Thursday, October 04, 2007

Career: Move Up or Move Out

The news is out. My friend got his well-deserved promotion. I’m happy for him.

But is he happy? Twice he voiced out his intention to resign citing health problems and other work related stress. Many times he confided to me his rift with some of the executives and his frustrations with management. Many times we plotted our exit and our possible job adventures abroad. But he was hesitant to leave behind his wife and three kids, even for a year or two just to work abroad.

We were classmates back in college. We belonged to the same circle of friends and graduated on the same batch. He was one of our bets to top the board that year but he got sick months prior to the test. He took the board six months later. I lured him to join me at one of the top accounting firms in the country. When I got out and joined another company, I also invited him to join us in one of our affiliates.

Years flew so fast. We’ve been here for almost six years now. In a job like ours, there were happy and unhappy moments. You couldn’t just watch numbers everyday. You also feel down when black turns red, or when you question yourself when someone at sales puts the blame on accounting. Like they thought we invent figures. Or when some budgets are scrapped or when a benefit diminished because of organizational changes.

One day my friend submitted his resume to the firm we used to work for. But he turned down a managerial job offer because he was persuaded to suffer a little longer. Just last month, he unluckily missed an email coming from a “big four” partner informing him of a telephone interview for a possible work abroad. I saw the sad expression on his face. He said he was tired. I told him to quit. But he said he wasn’t ready because the timing was quite off. Quitting is not in my friend’s vocabulary. And I wasn’t really serious about him quitting that soon.

When I asked him a few weeks ago (before the official announcement) if he was happy or not, he simply replied that the promotion was some sort of a relief. Happiness, for him, is dependent of many factors. He still have to see till the year ends. But he’s grateful to our mentors for the opportunity.

What about me? When do I move up? On my part, to move up meant that I must relocate to the battlefront. That will be in Manila. I’ve seen executives come and go. Perhaps the safest position is in the middle of the hierarchy. Or when do I move out? That is another option that I have contemplated these past few months. I think I’ve waited long enough already. I might change career and start writing books for children.


carey said...

It really depends on your priorities - where your happiness lies. For me, moving up doesn't always mean a better quality of life esp. when relationships suffer in exchange for career advancement. but if you can move up and have a better family life at the same time, that would be great. just like my big sis who moved to finland w/ hubby and kids, i am happy that they are finally together as a family after many years with her hubby being assigned to other countries.

Writing books for children? That's an interesting career, now we're looking forward to reading Lazarus' the storyteller weave his stories for kids.

Francesca said...

added is additional stress too.
I dont say to promotions, but would ask the Boss, if the executives will not take may skin off(meaning work me till I drop).

Sometimes its all very nice.
But, is it worth it salary wise and freedom from work?
We work to live, not live to work and work and work...