When Culture Clashes with Corporate

While linked in might not be looked at in the same light as facebook or twitter, it still has the component of social media of connecting you with people you might have lost contact with over the years. I just recently saw a name again that brought a lot of great memories.

I had seen my Dad work for a big company my whole life. Our house was full of little reminders of where my Dad worked. Postobon is the distributor of Pepsi down in Colombia. I spent a lot of weekends in that company and got to see my the inner workings of a production plant and also the accounting department where my Dad worked. Remember that back then not everyone had an old mainframe level of computing power in their pockets. So being able to do data entry on an old monochromatic green screen was just awesome.

My Dad worked many weekends while I was growing up, and it was fun to go into the office with him. I met many of his coworkers that way and it gave me a view into his world that was probably not all that accurate. An office is a lot different on a Saturday that during the week. Everything I had know about corporations up to that point was through my Dad’s eyes.

I am not sure how it is in Colombian now, but it seemed like for my Dad’s generation once you got a job with a company, you retired from it. That is kind of how I approached my first full time job. I thought, I will help this company grow and be here forever. Even though that first job taught me so much, it was also one of the worst experiences I had in a workplace.

The reason linked in comes into this post is because one of the things that I learned thanks to that person that just popped into my head when I saw their name was the sense of gratitude. When I say to an employer, thank you for the opportunity; well, its not just something I read in an interview guide, I do really mean it. I was extremely grateful to many people for that first job… but then I learned a lot about the inner workings of a small company.

For a long time I felt so attached to that job, so thankful of the first opportunity, so thankful for everything that I had learned that I did not think leaving for another job was an option. I used to think of the job itself as something of a gift, and yes in these difficult economic times good jobs can be hard to come by and should not be taken for granted.

I don’t remember exactly why I made up my mind about leaving, I do remember that it was a lot about the job just not being balanced with the rest of my life. I do remember that what gave me “permission” mentally about leaving was a conversation about who had “given” me the job.

That person I just found again in Linked in told me. You should never feel like someone gave you the job, someone gives you the opportunity might even get your foot in the door, but your work will speak for itself; don’t feel like you owe anything to anyone.

The best part of the story is that the entire time I had worked there I thought I was considered for the job solely on someones recommendation, but as it turns out, it was actually someone completely different that actually pushed for me to get the opportunity.

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