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The last time I move to another company is because of a rejected promotion. And this time, it is because of another priority comes in my personal life. In fact, I’m moving back to the company that rejected my promotion.

For me, moving to another company or job is never been easy. There are a lot of uncertainty of what you are going to do. And there will be awkward transition period. First when you are going to say goodbye to everyone, to co-worker, and to clients. Then there will be another awkward period of adjusting in the new company, learning their new culture, business process, getting to know more people, and new clients. And finally, the possibility of going back to the same clients that you just said your farewell!

So, the trouble of moving to another company, and the fact that I’m back to a company that was rejecting my promotion? What priority that is so damn important that make me took the decision? The answer, well, you might have guess it: My family. To be specific: My son.

A lot of things happen in the last 6 months prior to my decision. First, Grace has finally started her own food business. Taking care of a business took a lot of time, reducing the time for her to be at home with our son. Adding to that, our son has started to go to school in August 2014. It was only 3 times a week, but starting August 2015, he will go to school every day. Someone need to make sure he go to bed before 10, and wake up in the morning, and prep him to school.

There are times when our son was only picked up at 10pm by Grace, when he is supposed to be sleeping before 10. Then, he will only sleep at 11pm, and has difficulty to wake up the next day. On other instance, Grace need to have a business meeting on Saturday, while I also need to be in the office. Our son ended up being in someone else’s custody on the weekend, in addition to the weekdays.

Well, someone has to let go. I support Grace’s business, as it has been our dream to start our own business ever since we got married close to 5 years ago. So, I relent, and swallow the bitter pill. I submit my resignation to move to my former company two months ago. My former company is closer to home, making commuting easier. It also has better working hours, and very seldom needing weekend work.

In this reflection, I also think how true the old saying is: Don’t burn the bridge. As much as I hate when my promotion was rejected, I never badmouth about the company, or the person who rejected my promotion. Well, at least never in the public, or in social media. Yes, I was so much inclined to post something in Facebook about the person and the company. But fortunately, common sense come before I did something stupid. Badmouthing in the social media won’t do anything good to me, except a short term ego satisfaction and probably some publicity. Besides, when I think about it, that company is still a good company. And a one person act doesn’t make the whole company a bad one.

And having said that, I still intend to return to my current company, once things got more manageable at home. Once my wife able to have more free time, or when our son has grow to be more independent. Until then, I think I will need to put my career in the slow lane.

Imagine yourself as a doctor. A patient come to you for advise, whether he can run and finish a Marathon. He happens to be your long term patient.

After you examine him, you told him that he shouldn’t run a Marathon because of weak knee.

He decided to run the Marathon anyway. After finishing the 42.195 km, he come back to your office, limping with knee that hurting like hell.

What will you do?

  1. Tell him: “I told you so”, then refuse to offer any further advise since he is ignoring you at the first place
  2. Tell him: “Let me see what can I do to fix your knee” and start examining him, offering the best possible course of action to fix the damage that already being done

Which one will win you more business? And make more lasting relationship that is more beneficial to you?

 

In 6 days, I will be starting a new job. Some people, friends from my previous company, said that it was an emotional decision, that I should give it a second thought before decide to quit. I wasn’t sure my self back then. I did have an indecisive moment for a couple of weeks. It only now, almost two months after I made the decision, I can tell for sure that it wasn’t an emotional decision. What I made is simply listening and following my heart, and trust that all will be fine.

In January, I was asked to work on a project that I wasn’t feel to take. So strong the feeling that I once considered to submit my resignation letter that day. It was a project that I was working 5 years ago, with the same customer. Doing it now all over again would be like throwing my career 5 years back, something that I really can’t take in any rightful thought.

Not long after that, I got a job offer from another company. It was incidental. The HR of this company called me, asking if i would be interested to join them, without even asking for my CV. I said “Why not?” so I started the interview process and got an offer. This company is bigger, and doing more kind of business. It would be a place people will proud to work at, and I was offered promotions with better benefits. All is perfect, except for one thing: the office is much further from my home. This means that i will spend more significant amount of time to commute. And this company is notorious for long working hour. All of this means that I will have less time with my family.

I was torn between spending more time with my family, or to get out of the project. I talked to my manager about the project, to which he replied that my assignment will only be temporary. Something tells me that it might not be true, that I will be stuck in the project unless I quit. To stay in this company will means that I woke up in the morning for months to come, asking myself why I’m doing all this. The only purpose is to earn a living, to put food on the table. I have no purpose on doing the project. I might even regret myself not to try another chance at another company.

If I decide to stay, the project will slowly kill my soul by draining my energy. And without any passion and purpose to recharge, it will happen in no time. I feel it once already. I will have more time with my family, but without any soul, without energy left for my family. It will be time without quality. At that moment, I know what is right, and submit my resignation letter.

During my 2 weeks break, it become clearer that my decision to leave is right. I was told a lot of escalation to get my friend, a singaporean, to stay in the project. The same thing will happen to me if I decided to stay. They face some challenge with my friend, because he is a foreigner, and our Singapore office want him back. But if I stay, they will have no problem putting me back in the project.

Somehow the heart has already know. It can see the invisible, hear the right message among the noise. For example, two days before I submitted my resignation letter, I asked my boss about my future career in this company. He told me a lot of things, overseas assignment, another project, and so on. It sounds promising, but something inside my heart says that it is all wrong. It is only today that I can tell what is wrong. It was all text book answer, the kind that you can find in manager for dummies book if they really sell it. And the heart knew it already back then.

Do listen to your heart, and most of the time, it is correct. It knows already, seeing and hearing the fact far before the brain can process.

On 15 of March 2012, I submitted my resignation letter, officially ending my 3 years tenure with this company. It was as a result of series of event that happens in such perfect timing. Let me start with my expectation towards my manager.

Moving to my current company as an experienced person, I only have 2 expectation from my manager. And none of this relates to money. First, I want to be measured by result . I believe that each individual has their own way to do things, and as long as it didn’t contradict the code of conduct, I should be free to do they way I want it to be done.

Second thing, I want to do the work for a reason. I am not applying for militaristic way of working, in which you have to do things because somebody told you so, no question asked, no negotiation. I’m upholding this 2 principles and get along quite well in the last 3 years, until ealier in 2012.

I was asked to work on a project that I has done before. Doing this project is basically throwing me 5 years back in my profesional career. While initially I object and ready to quit the job, I came to my sense, and instead, emphasize on my experience to get job level adjustment. I push my way to the director of this company, only to get him violating my principle. And worse, he simply refuse to even review my level, simply because I haven’t prove to this company that I can do better. In other words, he nullify my previous 8 years experience.

At the lowest point, I got a call from another company, offering a position. I got several job offer few months back, which I turn down simply because I’m quite comfortable working at this company. The job is not perfect, but bearable up to this point. But when someone throw you 5 years back, and another open a door to move forward, the choice is very clear.

The interview process takes not too long. From my first interview until they make an offer took 1.5 months, and another 2 weeks of negotiation until we got an agreement. Time that is to short for the director to realize his mistake.

And when I submitted my resignation letter, it is already too late. I turn down his offer, which might be good enough before I make my decision. But when I make a decision, there will be no turnig back. On 30 April 2012, I will officially ending my career here to start at a new place

New office, new co-workers, new vendors, and also more excuse, lame one. All of them made my thought wander while driving in a rainy night: What lame excuse that sure makes you lose your job… or customer?

  1. I’m new, and boss haven’t update me about the project. Situation: new project lead from partner company use the excuse several time. Whether your boss update you or not, it is none of my business, as cutomer. Fortunately he is an old time friend……
  2. I’m not paid enough to do this. The boss from other department jokingly tell what happen if his subordinate use the excuse. I have to concur with the options he would offer: “You want to pack up now, or tomorrow?” Translation: You’re Fired!
  3. I haven’t trained with this new product. Those who is trained and CAN do the job, it is expected. Those who is trained but CAN’T do the job, he is dumb. Those who isn’t trained but CAN do the job, that is extraordinary. And extraordinary people is rewarded. Which one you want to be?

I never thought that it would be so weird.

This morning, I’m attending product update presentation from my previous 8+ company. It is a familiar slides, familiar templates, but now I’m sitting at the other side of the table.

Then I notice something: the face of the presenter. It is a burnt out face that I saw, maybe from work load, or could be that it is just his face, which I hope so.

It is a good session though, although I wish they’ve done better coordination with local subsidiary.

Last week I end 8+ years employment with a company

Why?

People seems did not expect that, someone who has worked for a company for so long to quit and move to another company, so that’s the question I’ve get since I tender my resignation.

One must quit his/her job when work was more than burden than something you do with all your heart. When you drag your body in the morning to take a bath, feels that you will face the same day same problem all over again, I think it is time to move on.

Why can it be like that?

I remember how excited I was when I join the company 8 years ago. They are innovator! The guiding priciple is clearly carved in the heart of organization and employee. Calculated risk taking is accepted, and everyone in the organization take calculated risk, from the director up to the staff.

Then come the dot com crisis, but the behavior holds. However shareholder seems not that happy, so they change the CEO to the cost consious one, who can’t think of anything else than cost cutting. Some make sense, some is ridiculous. A man can only reduce his food for so much, mo matter how fat he is, before his body function start failing. So does a company. No more innovation, tighter procedure, no more risk taking, accountability soon dissapear, all in the name of cost cutting.

So, is it all that made me move?

When I spend my time to comply with business procedure than meeting customer to generate project, when the excuse “I have too many job”, or “This is the procedure, can’t do anything” became common, and after doing all the non-value-added task, you only get a average reward, I move on.

And no, I’m not looking for monetary reward. I just expect a fair performance rating…..