I’ve been with the same bank for 12 years now, working my way up from an analyst to a department head. I was first introduced to retrenchment when I was still an AVP – where my first thoughts were “terrifying” and “devastating” to those who were let go. As years go by, more and more retrenchments happened to the point that I was actually envious of those who left.
Those who remained e.g. me expand our scopes to support more functions and stretch ourselves horizontally. Not that I mind, as I love to learn new things. But when it comes to Remuneration Day, it just dawn on me that there didn’t seem to be any appreciation. Others get promoted while I’m still here. Some get tiered such that other VPs report to them – i.e. targeted for next round of promotion.
I am not the ambitious kind who wish to climb up further. However, when people around me move up, there is an actualization thought which makes me ponder. Am I that lousy or those people have abilities that I haven’t seen. My appraisals and feedback had always been good, and according to whatever the Management said, I was one of the top few people around. But somehow, I do not feel it, I don’t feel appreciated. I remember through out all my 12 year tenure, all I had was a “Thank You” card for my 10 yr anniversary. People before me had vouchers, Mont Blanc pens and Gold coins. But nope, I have always had the worst timing where such tokens were withdrawn just before I hit each milestone.
In recent 3-4 years, the organization made me a workshop for patching holes in processes and teams. After patching, I hand over to the next VP to take over while I sort the next battleground. In the end, I get no credit and no appreciation. What made me so heart-broken was when the Management chose to retain another VP over me. Putting it nicely, I was given the opportunity to move out of a line role and into a project (which ultimately, as you might have already guessed, a programme role). This was good for my career development – but there’s a catch. This project role will also come to end at end of 2017 and I will end up in the same fate of getting my “golden handshake”. If I chose to remain in my role, both the retained VP and I would be reporting to another VP whom I absolutely detest and they knew it. It’s a no brainer what my choice was.
Anyway, I am highly adaptable, so initially I did struggle in a project role – after all, I was so used to managing people and suddenly I have no one. But what I did wrong was to allow myself to rescind from a senior VP to a junior one. I lost my self confidence and people could see it. And I hated myself for that and showing that too. That aside, people were still coming to me about issues on my old role. As much as I helped, people were still coming. Not only that, I have the Management team also coming to me. My thought process – Why didn’t they go to their 1st choice VP instead??? During transition, I spent so much time running through what I knew and at their bloody request, set up a database to document what I knew. Sometimes I really want to bash my head against the wall – it doesn’t pay to be considerate/have stewardship at work at all. Later I learnt that I was apparently blamed (as expected everywhere in the working society) for not passing down knowledge. Even my ex-team kept coming back to me for advice. After a year, I decided enough is enough. Every query that comes, I make sure that VP knows – no more people coming to me via chats to ask questions and not make known to others that they actually consulted me. It’s time to be cruel – but in my heart, I feel so sad. This reality really shows that people do take advantage whenever they can. Sad to say, even though I know it, there’s still a part of me where I still think caring is a virtue.
Now, I have much fewer queries and I know face more difficult situation as my current role comes near to an end. I am one of the last scheduled to leave – no surprises there. And as usual, the last one will be the dumping ground. Yeah. Not forgetting, I have a nice boss (Director) who seem to volunteer my services everywhere. I have ample spare time on my hands so I do not mind, but there is no appreciation too. I have not heard of an Ops programme manager who needs to reach out to client to close account. Such a failure I am. All I can say is, it takes a very strong person to be in a role where you are the department, Management does not care about your existence because what you do and support do not affect them, no one will bother to help you when you have queries and there is an end date.
I had been looking at Internal mobility, but there hasn’t been any that excites me. And speaking with the different managers, it seems that I’m not valued either. It’s very different in the sense that I have no interest in small talks and generate noises. I prefer taking 1 step back, analyze and hit the nail on its head. There are just too many noise makers in the local management that makes me nauseous. It is time to leave, albeit at a depressing tune after 12+ years of service. The 12 year reputation that I made for myself has all gone down the drain…
I drag myself to work everyday and some days, I do not even go in to office. No one cares. I just work from home and as expected, my phone rarely rings and my mailbox is never flooded as it used to be.
Looking externally, there isn’t much opportunities in Singapore too. I’ve been trying to console myself that I should take a break and maybe take a step back and chill. Expenses wise, we will need to cut back on luxuries – maid, and maybe childcare and I can stay home and be a tiger mum. We shall see. There’s still at least 4 -6 months to go and I will let nature take its course.
Stay tuned for developments!