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Archive for May, 2012

Advancing your wildlife biologist career but at what cost?

Friday, May 25th, 2012

I have been in this wildlife tracking industry for over 30 years and I have watched as our customers have advanced their careers in wildlife biology.  Without exception I have heard them tell me how much they enjoy the field work but that with their advances they have to spend more and more time in the office and less time doing that they love to do.  It’s a conundrum.  I now find myself in a similar position.

I started Telemetry Solutions  in 1996.  At that time I was an army of one making VHF transmitters by myself. Here we are, 16 years later, we have a full line of GPS tracking equipment and I cannot keep up with all of the duties that I have retained over the years.  The result is that even though we have many employees and team members in 3 different countries I work 70 hours per week and never miss a day in the office.  My one vacation in the last 6 years was a week long and included meetings with 3 different groups of biologists. One may even say that it didn’t count as a vacation?   I never had kids.  Telemetry Solutions is my kid.  But it is time for the kid to demand a bit less of my time.  My goal is that over this summer I will pass many of my duties to my capable team and endeavor to work 40 hours per week.  I will use the new found time to learn to fly.  My buddy Fred Anderka of Holohil is a pilot and I enjoy talking with him about flying every time I see him at a conference.  Fred has encouraged me to undertake this new project.

The downside of my plan is that, moving forward I will not have much contact with my customers.  For me, the contact with my customers is what field work is to you.  I will be in the office every day just as I have for the last 16 years but my focus will shift to one more of long term planning than day to day operations.   I think it can be a positive for me and I will make sure that it results in positive experiences for all of you too when you have occasion to work with Telemetry Solutions.