Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > Careers - Employment
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions

DW Simpson International Actuarial Jobs
Canada  Asia  Australia  Bermuda  Latin America  Europe


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #91  
Old 02-14-2018, 03:57 PM
jas66Kent's Avatar
jas66Kent jas66Kent is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: London
Favorite beer: Corona :)
Posts: 22,519
Default

Oh, and don't forget..they try really hard to look important and busy at the multitude of meetings they attend.
__________________
Quote:

"On a reflection of Tyranny. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. Post-truth is pre-fascism.
Reply With Quote
  #92  
Old 02-14-2018, 04:41 PM
ditkaworshipper's Avatar
ditkaworshipper ditkaworshipper is offline
Official AO Grill Master
SOA
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ditka's Restaurant
Studying for :lol:
Favorite beer: Yes
Posts: 25,053
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jas66Kent View Post
Yes, it really sucks when you're one of the few people with a high degree of technical understanding, surrounded by a sea of administrators who basically just write reports.
[rant]The worst is when these same administrators simultaneously spin themselves as the one who understands the business and you as just the data person, when in reality we're in an industry where the data literally is the business. And all of their "business" knowledge is based on your data work. And you can generally explain why their "business insights" are incorrect any time you actually have time to stop putting out fires.[/rant]

I haven't had this anywhere near as bad as some people I've observed, but this trend pisses me off to no end. Ironically, this is also why I value having a manager who knows how to manage spin. It's not that I don't, just that without the support from above, it's irrelevant.
__________________
Who would win in a fight...Mike Ditka or a hurricane? And da hurricane's name is Ditka.
Reply With Quote
  #93  
Old 02-14-2018, 04:59 PM
Colonel Smoothie's Avatar
Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
College: Jamba Juice University
Favorite beer: AO Amber Ale
Posts: 47,691
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ditkaworshipper View Post
[rant]The worst is when these same administrators simultaneously spin themselves as the one who understands the business and you as just the data person, when in reality we're in an industry where the data literally is the business. And all of their "business" knowledge is based on your data work. And you can generally explain why their "business insights" are incorrect any time you actually have time to stop putting out fires.[/rant]
Looking back, I don't think I've ever really been in that situation. Although, I may have had that impression of my superiors while they were my superiors. After a few years of being frustrated of being behind the scenes, I simply asked that I have the opportunity to present my own work, and it was granted. Now I regularly lead meetings in front of important people.

So that was it, it was as simple as asking. I'm not sure why I didn't ask earlier, but for some reason I thought at one point management would decide when I'm ready and then be like, "hey you're ready now, it's time for you to be client-facing." I guess that's not how things are done, and I wish I knew it sooner. I probably would have been fine if I had asked earlier in my career.

I haven't been in a situation where I've constantly bugged my boss to be client facing only to be told I'm not "leadership material." Maybe fear of getting into this situation was what was holding me back. But I can totally see some managers wanting more control and behaving that way.
__________________
Recommended Readings for the EL Actuary || Recommended Readings for the EB Actuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigmeister General View Post
Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
Reply With Quote
  #94  
Old 02-14-2018, 05:35 PM
PeppermintPatty's Avatar
PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 37,860
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathmajor View Post
I worked all day one Sunday when the analyst didn't finish her work till Friday, I fixed it (i.e. redid it all) Saturday, asked her to do something, she broke it, refixed it all day Sunday for a Monday morning flight/meeting

Yeah she's gone now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShivamS View Post
And this happens. I'm not trying to be insensitive and I obviously don't know the full story, but it's on you (as the team leader) to guide and teach her so she is more independent 3 months down the road.
I had the same experience, and he's gone now, too. I'm pretty good at training and developing staff. Lots of people I mentored are now doing very well, and a lot of them outrank me. But sometimes you get someone who has that charming mix of "don't care" and "don't get it", and there's just not much you can do.
Reply With Quote
  #95  
Old 02-14-2018, 05:52 PM
jas66Kent's Avatar
jas66Kent jas66Kent is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: London
Favorite beer: Corona :)
Posts: 22,519
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeppermintPatty View Post
I had the same experience, and he's gone now, too. I'm pretty good at training and developing staff. Lots of people I mentored are now doing very well, and a lot of them outrank me. But sometimes you get someone who has that charming mix of "don't care" and "don't get it", and there's just not much you can do.
Just curious, but when you get someone like that do you go back to the hiring process to try to figure out what went wrong?
__________________
Quote:

"On a reflection of Tyranny. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. Post-truth is pre-fascism.
Reply With Quote
  #96  
Old 02-14-2018, 06:20 PM
PeppermintPatty's Avatar
PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 37,860
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jas66Kent View Post
Just curious, but when you get someone like that do you go back to the hiring process to try to figure out what went wrong?
That was a long time ago, and back then, it was hard to get entry level candidates. Today I probably would do that.
Reply With Quote
  #97  
Old 02-14-2018, 06:42 PM
PeppermintPatty's Avatar
PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 37,860
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Egghead View Post
A little more about my situation:

* I am a career changer, and made lousy pay (and lousy financial decisions) in my younger years
* I'm 50-ish, and in a classic "middle management" position at a really big company, which pays well
* So I'm finally making a good pay where I'm making nice progress on debt, retirement planning, paying for kids' college, etc. So it's scary to go backwards in pay.
* I have a supportive boss. He's even warning higher-ups that I could leave if they don't help out my situation.
* I spend 7 hours a day in meetings, because we're working some new process that was started by somebody else, and my team has to fix. People expect us to get the work done that was originally expected of us, but we can't get to that because the data is so amazingly crappy. So that's why I spend so many hours outside of normal work hours, just trying to catch up the 100 emails that came in and I couldn't answer while in all those meetings.
* Fortunately, people are finally realizing how much of a no-win situation it is, and they're becoming more open to change.

So, there's "sort of" a light at the end of the tunnel. But I'm so ridiculously burnt out, it's hard to pump myself up for the blast of effort and energy it's going to take in the short term to fix everything that others screwed up.

Edit to add: and I live in an area that is basically low-cost Midwest. I'm sure many of you would call it the 'Po.
In my experience, stress, hours, and pay are only loosely correlated. The most stressful job I had mostly had moderate hours. (but a lousy manager) The longest-hour job I had paid okay, but no better than jobs with shorter hours.

So I think you should shop for a job at the same or better pay that has fewer hours. Depending on your geographic mobility, and local opportunity, that might include external options as well as internal ones.

And of course you should aggressively pursue the "hire additional staff" option in your current role, since it sounds like the only real problem with it is that there's more work than can humanly be done.

I'd also look for excuses to get out of some of those meetings.
Reply With Quote
  #98  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:51 PM
WhiteVeil WhiteVeil is offline
Member
CAS SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 78
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElPatron View Post
They are in locations where no one wants to move. Last year I got repeated calls for several unfilled positions in places like Omaha, Des Moines, Madison, and St. Louis. I've kept tabs on a few of them and they have remained unfilled for over 6 months. Not all of them are 40-hour/wk gigs, but I get the impression that some of them are.

I'm originally from the Midwest, and I don't really want to move to those locations. If I was born and raised in the NE or west coast, relocating to a < 1 million population midwest city would be a nonstarter.

It's hard to understand the environment you describe about working on Sundays... I don't know a single FSA actuary that regularly works on Sunday. At most, some of the busier ones will work Saturdays during crunch time. In my current role, I may have worked about a dozen Saturdays (total) over the past 6 years.
One issue I have is my location, as I am fairly tied to my current area and can't relocate right now due to personal reasons. I see a multitude of openings in the midwest and I bet there would be some lower stress jobs there, but I just have no interest in going there. It'd be nice to find a 40 hr/week gig in a place people actually want to live.

Regarding the regular working on Sunday, that was at a previous employer, and my boss had been an FCAS who absolutely hated going home to his wife. He would come in early and stay in his office all day, but wasn't always working. Quite a few times I caught him on youtube and other similar sites (he also spent at least 2+ hours a day in the bathroom for some odd reason). My understanding was his coming on Sundays was just to get away from her. But he would use my not "working as much as he did" as an excuse to not give me good raises.

My current job doesn't require consistent weekend work, but I'd say I'm still averaging 55 hour weeks, not including studying with busy season hitting 75-80. Slower periods are closer to 45. I think I wouldn't mind the longer hours if I was a fellow, but while I'm still taking exams it just is extremely hard to progress through them with these hours.
Reply With Quote
  #99  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:58 PM
WhiteVeil WhiteVeil is offline
Member
CAS SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 78
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
Were they at least paying you? I've got some coworkers who work in a high-pressure unit. Regular working hours are from 8AM to 8PM and they're expected to work on weekends. Firing for underperformance happens regularly. However, they routinely clear $200k+ and these are non managing staff actuaries in their 20s.

That hasn't really been the norm in my experience...typical insurance company actuaries do work low stress 35hr/week jobs. It just so happens that in that unit, really ambitious people are in charge, and they expect their employees to have the same attitude towards work.

I think you should do your research on what companies have a low stress culture. Having a really large network so that you know the going-ons at each company helps in that regard, so start reaching out on LinkedIn, etc.
Nope, pay was on the low end of the DWS scale. If I was pulling $200K+ in my twenties without being a fellow, I'd feel much better about working over 60+ hours weekly and wouldn't complain. Though I'd probably get out after a few years because after a while you realize the money just isn't worth the sacrifice.

Your comment about researching specific companies is probably a good idea. My network of other actuaries is pretty small right now, especially in my geographic area, but may be worth developing to get some inside scoop for the future.
Reply With Quote
  #100  
Old 02-15-2018, 12:03 AM
WhiteVeil WhiteVeil is offline
Member
CAS SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 78
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSPAN View Post
I have never met an experienced actuary - fellow level, above age 40 - who worked 55+ hour weeks for years and did not regret it. I have never heard an experienced actuary say that working long hours like this was ultimately beneficial for them.

I have seen do-good actuaries like this slave for the company, affecting their health and personal life, only to have the company eventually downsize them. Yes, you can work 70 hour weeks and be fired. I imagine that's a bitter pill to swallow.

I have seen actuaries divorced by their spouse due to working too many hours, not spending time with the family, missing their children's life events. One of these actuaries, through kindness of the family courts, had their child support calculated on the very high salary of the 70-hour-per-week job. Now this actuary lives alone in a small apartment, essentially trapped slowly working themself to death.

I have seen actuaries develop serious health problems and addictions, likely linked to the absurd number of hours they worked. I even knew an actuary who died from a stroke, likely due to workload-associated health problems. That company replaced this deceased actuary in less than three months.

Some of the happiest actuaries I know voluntarily work part-time, 20-30 hours per week.
Agree with this completely. Problem is finding employers who don't have the "deal with it and be grateful you have a job. The door's right there." attitude. They just keep trying to do more with less.

Is part-time actuarial work common? I would guess you'd likely need to have been with the company for at least a few years and have extensively proven your worth before they'd consider it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.34569 seconds with 9 queries