- I’m a middle manager in a large organization and it’s difficult to find a job elsewhere. I’m overqualified for lower positions and equal positions are either filled or have been promised to assistants for internal promotions. Is it possible for a middle manager in her late thirties to find another job?
There are always options depending on why you want to change. You’ve built equity within your current organization over the years. Is there an opportunity opening next year for a higher position in other departments? If so, maybe you can join them now and prepare for that position. If your eyes are on other organizations, be honest with yourself and define clearly what you want from your job. Are you after more money, a bigger title, less hours, less work, challenging work or a better cultural fit? Understand your career goals and priorities and target organizations that fit your needs. If you’re after less working hours, there’s no point working for a retail company because the line of work they’re in is demanding. If you want significantly more money, don’t look at the public sector for middle management jobs.
If your goal is more independence, you might consider starting a small business while staying at your job, assuming you have the time, your productivity at your current job won’t be affected, and there’s no conflict of interest. Once that business is steady, you might want to consider quitting your job. If being an entrepreneur is not for you, work on your corporate publicity profile and start networking professionally. When you combine what you know with whom you know, opportunities might cross your path more often than you think…and that’s just my two cents.
- I find most staff in shops or restaurants not engaged. As consumers, we deserve a better service. What can I do to demand a decent treatment when I’m paying money?
Expecting friendly service from a person working in a shop is fair. However, just because consumers are paying money, it doesn’t mean they have no role to play in the entire experience. While shop assistants aim to serve and delight their visitors, they’re not servants; they’re regular people providing a service. A long time ago, when trading started to have an organized structure, consumers needed assistance with their shopping, so business owners looked at the entire market and said, “Who’s willing to assist their fellow consumers and receive money for their time?” It was as simple as that. Unfortunately, shoppers tend to forget this basic principle of human equality, which leads to awkward situations that take away the joy of shopping.
Let’s put you in an assistant’s shoes for a second. You received training. You try to apply it with enthusiasm. However, most visitors ignore your smiley greetings, treat you as a slave, and talk to you with disgust as if they’re forced to deal with you. Multiply that day times your first 100 days at this job; it will eventually wear you down and make you give up on tying to be nice. If you treat shop assistants well, look them in the eye, smile back, be friendly, and remember that shopping is fun, you’ll boost their morale after so many disappointments and that will get their friendly engines going.
Having said that, some people don’t have what it takes to be in such jobs. If you did your part right and received an unpleasant service, bring it to management’s attention – read last month’s article on how customers can force management to listen. But if you encountered a person in the wrong job, don’t treat the next shop assistant badly. Difficult? Well, now you know how they feel. It’s nice to be nice…and that’s just my two cents.
- Our investors care only about pushing for more profit without thinking about the impact on staff. And the employees act as if they’re school children by bickering and sabotaging each other. How can the company grow and continue in the market for decades to come with such an internal mess?
Assuming you have hired the right staff as far as their technical skills are concerned, you have the responsibility to show them how they’re expected to behave within your business environment – it would help if you hired people with a cultural fit as well. The next step is to genuinely care for their benefit and advancement. Paying this much attention to your ‘internal customers’ is one of the pillars of financial success. Applying this management style brings out the best in people in terms of performance and makes it easier for them to focus on work. By shifting their focus, employees will gradually lose interest in participating in negative issues like beating morale to death, feeding internal politics and creating an unprofessional environment.
Employees play politics when management is hiring, promoting, and giving bonuses and other benefits for the wrong reasons. What are the wrong reasons? Anything other than productivity and results will start ‘Nightmares on Corporate Street’…and that’s just my two cents.
For Loaay Ahmed’s advice on business or work matters, send a short email to [email protected] Regrettably, only the questions chosen for publishing will be answered.
Loaay Ahmed is a management consultant and strategic expert. To learn more about Loaay and his consulting service, strategic business therapy, visit www.knightscapital.com.