Sunday, 25 September 2016

…Just a little insight won’t make things right

When in 2014 I resolved to leave the Employer, the main motive behind it was the decision was my strong conviction the Employer was going nowhere. The Employer was winding down, losing clients, laying off people, giving sparse opportunities to develop. The transfer to the New Factory was a breakthrough in many respects and despite some downsides, I am still of the opinion taking up the current job was the right move made in the right moment. Compared to standards of rewarding staff by the Employer, the New Factory still comes out absolutely superior, yet some cracks have begun to appear on the immaculate picture…

July 2015
Before I receive Level III results, I kindly ask the New Factory whether the employer would pay my annual membership fees on my behalf or refund them (the cost is USD 350 per year). An HR chick replies to my e-mail briefly: The Charter is not essential to perform your job. The content of the response is a fact. Two other facts are that I had decided to earn the Charter off my own bat and for myself and that the New Factory was under no obligation to cover the annual dues. Yet had the response been formulated differently, e.g. As a matter of principle the New Factory does not participate in costs of maintaining certifications by its employees. Nevertheless we recognise and appreciate your effort to earn the Charter, I would not have remembered it as the most painful slap in the face since joining the New Factory.

December 2015
Chicks from the HR Department organise a meeting to present a new personnel development and remuneration model. The very attempt to foster development of most talented staff is commendable, but opaqueness of the concept makes it fishy. Time has proved the fishiness true – the model is like Loch Ness Monster – everyone has heard of it, no one has seen it!

July 2016
A fellow junior analyst from another team all of a sudden invites me for a lunch. Unsurprisingly, not disinterestedly. He wants to take my advice whether to take up a job with the New Factory’s state-controlled competitor. The junior is of my age, has worked at the New Factory for five years and though his competencies have not been inferior, his chances for promotion to analyst position have been close to zero. Besides, as part of skurwienie, he has been harassed by his boss. Folks around have never seen him as happy as during his notice period; as happy as a man who breaks away from a torment.

Last Thursday he brought his farewell cake. I wished him well, though I would not follow his path. A state-controlled company is not a workplace I would fancy.

After two years with the New Factory I have made a name for myself. Judging by how my workmates and bosses treat me I infer my name is a recognisable brand in the organisation. I am flying high, my tide is rising. Time to reach out for benefits. If I am offering a lot to the New Factory, I can expect something in return. I submit application for two positions, one in another big city in Poland where the New Factory also has part of its head office, one in another European capital where the parent company of the New Factory is seated. Relocation plans (don’t know whether for a few months, a few years or forever) put my flat purchase plans on hold…

August 2016
In the middle of the holiday season some top dogs decide to pursue a new split of customers between business segments with almost immediate effect. The reshuffle involves also various transfers of account managers. The embittered account managers whose long-lasting relationships with clients will be shattered communicated the ill tidings to customers. Many of them threaten to quit, yet the protest does not convince top executives to abandon their plan.

I cannot believe this is happening. Such ridiculous moves could have been done by the Employer, but the New Factory for years has truly fostered its relationships with clients.

Early September 2016
My plans of relocating within the organisations all go down the drain. Besides, my boss shows my the e-mail in which a director from the HR Department remonstrates him over allowing me to submit those applications. He adds had he been an obedient corpo-swine I would have got it in the neck too. Oddly enough then I did not construe the course of events so far as a serious warning sign.

21 September 2016
The HR Department and Senior Managers organise a workshop with selected employees on career paths (I do not attend it, but it soon becomes a hot topic across the office). The workshop turns into veritable cut and thrust during which managers openly tell their employees they do not deserve to get anything more from the organisation and they should forget about prospects of promotions or pay rises. At the end a guy from the HR Department speaks it out: if you want to develop, look for opportunities outside the New Factory.

My comment: if a host shows you the door, for the sake of your well-being leave his place. Of course, changing a job wisely is a matter of careful lookout and take several months.

Currently I am not going to make any abrupt moves. This year has been good in terms of meeting targets, therefore I must not miss my bonus for 2016 I will be eligible for in late 1Q2017. Once the money is transferred to my bank account. Before this happens, around Christmas 2016, after my annual assessment is approved, I am going to talk to my boss what my chances of being promoted to senior analyst and getting a pay rise are and justify him why I believe I deserve it (I have been compiling a list of arguments for a few weeks now). Implications of that conversation will set the path I will take in 2017.

Sometimes during job interview recruiters ask candidates where they see themselves in five years (what their job description would be, what position they would hold, what competencies they would improve, etc.). I feel this question is totally irrelevant to me. I believe no matter what I do, how hard and diligently I work, how few mistakes I make, how much I stand out among peers, in five years I am doomed to hold the same position and earn the same salary. Unless I find a job with another company…

I am emotional now, I realise. I need to cool down and think things over. I had to spew out the most bitter emotions that have accumulated inside me recently. In the coming weeks I will soldier on, as in the short-term changing nothing will only benefit me. In the long-term the best choice is to take the path that will least harm me (at best).

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