I work for a large industrial and technology conglomerate. The largest, actually. I’m the lead engineer and project manager of a department called “Advanced Additive Manufacturing,” which is just a fancy way of saying “new 3D printing technologies.” The brass at Corporate are positioning our company to be at the apex of the additive manufacturing industry within the decade, so my department is lucky enough to enjoy a budget that’s nearly unlimited; far more than we actually need.
I work under the company’s chief technology officer and report my team’s research progress directly to him. So far our progress has impressed Corporate. This has resulted in a relatively laissez-faire managing of me by the CTO. What I’m doing works for him, and, in turn, works for his bosses.
My small team is pushed hard, but they get rewarded. They know they’re on the bleeding edge of technology that will be a primary causal factor in the next industrial revolution. Of course, the satisfaction that comes with that knowledge is augmented by salaries far beyond what they’d be making at other companies or research firms. Despite pushing them hard, I refuse to let them work more than 10 hours each day. I figure they need to have lives outside of work; their productivity will surely decline the moment they feel their job is oppressive. The only issue with that is it forces me to put in very long hours every so often. Nevertheless, I don’t feel overwhelmed or burned out. My family is on the other side of the country so I don’t see them much anyway and all my friends work with me in other parts of the company. I love my job and I am completely happy doing it.