Friday, 28 July 2017

When is your time up?

Unless you have been working for a long time for a company, you would probably not understand this.  In these days of constant corporate restructuring, when you start reading announcements about long serving employees departing, you often wonder when your turn would come.  Such is my predicament. Do I wait for the tap on the shoulder to indicate that my time is up or do I be brave enough and walk out the door myself instead?  I can’t help but recollect the times I worked together with people who have recently left the company (mostly not by choice).

My advice to those who just join the workforce is to not think that you can work for one company for the rest of your life. Instead, spend the first couple of years making sure that you benefit from your experience at the company that you work for.  And don’t hesitate to hop to another job when the opportunity arises, especially when you know that you are constantly being passed over from a promotion that you deserved or when you do not get along with your supervisor.

At the end of the day, it is always about business, and also whom you know (or suck up to) in the leadership chain. This is why it is important to plan for your financial future early enough in your career so that you are always in control, and not be controlled. Beef up the emergency cash fund in the event that you are out of a job.  Think about what else you can do with your skills. What if you are the sole breadwinner and your spouse and children are dependent on you for financial support. I don’t have the answer. Based on my experience, we always fear for the worse, and the reality is not even remotely close to being what you initially thought.

I am lucky enough to escape the multiple corporate restructurings, but my fellow colleagues who did not escape the chop always ended up doing better in their next endeavor.  Most companies are fairly generous with the severance packages, and most people who found jobs later use their severance packages to pay down the mortgage on their homes. 

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