Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chronicles of a Job Hopper pt. 1 - The Producer

Job hopping can literally suck the life out of you. I've only been at it for only a month but after going through the endless cycle of personalising resumes, interviews and adapting to new workplaces I'm literally turning into a non entity. Belonging to neither here nor there. Forgotten in a blink of an eye. So if you get the sudden urge to start job hopping, clamp down the feeling. Hard! Trust me. Don't learn the hard way.

After woefully ending my teaching stint at the university, I decided to stretch my wings and see where the winds of change would take me. The first gust of wind landed me on a surprisingly cushy job at an events management company where I'm in charge of researching and putting together business conferences. It was my first real job (outside the university that is) that if people were to ask what my designation was in the company, I'd (literally) puff up my chest proudly and say "I'm a Conference Producer". Bangga siot.

I looked forward to the job just like a fresh grad would. All this while my whole world revolved around the university but now I'm a newbie in the corporate world. The corporate world was everything that I thought it would be: exciting, fast-paced, time-oriented, business-oriented and of course money-oriented. Those people were easily excited by the sound of ka-ching! I knew that it was a dog-eat-dog world but the truth was I was way in over my head. I should've known just how tough this job could be by the number of people who had quit before I came in. One girl actually lasted for a record of 3 days before she up and left. I consider it a personal record when I actually lasted a whole month before I called it quits.

I was thrown into the job almost immediately. Everyday was a barrage of phone calls and random conversations with completely rude or brusque strangers. It was bad enough that the workload was horrendous at the office itself but the job also requires you to literally bring your work home. And at every step and every turn I took I met with constant criticism. "You're not forceful enough". "The data is crap". "You don't have enough numbers". "YOU GOTTA STOP SAYING PLEASE!!" Not only was I deemed not efficient I was also too nice. How can I be too nice? There's no such thing as being too nice. In fact, people nowadays needs to be nicer. Sheesh. Seems like humility was not welcomed in the corporate world. It was a sign of weakness. Being nice would mean you'd end up as a pushover. But seriously, what's wrong with being nice. Just because the other company is making money through harassing and bullying people does that mean you need to harass and bully people back? Where does the corporate world's integrity lie?

The cherry on top of the cake however was when the company was so nonchalant on the idea of lying. What kind of employer would actually encourage the employees to lie? Sure you need to think creatively to achieve your goals but does thinking creatively mean lying? And since when lying became a legitimate mode of business? Call me a Utopian idealist or call me stupid but I believe that a company, no matter how money minded they are, should maintain a certain amount of dignity and go about their business with honesty. I may not be the most religious person in the world but I really cant work in a company where lying is encouraged and being a bully is appreciated.

Immediate notice given. My measly things packed up. I walked out of there free and feeling as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. No more late nights trying to find phone numbers of strangers. No more angry yells from your CEO, or your Supervisor or from strangers on the phone. But most importantly no more lying. The only regret I had were the new friends and a thermos I left behind. The friends I dont regret leaving as much since Facebook keeps everyone connected these days but the thermos is now as good as lost. A damn good thermos it was. I'll miss it greatly.

So all you job-seeking people out there, if you ever come across a job as Conference Producer then just beware. Unless you're one of those people who loves calling up random strangers by the hundreds then just turn around and walk on by. Best to keep your sanity intact.

*Next up, the interview monster. Watch this space.


Silent Scribbler said...

Wow, I didn't know you resigned from IIU. Good luck with the new job. Memang first job truly a learning experience, but it will help you grow in more ways than one. :-)

Narcoleptic Insomniac said...

Well... the policy and I had a disagreement :P But hopefully I can return there someday. But with a PhD. Now, I'm exploring a whole new world outside IIUM. I really feel like a fresh grad. It's bloody exciting :P


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