“Short cuts make long delays.”

“Short cuts make long delays.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


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During the time of our parents, it was very common to stay in one Company for 25 years or more. You might say that it’s a very long time! However, during their time, it was the ‘normal’.

These days, though, younger employees generally stay for a period of 2 years, give or take. Now, I do not see anything entirely wrong with this. However, sometimes I think about it’s impact on development.

Do we spend enough time to go through the learning process? Are we able to contribute and make a difference? What do you think?

Here are common themes that I have heard through my years as an HR Partner. If you are one of them or if you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please do share this article.

Moving Too Soon For Better Pay ALONE

I have interviewed so many, who, after 15 years of working is still in the entry level post. Now, some people like it that way, and that is absolutely fine. To each his own as they say. However, for others, they want to keep moving up in pay scale without evolving in role and responsibilities.

Take for example the case of Jenny (not her real name). She moved 10 different Companies in 15 years. For each Company, she was an Associate, an entry level post. Each movement corresponded to an increase in her salary, which can be as little as 5% to as high as 45%. Her compensation package, by now is certainly higher than her peers (fellow Associates), and have already entered the pay range for higher levels. Her past 5 Companies were all start-up Companies, all of them eagerly hired her with a very lucrative package. She was seen as, and in fact, an expert in the field, but that’s that. No leadership potential, no innovative contributions, no desire to teach others, nothing extra, only that she knows what she’s doing and she knows it very well. Now, she was redundated from her past 3 Companies. AND she’s having a hard time finding her next job, for reasons I have outlined plus she’s asking for 30% increase while clearly not interested in any additional responsibility.

The Lesson: Always remember to learn something that will help you grow from any Company or people you work with. Develop yourself, reach out, request for coaching or mentoring, ask questions, move laterally. Who knows, a promotion might even be in the horizon!

Leaving the Company for the Emotional (and Possibly Wrong) Reasons

Well this one is tricky. I mean, what are the truly right reasons, afterall?

However, in this article, I have two examples, which I consider to be the wrong reasons –

  1. Leaving because of a proper reprimand. A mistake was made. Lapse in judgement. Well, tomorrow is another day, redeem yourself! This won’t happen when you leave. Allow them to see the you beneath all the imperfections and the occasional mistakes.. Here’s a tip – project to 10 years from today. Would this reprimand matter? Chance is, you’d laugh at yourself. But, you know what would matter? It is how you reacted to it and the decision that you made in response that would.
  2. Leaving because “I don’t like my assignment” without even trying. Well, there are many things you will be asked to do at work, things that you may or may not like but, here’s my thing… have you tried it? If not yet, why not give it a shot and who knows you might even be an expert at it. Why not give it a shot and perhaps you can even influence that change that you needed to see in order for you to like it. My father always said, “How can you say you don’t like it when you haven’t even tried?”

“How can you say you don’t like it when you haven’t even tried?”

– Emiliano Bautista, my father 🙂

In one of my past assignments, I was tasked to monitor tickets and ensure they were closed within a 12-hour period. At that time the team was running at 48 hours. This was really bad and who wants to monitor tickets and keep reminding people to close them?! That was very manual and also very tiring. I did not like this assignment for these reasons. And also for this reason I came up with a solution along with the team – 1. gave everyone access to ticket status and 2. made it very visible to all such that everyone knows when a ticket is at the verge of aging (a huge LCD display in the midst of our bay). Proudly, this brought us down to 8 hours. Well within the 12 hour SLA. Now, I started liking it because it became easier and rewarding.

You, too, can have these moments! Please do share when you do. 🙂

Lesson: Before you leave any Company, or anything (or anyone) for that matter, see to it you’ve accomplished your job there and left a positive mark.

Being Too Eager and Feeling Too Entitled

I interviewed a very interesting lady recently. She’s been working for 5 years. She’s very good, in fact, she got promoted twice in this Company within the 5-year period. Now, she was eyeing another promotion, and this time to a Managerial level. However, the only open post for a Manager was given to external and more experienced candidate. She felt slighted and left the Company.

My dears, Managerial positions need maturity in the role, maturity in leading other people and the right set of experiences to succeed. Sometimes getting a promotion too soon leads to more problems and surely, you do not want this.

Lesson: Know that (MAJORITY of the time, but NOT ALWAYS) your leaders would always set you up for success and if you are not yet ready, they won’t put you forward. Take the time to learn and to go through experiences that teaches you life and leadership lessons. Take the time to prepare yourself. When you are ready, you will be sought after. Look at the bigger picture, too, with a sense of humility. There may be people who are more experienced and better in certain aspects than you. When they get the position you were eyeing, take it as an opportunity to learn from them, rather than to leave.

Do you believe that “shortcuts make long delays”? Let us know in the comments. 🙂

Featured image by jcomp at freepik.com

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About Emile Therese

Emile Therese is a graduate of the University of Philippines in Diliman with a degree in Psychology. She is happily married. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with one amazing daughter (and hopefully at least one more child). She believes that values and character ought to be taught as early as possible and that these are key to community and nation building. This was also how she and her siblings were brought up by their two awesome parents! She is a Certified HR Professional who advocates employee engagement in its entirety. Emile believes that true employee engagement rests on the pillars of basic human needs and in ensuring that process and leadership basics are in place - the employee engagement imperatives. She hopes to contribute to making this world a better place for all of us now and the next generation. She loves sipping tea, conversations, reading and writing. The latter gave birth to two blogs - Purposeful Parenting Journey (purposefulparentingjourney.com) and Engagement Imperative (engagementimperative.com).

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