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Career headache!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by yehongxiang, Apr 21, 2010.


  1. yehongxiang

    yehongxiang

    Dec 15, 2009
    Singapore
    Hi guys, this is going to be a long post so please bear with me. :)

    I'm 23 this year, and am currently working as a junior corporate communications officer in a statutory board for slightly more than a year now. My current jobscope includes managing the website revamp project, corporate video project, facilitating visits from our partners overseas and supporting the senior officers. I'm also doing a Bachelor in Communications concurrently, and will graduate in January 2011.

    My boss just gave me the 'what are your plans' speech, and directly asked if I intend to stay after my upcoming graduation. She had previously highlighted, and just reiterated, that she would have no qualms promoting me to a senior officer position (a little backgrounder: in the Singapore public service, you must have at least a Bachelor's qualification to hold a senior position) as long as I continue with my work ethic and quality of work.

    Of course, I'm very happy that she values my contribution, but I'm a little concerned. She mentioned that if I'm promoted to a senior position, my jobscope will mostly be analysing our corporate website's statistics/trends, monitoring/predicting online sentiments and giving inputs to the organisation's initiatives from a web-angle. The reason for this is that after working with me for a while now, she observed that I am very comfortable with the web and technology, and should be able to contribute significantly in this area.

    I am interested, really, but I'm worried that I am being typecasted at the same time.

    Being one of the youngest people around in the organisation, I've always been the go-to guy when the older colleagues have technical problems. Everyone knows that I am decent in Photoshop as well, so they've been coming to me for design needs and critiques.

    As you may know, communications work covers other things like public feedback and media handling as well. I'm not saying that I am more interested in handling feedback or tending to the media hordes, but I feel that I should have a sense of what it's like before settling on one career path.

    My boss said that she hopes I'd give her an answer soon, and having worked with her for a while, 'soon' usually means next week. :meh:

    So what's your take on this, and what would you do in my situation?

    A few points to highlight:

    - I enjoy working with my boss. She's a great mentor, and does not micro-manage us. She also believes in developing people. In short, a great boss to work for!

    - I'm considering doing a Masters qualification in either Sociology or Public Policy on a part-time basis after my graduation. This current organisation is great for part-time students, as it offers perks like unrecorded examination day-offs and low interest education loans. If I do well in my Bachelor's, I may even get a scholarship to further my studies.

    - The culture in my organisation, with the exception of my boss and a few others, tends to see junior officers as 'clerks'. In fact, most of my peers' jobscopes are administrative in nature, and include filing, photocopying and other admin tasks. I'm lucky to have little projects to call my own, but I'm also worried that even after promotion, people will still see me as 'that junior officer'.

    Thanks for reading through, and any advice/comments will be appreciated! :)
     
  2. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    As cliche as it sounds, people can show you the door but ultimately you have to walk through it. :)

    With that said, I'm hearing a number of things in what you're saying. It sounds like you have quite an opportunity to advance in your organization. Do you think you would have that opportunity at another organization once you get your degree? Would it be worth it to jump ship for another firm? What are you planning to do with the Master's degrees that you are considering? These, I think, are all questions that you are going to have to consider.

    If your goal is to get one of the Master's degrees to help take your career higher or in another direction, then I think it would be worth staying with your organization as a means to an end. I do know that Asian cultures are a little bit different because of the Confucius influence when it comes to how they view relationships, and spills over into relationships with employers. I apologize is if I'm vewing this wrong with my Western influence. Here, employment at will is the big doctrine and the loyalty between employers and employees is nowhere near what it is in Asian culture.

    Having access to your supervisor who is serious about mentorship and coaching is a gold mine, though. A lot of companies just don't nail the coaching aspect down well enough, and many don't have any systemized succession planning program. You could learn valuable things from your supervisor that you may never learn in a classroom or from a book.

    I do empathize with doing administrative tasks rather than "important stuff." I tip my hat to the administrative personnel of the world, but it can be frustrating doing nothing but administrative stuff when you want to be in a change agent or creative role. I would speak to my supervisor about taking on more opportunity to do projects. If your organization has a learning culture, it may not be difficult to convince her that you want to take an initiative. You may have to start off small, but if you prove yourself, you may become a serious change agent.

    If it truly looks like you'll never reach your potential, then I'd finish the undergraduate degree, get the Master's, and then find more fulfilling work.
     
  3. XtreO

    XtreO

    Jan 2, 2008
    Norway
    Do it.
     
  4. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Yeah, in this day and age and with the worldwide economy as it is, if you have an offer for a good position with a good employer, you take it. It may not be exactly what you're looking for but it sounds to me like a great offer.
     
  5. sarcastro83

    sarcastro83

    Jul 27, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    With all due respect, you're a young guy. You're going to be looked upon as 'that junior officer' regardless. Might as well be 'that junior officer with a totally sweet job'.

    Go for it man. And congratulations.
     
  6. Screw 'em. Move to New York and become a session bassist. Not as much money, but a lot more fun for just about the same stress level. And who knows, maybe Lady Gaga will take you on tour!;):D
     
  7. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    No pics no sexy asian chick boss.
     
  8. yehongxiang

    yehongxiang

    Dec 15, 2009
    Singapore
    Seems like the general consensus is that I should go for it. A fellow colleague encouraged me to go for it as well. Hmm, we might be on to something here. :)

    @stratovani: Haha! I wish I had that ability and guts to do that! Moving to somewhere 20 hours away for a pipe dream is not an option when my folks are reaching 70 though! :)

    @MakiSupaStar: Well, she's quite pretty and classy, but no pictures will be appearing here. :p
     
  9. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Well then my advice is to tap it, and tap it well, and get a 'real' promotion. ;)
     
  10. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy

    Mar 8, 2009
    California
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    A good relationship with a good boss is worth its weight in gold, especially at this stage in your career.
     
  11. XtreO

    XtreO

    Jan 2, 2008
    Norway
    So how much does relationship actually weigh?
     

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