We celebrate Valentine’s day with the love of our life once a year. In many cases that love keeps changing 🙂 You think similarly our love for our jobs or organisations keep changing too?
“I had a strange dream yesterday,” said my wife when I used to be employed.
“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 the 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 the end of the day. 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 slightly dips or becomes neutral. I begin benchmarking my current responsibilities against my capabilities and salary. I start wondering why prospective employers are willing to offer better remuneration and package. Then I ask myself if my existing employer is aware of my new “market value”. It is strange that after I get these calls I think differently about my employer.
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 of the highest order. Hence, I was able to openly share the headhunting calls I used to receive. 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. This helped us with the strategy used by competitors to “bait” candidates. Moreover, I could tell my bosses (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. In a way, these interviews 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”. I told my family and friends 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 to work. When you never fail to catch the attention of headhunters and the competition that means you are at the right place.
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.
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’s day is at home.
Valentine’s Day comes once a year. It’s the perfect day to reflect on the if you love your job too and whats keeping you there.