Thursday, August 16, 2007

Is The Grass Truly Greener Out There?

Received a call out of the blue from a job recruitment agency consultant today. Normally I would politely say that I was not really interested and ended the call as quickly as I can mainly because I am not a big fan of unsolicited calls on my mobile. This time, however, I was a bit bored (keboringan tahap cipan as a friend might put it) being the only one left at the office and I was curious where this caller got my contact number as I do not remember giving it out to any job recruitment agencies. It turned out that she had a copy of my CV from about 10 years ago and was cold calling people on her list to see if they might be interested in the position that she had to fill.

10 years ago !!! I vaguely remembered getting a call from this particular recruitment agency offering me a position either to work for a company in the Middle East on contract or a permanent position at an overseas petroleum-based company in then the newly opened Cyberjaya. At the time, I was just starting at my current company so the offers were both very enticing but in the end I decided to decline both in favor of staying on to build my legacy in the company that already recruited me while I was in the States. In hindsight, things might have turned very differently had I taken either offer that I had back then.

The reason that the consultant called me now is to see if I would be interested to explore opportunities in the position that she had on hand. Since she was working from a CV that is already 10 years old, the positions that she asked me to consider were not exactly relevant to my working experience now. We then got to talking about my current job responsibilities and the skill sets that I have acquired since the last time I updated my CV. From her, I found out that my current pay is above average for a technical person of my job scope but was below average for the management tasks that I also perform for the company.

After working for close to 11 years with the same company, I have to admit that it is hard for me to think about leaving it for another job. For one, I have a 2 month notice period that I have to give my boss should I decide to leave since my position in the organization is categorized as critical and need to go through a through handover process before they would let me go. The other being my current pay and benefits package is a bit on the high side comparative to someone in the same technical level as me in the outside job market. I guess that I could jump into the management track but I would miss being in a tech role with all the familiarity I have associated with it.

One thing that has happened to me after being in the same company all these years is that I have been exposed to all facets of the IT infrastructure support field. I have had my finger in so many different pies in the past that I have accumulated enough exposure and experience to be somewhat of a jack of all trades in my organization. Try as I might to deny it, I have become the go to guy when my boss needs an overview of a problem and how the components of our organization might be mustered to resolve it. I like to think that I am more of a troubleshooter, the guy quietly surveying all to look for patterns that might point to a required solution but would not necessarily be the one designing or implementing the solution.

Currently I am in a regional role that support users in Asia Pacific which gives me international exposure as well as recognition from the people in our HQ in US. My work day starts when the people in Australia start work up until the last person in our supported office in India leaves. It’s challenging work and at times feels overwhelming but at the same time quite exciting for me. It would be hard for me to leave that behind. I also know that I am being groomed to take over from my boss when he retires in a few years time. I still have a ways to go to be ready for it but it is a tangible goal that I could comfortably reach in the foreseeable future. Hopefully that would bring with it a better compensation package that what I am getting now.

Leaving my current company for a new one would not be something that I can take lightly. A better compensation and benefits package would not be the only things that I would need to take into consideration. As I grow older, I need to look at how the new job would give me the financial and personal stability that I am already accustomed to. I used to think that I stayed in my current company out of a warped sense of loyalty to them but after the experience of being outsourced, I realize that was no longer the reason. I stayed with them because I get want I want from them. The minute that they no longer serve my wants and needs then there would not be any reason for me to stay. In the same vein, a new job need to fulfill the same wants and needs or else it would not make sense to change jobs just for the sake of changing.

I would be lying if I said that I don’t envy those who would change jobs for higher paying jobs each time or those who get contract jobs that pay a 5 digit salary every month. Having more money in my bank account would always be welcomed but I don’t think that I would be able to cope with the uncertainties of having something so unsecured (at least in my view). I crave, no, demand stability in life and not being able to rely on job stability would seriously cause major inconvenience. I would be lost and afraid that I may not recover fast enough to be a productive component of the organization. In short, I just a big wuss when it comes to the thought of changing jobs.

Regardless, that fact should not deter me from updating my CV with all the job accomplishments that I have gone through in the past 10 years. It would be nice to have a record of it and if it opened new avenues that I would feel more comfortable to explore then I would consider it as a bonus. After more than 10 years since I last wrote a CV, I need to now go and check out if the old ways of writing CVs that I learnt before still applies now.

Worse than having an outdated CV is having a badly written one !


[danial][ma] said...

hej! nixx:
if the grass is greener over there, i think you should consider it. wish you all the best...cheers!

Nickxandar said...

Danial ...


Taking it into consideration versus really acting on it are two different things. Quite a lot to factor in when thinking about switching jobs especially after working fo so long.