Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Ramblings of a Retired Mind

Never change your job because you are fed up with your present job.

Quit your present job and change to a new job only if you are attracted to your new future job.

Your career change must be for growth, not as a means of escape from your present career.

You must shift to a new career due to “Pull” factors (attraction) and not due to “Push” factors (repulsion).

The motivation to change your job must come from the “Pull” of the new career (attraction) and not the “Push” from your present job (frustration).

Let me share my experience from my long military career in the navy.

Organizational objectives require that the armed forces (army, navy and air force) have a steep pyramidal hierarchical organizational structure.

As a consequence, vacancies diminish as you rise in rank, and this adversely affects promotion prospects.

It is an accepted fact that career prospects in the defence services are poor as compared to career prospects the civil services.

(From time to time, attempts have been made to tinker with the time tested steep pyramidal military hierarchical structure by way of “cadre reviews” but it has been realized that making the military too “top heavy” may be detrimental to the fighting efficiency of the forces, as senior ranks only add to the “tail” and create an imbalance in the “teeth to tail” ratio)

The “steep pyramid” entails stringent promotion percentages which results in a ruthless selection process.

This results in a large number of good officers getting passed over for promotion at young ages due to lack of vacancies.

“Supersession” is an accepted “occupational hazard” in the defence services.

If you join the armed forces must be prepared for this eventuality of supersession at an early age, sometimes as early as in your 30’s, when you are “written off” and it suddenly becomes the “end of the road” as far as your military career is concerned.

In the military, individuals react to supersession in different ways.

Some overreact as they feel “betrayed” by the service (army, navy or air force) and they quit their military career immediately (strong “push” factor).

They suddenly land up on the “Civvy Street” in a bitter state of mind and unprepared for the consequences, not knowing what to do, since they have made no plans for the unexpected career shift.

Many such officers quit in a huff before completing the mandatory 20 years pensionable service and land up in dire financial straits.

Some remain in service, become bitter, and sour the atmosphere around them.

Others enjoy their “passed over” state and keep serving till superannuation.

If you are feeling “bored” with your job, remember it is better to be “bored” than “broke”.

One of my friends, a naval officer, quit the navy because he felt “intellectually suffocated” and “bored” in the navy.

Like I said earlier, he quit because of the “push” factor.

He discovered that his new job in the civilian world was even more “intellectually suffocating” and “boring” than the navy.

He quit that job too, and after a few days he spent all his savings and was broke, so he was forced to accept an even more boring and “intellectually suffocating” job.

In contrast, I have observed that those who changed their careers due to “pull” factors are happy and have done well in their new careers.

Some were attracted by the “pull” of entrepreneurship and wanted to do their own thing, so the opened their own businesses/industries/start ups.

Others discovered their true m├ętier and shifted careers due to the “pull” of the new vocation they wanted to pursue.

I know a bright officer, who was doing well in service, who discovered that enjoyed teaching immensely, and he changed careers to become a schoolteacher and is very happy with his new way of life.

Here is my “Job Hopping Mantra” in a nutshell:

1. Never change your job because you are frustrated in your present job (“push” factor).

2. Change to a new career only if you are attracted to your new future job (“pull” factor)

Career Shift must be motivated by “attraction” to the new career, and not due to “repulsion” from your present job.

Dear Reader: Do you agree ?

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2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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