Many times, I found myself in a situation to deliver unpleasant news to people that I have managed. Sometimes even to hundreds of them. In a small number of cases the news was that they would lose their jobs. Usually, that was a decision coming from above. But, I was never just a messenger who is just forwarding an e-mail.
The biggest problem with talented people is the fact that during most of their lives they listen that they should behave as if they’re equal to others. I can imagine that those sophisticated educational systems like the one in Finland have a solution for this, but the rest of the world is a nightmare for talents.
When someone who was very ambitious and who was very keen on vertical progress in his/her career decides it’s time to let it go – in a way it’s comparable with a top athlete losing a leg or suffering a major career stopping injury.
After almost 20 years in business it’s not likely to expect that your career will skyrocket and that you will suddenly get a huge promotion and reach a totally different salary grade. Of course, exceptions are possible and I’m sure we all know some, but for a majority in mid 40’s – career development is pretty much over.
Among many different types of people that I have faced during my career, there’s one category I find the most challenging: people who are just interested in keeping their jobs.
Since I’m trying not to measure my satisfaction based on my achievements but based on the progress that I’m making (and I have to admit I’m still struggling with that one) I would like to share with you my thoughts about skills that you need for solid progress in 2019.
In most cases, people aren’t even close to feeling safe enough to expose their weaknesses. Because, many bosses will misuse that. Maybe not because they are evil people, but because they don’t feel secure enough and they see their team members as threats or sometimes because they don’t have the capacity – emotional intelligence – to act differently. It’s much easier to attack and to push someone towards the edge (they call it stretching in HR nowadays), then to really understand one’s behaviour, motivation and work with it to get the best possible results.
When we don’t feel comfortable in a working environment we usually blame the environment. And in many cases, we have…
A while ago I was listening in on a conversation between two prima donnas – world class opera singers – now in their late 80’s. I was immediately amazed by how vital they look for their age and also how fast and powerful their brains are. Comparing to some other, “ordinary” people at that age, they were so sharp and interesting to listen to.
Is that actually possible? In a real world. Made of steel. Made of stone.
I would have said no – until recently.
Most of my career I was very proud that I’m the master of my own career. I was in most cases the one who made a change and, almost every time, I had a new job before I left the previous one. I was also very proud that I got promoted without pushing for it too hard. Working hard and doing a fair share of self-promotion was always more than enough. Although I can accept that some people might disagree with the last one.
Leaving is one of the hardest things for many people. Whether it’s your home, your country, your partner or your job – it’s never easy. Even when you have all the relevant reasons and things are crystal clear saying the final goodbye might be an issue.
When I was starting my career as a young creative director I had a much more experienced collegue in the agency. His sons were my age. I was very fast and furious at the time. I was in that ‘ I know what I want and I want it now’ – mode… So, at that time I was also applying for Canadian residence. I had an idea to immigrate to Canada.
This collegue of mine actually came back from Canada a few yers before.