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techstepgenr8tion
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10 Mar 2011, 6:08 pm

I just posted my resume and info a few days ago. I'm freaked out as always, as in I'm already getting calls - I look like the 6 million dollar man on paper but with the obvious problem that I have executive functioning problems to an extent that likely cuts my ability in just about half. Part of why I'm intent to leave my current company, the clients are thieves. We have yearly quotas to make and they try to rip their way out of paying invoices any which way they can. The other part, I 'functioned' the last few years by overloading myself on coffee until I nearly hit adrenal failure, now that I'm off of that the haze is coming back, I find I can only look at the stuff I'm researching for about fifteen or twenty minutes at a time, I feel like I can barely get anything done or am zoning out constantly between tasks.

The hard part is I have to juggle a lot. I know that part of having, if not deserving the right to, a professional job is having the ability to thrive in chaos and pull everything together where the rules are blurred/fuzzy. I realize one thing about myself - I need a great deal of training to know the basics on a lot of this, if I haven't done something before - I haven't done it. I keep hearing from people that I shouldn't expect much training because I have a skill set and that companies can't be expected to put much time in, ie. that it *should* be sink or swim. Right now part of what I'm doing is monitoring the job offers carefully because I know that I could very VERY easily get a job, one of probably most offered, and be fired within a month for not just intuitively 'getting it' as an adult.

My question is this: I work in the accounting profession. I would like to go over to something that won't tax my executive functioning so much. Ie - big single-focused projects rather that machine-gun staccatoed small ones. I need familiarity to where I can learn the rules and excel in a short enough amount of time, ie. the first few months. My problem is, if I'm trying to meet other people's learning speed demands I'll try until my brain literally starts to fail, until my head starts tingling badly, until my facial muscles can't even move, simply because the only other option is to throw my hat in and quit right then and there. When that happens I have to hope that I'm learning something that will get easier with time. Does anyone here have the same problem I do and if so, do you know of any fairly decent paying position types in the accounting/finance world that I can actually fit into? I graduated highest honors from college, I give things my all, but I'm clearly finding out that a) my all can easily come short when it runs when it hits the edge of a cliff (genetic limits) and b) I really don't have any control here, I'm going to have to build my career path around this.


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Esther
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10 Mar 2011, 11:23 pm

Hi techstepgenr8tion,

Forgive me if you find this question rude as I mean no offense, but have you been officially diagnosed with this "other autism spectrum disorder" in your profile? I think employers take things more seriously if something is medically "official". Is it something that you can bring up with a potential employer so that they may accommodate you in your limitations?

Do you have experience in project controls? Making sure that a huge project is within budget and delivered on time? Perhaps you can handle two or three bigger projects at one time rather than 20 small ones.

And I agree with you that lightening up on the coffee is a good idea.

Good luck. I hope you pick the right company to match your talent.



techstepgenr8tion
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10 Mar 2011, 11:50 pm

Esther wrote:
Forgive me if you find this question rude as I mean no offense, but have you been officially diagnosed with this "other autism spectrum disorder" in your profile?


I was dx'd PDD-NOS back in 1991 when I was 11. So yes, its official. The only thing I've heard over and over, and from vocactional rehab even when I decided to give it a shot in 2006, is that you don't, never, tell employers about it - they will not hire you and there will be no way to prove that it was over your mention of disability. A guy with a bad rotator cuff even told his boss at one point that his boss could get a tax write-off on that, the boss said he'd think about it, the guy was fired within two weeks. Employers are still very old-fashioned in this area.

Esther wrote:
I think employers take things more seriously if something is medically "official". Is it something that you can bring up with a potential employer so that they may accommodate you in your limitations?

I could never bring myself to ask for special accomodations. The message I've learned about my life - I'm on that strata where I look normal enough to where I'm in with failed or damaged NT's, who get no such special preferences. The only thing I could really ask for is intensified training, to be sure I'm getting to know as much as I need to (which is my big downfall - needing to know too much), companies either have good training or their of the belief of 'Your an adult, you shouldn't need full description of what we want you to do'. I'd rather just be somewhere where I can do well and nothing has to be discussed.

Esther wrote:
Do you have experience in project controls? Making sure that a huge project is within budget and delivered on time?

I would enjoy that kind of thing. If its a large concept that I'm probing and gaining insight on, I like that kind of thing. Also, back in college, I had no problem being the guy who brought the conversations on group projects to milestones and deadlines.

The one area that I do well in, people do like me and I can do well socially when I'm coming from a place of competency. That said if I have my own area where I can excel and even if I ended up heading the meetings, I tend to put a lot of thought forward for what will work best for everyone - that's one of those times where people really appreciate a person leading without agendas wrenching the program.

Esther wrote:
And I agree with you that lightening up on the coffee is a good idea.

Yes but.... when you get to where I did, where my hands were dripping sweat, where I felt like someone had just got done tazing me, it not only drastically hurts your focus and mental health - it makes you look even more weak and eccentric. I was really getting concerned for my health. Mind you though, I was able to do that all through college, it took me about 7 years of overdoing it to get to the decaf-or-nothing point that I'm at now.


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11 Mar 2011, 1:53 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I could never bring myself to ask for special accomodations. The message I've learned about my life - I'm on that strata where I look normal enough to where I'm in with failed or damaged NT's, who get no such special preferences. The only thing I could really ask for is intensified training, to be sure I'm getting to know as much as I need to (which is my big downfall - needing to know too much), companies either have good training or their of the belief of 'Your an adult, you shouldn't need full description of what we want you to do'. I'd rather just be somewhere where I can do well and nothing has to be discussed.


I see what you mean. I failed to put myself in your shoes which is something I try to do most of the time. I would agonize over asking my boss to accommodate me, too, as I think that would just heighten my shortcoming and I most likely would not ask for it either. Any non-physical handicap is such a difficult topic to broach at work. I mean, I wouldn't do it myself, so why would I expect someone else to just because of an "official" doctor's note? I respect your tenacity.

I'm not a big fan of sink or swim. Unfortunately, that seems to be most companies' approach. I started day 1 with this woman who was actually headhunted by the company I work for. She had an impressive work background. I couldn't find her name in the global address book one day and found out that she didn't even last 6 months. And this was not due to her incompetence, but pointed to the mismanagement of the section she was in. I don't even know if she got any training. It seemed like the whole division looked to her to turn some things around without equipping her on how things were done intra-company.

Quote:
I would enjoy that kind of thing. If its a large concept that I'm probing and gaining insight on, I like that kind of thing. Also, back in college, I had no problem being the guy who brought the conversations on group projects to milestones and deadlines. The one area that I do well in, people do like me and I can do well socially when I'm coming from a place of competency. That said if I have my own area where I can excel and even if I ended up heading the meetings, I tend to put a lot of thought forward for what will work best for everyone - that's one of those times where people really appreciate a person leading without agendas wrenching the program.


Are you willing to relocate for a new position? How soon do you have to reply to the offers you've been getting? Have you ever tried your hand at contracts administration? I think that might be a nice segue from accounting. It's very detail-oriented, yet there are templates to work from and only the names and $ amounts change.

Quote:
Yes but.... when you get to where I did, where my hands were dripping sweat, where I felt like someone had just got done tazing me, it not only drastically hurts your focus and mental health - it makes you look even more weak and eccentric. I was really getting concerned for my health.


I'm confused. Are you like this without coffee or is this the result of you drinking too much coffee? Are there alternatives to try other than decaf?



techstepgenr8tion
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11 Mar 2011, 6:36 am

Esther wrote:
Quote:
I would enjoy that kind of thing. If its a large concept that I'm probing and gaining insight on, I like that kind of thing. Also, back in college, I had no problem being the guy who brought the conversations on group projects to milestones and deadlines. The one area that I do well in, people do like me and I can do well socially when I'm coming from a place of competency. That said if I have my own area where I can excel and even if I ended up heading the meetings, I tend to put a lot of thought forward for what will work best for everyone - that's one of those times where people really appreciate a person leading without agendas wrenching the program.


Are you willing to relocate for a new position? How soon do you have to reply to the offers you've been getting? Have you ever tried your hand at contracts administration? I think that might be a nice segue from accounting. It's very detail-oriented, yet there are templates to work from and only the names and $ amounts change.

Contracts administration? I could look into what its about - sounds purchasing related no?

Unfortunately right now though I wouldn't be willing to travel. To make a long story short, I do martial arts four or five times a week with an instructor who's of a caliber that I can be sure I won't find in the next place I move to. Because of that I'm really not willing to move until I've attained a black belt and gone a bit further even, when I say further it would likely be 2015 or 2016 before I'm really solidified enough to move. Right now I've been in it for two years already - huge system and something where I want to be sure to get every nuance to memory if I can.

Esther wrote:
Quote:
Yes but.... when you get to where I did, where my hands were dripping sweat, where I felt like someone had just got done tazing me, it not only drastically hurts your focus and mental health - it makes you look even more weak and eccentric. I was really getting concerned for my health.


I'm confused. Are you like this without coffee or is this the result of you drinking too much coffee? Are there alternatives to try other than decaf?

This.


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11 Mar 2011, 3:17 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Contracts administration? I could look into what its about - sounds purchasing related no?


Yes, mostly procurement.

********************************
Here's a sample of what's involved:

Overview:

Under general supervision as a team member supporting simple procurement projects, responsible for straightforward contracts, product specifications, and bids for basic goods and services.

Responsibilities:

1. Ensures purchase orders protect company’s interests and uphold policies and procedures.
2. Develops understanding of internal customer’s budgeting needs and procedures; provides pricing estimates for line items.
3. Reviews requisitions for funding availability and account code accuracy.
4. Analyzes purchasing history of goods and services.
5. Offers input in developing specifications and scopes of work; determines appropriate procurement methods and develops individual procurement schedules.
6. Reviews and assesses scopes of work and specifications; prepares Requests for Quotes, Requests for Proposals, and Invitation for Bids; evaluates proposals, bids and quotations; participates in evaluation committee meetings and may conduct vendor interviews.
7. Negotiates and issues basic contracts and purchase orders; prepares contract amendments, revisions, and close-outs.
8. Confers with customers to get information, resolve questions.
9. Determines or recommends awards of bids.
10. Expedites purchase orders deliveries.

Qualifications:

Knowledge of:

-Operations, services, and activities of a centralized purchasing program.
-Purchasing principles, practices, and governing ordinances.
-Materials, supplies, and equipments commonly used in the construction, operation, and maintenance of the agency.
-Principles, practices, and procedures of inventory and quality control, and purchasing.
-Principles and methods of negotiations.
-Principles and procedures of recordkeeping and filing.
-Principles of letter writing and basic report preparation.
-Mathematical principles.
-Pertinent federal, state, and local codes, laws, and regulations.

Ability to:

-Interpret and apply administrative and departmental policies and procedures.
-Interpret, explain, and apply procurement policies, procedures, and practices.
-Evaluate the quality and price of products to judge suitability of goods and/or alternatives offered.
-Maintain detailed and accurate operational and financial reports.
-Effectively represent the company to outside individuals and agencies to accomplish the goals and objectives of the unit.
-Plan and organize work to meet changing priorities and deadlines.
-Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Education and Experience Requirements:

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Business or Public Administration with approximately three to six years of professional purchasing experience.

*******************

This applies to both private and public sectors. Admittedly though, I don't know how fast-paced or customer interaction-heavy this kind of work milieu gets.

I meant to say, going back to your original post, that half of a 6 million dollar man is a 3 million dollar man. That is still a lot! Good luck with the search. I hope your spidey senses are more acute with this one.



techstepgenr8tion
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11 Mar 2011, 6:13 pm

I'm trying to do some of that right now when I go through procurement info trying to find errors. What sucks is those luxurious stacks of paper with full explanations of tiered pricing, rebates per volume purchased in a year, progressively increasing discounts, is starting to be replaced by what looks like access or excel info that's very basic and doesn't really contain any of that. Its essentially price histories, the business world is also getting filled with all kinds of third parties - third parties for freight, third parties for utilities management, third parties for acccounts payable and accounts receivable, now I find out as well that there are third parties who make their earnings on verifying purchasing data, making sure that the purchase order matches the vendors price list, the vendor themselves might even have their own agency to that effect pour over it as well. Companies who order lots of very specific materials to their service or product will also have JIT coordination vendors who facilitate their constant receipt of stuff. You also have had ACH and wire for a long time, ghost/phantom p-cards (company cards) are getting more fashionable these days too, ghost cards being one time use card numbers that act as checks, and in a sense the financial institution offering the service sends a lump sum payment request to the client.

In a sense things are getting much less intuitive when you look at classical positions within a company but also if I wanted to go into contract compliance, I'd likely end up at a third party as such, managing the software that takes in feeds from their purchasing against our approved vendors, and generally acting more like a database administrator in terms of keeping the data input current, the rest is automated. The only way that a particular company in that regard seems to still play with contracts a lot is if their discounts with a particular vendor go beyond the threshold of what the third party automatically inputs, then you have two contracts, one set to the default of the third party and another held by the actual client that makes up the difference.


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11 Mar 2011, 10:41 pm

OK, you're hired! :wtg: :lol: Sorry, that just went over my head. But if that is an area you can get experience in, even better. Diversifying is key.

Oh, your talk of subcontractors and third parties reminded me if you have thought of being a consultant and just "rent" your services out to a bigger firm? This may be one way to give you control of the projects you'd want to be involved in.