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Hello, You Must Be Going February 5, 2007

Posted by Stephanie in Business-Society Issues, Workplaces.

Hello, You Must Be Going is an article in the February 12, 2007 edition of Business Week. The article discusses reasons why the turnover has been so high for many executives and top level managers, especially over this past year. More and more companies are finding poor job fit with new executives to the company, so much so that many are not making it to their first annual review.

“The brutal reality is that executives have less time than ever to prove their worth. Tough global competition, more diligent regulators, increasingly engaged boards of directors, and demanding investors have combined to create an environment in which a new hire has to show results almost from Day One.”

I found it particularly interesting that “the problem is usually not one of ability but of style.” To me, this indicates the importance of leadership techniques and how greatly they influence success. Other more specific reasons noted in the article about problems new executives run into are:

  • clash with the CEO
  • inspire resentment in co-workers
  • push for too much change too quickly
  • have not established a network of confidents
  • have not adapted to the company’s culture
  • see themselves as special and unique

These problems are connected to Chapter 4 and 5. Firstly, the organizational role of the new executive or manager is not fully understood as he or she fits into the function, division and the entire organization. Sometimes neither the individual nor the company is ready for the changes. Norms can be overlooked or changed and if a company does not have organic structures, discontent and chaos could arise.

The results are disappointing, discouraging, and even humiliating for both the individual and the company. This type of failure seems so personal and public. Is the risk worth the potential of enormous success, fame and fortune? Even if initially productive, how long will it last?

As a senior I have been spending most of my time thinking, searching and stressing about a job, a career, my passions and my future. I had an offer with one of the “big 4” companies in accounting that most Bucknellians, Management major or not, would have probably taken, satisfied to be done with the job search. I, on the other hand, decided not to take the big pay check and signing bonus. And now as my dad likes to remind me, am very much still without a job. I am still searching for something that I will truly enjoy doing. I want to like going to work and still be proud of what I do and for whom I work. If a huge salary is not attached, so be it. I do not feel the need to join a company knowing that I do not want to stay with them for more than a year or two just to say I work for Company A and make X amount a year.

True, I will most likely work for several companies with several positions in possibly several very different industries, but why start at a company that you don’t like? I have heard many numbers about the number of jobs my generation will have in a lifetime. The range was roughly 8-15. However, I could not verify any particular number. I looked to the The U.S. Department of Labor only to find that “To determine the number of jobs in a lifetime, one would need data from a ‘longitudinal’ survey that tracks the same respondents over their entire working lives, and so far, no longitudinal survey has ever tracked respondents for that long.” Furthermore, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) never has attempted to estimate the number of times people change careers in the course of their working lives. The reason we have not produced such estimates is that no consensus has emerged on what constitutes a career change.”


How many jobs do you think you will have in your lifetime?

What is important to you when looking for a job?



1. Lady - February 5, 2007

As a management major, I am interested in a few different fields such as marketing and public relations; consulting; and HR management and organizational effectiveness. My goal now is to get an internship in at least one of these areas so I can find out if I could do that type of job for the rest of my life. Hopefully I can get an internship with a firm that will allow me to see all three of these areas at work. Within all three of these areas, the common theme for me is people and making people happy. I am first interested that the customer is happy with our business and I value retaining long-term customers. Secondly, I am interested in a happy work environment with the communication and organizational effectiveness within the firm being something to brag about. I want to work with people who truly love the company and where Human Resources plays a huge role in the company. For example, I like the culture of Google because those employees are highly motivated to be productive for their company. I also like the culture of J&J because their employees value their company Credo and also make the extra effort to satisfy their customers.

I know that it may sound like a fairy-tale company that I am seeking, but I know what I want. That’s why I haven’t applied to some of these major corporations for an internship because they just don’t display the type of culture and environment that I want to work in one day. I don’t know how many jobs I will have in my lifetime. It may take a few to find what I’m looking for. But I will probably be just like Stephanie my senior year when it comes to accepting an offer from a large firm—I may turn it down if it doesn’t “fit” me. But I am glad that I can start thinking of these things now so that I am not blinded by the money by the time that big offer comes around.

2. Elaine - February 5, 2007

It is a hard decision when faced with the question of whether you would like to stick with a job you hate but will get paid well, or a job where you’ll enjoy and not be paid as much. I believe everyone should go with the latter, because in the long run, you’ll be happier as a person. I wish you the best!

3. wilson7 - February 6, 2007

Stephanie I respect that you turned down the $$$ to work for somebody or some company that you can be proud of. It takes a lot not to go for the money but to find a job that you truely enjoy doing. My father told me that the job that I choose should be one that you don’t have to dread going to everyday, something that you enjoy doing because you are going to be doing it for the next 20-30 years of your life, unless you find a way to get rich quick.

4. Charley S - February 6, 2007

I also agree in the priciple of taking a job you like and care about over something you hate but get paid well for. I’m extremely lucky in that I have known since my freshmen year exactly what I would be doing for a living, going into the army. So while my friends struggle for internships and jobs, I know that my job will be waiting for me as soon as I graduate, barring the dissolution of the United States of America. I know exactly what my salary will be when I graduate, and believe me, people don’t join the military to get rich. It’s not all bad though, I could pretty much retire at 42 if I really want to. Anyway, I know that I would not be happy in any other organization and wouldn’t do anything else for all the money in the world. God Bless Our Soldiers!

5. Jordi - April 13, 2007

Good luck with your search.

I was always struck by the difference between changing jobs and careers. Those are fuzzy concepts to measure, but if i change from chief networking engineer to project manager for a networking company, is that a career change? I think of a career change as going from PR to medicine, or from being a professor to a fireman. Business is more fluid than it used to be in terms of roles and turnvoer. this is relevant, but not quite as dramatic as total career changes.

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