Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Considering my options

Recently, I have been thinking about my career and where it is heading.

Having reached an age where I am obviously no longer considered "young" (of course, this is relative), I am having to consider what I would want to be doing for the rest of my working life. With the current practice of job-hopping (with the associated pay jump each time! )so prevalent, especially amongst the younger entrants to the working society here, it does seems that those who remain at a particular company for any extended period of time - this could range from anything more than 2 years, it appears - are being foolish by simply not making the best of the available opportunities out there.

Take for instance ,this "case study". This guys switches jobs every other year (ie. not staying in the same company for more than 1-2 years each time), and every time he does so, he asks for a 10-15% increment in his basic salary. Thus, with a short span of 5 years, he could possible have switched to 3 different companies, and his pay would have increased by more than 50%, excluding the increments he gets WITHIN each company during that period.
(With the annual increments thrown in, he could be looking at a 60-70% increase from his starting pay 5 years back.)

Another guy who stays on with the same company over the same 5 year period who have to get an average annual increment of 9% (!!!!!) on EACH year to match that 50% increase.

Tell me a company that gives 9% increment on a regular basis, and I'll be the first to jump ship. Honestly, that is quite unlikely (or impossible), unless you happen to belong to a group of privileged aliens whose job titles sound something like C-"something"-O.

Salary aside, let's consider if there're other reasons for one to be "loyal" to his/her company....

There scarcely seemed any these days. Like it or not, any profit-based organisation out there is as likely to retrench a long-time employee who's reached a...ahem.. shall we say, less-than-young age group, as compared to a younger newly joined member of the company. In fact, in many cases of restructuring, it seemed that those who have been with the company for more than 10 years are MORE at risk, possibly because these middle management folks are drawing much higher salaries compared to their younger counterparts. Com'on - employers are not stupid. If they're gonna cut costs, might as well hit where it matters right?

So much for the so-called "loyalty" to the company then. Apparently, this virtue in the good-o-days are worth even less than the metal they use to manufacture the plaques for long service awards (hey, metals prices has risen sharply these days okie..)

In many cases that I know of, it is NOT the monetary value, but instead the HUMAN element which serves as an influencing factor on whether the employee choses to jump ship or not. The human factor includes such things as:

1) company culture wrt the working relationships and politics in the office
2) sense of belonging and acceptance amongst colleagues
3) family-friendly company guidelines

Coming back to my personal situation, this is precisely what I am weighing these days - whether it is worth giving up a job at a workplace where I am comfortable at, with nice colleagues and an understanding manager, and which allows me time to spend with my family (esp. my little baby Kai kai); in order to take a plunge into the unknown, in search for possibly better renumeration and (almost definitely) better career prospects. The downside being, the new job may require longer hours and involve overseas travel, all of which would serve to deprive me of precious time I could have spend watching my son grow each day...

Gosh.. it's a tough call..


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Money is never enuff.

Moderate the expectations and you will be as rich too.


1:11 PM  
Blogger 北海道的大黑熊 said...

true... but i guess one's lifestyle is also influenced to a large extent by who he socialise with.

For instance, if you frens wants to go to a posh place for a meal, or invites you to a high-class reception kinda stuff, you will end up spending more and then $$$ will really seem not enuff! :P

Hey, the $8mil TOTO is coming up rite.... *heheh*

8:55 AM  

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