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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What is That One Thing That will Make You Leave Your Current Job?

This is a question that encompasses the essence of all theories and concepts related to employee retention. In general, why do people join an organization and why they leave it are questions that have bothered many of us since our first job. And in particular, why we joined an organization and left it are questions that are worth exploring for us to take appropriate career decisions.

People may have many reasons to feel happy in their current job but might leave for just "that one thing" which may not be working alright. Based on my experiences here are some of the reasons that might be "that one thing" which makes people leave an organization. These are given in no particular order.
  • The job becomes a drag with no recognition, no clear growth path and a sense of frustration with the prevalent organizational structure. This might be the case when one works in a department of the organization which is seen as a necessary evil and there is lack of visible and active management support to those working in that department.
  • The job falls into rough weather and all growth opportunities are suddenly cut off. This might be the case when one works in a company that gets acquired by another organization and those working in a department are literally run down by those working in the same/similar department of the "acquirer".
  • The job doesn't fit with the current, pressing concerns of the organization. This might be the case when one works in a company (especially an SME) that looses lot of business and some of the departments are shunted out and consequently those working in such departments are shown the door. This is an example of a person leaving involuntarily.
  • The job not only doesn't carry the right designation and title but also the next role one can grow into is simply not there. This might be the case when one works in a certain sub-department of a department in a company where the sub-department is set-up to serve the "career agenda" of the person heading the department. He/she builds the sub-department to achieve some- short and medium-term career objectives and doesn't have any need of the sub-department from a long-term perspective
  • The job carries a fancy title but only in papers and the reporting structure is ill-defined. This might be the case when one works in a company where one department head reports into another department head (the one reporting into the other carries equal level of accountability for meeting the departmental objectives but doesn't have adequate authority). In addition there is a glass ceiling created by the top guy to ensure that no one becomes a part of the team of trusted lieutenants he has put around himself.
  • The job carries a title at par with another person in the department but has superior-subordinate relationship with the other person. This might be the case when one works in a company where organization's real growth is stunted but people still grow (by getting tenure-based promotions). Such a growth may not be for real other than the impression it can create when printed on the business card.

Monday, October 1, 2012

If You Want to Reach Safely on Time then Start Early

The philosophy underlying the statement "If You Want to Reach Safely on Time then Start Early" deserves a careful analysis. There is an analogy here to safe driving but the implications are much beyond.

Many people have the habit of driving fast (which might be unsafe at times) and at times rash (which is definitely unsafe at any time) to reach where they want to on time. These people will not consider starting a little early so that they reach safely on time and in good condition. It seems so ironical that despite fully realizing the value of starting early most people do otherwise.

This principle applies to many other parts of our lives. Some of them are explained briefly as under:

Driving

Many people start late and to compensate for the delay drive fast and rash assuming they will indeed be able to cover up the time deficit. They realize that this strategy doesn't work

Investment

Many people start investing late and to compensate for the delay invest heavily assuming they will indeed be able to cover up the wealth deficit. They realize that this strategy doesn't work. Those with finance background would probably know the reason also - compounding.

Examination

Many students start preparing for their examinations late and to compensate for the delay study day and night assuming they will indeed be able to cover up the knowledge deficit. They realize that this strategy doesn't work.

There are many more examples that can be cited to show why it is important that "If You Want to Reach Safely on Time then Start Early".

What is God?

Humans have relied upon science and technology as a means to answer all whys. However, there is always a "why" at the end of the series of whys for which the explanation is quite simple yet profound "that's the way nature works". This can be understood better with the following illustration.

A ball thrown upwards into the sky falls downwards and hits the earth.

Why downwards? The ball is pulled down by the action of gravity. Gravity is a force exerted by two bodies that pulls them closer, in this case earth and the ball.

Why gravity? Gravity is an inherent characteristic which depends on the mass of the two bodies and the distance between them. Why inherent characteristic? Every mass is composed of atoms which are further composed of electrons, protons, neutrons, etc. The atomic and sub-atomic particles influence the inherent characteristic.

Why influence? That's the way nature works.

Why? The last "why" is where science and technology ends and the concept of God begins. It is possible that humans have answer to another level of why but there will always be that "why" which will remain unanswered.

What then is God? Is God something that can be understood and explained? Is God a physical entity? Is God really for real? These questions have probably no definitive answers. It can however be claimed that God is a concept that transcends physical reality.

Most events that happen to us or happen around us are not controlled by us and depend upon luck or providence. God is a sum effect of all such events. God then is a concept that represents a certain power which is beyond our control. It is humbling to know that almost 100%, practically everything, of what happens to us and what happens around us is beyond our control.

Religions have taken God to a lesser level of abstraction but God being a concept that transcends physical reality cannot really be fully understood and explained through the philosophies underlying the various religions. In a certain sense it can be said that God is and should be beyond comprehension.

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