Thursday, May 21, 2015

Job vs Career

A job vacancy became available in our company a few months ago, and we went through the normal procedures to hire a new staff. Advertisements were put in the local papers, which attracted several candidates. These were shortlisted and then interviews were duly arranged. 

Of those who made it to the interview stage was a woman in her mid-thirties. Her English wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but after all we were not looking for a walking Oxford Dictionary. Sadly, just a small percentage of the Malaysian population can actually write decent English these days. Anyway, she spoke fairly fluent English, although her written work was not grammatically sound. Yet she stood out from the rest, and it didn’t take us very long to decide in her favour. 

Accordingly, shortly after we’ve wrapped up the interviews with the rest of the candidates, we called her up to convey the good news. A formal letter of appointment was then drafted, offering her a job in our company, and we were looking forward to welcome her in a couple of weeks’ time. 

Unfortunately, a few days later, we received news from her that she was no longer keen to work for us because she had a “better offer” from a rival company. The “better offer” in this case, as you might expect, was in terms of a slightly higher salary. We could have offered even higher if we really thought it justifiable. But not in this case. So, regretfully, we had to let the matter pass. 

A few months had since elapsed, and then recently we heard from her again. Apparently, she’s not very happy with her current job, and was trying her luck with us again. She’s wondering if the job offer of several months ago is still available now. A colleague who was involved in the previous interview seemed keen to accept her. But I’m against it; and since I’m the boss, my decision prevails. This seemed a little odd, and my colleague asked me why. After all, if she was good enough for the job a few months ago, why isn’t she good enough now

Well, it’s difficult to explain, really. You see, I’m looking for someone who wants a career, not just a job. If this person can easily change her mind because of a marginally “better offer” in Ringgit and Sen, she will resign in a heartbeat the next time she gets a marginally “attractive offer” from somebody else. 

But don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong in seeking greener pastures. If I suddenly get a substantially better offer tomorrow, I would undoubtedly consider it. It would be ridiculous not to! But only if it’s substantial. If it’s marginal, I wouldn’t even waste my time. I’m unwilling to throw away my career for the sake of a job that offers a marginally higher income.

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