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Diverse work experience vs. higher job title

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by theogcasey, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. theogcasey

    theogcasey Contributing Member

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    I am currently a Materials Planner with 3 years of experience at a large oil and gas equipment manufacturer. I have been offered a position as a Buyer in another division within my company, but if I stay in my current role, I will be promoted Senior Planner within the next month (this has been addressed in my annual review, just waiting for the paperwork to clear and my formal acceptance). I enjoy what I do, and taking on more responsibility and having a clear path to management is reassuring, but diversifying my work experience and learning other aspects of the industry is also tempting. The pay will be nearly comparable, so salary is not my priority at the moment. Is it better to be a jack of all trades, or a master of one?
     
  2. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    Jack of all trades. Specially in the business you're in.
     
  3. mrm32

    mrm32 Member

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    I would think if you ever try and pursue a job elsewhere a management title would be more attractive than someone who's jumped around positions. They'll notice the diverse work but ultimately will a hiring manager think you're qualified enough to fill a role if you've jumped around a bit?
     
  4. HR Dept

    HR Dept Contributing Member

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    I can relate, it's a tough call and if I were in your shoes I'd just go with my "gut" feeling.
     
  5. PhiSlammaJamma

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    I would become a master in the eyes of others. You can learn anything from any position in the company if you want to diversify. You can control what you learn. Just walk on over and learn it. But you cannot control what others think of you. The path to upper management is one of stepping stones. And so you need to move on up in the eyes of others and move up the ladder.

    Just remember the company does not care about you. You are a pawn at the lowest levels, and the highest you are expendable just like everyone else. So make sure you are happy during the journey. Get what you can while you can get it.
     
  6. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member

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  7. superfob

    superfob Mommy WOW! I'm a Big Kid now.

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    If your career goals is in management, always opt for positions that will give you experience in supervisor positions.

    If you want to remain in a "technical" track, then you might be consider expanding your experience to see if other parts of the business is more interesting.
     
  8. The_Yoyo

    The_Yoyo Contributing Member

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    I was always told have a good knowledge base but specialize in one area because thats where you are going to make your money. Knowing a lot about one little thing will make you more desirable.

    Then again I was in IT up until 2 years ago, but I used that concept to be in technical operations and its helped my career greatly.
     
  9. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost not wrong
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    Make sure that promotion is absolutely finalized before passing on the other position.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    I would recommend you get out of oil services. Buyer, planners, etc. are all going to be on the chopping block.
     
  11. theogcasey

    theogcasey Contributing Member

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    I've certainly been looking externally, but I might as well milk it until something in another industry comes along. I've seen more layoffs in project management and indirect procurement than anywhere else in the company.

    For some background information, the Buyer position falls under the R&D umbrella of the other division, and R&D continues to grow during the poor market conditions. The Planner/Senior Planner position is over a very specialized product line with a very small team, but healthy backlog and large profit margins. Both seem relatively safe, even given the current downturn, but of course anything bad could happen in the next year.
     
  12. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
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    Master of one > jack of all trades

    IMO

    My first few years in O&G I was a low level analyst and I was constantly moved around, getting a new role on a new team every 6-7 months. Then when the bad times hit, it was hard to say I had a good amount of experience in any one thing. Now I'm in a specialized role and I can set a path for where I want to go.

    (I realize our stories aren't super similar but just wanted to give my reasoning for recommending you specialize.)
     
  13. LCAhmed

    LCAhmed Contributing Member

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    Master for sure. Put it to you this way, would you rather buy a service from someone who specializes in that field, or hire someone who kinda knows how to do a lot of things, but isn't particularly great at one thing. well rounded is nice, but expertise is another level.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  14. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    If the pay is similar, is a Buyer on the same grade as a Senior Planner? Is there such a thing in your company as a Senior Buyer?

    As far as resume building, I'd hardly notice if your title has a Senior in front of it or not. If it was Manager, I'd notice. But, that's probably because of the culture of my company. In general, I'd take the higher grade, except in cases where a lateral move can take you closer to the corporate center -- like moving from a subsidiary to the parent, moving from regional office to headquarters, moving from a low profile department to a high profile department.
     
  15. AXG

    AXG Member

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    Landing a higher job title is more beneficial. Speaking from experience, being a jack of all trades just gets you bounced around a lot.
     
  16. Freik

    Freik Contributing Member

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    This! I've worked in Telecommunications, Healthcare, O&G and now Finance. Each job I used my base skills to get in the door, identified the departments greatest needs and filled the gap.

    Each place ive worked at has been in the IT field, ive mastered a new skill at each, been "the guy", took advantage of every training opportunity (hell I was a certified driving instructor in O&G as a system administrator to show I bought into their safety culture.) kept my resume updated and when it was time to move on it was easy to land another job.
     
  17. sammy

    sammy Contributing Member

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    Stay where you have rapport. One of the reasons why I was axed was bc I was a newbie in the department. Leaving for an onshore business unit was one of the dumbest moves I could have made. Ugh.
     
  18. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

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    In my experience in the O&G industry, you need to get a critical mass of experience and "master" something until you get into a leadership position. So if you work your way up into a supervisor role in your current path THEN you can look at expanding beyond that into other management roles. That's at least how it works at the Super Major I work at now.

    7-10 years of experience mastering a job role out of college (or early in career). Get into some small project leadership or team leadership roles and prove you can lead. You can then expand the breadth of your knowledge into other things from a leadership position. At least at my company, they see leadership as its own skillset, and that within reason, someone should be able to lead groups of diverse skillsets. You want to work this out mid career when you are still lower/middle management. Then if you can make the jump into upper management you'll have a core skillset you've mastered, and you've shown you can lead diverse groups of people doing different things.

    Also, when oil prices are low, stay where you are most experienced and deliver the most value (and know your management team). You are less likely to be cut rather than being the newb in a different group. Additionally, its about to be the best time to make hay in the O&G industry. We will be scraping the bottom this year, the cuts will be the deepest. If you can make it through, when oils tarts its ramp back up in a year or two, you can really ride the wave of promotion up as they tend to cut way to deep. They key is to survive the bottom. I've seen people get promoted 2/3 times in 2/3 years coming out of these troughs in the O&G industry just because there are so few people left that know what they are doing.
     
  19. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Contributing Member
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    If you enjoy what you are doing then i'd stay there, the improved job title is just icing on the cake.

    I used to think a jack of all trades route is the way to go but ultimately, it's a unique specialty that differentiates you. When i look around at all the senior executives in our company, and others, they had a large portion of their careers in one particular field.
     
  20. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    There are certainly pro's and con's. I prefer to be the jack, but I recognize the importance of a master. Quite frankly I find masters overrated, unless they truly set themselves apart from others. I find it extremely frustrating working with one dimensional colleges who do not have the ability to adapt.

    Jacks dont get paid much, but they have the flexibility to jump around when times get tough. If you develop a strong enough diversity, you can land into a managerial role in a position that needs to be filled ASAP.

    As a master, you become narrow minded in your field. The pay increases, but this makes you a bigger target of cuts. The fight for promotions will become more difficult and you risk become to specialized for future opportunities.
     

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