Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The only eternity is change

This is just what I needed to detour into careers. Entrepreneurship includes adaptation and exit strategies. Nokia once sold toilet papers, rubber tires and TV's. As long as you know your product has a limited life cycle, the business plan of hooking doesn't look that bad. For the few good points, high dollar, quick money, little if any setup fee and stocking fee. You can build up a very nice reserve and have plenty of time to think of the next business.

Many OB doctors quit because they are probably the most sued. Some quit when it's not worthwhile to pay the insurance premiums. Other new ones soldier on until they simply cannot afford the premiums. My financial adviser quited medical school to become a stock broker, before he became a financial adviser. Every time I went to that building of financial services, I saw somebody holding an office plant on their hands - signs of farewell.

I have a theory. After years of education and professional training, it's not likely for an employee to abandon ship when they should. This is more important to employers than the knowledge you have.

But what do I know? My father saw the end of a family empire of entrepreneurs, through no fault of his own. He started from zero. He led a modest life but helped many relatives in need. He never worked for anybody else, but he taught me no shit about entrepreneurship. He thought getting a job was easy, but he could tell me nothing about corporate survival either.

My first job is remotely like PR: as long as you produce some good firework for the money, nobody cares what you actually do. My first real job gave me a shock. I found the usual: everybody reached their level of incompetence, making stupid decisions. That is a global company, which turned out to be the best company that I worked for so far. The problem is more complicated. At a corner of the globe, I happened to know 110% of the 1% that they are lacking. Sometimes you need to kill it before you can cure it. But no one will believe a new guy and make that sort of decision. To add insult to injury, I was supposed to dedicate myself to fix it if any problems turn up along the way.

I think the right way to do things is to find a good company, find a good mentor who you are supposed to take his/her place when he/her gets promoted. Once you are in the establishment, keep your boss getting promoted, or find some other route if that's faster for you. Of course I wasn't thinking any of it. I thought I should be in charge.

For me the decision is simple. Could I wait up to a couple of years, at best to make something that I'm not proud of? At worse I was the guy to blame. I couldn't say I told you so because then I would be not persistent enough. And in my last job, it's get ahead or die. I would never dream of waiting years for all others to learn what I have learned. I left.

I kept getting more money but things got worse. I think I build up enough reputation. Copernicus's of the world would make sure that the Galileo's got to see the problem. Most of the time I didn't even know who ducked the problem. I was not allowed not to have an opinion. They only needed to make the decision.

One day the top guy in charge of the project invited me to meet with the consultants. The pre-meeting documents looked promising. But they tried to do a bait and switch on me. What they were going to do wasn't that on the document. It's the same dead end. Soon we learned that the top guy went to become a Vice Chancellor of a University. The rest of us got through another acquisition.

Once I didn't understand why those guys fight like Gladiators over a problem, some melodrama to me. Then one day my boss told me not to bother. The whole center were cut off. Then I wondered again who passed the shit onto me and why.

Patience goes a long way if you have it.

7 comments:

caroline said...

Patience is not everyone’s strength.

And it seems we all sell ourselves one way or the other?

LA Player said...

We all sell, but sometimes I feel that call girls have more choice in clients.

caroline said...

Dealing with male clients being a hooker or not is always easier for girls. We have the option of lifting their spirit with a tight skirt if things get difficult.

;-)

LA Player said...

I know, I'm such an easy person in the presence of short tight skirts.

caroline said...

Does it mean you will let me twirl you around my little finger?

caroline said...

How are you in the company of tiny black bikinis?

LA Player said...

You can twirl me around without lifting a finger. And when it's down to bikini's, I'll always close the windows and turn off the phones.