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Comment: Ask for it. (Score 5, Insightful) 495

by nordaim (#32554084) Attached to: Getting Paid Fairly When Job Responsibilities Spiral?

I've been in this situation more than once. Each time it happened I worked with my direct manager to figure out the best solution whether that was a higher salary, better benefits (vacation, flex hours, compressed work week), or other, more ephemeral, perks like a new job title. Of the 6 times I was in this situation, 3 of which were at one company, I only walked once.

However, in order to be able to walk that meant I always had an escape plan. Even when I was elated about a job and would go home floating on cloud 9 there were always options in the back of my mind of where I would go. I continued to job hunt: sending out my resume, talking to HR at another company, or networking with friends in the industry at least once a week. Plus, even when my budget was tight, by force of will alone I kept an emergency fund that would let me float for a while without racking up my credit cards.

Never let yourself get in a place where a company, or anyone for that matter, can take advantage of you without recourse.

Comment: 11 Days... (Score 1) 605

by nordaim (#27176741) Attached to: My longest stretch without sleep (catnaps count) ...

When I was a sophomore in college, the week before spring finals I decided to push myself and see just how long I could go before my body completely shut down. I found out that was around 250 hours.

I regularly stayed up 2 or 3 days in a row then to study, role play, and indulge in Starcraft. I figured I would go 4 or 5 days and be done with it.

Instead, I wound up making it all the way through the end of finals week. I slept on the car ride home at the end of the semester, crawled into my bed, and didn't get up for 2 days.

After 3 days of not sleeping, combined with some hard partying, I was hallucinating and very paranoid. My roommate finished his finals early and was gone by midweek, leaving me to go insane inside my whitewashed cinder-block dorm room.

I have fond memories of the personally instituted mental derangement but would never do it again. The toll was too great. I spent the rest of the summer getting back on some kind of sleep schedule and still have problems with insomnia.

Comment: Be an Intern (Score 1) 372

by nordaim (#26411809) Attached to: How Will Recent Financial Downturns Affect IT Jobs?

I am a former IT manager who went for experience when I was looking to hire someone.

One of the best places to get that, which is how I got mine, was as an Intern. When I stepped into the job market I was 21 with 3 years of experience and a secret security clearance. It opened a lot of doors.

And skip the certifications until you have some job experience and know where you degree is going or until the next job requires it. Unless someone had a CCIE or multiple MSC* with the experience to back it up, that paper meant nothing.

I never found a college degree to be particularly useful when someone came onto the job as candidates very rarely had the actual skill set necessary to fill the job we were going to put them in. They would still need further training within the company.

Instead, their degree showed that they had the capacity to learn and the theoretical knowledge to understand what we would ask them. Anyone can write an algorithm to search, but not everyone understand how to optimize it for a particular task or why one form is better than another.

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.

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