Had a good conversation with an old friend over the weekend. We started in the industry together some time ago and I sat there listening to him rant about how much he hates the industry today. How much it has become commoditized but mostly what got his indignation are:
- How much it has become populated with people who are impatient
- People who lacked the drive to invest in their own learning
- And more often than not filled with people who always had the “victim” mindset
I am just amazed at how there seems to be a shift in mindset from these people lately. I want to say it’s an age thing but it’s not. I know of people my age or older that are equally guilty of the traits my friend and I are frustrated about. I have personal thoughts and opinions but I am neither wise nor audacious enough to say that these are 100% accurate. So instead, I will just again share my message/advice and tips to these people, Millennials or not.
I narrowed it down to a list of 3 items
Anything worth having will take time. It’s the fundamental law of the universe. Precious stones take nearly a century to form, muscles take years to build when being worked out, and the same goes for your careers. Let me map out a reasonable timeline for you based on what I’ve seen in the BPO industry
- Frontline or Agent level – 6 months to a year
- Supervisor level – 1 to 2 years
- Asst. Manager level – 2 to 3 years
- Manager level – 3 to 4 years
- Director level – 3 to 4 years
On average from Frontline to Director will take about 10 to 14 years and guess what… that’s ok. The problem is that some people will look at this and say “that’s too long” or “there has to be a faster way” and while yes in some cases, it will be faster especially if you are Jedi Master Caliber whenever you take on a new role, but in most instances – it won’t be. It’s not supposed to.
It’s called building a career. You need that time to get to know and be great at your position, get to know the people, learn the tips and tricks of the trade. Like I said in the previous article, jumping from one company to another or relying on performance appraisals to get a salary bump prevents you from doing that. And it won’t be able to improve your situation well enough to achieve exponential levels of increase in both skills and finances. You need to find a mentor and learn all you can from them. You need to build contacts, a network of leaders within and beyond your peer group, you need to become a specialist and build next level of specialists in your care. And that… takes time.
Not on the hardships, not on the challenges or the trials that will come your way. Do not misunderstand me, I am not saying you won’t experience them or that you’re not supposed to feel tired, fatigued or even beaten from time to time. You will most certainly feel that and guess what… that’s ok. You’re supposed to rise above all that, learn from every misstep and work on making yourself better.
Focus instead on the future you’re trying to build. Because that’s what this is all for right? Focus on the feeling of satisfaction nay fulfillment when you:
- Bring home the news to your loved ones that you just got promoted…. Again.
- Are riding the jeep or taxi to pick up your new car
- Smile looking at your passport and the many different stamps on the multiple countries you got to visit… for free.
- Drink your coffee early in the morning standing in the street looking at your house being built
- Receive that receipt in the mail confirming the fully paid educational college plans for your kids
The list goes on and on but as you can see, these all do not and cannot happen overnight. These take time.
Accept that whatever your problems are, things are much worse for some and could be worse for you. In some cases it has been worse for you in the past. So regardless of religion, be thankful to that higher power for what you receive and what you are blessed with. Everything you’ve learned and everything you enjoy, learn to give back.
- Always remember to be thankful to your mentors who helped bring you to where you are today
- Give time to your direct report or a member of your team who’s struggling to find their way
- Be thankful to members of your team who consistently do their share of the work and in some cases take on more than their share therefore making the load lighter for the rest
- Give back to the community. There is no gesture or spending threshold small or big enough. All of it matters.
- Be grateful for the time you get to spend with your family and when you are there, be there.
It doesn’t have to be financial or monetary in nature but you must give back not only whenever the chance presents itself, you actually have to make time.
Here’s hoping that this message is something you take to heart and share with you direct reports as well. I will close with a quote from renowned novelist Jack London;
If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for.
If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for.
If it is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for.