If you can't get out of there on your own, I'd recommend some consultation.
Safety devices hinder evolution
 

Offline technix

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2017, 09:49:36 am »
(I smell FPGA.)
What is your dream technology???
It is an ARM11. Old, boring. What makes it boring is that the only thing you can do with it is run linux. And linux is boring.
Technically you can run bare metal code on ARM11 - probably the code from ARM7 and ARM9 platforms would run. However there are few people actually go this though.

If you can afford it, you can try and get Windows CE on it. Or try and get iOS clone (a port of the open source Apple Darwin coupled with an open source reimplementation of Cocoa) on it.
You can try start with trying to make your off time less boring. Side projects are always good ideas, especially if you can gain more than just fun in it.
That is part of the issue. Boreout causes the exact same symptoms as burnout. I have no energy at the end of the day. Sometimes I dont have energy to play computer games, just to sit in front of the TV and binge watch something. Sometimes I binge watch something that I already saw. Imagine your life, but without actually wanting to do stuff.
Agreed. I have long commutes so games on trains are viable. I sacrificed 33% of my salary for a less restrictive exclusivity clause that allows any IP I started during off time my own 100%, and my Tindie store is still alive (thanks to this.)
 

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2017, 09:57:38 am »
Technically you can run bare metal code on ARM11 - probably the code from ARM7 and ARM9 platforms would run. However there are few people actually go this though.

If you can afford it, you can try and get Windows CE on it. Or try and get iOS clone (a port of the open source Apple Darwin coupled with an open source reimplementation of Cocoa) on it.
No thank you. I'm a hardware guy. I program to make the hardware work, not for the sake of programming.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2017, 10:06:05 am »
No thank you. I'm a hardware guy. I program to make the hardware work, not for the sake of programming.

Well, sometimes some coding just for the algorithm is kinda a fun to do. Especially when hardware, software, firmware and logic all come together and they actually work.
I just (literally, just) finished a side project -- a 1st order, 4-bit sigma delta interpolation DAC based on Cyclone V SoC and a small CPLD (actually, FPGA, iCE40) plus some resistors as DAC PHY.
 

Offline NivagSwerdna

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2017, 10:33:10 am »
If your current company is planning a public offering that will make the investors super rich (despite their rubbish product) you need some share options and to grin and bear it.

If you have to stay then.... start doing some freelance work... do consultancy on the side, write magazine articles, write books, write a blog, publish on youtube, design and sell your own products.

But... from the viewpoint of a potential employer you look burnt out and unemployable... you need to come up with a plan and fast.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 03:20:53 pm by NivagSwerdna »
 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2017, 10:59:05 am »
Hi NANDBlog, I know how you feel. About 2 years ago I spent about 6 months working on fast image convolution methods using 2D FFTs only to be told "we're not doing fast convolution anymore". I was a bit disheartened to say the least. Then there was a hostile company takeover, half of the staff left and the order book was almost empty, not a good year.
Anyway, as of a few weeks ago fast convolution is back on the menu so I'm now hand crafting some fast FFTs for FPGAs as the FFT IP from Altera and Xilinx is just too slow. At last I'm getting to do some VHDL, so I'm happy. By the way I liked the recent Leaning FPGAs: wrong approach? thread. Rant over.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 10:21:47 am by chris_leyson »
 

Offline technix

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2017, 12:22:15 pm »
Technically you can run bare metal code on ARM11 - probably the code from ARM7 and ARM9 platforms would run. However there are few people actually go this though.

If you can afford it, you can try and get Windows CE on it. Or try and get iOS clone (a port of the open source Apple Darwin coupled with an open source reimplementation of Cocoa) on it.
No thank you. I'm a hardware guy. I program to make the hardware work, not for the sake of programming.
Ever thought of porting the latest Linux kernel to your project, trying to get the security holes found recently out of your products? Oh you are a hardware guy...
 

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2017, 12:43:03 pm »
Ever thought of porting the latest Linux kernel to your project, trying to get the security holes found recently out of your products? Oh you are a hardware guy...
Its not connected to the internetz. And no, that would be like changing a bad situation with free time to a worse situation without free time.
 

Offline technix

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2017, 12:56:47 pm »
Ever thought of porting the latest Linux kernel to your project, trying to get the security holes found recently out of your products? Oh you are a hardware guy...
Its not connected to the internetz. And no, that would be like changing a bad situation with free time to a worse situation without free time.
For devices that does not even have network capabilities this can be left unpatched for now. Maybe learn something: a post-graduation degree? A new language? Some additional skills? If you can speak the Chinese language it would be easier to deal with Shenzhen or Hong Kong suppliers.

I am trilingual verbally and bilingual in written languages (Shanghainese, Mandarin Chinese, English; Shanghainese share the same written language with Mandarin Chinese,) and can use three additional languages in very primitive forms (German, French and Spanish.)
 

Offline alexanderbrevig

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2017, 01:13:39 pm »
Scary reading your first post NANDblog. For the last two and a half years I've been the only tech in an iot startup (hate the iot label but I've heard it so many times I use it myself with a sickened smile on my face).

I told them I needed other things, more challenges, so I got a contact with them to pay me as a consultant for six months. Which grants them half of my time and I get approximately the same pay as before while I have time to take on other challenges. Be it paid or some personal project.

The weird thing is that for my first year I was in over my head. With no real hardware background I've developed a working wireless low power sensorthingy. It was stressful but I much prefer the impostor syndrome when contrasted to boreout.

I've also learned a lot about myself and know better which parts of the project I should reach out for help (in over my head) or handover because I'm not the cheapest way to get it done (I'm bored).

Good luck!
Do something about it.

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2017, 03:15:17 pm »
Re: Dilbert cartoons.

Scott Adams has told many times the story: his time working at Pacific Bell was soul-crunching and a complete waste of time. He had already done some cartoons, but that is when he earnestly focused on Dilbert.

He has also told that for many years his inspiration for cartoons were the e-mails he received. He would publish his own e-mail, scott.adams@aol.com in every strip. The flood of stories was endless.

That is the reason these cartoons are so universal. During the 90s I did a lot of business travel, and every place I visited had Dilbert strips posted on a desk or cubicle.
 

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2017, 11:48:39 am »
OK, so I got approval for consulting. Which is good. Also, I picked up an old secret project. It's supposed to go to kickstarter. Also, I had some time to think about my career. So this is what I came up with:
Maybe I am in the wrong sector. I am working for "for profit" organisations, where my job basically depends on the sales team. If they can sell something I get funding. If they are not successful, I have nothing to do. They will not fire me, because they will need me later. So I am supposed to wait. And apparently I dont like that. That's just the way I am.

So I am thinking about going into the "R" from R&D as someone mentioned. As plan B. Anyway, I have some ideas now. I know how naive this sounds, but I actually have an idea of "who would be the perfect employer".

Sometimes the world lets you down. Anyway I think it was very helpful to share this with you all. Also, it helps others to name this, because the term "boreout" is relatively new. Anyone feeling the same way is invited to PM me or post in this topic, and discuss and share.

Thank you all. I keep you updated.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 11:51:08 am by NANDBlog »
 
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Online Kjelt

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2017, 12:12:17 pm »
I am working for "for profit" organisations, where my job basically depends on the sales team. If they can sell something I get funding. If they are not successful, I have nothing to do. They will not fire me, because they will need me later. So I am supposed to wait. And apparently I dont like that. That's just the way I am.

The other way around is no fun also , if the sales team has sold many pipe dreams and the team has an impossible task to design and build something coming close within an impossible timeframe.

Anyway are you now suggesting to design electronics in a non-profit organisation ? What kind of organisations would that be I wonder ? Or in the Research part of a profit organisation ?
 

Online Berni

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2017, 12:32:56 pm »
I think i would find it pretty fun to be on the team that designed the HTC Vive at valve. There was a lot of research involved in it. They built lots of prototypes and custom electronics to do all the laser scan tracking. of objects, there is lots of communication and time syncing happening trough the whole system to make it all work. It eventually involved an ASIC too.

But that is a kind of project that comes out of the blue and once its done its well.. done. But id imagine working at some places like Bell Labs must have been amazing.
 

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2017, 01:07:28 pm »
But that is a kind of project that comes out of the blue and once its done its well.. done. But id imagine working at some places like Bell Labs must have been amazing.
Bell Labs is a good example. Or supporting basic research with electronics.
On the other hand I'm not sure, if I would get a job at these places. Maybe just the destroyed self-esteem speaking.
 

Online Berni

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2017, 01:04:30 pm »
Bell Labs is a good example. Or supporting basic research with electronics.
On the other hand I'm not sure, if I would get a job at these places. Maybe just the destroyed self-esteem speaking.

Yeah it is probably very difficult to get a job at these famous places as there are likely a whole heap of people competing for the job. If any of them would be closer to me i would probably give it a shot just in case id get lucky, but i would be expecting to be told to go away.

But that doesn't mean every job at these companies is a nice job. They still need people that do boring stuff like paperwork or inventory management and such boring non creative jobs that i wouldn't wanna do even if the pay was good.
 

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2018, 11:52:27 am »
OK, a quick update. Today, they crossed the line again, by not inviting me to a meeting to a product. I came up with the idea of the product, I designed it, and made it a reality. They went ahead, and made a meeting, without me, discussing the future of the project. Even peers from working different part of the company were on it.

This was already strike 3, and I started actively looking for a new job.
 

Offline capt bullshot

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2018, 12:05:02 pm »
That's like DIlbert in real life  :o

Stuff like that happens all over the place where I'm working (and I've been told so from somewhere else), people doing so don't even think they might offend you by doing so - I can't really understand that. I can understand you, that's a big demotivator. I guess it'll be hard to find a better place where such stuff doesn't happen. You're just a cost centre for the bean counters and the bosses and managers ... That's the sad reality in engineering today.
Safety devices hinder evolution
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2018, 12:32:35 pm »
Are you still working there?  |O
Past time to move on, go fly out, there are a lot of jobs out there, stop complaining and take action.
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2018, 12:44:41 pm »
Are you still working there?  |O
Past time to move on, go fly out, there are a lot of jobs out there, stop complaining and take action.
Jeah, I'm doing that. Browsing linkedin now.

That's like DIlbert in real life  :o
They did this, after discussing the exact same thing at the yearly performance review in December. I also told them, that they have to change. It is a small company. It has no experience launching products. I do. My manager even mentioned that there will be a meeting today. I told him I should be on it, and this is exactly the thing that we talked about.
BTW this is a manager, who got promoted to be my boss. He is an IT system administrator. No experience in electronics. Gets to be my boss. Well, I dont think so.
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2018, 04:31:36 pm »
Make sure you scramble all of your product designs and stuff you made into absolute gibbrish before you leave. >:D

Also set your lock screen and screensaver to the "you didn't say the magic word" meme. >:D
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*
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Offline mcinque

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2018, 04:39:38 pm »
With your knowledge, you could start your own company. Take one of your ideas, one project you consider good and build it and sell it on your own. Instead looking at news or forums at work, you could use that time to work on your projects. It would be more productive and would give you a scope. Just my 2 cents
I'm basically still a rookie and because of this, even with the best intentions, I often say bullshits
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2018, 09:51:05 pm »
I have a job, where they will not fire me, but I have nothing meaningful to do. I became Wally (from Dilbert).
Literally, I do nothing at work for days. I go to work, sit at my PC, open web browser, start looking at daily news, look at it 20x the day,...
Stop this, It will make you depressed. Social media and news are there to catch you, enslave you, passivate you.

... In the meantime, I keep the appearance, like I'm working. I hate that. Alt tabbing and leaving one of my screens for continuously scrolling linux bullshit, having two or three SSH window open...
Sometimes I desing a PCB just for the fun. I have a folder with 11 PCB projects, that are completely useless, like 12V DC input hat for raspberry PI zero. Nobody needs that. I designed it, because I don’t want my abilities to completely go to waste.
Why not design something useful, market it, sell it ?

The situation is bad. Effecting my health. I cough every morning after waking up. It's philological. And I'm tired in the evening. After doing 8 hours of nothing. I have low self-esteem, and I feel depressed.
Should I quit again? Should I move?
You should start another real challenge. Outside or inside company, doesn't matter.
It seems like you can perfectly combine your job with another professional activity.
I was in the same situation for 2 years, and could put ALL the money I made aside, because I could live from what I made extra, during their hours.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 09:53:12 pm by Galenbo »
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2018, 10:22:15 pm »
If you're really in a rut you should look for another job, from your home computer- while you are home. Don't do that from work.

If you find another job, give them whatever the customary notice is. And don't diss your previous employer.

Don't ever check your personal email accounts from work.

Don't just try to look professional, be professional.  You may not see things the same way as they do. 

« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 10:30:02 pm by cdev »
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2018, 07:44:22 am »
Finally it explains why so many keyboard warriors with multi thousand post count on this forum, posting about always anything with no substance.

That's one of the more succinct self-referential postings I've seen in quite a while. Or did you have a point you wished to make?
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2018, 08:03:17 am »
I was in the OP's position once, near the beginning of my career.

There was a company reorganisation/takeover, and I had a choice of jobs:
  • one, on the same site, would have been comfortable but boring and stagnant from a career PoV
  • the other, on a different site, was unknown but potentially interesting - but with an intolerable commute
I chose to avoid that first easy path that leads down to nowhere, and to put myself in a position where I had to make a decision. If second remote job was good I would move house. If it was merely OK then I would change job/company. In the end, after 3 months in the remote job, I left and found a job in a different part of the country. That worked out very well for me, partly through luck but partly because I made my own luck.

OTOH it would have been far more difficult if I had family commitments, as happened later in my career.

Alternative viewpoint: use your current stagnation to decide whether you want to continue in the same (technical) direction, or use it as an opportunity to develop into something different, e.g. sales, marketing, or project management.

Apart from that, use the time to develop technical skills in a new area that might be useful to your current employer or a new employer.

Do not visibly develop any product or concept that you might wish to personally use outside your current employment. Similarly be careful about looking as if you are "poaching" clients from your existing employer on behalf of your next employer. Employment law is complex and a source of revenue for lawyers; your next employer might be frightened off.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2018, 12:55:50 pm »
The pressures causing 'boreout' arent just a problem at the employee level.

Pressure to become profitable immediately is blocking a lot of potentially creative businesses from forming, and forcing existing ones out of business..

What are the ways to escape this cycle at the company/management level, one has to wonder also.

This is a short excerpt from an excellent essay by John Reader..


"1.6
THE RISE OF THE NEW ECONOMY

I will now examine the argument that the current context is the result of a series of decisions and
policies that some within the field of politics and sociology term the rise of the New Economy.
In other words, there are clear and identifiable changes within the global economic structure
that derive directly from deliberately pursued political decisions and that reflect the interests
of a certain set of key players. One of the major contributors to this theory is the sociologist
Castells who has written one of the seminal works in recent years on the subject of what he calls
the Network Society (Castells, 2000).

This New Economy has emerged during the last quarter of the twentieth century and
is characterized by three distinctive features. First, it is informational in that the productivity
and competitiveness of all agents in the economy (firms, regions or nations) depend upon their
capacity to generate, process and apply knowledge-based information. Secondly, it is global as
the core activities of production and consumption as well as their components (capital, labour,
technology, markets etc.) are organized on a global scale. Finally, it is networked because it is
through networks that competition is played out on the global stage. The information technology
revolution has been instrumental in creating this new set of conditions and both the constraints
and possibilities that flow from them (Castells, 2000, 77). What are the implications of this for
the ways in which work is now organized?

Quote
Castells suggests that companies operating in this new environment have a number of
strategies that they can pursue towards both skilled and unskilled labour (Castells, 2000, 254).

These are as follows:
  • Downsize the firm, keeping the indispensable highly skilled labour force in the North
    while importing inputs from low-cost areas (very much the Dyson approach to matters).
  • Subcontract part of the work to their transnational establishments and to auxiliary
    networks whose production can still be internalized through the network enterprise
    system.
  • Use temporary labour, part-time workers, or informal firms as suppliers in the home
    country.
  • Automate or relocate tasks for which the standard labour market prices are too high.
  • Obtain from the labour force agreement to more stringent conditions of work and pay as
    a condition for the continuation of their jobs, thus reversing social contracts established
    under more favourable conditions for labour.

It is possible that any combination of these will be encountered in specific situations
depending upon local conditions and decisions. The effect is to draw all countries into this system
though and to create a convergence of labour market conditions across the globe. Furthermore,
as Castells says:

The pressure towards greater flexibility of the labour market and toward the reversal of
the Welfare State in Western Europe come less from the pressures derived from East Asia
than from the comparison with the United States. (Castells, 2000, 254)

Any company wishing to compete on anything like equal terms with a U.S. based business
will have little choice but to follow the same route of creating greater labour flexibility. Hence
“lean production, downsizing, restructuring, consolidation, and flexible management practices
are induced and made possible by the intertwined impact of economic globalization and diffusion
of information technologies” (Castells, 2000, 255).

So although there is not a unified global labour market, similar patterns of labour orga-
nization emerge across national boundaries. Was this inevitable though? Castells suggests not:
This model is not the inevitable consequence of the informational paradigm but the result
of an economic and political choice made by governments and companies selecting the
‘low road’ in the process of the transition to the new, informational economy, mainly using
productivity increases for short-term profitability. These policies contrast sharply, in fact,
with the possibilities of work enhancement and sustained, high productivity opened up
by the transformation of the work process under the informational paradigm. (Castells,
2000, 255)

What begins to emerge from this, assuming Castells is correct, is that the way that
engineering is now being shaped as a result of the forces of globalization, is only one possibility,
albeit the one that leads to short-term gain for some but at the expense of others. Is this good
for engineering or good for engineers? If one contrasts what is occurring with other possibilities,
then one might argue that it is not. What we do have at the moment is a loss of jobs in the North
combined with more stringent working conditions and the general demise of earlier victories
gained by the labour movements. Increasing instability and job insecurity are combined with
the downgrading of newly incorporated urban labour in industrializing countries. This is not
the result of the structural logic of the informational economy which could just as easily have led
to higher levels of secure employment and greater opportunities for investment and innovation.
Instead, the use of networking and the political decision to create a more mobile and volatile
labour market have undermined such possibilities. Now that these processes are ‘locked in’ it is
going to be extremely difficult to reverse them.

Agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and national government organizations have suggested that the problems of rising unemployment, income inequality and social
polarization are the result of a skills mismatch, exacerbated by a lack of flexibility in the labour
market—we have encountered such interpretations already in the area of SET. So there is a
shortage of requisite skills to enable people to take advantage of the New Economy and this is
to be tackled through the educational system. However, some now argue that the evidence for
this is actually extremely thin and that simply increasing the numbers of people in training will
not itself create jobs that have now gone overseas. Castells documents the evidence for what has
been happening in the USA in terms of unemployment and growing inequality (Castells, 2000,
298), but also points out that similar trends are visible elsewhere in the developed world. The
new vulnerability of labour is not confined to low-skilled jobs but is spreading up the labour
market hierarchy and into the ranks of professionals. Political parties of all persuasions on both
sides of the Atlantic are pursuing the same policies with very much the same results.
Membership of corporations, or even countries, ceased to have its privileges because
stepped-up global competition kept redesigning the variable geometry of work and mar-
kets. Never was labour more central to the process of value making. But never were the
workers (regardless of their skills) more vulnerable to the organization, since they had be-
come lean individuals, farmed out in a flexible network whose whereabouts were unknown
to the network itself. (Castells, 2000, 302)

So this is the wider context in which engineering is now operating, one in which instability
and uncertainty have been deliberately built into the system in ways which discourage individuals
from challenging the decisions and policies of their employers and which may also act as a
disincentive for businesses themselves to invest in innovative or high-risk projects. Unless a
project can show a swift profit turnaround for its investors—i.e. within 12 months is the figure
I have heard in some companies where the real lead time for research and development would
expect to be considerably longer—there is no chance of funding. The more ‘competitive’ the
global economy becomes, the less likely it is that smaller companies will survive or that general
deteriorating working conditions will be reversed."[/i]

(Source: Globalization, Engineering, and
Creativity by  John Reader
SYNTHESIS LECTURES ON ENGINEERING, TECHNOLOGY AND
SOCIETY #3  Morgan & Claypool Publishers)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 01:08:50 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 
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Offline basinstreetdesign

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2018, 07:45:51 am »
I was in the OP's position once, near the beginning of my career...

Me too.  I had got a reputation for being able to design some hardware that would need little to no debugging to get it working.  BTW: Once, I designed some complicated hardware-only project, it was built by a tech over the next few weeks.  He came to me and said "guess what?  It works!"  I said "what do you mean it works?"  And it did, flawlessly - no debugging required.  This can be deadly - they will come to expect it every time.

Anyway, sales dried up and I had not much to do for several months at a stretch.  But I was consulting on the side.  The situation was stupid.  I would come in to the office and do the square root of dick all for 8 hours and then go home and bust my ass for 4 hours every night and on weekends to get a system up and running.  But the two bosses liked me so much that when I told them I had better prospects consulting than staying they offered to keep me on the payroll at 50% but otherwise I was free to go. All I had to do was come in once in a while if needed. This surrealistic deal lasted 6 months.  I was literally getting paid to stay home.

They eventually re-organized their business and I joined them again.
STAND BACK!  I'm going to try SCIENCE!
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2018, 08:41:58 am »
The pressures causing 'boreout' arent just a problem at the employee level.

Pressure to become profitable immediately is blocking a lot of potentially creative businesses from forming, and forcing existing ones out of business..

What are the ways to escape this cycle at the company/management level, one has to wonder also.

This is a short excerpt from an excellent essay by John Reader..

Long semi-political diatribe snipped.

Please do not post such things here; when I want to read them I go to sci.electronics.design, which has the advantage that Win Hill occasionally surfaces.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #62 on: January 26, 2018, 12:08:08 pm »
Another update.
For anyone who is interested.

My employer and me terminated our work contract earlier today.
They pushed me over the edge yesterday. I think this was intentional. They did the same to one of my coworker before. Terminating contract on a short notice, acting passive aggressively.
Firing an employee is very expensive in Belgium. It is a disgusting way to conduct business IMHO.
At least now I'm free to find a better things to do. I have "fuck you" money for the foreseeable future.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #63 on: January 26, 2018, 12:19:46 pm »
Been there and completely understand how you can get shit on like that. My current employer did that to me. Then they had to hire me back on contract at 3x the daily rate when they realised I was basically master plate spinner :-DD

If you have some fuck you money, good job. Take some time off and work out how to be human again, not wage slave. I find employment dehumanising if I'm honest.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #64 on: January 26, 2018, 03:55:45 pm »
I have "fuck you" money for the foreseeable future.

Good; that's a good feeling - don't waste it!

Personally I prefer calling it "drop dead money", from the novel quoted in this source: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Drop%20dead%20money
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline taydin

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #65 on: January 26, 2018, 04:20:50 pm »
If it pays sufficiently, an "all day idle" job can also be a blessing. You can concentrate on your personal electronic projects when at home, and you can do online research on those while at work :)
Real programmers use machine code!

My hobby projects http://mekatronik.org/forum
 
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Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #66 on: January 26, 2018, 06:09:01 pm »
I have "fuck you" money for the foreseeable future.

Good; that's a good feeling - don't waste it!

Personally I prefer calling it "drop dead money", from the novel quoted in this source: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Drop%20dead%20money
I know, the term is vulgar, not nice.
But Dave also used it in one of his videos, so I guess it will be OK for the forum.
Been there and completely understand how you can get shit on like that. My current employer did that to me. Then they had to hire me back on contract at 3x the daily rate when they realised I was basically master plate spinner :-DD

If you have some fuck you money, good job. Take some time off and work out how to be human again, not wage slave. I find employment dehumanising if I'm honest.
I've actually asked a consultant to do some mentoring and tell me how he does it. It would probably suit my daily habbit better (I'm a night owl) and working on my own terms... I can only dream of what's that like.
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #67 on: January 26, 2018, 06:20:33 pm »
I've actually asked a consultant to do some mentoring and tell me how he does it. It would probably suit my daily habbit better (I'm a night owl) and working on my own terms... I can only dream of what's that like.

I do that as well. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you want some pointers ;)
eBay shop with all the gear you need!
FS: Agilent 54825A, R&S CMU200, CRTU, SMIQ06L, Marconi 6201B, Lecroy WP 950, 9354TM, 9354M, 9374L LC584A, Tek THS720P, TDS7154B, Anritsu MG3671A 2.75G I/Q RF gen, Keithley 238 SMU, HP 8642B, 8903A, 8110A, 8156A
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #68 on: January 26, 2018, 06:41:40 pm »
Me too. Feel free to ask anything, that's what the forum is for  :-+

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #69 on: January 26, 2018, 07:40:53 pm »
Hi Nandblog sorry to hear things didn't work out, from what you've said it sounds very much like constructive dismissal. At least now you've got a bit of free time to chill out for a while and think about what you would like to do in the future.

My last employer became isolvent and terminated everyones contracts, we're still owed a months pay as well as redundancy pay but the company owner managed to screw things up by transfering company assets to another company before becoming insolvent so nobody gets statutory redundancy pay from the government and we have to take the owner to court. I'm still out on this one because I don't any of us are going to see a penny, will probably have to pay legal costs and by the time the case comes up the owner may very well have moved all the physical assets to China. Rant over.

Anyway, I landed on my feet eventually and now I'm working for a large Japanese company within a team of twenty or so hardware and software engineers. I like the company ethos and it's nice change to work for someone who puts a lot of effort into product design.

Good luck Nandblog something will turn up eventually  :-+

 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #70 on: January 26, 2018, 08:13:25 pm »
Another update.
For anyone who is interested.

My employer and me terminated our work contract earlier today.
They pushed me over the edge yesterday. I think this was intentional. They did the same to one of my coworker before. Terminating contract on a short notice, acting passive aggressively.
Firing an employee is very expensive in Belgium. It is a disgusting way to conduct business IMHO.
At least now I'm free to find a better things to do. I have "fuck you" money for the foreseeable future.
If you wanna work on something interesting in the NL then drop me a line. No need to speak Dutch and no chance to get bored.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline Dubbie

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #71 on: January 26, 2018, 08:28:52 pm »
Sorry to hear NANDBlog. Hopefully you’ll look back on this as a turning point towards much better things.

A bit of self confidence at this stage is one of the most valuable things you can have.

Best of luck!
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2018, 09:00:19 am »
My employer and me terminated our work contract earlier today.
They ...
At least now I'm free to find a better things to do.

Good, now you have more of your life for you.
Can you link/post/PM a short version of your CV ?
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #73 on: March 01, 2018, 01:42:04 pm »
Hi Nandblog sorry to hear things didn't work out, from what you've said it sounds very much like constructive dismissal. At least now you've got a bit of free time to chill out for a while and think about what you would like to do in the future.
Yes, definitely. I actually felt happy after leaving the company.

I do that as well. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you want some pointers ;)
Thanks for the offer. I will stay an employee for the time being.

I got head hunted with an offer I cannot refuse, just signed the papers.
My country flag will change, but that is just life. I'm smiling.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 02:39:21 pm by NANDBlog »
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #74 on: March 01, 2018, 01:48:37 pm »
 :-+
eBay shop with all the gear you need!
FS: Agilent 54825A, R&S CMU200, CRTU, SMIQ06L, Marconi 6201B, Lecroy WP 950, 9354TM, 9354M, 9374L LC584A, Tek THS720P, TDS7154B, Anritsu MG3671A 2.75G I/Q RF gen, Keithley 238 SMU, HP 8642B, 8903A, 8110A, 8156A
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #75 on: March 01, 2018, 03:30:35 pm »
I have "fuck you" money for the foreseeable future.

They paid you a couple million euros as severance?
Yes, and I also got a chocolate cake with candles.

In reality, if you can live on the same level of comfort as before, for a year, that's more than enough. It doesn't need to be indefinite. I'm too young to retire anyway.
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #76 on: June 27, 2018, 03:13:52 pm »
FYI I'm fine now.

I'm working at a company with good financial background, developing challenging products, doing overtime by my own. I am actually going forward in my career, picking up a lot more responsibility. And I'm surrounded with people I can learn from (while they can learn from me).

I moved to the Netherlands. Moving was a bit stressful of course. I have a bigger apartment, which is a lot more quiet. I should've done this more than a year ago.
 
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Online CJay

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #77 on: June 27, 2018, 04:01:05 pm »
Fantastic, I'm really pleased it's worked out for you.
M0UAW
 

Offline Gribo

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #78 on: June 27, 2018, 04:01:23 pm »
Congrats and well done!
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #79 on: June 27, 2018, 04:59:11 pm »
Congratulations on your success.
There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Online Berni

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #80 on: June 27, 2018, 06:44:05 pm »
Congratulations!
 

Offline The Soulman

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #81 on: June 27, 2018, 07:01:11 pm »
Good to hear!  :-+

When do you start your inburgeringscursus?? LOL
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #82 on: June 27, 2018, 08:04:42 pm »
Congratulations!!

And thank you for the follow-up post. You can now add a "-- SOLVED" to the thread title.  ;)

 

Online Kjelt

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #83 on: June 27, 2018, 08:21:20 pm »
Congrats and bravo for taking action.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #84 on: June 28, 2018, 12:19:37 pm »
A job is just a way to pay the bills.  If it's low stress and pays well then keep it, BUT you need some hobbies to keep yourself mentally and physically active on your own time.   The danger is when you spend work doing nothing then get home and do the same nothingness.  I fell in that trap myself. You get complacent with just relaxing all the time then it turns into depression.  In my case it was a combination of things.  Lack of daylight was probably a big factor.  I'm not a morning person and sleep in on my days off.  If I sleep in too much then I wake up in the dark. Our days are very short most of the  year so you need to get up early enough to see it.

I recently finished building a shed, still have finishing touches to do, but projects like that keep me going.  I spend dead time at work researching stuff that's hobby/home project related to keep inspiration going. Funny thing is though I tend to be more motivated to do those things while I'm at work, when I'm home I just want to relax, but have to force myself off my butt and once something is done there is a sense of satisfaction.
 

Online BillB

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Re: Help me, I have boreout
« Reply #85 on: June 28, 2018, 02:23:08 pm »
Congrats!  :-+
 


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