Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's a Matter of Time

Finally back to some normalcy. Here are my long overdue thoughts of the past several years of struggle and success.

Much has occurred over my tenure in corporate business that makes me look back with a perspective of illumination. I am at my 4th company and . realize, whether through fate or prayers, I have found myself. A lot has happened, as you can tell from my previous writings, that makes me realize there is good management and peers and there is complacent management and peers.

It seems that in my 1st decade of business I had found individuals willing to provide guidance and support in my personal and group/team success. The following years left gaps of lack of confidence, no personal commitment of peers for the success of the whole, willingness to sacrifice and most importantly poor management/team mentoring. There is no blame here and if anything, my error for ignoring the signs.

I have come to a point in my life that success and salary (award) don't always coincide. In fact, the interesting part to this story occurs on the day I was interviewed for my current position.
Following the interview, the interviewer made a salary offer. I said I would think about it and left. On my way home, I telephoned my wife, as I wasn't exactly sure but was confident the new job was more of a lateral opportunity and salary was not the important goal to accepting the job. I wanted to make sure I wasn't stepping backwards from where I was leaving, which wasn't saying much. I asked my wife could she look at my last pay stub and let me know my annual salary. She told me and I told her the offer. It was, as we both thought, a lateral move in salary but a role I felt brought value-add to not only company but myself. By that evening, after discussing further with my wife, I accepted the job offer.

Well, weeks went by and my first check arrived. It was an auto-deposit. Marie had been reviewing the bank account when she telephoned me. She said, " Do you remember when I looked up your salary for the interview offer?". I replied, "Yes." She said, "I am so sorry but, I inadvertently selected an earlier check stub before you got a good raise and you are making several thousand less now. Will that bother you?". I'll tell you my answer in a moment as herein is the reason I write.

I had been at the new company less than a month and knew within a week this was like no other organization or management I had ever experienced. Teamwork; I mean honest to goodness teamwork. Not one mention of "It's not my job". Some absolutes but with offerings of what can I do to help, acknowledgments of work well done and discussions of activities bringing value-add to the department. Where there was doubt or proof of no value-add, the activity was dropped like a hot potato. I was coming home from work with a smile and a disposition I had not felt in years. Although, I would like to have a 9-5 job, the earlier hours didn't cause any further distress. I was happy, as the people I worked with were happy.

So I replied to my wife, "If it doesn't significantly impact our financial stability immediately and there is, I am sure, a chance to recover lost salary within 18 month, than no, less pay doesn't bother me".

People and attitudes are everything.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baby-Boomers: America's New Unemployable

This is a recap many of you should check out regarding CBS Sunday Morning report on the jobless, in particular, how the Baby-boomers have been affected.

My letter to CBS Sunday Morning-


Thank you. There was no doubt discrimination was playing a very large role in this shameful economic situation. Finally, Sunday Morning's all too brief vignette of the jobless tragedy occurring within my generation of Baby-boomers was long overdue. I too was in the category of the unemployed but was lucky enough that a previous customer ended up hiring me at entry level salary, grateful for the opportunity to work again after being unemployed for almost 12 months having held a position at a medium size company for 36 years before being laid-off.

It was scary. I had submitted over 481 resumes to open positions, with only 3 interviews before I was blessed with my current opportunity. My wife and I knew the dates used within my resumes were the cause and effect of any consideration. Unfortunately, recruiters and HR personnel seem to be the ones contributing to the discrimination. There was a moment during the job search process that my wife and I wanted to get a lawyer for a class action suit of age-discrimination but knew it was fruitless.

I do understand that "value-add" is the bottom line consideration for any hiring organization but, also understand that many of the unemployed Baby-boomers can walk in the door of most companies and provide this kind of contribution immediately, where many college graduates (little or no previous working history) would stumble for longer periods before any recognized value.

Thank you for opening the eyes of many to this horrific hiring practice on the part of many companies and hiring firms.

You (CBS) need to re-run this Sunday Morning piece again very soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What do you want from the job?

The most popular question posed for working and non-working.

As members of the human race we should look beyond our own personal needs/wants. This is a time of selfless giving and if possible providing to those you have not. I know there are many who have been out of work for significant amount of time and struggling just to have some form of dignity. But, if the question is posed as a personal question, then here is what I want:

I want a job where I can share and contribute with other peers and enjoy the camaraderie of achieving the same goal: the success of the company/department vision. Having been one of the few lucky ones to land a job after losing one of 36 years, I have witnessed several employees work in fear and stress of others within the company. I provide internal customer support/service to about 130 people at a specific office. I spend about an average of 3 hours a day in traffic to end up like several who walk in fear because of a few individuals. I treat my peers the way I would like to be treated. You'd think this is a shared perspective but I have observed that if I treated my peers the way that some within the company do, I would be disrespected. Yes, of course there will be times of some discontent and the receiving person will not be pleased with the support or solution provided. It’s the attitude of superiority, with warden like behavior, as opposed to one of fellowship and cooperation that can ultimately doom any organization. It's easy to tear down someone but much harder to help build them.

What do you want from the job? Cooperation, sharing and mentoring: the ultimate success to any company/team environment is how it is built and maintained.