November 5, 2007

Jack's Take On Stay or Go

It's a recurring theme in the corporate environment - when to stay and when to go? Jack Welch recently opined on this subject - some excerpts and my feelings on the subject are listed below.

Jack - Do you want to go to work every morning? This is not a matter to be over-brained. Does the prospect of going in each day excite you or fill you with dread? Does the work feel interesting and meaningful or are you just going through motions to pull a paycheck? Are you still learning and growing
My take - enjoy your work. Do some soul searching and join an industry/vocation that you feel passionate about. Why live your life doing something that does not truly excite you?

Jack - Second, do you enjoy spending time with your co-workers or do they generally bug the living daylights out of you? We're not saying you should only stay at your company if you want to barbecue with your team every weekend, but if you don't sincerely enjoy and respect the people you spend 10 hours a day with, you can be sure you will eventually decide to leave your organization. Why not make the break sooner rather than later and start cultivating relationships at a company where you might actually plant roots?
My take - a job is more than sitting at a desk in a cube. You are part of a bigger endeavor and you need to believe in the whole package. You have to believe in the company culture, it's values, it's people and it's contribution to society.

Jack - Third, does your company help you fulfill your personal mission? Essentially, this question asks whether your company jibes with your life's goals and values. Does it require you, for instance, to travel more than you'd like, given your chosen work-life balance? Does it offer enough upward mobility, given your level of ambition? There are no right or wrong answers to such questions, only a sense of whether you are investing your time at the right or wrong company for you.
My take - it's a two-way street. You need to believe in the company and the company needs to believe in you. When a company truly believes in it's employees - they empower their employees, respect their employees and grow their employees.

Jack - Fourth and finally, can you picture yourself at your company in a year? We use that time frame because that's how long it usually takes to find a new, better job once you decide to move on. So peer, as best you can, into the future, and predict where you'll be in the organization, what work you'll be doing, whom you will be managing, and who will be managing you. If that scenario strikes you with anything short of excitement, then you're spinning your wheels. Or put another way, you're just about to stay too long.
My take - Have a long-term view. I would even argue that you need to think much longer. Can you imagine being with this company ten years from now? Do you have a career path which will position you well in the future in your current company or in the marketplace? If you answer in the negative - you should reconsider your options.

Read the full article on BusinessWeek

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Agree 100% with this assessment. Either you decide or someone else will decide for you. You are usually better off deciding for yourself what is good for you.