Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sleeping on the job to advance your career......

For the past two months i have been training people in a technician deployment centre for one of Australia's largest employers. A contact centre is a contact centre, and many younger people don't see this sort of stuff as a career, so I can understand the lack of energy on one level, but sleeping in class????

In this place you get great desk space (mattered to me when I did similar jobs), you're not micro-managed (but some of these guys should be), you get freebies and food and stuff laid on, and it's a pretty nice environment.

Three big negatives have arisen though; it pays about 10% below comparable jobs in the market, the recruitment process has been too quick with not enough information being imparted to successful applicants about the job, and processes and systems have changed dramatically at least three times since day one.

The biggest positive of course is that all applicants get a weeks worth of paid training (with ME) before getting to work. Not many employers provide this much paid training for seemingly low-level roles.

So why have two people fallen asleep in training? A number of people have left after a short period, and other such things.

People expect a lot of their employer and the workplace these days. The guy who fell asleep in my class last week didn't care from moment one. He sat at the back of the class, wore iPod headphones, watched YouTube, and fell asleep.

I sat down to chat in the break. He is quite smart (if a little parent-pampered). He has a degree in IT. The thing that stood out though was, surprise surprise, he is lazy. His questions were about money and breaks. On his first day on the job after training, he didn't turn up. When his mate called him, sleepy asked him to fill in his timesheet and get it signed so he wouldn't miss a days pay. I advised the mate (after being consulted) not to get involved.

Sleepy no longer works here. He is just an example, but that's a 30% dropout rate from one intake of employees alone.

I may have mentioned previously that I was recently hiring graduates for my beloved employer (not sarcastic, I love my work). I see more and more evidence that a degree or other higher education doesn't make someone a better choice. You need to be intelligent on an emotional level, have a worldly outlook (not precocious) and simply think before you speak.

Any job you decide to take on, for the long or short-term, is worth doing well. Its not just for your employer, rather it is more for yourself. A sense of satisfaction at the completion of a job, or just doing a good job and knowing it within yourself, is worth so much. What I am seeing implies a lack of pride in the labours of one's hands and minds.

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