Move from one job to another – but only for the right reasons.
It’s yet another day at office. As I logged on to the marketing and advertising sites for the latest updates, as usual, I found the headlines dominated by "who’s moving from one company to another after a short stint", and I wondered, "why are so many people leaving one job for another? Is it passe now to work with just one company for a sufficiently long period”?
Whenever I ask this question to people who leave a company, the answers I get are "Oh, I am getting a 200% hike in salary"; "Well, I am jumping three levels in my designation"; "Well, they are going to send me abroad in six months". Then, I look around at all the people who are considered successful today and who have reached the top – be it a media agency, an advertising agency or a company. I find that most of these people are the ones who have stuck to the company, ground their heels and worked their way to the top.
And, as I look around for people who changed their jobs constantly, I find they have stagnated at some level, in obscurity! In this absolutely ruthless, dynamic and competitive environment, there are still no short cuts to success or to making money. The only thing that continues to pay, as earlier, is Loyalty and Hard work. Yes, it pays! Sometimes – immediately, sometimes – after a lot of time. But, it does pay.
Does this mean that one should stick to an organisation and wait for that golden moment? Of course not. After a long stint, there always comes a time for moving, in most organisations. But, it is important to move for the right reasons – rather than superficial ones, like money, designation or an overseas trip.
Remember, no company recruits for charity.
More often than not, when you are offered an unseemly hike in salary or designation that is disproportionate to what that company offers its current employees, there is always unseen bait attached. The result? You will, in the long-term, have reached exactly the same levels or maybe lower levels, than what you would have in your current company.
A lot of people leave an organisation because they are "unhappy". What is this so-called-unhappiness? I have been working for donkey’s years, and there has neverbeen a day when I am not unhappy about something in my work – environment, boss, rude colleague, fussy clients, etc. Unhappiness in a workplace, to a large extent, is transient.
If you look hard enough, there is always something to be unhappy about. But, more importantly, do I come to work to be "happy" in the truest sense? If I think hard, the answer is "No".
Happiness is something you find with family, friends, may be a close circle of colleagues who have become friends. What you come to work for is to earn, build a reputation, satisfy your ambitions, be appreciated for your work ethics, face challenges and get the job done. So, the next time you are tempted to move, ask yourself "why are you moving" and "what are you moving into”?
Some questions are
- Am I ready and capable of handling the new responsibility? If yes, what could be the possible reasons my current company has not offered me the same responsibility
- Who are the people who currently handle this responsibility in the current and the new company? Am I as good as the best among them?
- As the new job offer has a different profile, why have I not given the current company the option to offer me this profile
- Why is the new company offering me the job? Do they want me for my skills, or is there an ulterior motive?
An honest answer to these will eventually decide where you go in your career – either to the top of the pile, in the long-term (at the cost of short-term blips), or to become another average employee who gets lost with time in the wilderness?
Dr. Gopalkrishnan Chairman – TATA Sons.