Sunday, June 29, 2008

They say first level of Maslow's hierarchy, I say the last!!

I have my mid term review today with my boss & the big boss. I am going to be asked questions like – What are your long term objectives? How long do you wish to be in this country? What are your career aspirations – which country from here , which division , which role etc ? Where do you see yourself after 2, 5 and 10 years?

And the problem is that I don’t know. Yes I dont. And I am ok with that.

I never claimed to be career oriented, or ambitious. And I have reached here by natural progression – without proactively doing anything about it. I am good at what I do. But that’s about it! I work because I cant sit idle. I don’t see the motivation to go places in my career. Heading a unit doesn’t motivate me. Maybe I am weird. Or maybe just that I am in the wrong profession. I don’t know.

I like being honest. But I am aware of the fact that if someone mentioned this in their review, probably the management would think of that person as someone lacking drive hence label that person as a non performer. I don’t want them to think like that. For the simple reason that its not true. I am at the same place in this point in time as many of my other peers who were proactive all along in their efforts to reach this position. So like I said my performance has ensured my natural progression. And I am content to be in this place at this without having a future plan. Not because this place in my career is the end that i had envisioned, but for the simple reason that i am a person who doesn't need too much to feel content. I do not rely on having an ambition (career wise) to feel happy & alive.

Maybe I am in that phase of my life where something else is of a higher importance to me than career (Although I doubt if career would ever become my top priority …but that remains to be seen!). And that something else is - ensuring companionship for myself. Yes companionship..more so, for my old age. As of right now I don’t have any complaints about being single. I don’t mind being single, infact enjoy the me-time.

Coming back to my review… what is the best way I can get these guys to figure out that my not gunning for any bigger role or country of strategic importance doesn’t automatically imply that I have lost all interest in my work? That my being content in this place & not having a 10 year plan doesn't mean that I am anti-progression & surprisingly when the progress is for my OWN self. Now being the management, they should be equipped to see things clearly. BUT do they really have the time, more importantly, the willingness to play psychoanalyst for just another employee, revenue generating alright, but just another employee. I don’t think so.

Anyway …enough of whining. Let me go to that damn meeting now. After all I have to negotiate my increment in this meeting. I like the idea of more money.

And No, I don’t wear glasses for my myopia.


Sue said...

nice post. applies to me as well. almost ditto.

Just be vague about your career aspirations. Confuse them if you can't convince them. Use big words and look at the cieling convincingly when you speak. Works for me sometimes. :)

Paradox Phillic said...

@Sue - It could have probably worked if i was as young as you. Now, not so much :(

Anyway i survived!!

Sane Insane said...

I can probably understand your predicament.

In my last role as a CEO, i was summoned by my Board for the annual review. Among others, i was asked a similar question as where do i see myself and the Org in the next 3 years. To be honest, I had no idea!

So i told my board instead, that in 3 years, I will sitting in the chair heading the board, and will devise new ways of reviewing director's performances annually, and will also be holding important shares in the company. Well the Chairman laughed and others were silent.

the directors took their revenge by turning down my next 6 proposals for expansion.

So how did it go paradox for you today?

Paradox Phillic said...

@Sane Insane - That was really something!!You have a bold spirit. I admire that.

As for me - I rolled the ball in their court asking them how are they planning to resolve the issues currently facing the organization (more than one issue, of course!) & my team in specific(Mostly all my team is out by this year - greener pastures , marriage , relocation to native country etc etc).
Anyway when they started acting defensive , I felt guilty. So i asked them to help me evaluate my options for my long term plan - role, country etc etc.

And you see,it all turned out well!!

Anand said...

I believe the problems arise when you do know.
I mean imagine this:
I write a S.M.A.R.T. plan for the next 2/5/10 years broken into smaller goals et all under the fallacious yet necessary assumption that things would be conducive to make the plan a reality.
As we all know, it is far from the truth, for "Change is the only constant". So you tweak/modify/change the plan to make it conducive to the then set of circumstances and so, the plan was not entirely S.M.A.R.T. in the first place? (Hence disproved)
Additionally, sticking to your plan may mean letting go of alternative career options (read better opportunities).

However, natural progression takes people to "their levels of incompetence", which implies that to grow more (read earn more) learning needs to continue, a necessary condition;
hence my smart action plan is to always learn and share wherever, whenever and however,"Knowledge shared is knowledge gained too".

Maverick said...

man proposes... god disposes!

woman proposes... who disposes????