Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Thoughts on First Year Anniversary on the Job
"If" by Rudyard Kipling
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired of waiting....
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And-which is more- you'll be a Man my Son."
06/06/06- It is not my wedding anniversary, but this date marks my first year of work in a full-time position. After grad school and internships, volunteer work etc., its indeed a nice feeling that i have completed a year in my current role. I was greeted by a bunch of flowers and a token of appreciation gift left on my desk by my boss when i opened the door to my office this morning.
Just thought that i could share and express some of my experiences in the past year.
For most part, i can say that my first year on the job has been a breeze. Being in HR and handling a team of 50 employees requires some skill and a lot of it can be attributed to the friendly and mentor kind of support that i have from my supervisor. Also, i have a majority of folks in my group who are nice and don't cause unnecessary problems, except for a few of them without whom my job would have been less challenging and interesting. Negotiation and conflict resolution skills cannot be acquired without those "troublemakers".
Also, there is an emotional piece that is tied up with working in a non-technical field. The pay scale for support staff in most organizations doesn't compare to what its technical folks earn. Just picture this scenario: You are offered a HR or Finance Analyst entry-mid level position with an organization. And let's assume that they offer you an annual base salary of $60,000. You are probably satisfied that you have you are off to a good start in your first position. And then your friend or roomate gets a job at the same company as an engineer and gets an offer for an annual salary of $70,000. What is your reaction? You are upset and start thinking negative thoughts. "He/She can't speak good English, has a terrible accent, can't write gramatically correct sentences, etc." Pause for a minute and tell yourself that an engineer doesn't need those skills that a HR or Finance person needs. But, times are changing and HR is being viewed more than just a corner for idle chit chat, it is looked upon as a strategic business partner to add value to the company.
I can hear my supervisor's words run through my mind as i type this- She keeps reminding me that life/career is a marathon and a good start can and will make a difference. Her exact words to me- "You must remember that you probably have to work for another 35 years. So, even if that is a sobering thought, why do you let what someone earns in 2006 bother you so? After all, when you hang up your shoes, it could be 2040. So, don't let the first few years of employment fox you, instead keep work hard and play hard."
Finally, my mom who used to be a working woman and I often have this arguement. She keeps telling me that as a woman one needs to decide whether they want a job or a career. "Having a job is to earn money and gain economic independence. Taking it up as a career is to pursue personal and professional goals." Ultimately, it all boils down to having a good work-life balance which we all need.