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Am I quitting too soon? How to find the next job?

By sekrit_agent ·
Hello again everyone! I would be very appreciative if you could help me figure out two things. Thanks in advance!

I want to transfer to another, more-respected division within my company. I'm in a newer, less-respected division. I'm very frustrated with my effort-to-reward ratio compared to employees in the other division who do the same work, and I wasn't aware of the discrepancy until months after I was hired. However, I am aware the grass isn't completely green on the other side!

The leadership of my division are openly hostile to other divisions transferring from "their" employee base. Of course this means employee-initiated transfers are extremely difficult to impossible, regardless of what your career aspirations are. I've got a great network of managers who are totally awesome and have pledged to support my transfer...but it'll have to wait until the policies around transfers loosen up at the end of the year and even then there's no guarantees.

I'm also trying to grow my skillset in another direction, but I'm not sure whether or not I'll be able to do that in my current position.

1. Should I stick it out where I'm at and hope for the best? Or should I stop chasing this dream completely and move on, given the reward isn't 100% golden, it's just a lot better than my current situation? I feel like a nerd in high school who goes to class with the cool kids but longs to be invited to sit with them at lunch.

2. I saw a job online for which I'm very qualified, and I'll need training (on-the-job and formal) to get from my current skillset to the skillset I want. Should I be looking for a job with the more challenging role description and try to explain away and request training upfront to fill in the gaps, or should I go ahead and apply to the job for which I'm qualified and hope the new company will allow me to cross-train?

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Effort to reward ratio?

by amcol In reply to Am I quitting too soon? H ...

First of all, you're overthinking things. It's a nice turn of a phrase but it tells me you're being too analytical.

I can't quite tell from the way you've worded things but it sounds like the situation you describe is backwards. You say you work for a less respected division (how do you know that? how is respect measured?) but your management discourages transfers from other divisions. It's usually the other way around...division heads don't want folks transferring OUT, not IN. If this is the situation, then I guess that explains the difference in respect perception.

Either way, you obviously work for a highly political organization where managers care less about corporate goals and more about protecting their little empires. (And before the inevitable flood of postings from people saying that this is the way all organizations work, not true...there are some companies where managers actually strive for the greater corporate good first.)

You're partially right about one thing...there's no guarantee policies will loosen and interdivisional transfers will be allowed. I'd be willing to bet real cash money it'll never happen, not with the organizational dynamics you allude to. Therefore, my advice is to get your resume together and move on.

To your second question, I'd say never limit yourself. You can't tell from a posting whether you're completely qualified for a job or not. Postings aren't written to be inclusive...rather, they're exclusive. Managers and HR department hope that candidates will weed themselves out by reading the 492 different skill sets required and never bother applying. That means there'll be fewer people to interview, and theoretically they'll only be the highly qualified ones (also not true.) If you have any inkling at all that you're qualified, whether or not you need more training, go for it. I can't think of anything more boring than getting a job for which you're already totally qualified...there's nothing new to learn. Why bother?

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There are reasons

by DC_GUY In reply to Effort to reward ratio?

People in IT differ from one another as much as any other type. We don't all value having "something to learn" so highly as to be able to ignore the down side of the job. There's job security, respect and even friendship of co-workers and superiors, minimal overtime, vacation and other benefits.

My current job has all of those things (except 4 weeks vacation), but the opportunity to learn something new is just not there. Yet I'm happier here than anywhere I've been in the last ten years. I'll probably stay here until retirement.

Remember Maslowe's Hierarchy. If you don't feel secure, if you don't feel that the one single place where you spend the vast majority of your waking hours is a community (perhaps even a family) with rewarding personal relationships), the "self-actualization" of being able to advance can be a mghty hollow reward.

This place proves it. There are more employees walking around this building with 20- and 25-year pins than I've ever seen in my life. We have people in their 70's who never bothered to retire because they still enjoy coming to work.

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You're walking a tightrope with no net

by amcol In reply to There are reasons

How exactly does one "ignore the down side of the job"?

Your profile says you're a consultant. Are you independent? If so, you've chosen a life that allows you to ignore corporate politics, but only to an extent.

If you're an internal consultant, employed by a company, then you ignore politics (the traditional down side of any job) at your own peril. Ignore politics, and get eaten by them.

Whichever...I'm delighted you're happy. And I hope you stay that way until you retire, and I hope you can realize your dream of retiring from your current job.

Unfortunately, what you don't realize is that you've retired already...on the job. When you stop learning you stop growing. When you stop growing you limit your ability to contribute, by definition. And if your contribution is limited, why does your company need you?

You're also misquoting (and misspelling) Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow didn't posit that the most important need was security. What he said was that all humans are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied. Self-actualization is the highest needs category but everyone has their own hierarchy of specific needs. Security may by your number certainly isn't mine.

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Re: Effort to reward ratio?

by sekrit_agent In reply to Effort to reward ratio?

Thanks for the reply.

Allow me to clarify: my division doesn't want people transferring OUT, regardless of whether the person wishing to transfer has the skills and there's a spot in the other division. This is because my division receives less pay, less benefits, less training, and fewer job prospects and therefore turnover is catastrophically high and they want to prevent hemorrhaging people any more than is necessary.

Although, when I put it like that, it seems like my mind should already be made up.

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Re: Effort to reward ratio?

by sekrit_agent In reply to Effort to reward ratio?

I had another question. If I want a job for which I don't have 100% of the skills, how do I approach the interview process (assuming they even call me back)? If my resume does not include one of the major skills they need, how do I say upfront, "I don't have that skill but I'm willing to learn if you'll train me" and still be a viable candidate for the job?

Is it a situation where I should just hope a bunch of other unqualified candidates apply too and I land at the top of the pile?

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You're overthinking again

by amcol In reply to Re: Effort to reward rati ...

And getting in your own way as a result.

No one has 100% of the skills required for any job. Hiring managers know this. We're only looking for two things...candidates who have the broadest possible skill set and a demonstrated capability to learn and grow, and people who fit in to the group dynamic.

There's an old line in HR circles, still true today...50% of the hiring decision is made on the walk from the elevator to the interviewer's office. There's nothing like a good first impression, just like anything less than a really good first impression is the kiss of hiring death.

Don't approach the interview process in the traditional way, and you won't have to worry about not getting called back. People who look for jobs in the newspaper, online, or on corporate websites are the ones who don't get called back...because they're part of the indistinguishable herd. Be creative. Call hiring managers directly. Work your network. If you don't have a network, find someone who does and work theirs.

Never, never, never say to anyone "I don't have that skill but I'm willing to learn if you'll train me". (Not unless you're TRYING to get thrown out, that is.) You HAVE all the skills. You CAN do the job. You ARE the right candidate. Your immediate task is to get hiring managers to see that.

Suppose you were one of 25 candidates for a position, and you got the job because you were the least unqualified. How good would you feel about yourself in the morning?

It's all about confidence. If you don't have any, find some. Or act as if.

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