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Where I can go?
Fruit Punch
posted on Friday, 29 July 2011 15:13

Dear Doctor,

I was acting as Executive Director in a professional body for 3 years.  Due to the politics played by the board, I decided to quit my job and got another one in another professional body with same title.  I thought how lucky I am but finally found that I am treated as a secretary because the board members requested me to carry heavy seminar folders, to buy office furniture etc.  In addition, there is no room for my recommendations or suggestions, even in HR affairs of the office, I am only the executor to carry out the instruction made by board members, however, some policies I am carrying, like HR policies, are obviously impracticable.  As such having served for 3 months, I quit the job again.

Now I am at the beginning of 50, though with MBA degree, I hesitate in the career road and do not have idea where I can go.  Can Doctor give me advices?

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Fruit Punch
Posted Sunday, 20 November 2011 11:26 PM

Thanks for Doctor's advice but my career path seems to be so difficult. Having left the professional body in which I only served for a few months, I found a job taking HRM duties as the head of department, however, I am requested to undertake a lot of financial duties such as payroll calculation, reconciliation on payroll report and issuing checks to staff etc. The nature of duties are quite different with the one I gathered through the interviewer's description of the job in the recruitment interview. I discussed the situation with the General Manager and she said that the Accounting Manager is the relative of our Director, so even the GM has no authority to clarify the duties and responsibilities between the Accounting Department and HRM Department. I was so frustrated to have a terrible working experience again

Catherine Ng - Career Doctor's picture
Catherine Ng - Career Doctor  
Posted Friday, 04 November 2011 03:32 PM

Dear Fruit Punch,

Don’t feel discouraged by your experiences, I believe this is a good opportunity for you to think about your next steps clearly and open the doors to a new career.

Comprehensive job preview is an important part of ensuring a successful career with an organisation. The most obvious step is taking the time to fully understand the role and its expectations. Asking for a more detailed job description is critical. In depth research into the organisation by reviewing its website, articles and commentary will help you establish an understanding of its culture and structures. Ask to meet as many people as possible during the selection process, ideally from a 360 degree perspective – which includes supervisors, peers as well as direct reports – to give you good insights in the teams as well as the role itself. Industry reference is another good source to know more about the organisation.

A lot of experienced executives often choose to exit the rat race and start their own ventures. This makes sense given your background, your professional experience and the wide network of contacts you’ve established over your career. By embarking on your own project, you are in control of the organisation, the team as well as the culture of the setup. The prerequisite though is your financial standing. For new setups, the first few years requires significant investment and the monetary return may not be comparable to a senior corporate position.

Depending on your area of professional expertise, you may also wish to consider a consulting or training career, even on a project or part-time basis. A lot of the consulting firms do hire professionals to lead consulting projects or conduct training programs for them.

No matter which path you go down, it’s important to stay relevant, build further connections and keep on top of industry news and trends. This will assist you in integrating back into the corporate world when the right opportunities arise.

Best of luck in your career endeavors!

Kind regards,
Catherine Ng

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