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Er, why do some people end up in the "C-Suite"? (And earn mega bucks)

(59 Posts)
doublechocchipper Sat 22-Oct-11 20:37:02

Sorry for the name change, a couple of friends know my normal login and I'm going to talk about other people I know IRL here which I don't really want to mix up.

We've just said goodbye to two friends of my DH who came for a late lunch at ours - DH knows the husband from uni days basically.

Anyway, I've only met the couple a few times, and I was struck as the day went on about much more successful the man (outwardly) is compared to my DH. They certainly didn't flaunt it - they're perfectly lovely people - it just struck me in a rather sudden way that they're clearly on a financial rung far beyond what we can reach. It hadn't really occured to me until this afternoon, but it's very obvious now that I think about it (the car they drive, their huuuge house, private education for their 2 DCs). And yet DH and this man (both the breadwinners of each family) did the same degree.

Of course I love DH to bits, and I recognise that it will be influenced by the choices we've made (we have 2 more DC than these friends, we live near my parents to help with childcare, which has limited DH's ability to move). I also know that DH isn't as ambitious as others may be. And I wouldn't even want more money - we're perfectly happy.

But it does seem fascinating to me that two people can start off from uni days in such similar positions and end up where one is a middle manager on £35k/yr and the other lives just 40ish miles down the road and is in the stratosphere when it comes to management responsibility/earning potential.

DH and I have had a long disucussion about this tonight, because he's my best friend and he knows I'm talking about this from a "isn't this interesting" rather than a "I'm unhappy and jealous" perspective. He started talking about C-Suites and senior management, but apart from the obvious things (not being able to move more than day 50 miles from the south east due to my parents, taking 2 more paternity leaves) we can't really pin down exactly what magical ingredient it is that launches one career into the "C-Suite" (i'd never heard that phrase befoer) and which ones don't.

It must be something to do with personality or ambition then. ANyway, I thought it would be interesting to question this on MN - IABU to ask what (from an unbiased perspective) makes someone so clearly marked out for senior management vs. someone who isn't? Or is it just the things DH and I pointed out?

scarevola Sat 22-Oct-11 20:39:33

What's the "C-suite"?

doublechocchipper Sat 22-Oct-11 20:39:41

Oh, and I asked DH what this guy earns and DH grinned and said did I really want to know, apparently it's in the region of "last time he mentioned it a few years ago when he was being headhunted it was about 200 grand".

I mean - that's such a high salary it's completely alien to me that someone is considered to be worth that much shock But it'll be market rates and all that. I just don't know how anyone can convince someone that they're worth that much. I suppose that's the thing that's baffling me!

worraliberty Sat 22-Oct-11 20:39:51

I thought this was going to be about C Sections Lol

doublechocchipper Sat 22-Oct-11 20:40:36

according to DH the C Suite, scarevola, is like CEO... or Chief Financial Offier... or Chief Information Officer... you know, like the highest order of management. Doing a quick Google confirmed it (I hadn't heard of it until today either).

NinkyNonker Sat 22-Oct-11 20:41:37

I thought the same as Worra, just couldn't figure out the mega bucks bit!

doublechocchipper Sat 22-Oct-11 20:43:08

Haha! Well I'm glad I'm not the only one that had no idea what it meant, makes me feel a bit less thick grin

If they paid mega bucks for C-Sections, do you think there'd be a time limit on applying for the cash? grin

Shakey1500 Sat 22-Oct-11 20:43:21

Me too! Thought a whole "cash for c-sections" scandal had bypassed me.

squeakyfreakytoy Sat 22-Oct-11 20:44:22

<shrugs>... some people do well, some people dont get the same breaks... thats life...

I went to a comprehensive school.. from the year that I was in, there are a couple of very well qualified and high earning medical experts, a very famous actor, lots of people in high earning but average roles... and plenty who have done sod all apart from churn out kids and claim benefits...

scarevola Sat 22-Oct-11 20:48:08

With you.

I's naked ambition or a high salary and willingness to do what it takes and arse lick. It doesn't however usually mean back-stabbing - the people who get to the very top usually have great charm and charisma. But they are focussed, and single minded on a corporate goal.

I do go envy at the pay packets sometimes, but when I stop and think about what I want, or what DH wants, then I know that narrow single-mindedness just isn't for us.

HippoPottyMouth Sat 22-Oct-11 20:49:07

I think ambition is a big part of it. I do quite well but I can't really be arsed to push myself in front of people to get promotions.

You also get higher by moving jobs, which you have to be bothered to do, rather than just staying where you are comfy.

You have to be good at office politics, another thing I cannot be arsed with, if people annoy me I don't really hide it.

Plus a pinch of good luck, right time and place and all that.

WilsonFrickett Sat 22-Oct-11 20:49:43

My DH is in the 'c-suite' and doesn't earn anything like that! <wonders if he's actually in the d-suite and no-one told him>

OP did they go into the same industry? Because I think that is a better marker than their degree. Some industries just attract the silly money, others don't.

AnyPhantomFucker Sat 22-Oct-11 20:50:07

gawd biscuit

NinkyNonker Sat 22-Oct-11 20:51:11

Ambition, motivation, dedication, a certain single mindedness/selfishness, luck, good support systems, talent, 'smarts'...amongst others I'm sure.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 22-Oct-11 20:51:58

Extremely hard work
Risk taker

Some or all of the above

squeakyfreakytoy Sat 22-Oct-11 20:52:47

I have to also say "c-suite" in this context sounds like a very poncey word that you can just imagine a load of suited tossers in the city discussing in a little bistro...

NotJustClassic Sat 22-Oct-11 20:53:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iarebaboon Sat 22-Oct-11 20:53:18

All of that ^ as well as who you know

I've two close friends who earn many multiples of what I do, both got initial jobs through people they knew

They then certainly had the aptitude to succeed and progress but were given a foot in the door that others wound not have been

bibbitybobbitybloodyaxe Sat 22-Oct-11 20:53:22

Really? You really find this interesting??

I went to University with people who earn literally millions of pounds a year now while I earn £0. Its because we made different choices in life.

NotJustClassic Sat 22-Oct-11 20:54:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

trixymalixy Sat 22-Oct-11 20:55:20

It's all about appearances rather than ability and being able to talk the talk and arse lick.

There's a guy I used to work with whose abilities were nothingnto write home about, but has ended up very high up in a large financial organisation, purely because he arse licked and pretended to be best buddies with people he didn't really like, purely because of their positions. He definitely had charisma and ambition and could talk the talk, and really worked his arse off but people who used to work with him are pretty baffled how he had got so high up.

troisgarcons Sat 22-Oct-11 20:55:22

Some people are in the right place at the right time. Some people have extreme drive and ambition.

You mentioned the same uni and the same degree as an equal starting point. To put perspective on that, taake Richard Branson, starting his empire using a coin operated phone box. Only people I pass using a coin operated phone box seem to be dealing drugs shrug . Starting places are just that.

SazZaVoom Sat 22-Oct-11 20:55:38

Luck, moving jobs a lot, networking, luck, ambition, utter belief in themselves/abilities - even if they don't actually exist, luck

SazZaVoom Sat 22-Oct-11 20:56:07

But, having said that, you can make your own luck....

Andrewofgg Sat 22-Oct-11 20:56:47

Hard work and talent, possibly?

There used in less enlightened days to be two ways to the top and they were both described in Latin: per membrum virile alii and per membrum virile suum. That is by another's dick - being the boss's son - or by your own dick - marrying the boss's daughter.

Of course such things don't happen nowadays . . . biscuit

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