Boeing Frontiers
May 2003
Volume 02, Issue 01
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My View

Opportunity: the fabric of who we are as a company

Phil Condit
Chairman and CEO

Phil ConditWhat does it mean to work at Boeing?

That's a question that can spark long and lively discussion. It all depends on your outlook, your experience as a Boeing employee, and your set of personal circumstances.

I hope you think that your working life at Boeing provides you with many opportunities:

• To make a real difference to our business and to your own satisfaction, through your interest and involvement with your work team or teams

• To learn new jobs and skills and/or to earn degrees so that you will be employable for as long as you want to work

• To earn base pay that is market-based and competitive; with the potential for additional compensation based on individual and company performance factors

• To have access to good health care and reliable information about how to improve your own and your family's physical and mental health

• To help safeguard your loved ones' financial security, especially should you become disabled or when you die

• To take and enjoy time off for leisure

• To be able to take a leave of absence when the need arises

• To accumulate money toward a satisfactory retirement

• To increase the power of your charitable giving

• To work on amazing programs with people from all over the world

The Boeing employee experience is, and will always be, a work in progress. It is up to all of us to change those things that need to be changed. I'm convinced that the more informed and involved people are, the better they can deal with all these issues.

Boeing's strategy as an employer is to provide a competitive employment package. That doesn't mean the company guarantees any employee the highest pay and every conceivable benefit or perquisite. It does mean Boeing will provide a variety of opportunities for its people to enhance their careers and lifestyles—and in many cases to follow their own interests. And, by the way, the better we run our businesses, the greater our choices are.

The degree to which you exercise these choices is largely up to you. Boeing can't force you to sit down and learn; or to save money; or to take a rotational job assignment. But the company in many cases can provide incentives for you to do so—and you'll likely be better off if you seize opportunities like these.

A great example is our philosophy of lifelong learning: It wasn't very long ago that young people could go to school, learn something, and then employ that knowledge for the rest of their careers. That simply is no longer the case. The fact that our business and its technologies are changing rapidly means that our people have to build their capabilities in those new areas, too. Otherwise, we as a company and our individual people's skills will be outdated very quickly. So Boeing offers Learning Together and other programs that help pay for our people's continuing education and provide rewards for completing degrees.

Or look at long-term saving opportunities for retirement. Boeing offers secure pension plans. But if you also put away money through a company-sponsored savings plan (most of which offer some degree of company matching) or personal savings, you'll have so much more at the end of your career.

We can take the logic in many directions. If you're going to give money to certain charities or educational institutions, it's great to have your company, through the Matching Gifts program, putting more money where you donate yours.

Do you have qualifications you're not using and want to try something new? We're now posting job opportunities throughout the whole company. But you have to sign up through the Web. We won't send you a note and say "Have you thought about this job?" unless you first ask what's available in your area of interest.

In that same vein, I recommend that you give your expectations a reality check. I have regular conversations about job rotation with participants at the Boeing Leadership Center. Some people will say, "Give me an opportunity, and I'll take it. Period." Others will say, "Give me an opportunity, but, by the way, I don't want to have to move, or I'd like my commute to be shorter, or I'd like all weekends off."

The reality is that these responsibilities are shared. People who are willing to invest in themselves—and invest their talent in the company—will create greater opportunities for themselves. Opportunity is freedom, really—the freedom to pursue your own goals.

Opportunity is woven into the fabric of this company.


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