My Valentine!

13 Feb , 2015  

I had a strange dream yesterday,” said my wife last Friday.

You got headhunted for a very tempting offer; we were all keen that you take it up but after much thought you declined the offer”, she continued.

I laughed off her intuition and drove my way to office. By noon the very same day, I received a call from a prominent political party to join their think tank. While I was taken aback by the close call of what seemed like a premonition, I was walking on cloud nine till end of the day despite having been needed everywhere!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m used to receiving different kinds of headhunting calls. This one, however, was completely unexpected and especially considering my wife’s intuition.

Normally, for a couple of days after such calls, my loyalty towards my current employer takes on a new viewpoint or rather a negative perspective. I begin benchmarking my current responsibilities against my capabilities and salary; wondering why prospective employers are willing to offer better remuneration and package in comparison to the current one; if my existing employer is aware of how much I’m “worth” in the marketplace which then ties in to me being appreciated and “rewarded” accordingly. The list is quite exhaustive!  If these sound familiar to you, please bear in mind that we’re all made of flesh and blood so it’s only natural to have expectations and aspirations alongside fears and doubts.

In almost all instances, getting calls from headhunters proposing attractive job offers makes us feel that our potential is being undermined in our current role, however delusional! This then gets translated into action – we start getting demanding with the bosses; we start throwing “why am I not” into the mix in search of validation for our role and growth within the organization either directly or otherwise. Inevitably, our productivity for that particular week (or perhaps more) takes a dip as we examine the relationship we have with our current employer. Geez, imagine how many thousands of people we distract daily as recruiters!

In my younger days, the relationships I had with my bosses were steadfast that I was able to openly share the headhunting calls I received. Oh yes, I had some pretty crazy bosses who had no second thoughts in encouraging me to attend those interviews – they were either a very confident bunch or knew me too well.  Naturally, these open communication resulted in me returning from the interviews loaded with market intel which mainly focused on what happened in the interview and the strategy used by competitors to “bait” candidates. And how could I NOT tell them (with a wink!) what my current value was in the marketplace!

However, in reflection, I have asked myself on numerous occasions the purpose of me attending these “distractive” interviews which breached the peace I was enjoying at the current workplace. Inwardly, I rationalize my waywardness by saying that “today may be the enemy of tomorrow” while to family and friends I said that I sought external validation of my worth and value. Strangely, these interactions only strengthened my love and endorsed that I was in a great place at work since it never fails to catch the attention of headhunters and the competition.

Truth be told, there has never been a perfect workplace for me (do you agree?) – I’ve had bosses whom I disliked; co-workers I never want to work with again; and direct reports whom I most probably will not rehire in my lifetime. And let’s not forget numerous unpleasant work atmospheres.

But, I have always, always loved the work I was doing and that has kept me going reasonably longer in the organisations I worked for.Well, a closer to life analogy that keeps coming to mind on this day of love is that while I have and will continue to cross paths with many attractive women in work as in life, my heart is content and steadfast to the one who awaits me at home – my very own Valentine.

To one and all, Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s the perfect day to reflect on the choices you’ve made in life, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

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