Friday, March 15, 2013

It's just business

Everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you...
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
"Everybody Knows" - Leonard Cohen

At one of my first jobs, a co-worker mentioned that he hadn't planned on working for his prior employer for ten years.  He just woke up one day and found that he had been there ten years.  At the time, I was skeptical. 

Yet I have found myself in a similar position.

In the fifth season of Mad Men, Don takes Peggy's work for granted.  He tells her that everything she's earned is from him.  As the last straw (not surprising for a fictional drama), he throws money in her face.

When she discusses a move with the person who really discovered her, her friend reminds her that Don wouldn't think twice about taking a business opportunity.  He bluntly remarks that it's just business.  Don wouldn't think about it emotionally, in terms of loyalty.  Peggy ends up taking the promotion (and raise) and leaves the advertising agency.

It's a scene I've thought about often in the past few months.  Truth isn't always stranger than fiction.

I have decided to take a new job opportunity.  I've also woken up after being at my employer for over ten years.  It's amazing to think about what's changed in ten years on the internet. 

I've learned a lot.  I've worked hard (in fact, that's what my boss specifically said about me when I mentioned I was leaving.  That I was a hard worker.  Go me!  That's exactly what I want people to know about me). 

But I've hit a glass ceiling of sorts.  And, much like Peggy's character, I know I'm not really getting what I'm worth. 

I think the modern workplace is structured this way.  It's human to take people and situations for granted.

Multiple people have told me that the only person looking out for my career is me.  It's true.  My company isn't looking out for my career.  And some of my co-workers - if they had a good opportunity, they would also take it without looking back, without thinking twice.

For me, the change is odd.  I tend to stay in situations simply because I've been there a long time, not because they are what's best for me.  Sometimes I stay longer than I need to.  And I admittedly have some anxiety about the whole thing.  Part of me would rather stay where it's safe, to stay with what's known. 

But life is too short. And this is just how business works. 

1 comment:

Freckle Face Girl said...

Congrats! Change is great!!!

I understand what you are saying. I have been with my company for 11 years & could definitely do better. It has been nice working from home, but I have basically put my career on hold. Soon, I'll have to figure out what I need most.