The Promotion That Went Bad

In my working life, I have a chance to work with bosses or colleagues that failed in their job. One common reason is that they took on a promotion when they do not meet the requirements of the job. These are job requirements that you do not see being mentioned on job advertisements or that you could tell from a job title.

It resembles the case of the star salesman that was promoted to an inept sales manager. Sometimes, the person was not even a star employee but a job opportunity led the person to the job that they held when you first know them.

Companies sell the idea of the corporate ladder on the misperception that it is a path to fame and fortune. Often job incumbent that do not succeed in their job is because they let their ego to control them. They became so full of themselves that they did not realize that the new position that they are in is going to be a deep learning curve for them. They really thought “they made it” (to the top) once hired for the job.

Because they lack or do not have enough experience and training, they are unable to understand and cope with challenges, limitations and problems, or what is required to carry their team through in daily operations. They manage by means of demands and intimidations.

Because we are not the ones that had hired them, we only come to know through glimpses in the way they make their decisions and the way they treat other people. In this manner, they pose a great threat to us in losing our jobs.

Here are 3 truths in corporate life:

  • Leaders are found. You cannot get one by putting him or her through a leadership course.
  • Except for office administration, general management skills are too general for any specialized area of work.
  • A person’s character becomes even important as one rises towards the top of the corporate ladder.



Job Hunting: Fooled Again


If we are unemployed, our job hunting efforts can create false hopes in us; drag us through a long period of unemployment; and draw us closer to depression and a dwindling savings account.

The Lesson

When we keep our hopes high that we may land a job tomorrow, next week or 2 weeks after, we delay looking at and taking up other options that we either feel uncomfortable with; too afraid to spend the money on; not ready to pursue or is unfamiliar with.

The Job Market

What we see is a glimpse of the entire job market. We are never aware of:

  • How many jobs are going abroad?
  • Does job growth match skills availability?
  • Is job growth slowing down?
  • Are there more job applicants chasing lesser job vacancies.

So Many Job Postings

We see so many job postings on job boards and social media. We are never aware of:

  • The different job postings are about the same job.
  • The same job is posted repeatedly because the employer never seems to find the perfect person.
  • The same job is posted repeatedly because job incumbents kept quitting from the job.

You Kept Getting Calls for Interviews

Because you have good work experience, you kept getting calls for interviews. However, the employer has 1001 reasons not to hire you, including reasons that has nothing to do with your ability to perform the job.

The Headhunter Wants to Meet Up with You

In every interview with the headhunter, you are told that your resume would be surfaced to a prospective employer.

Promising Second Interview

This is about both the promising second interview and the illusive phone interview

  • You were told that you have been shortlisted for a second interview but it never came.
  • You always made it to the second interview but you were never hired.

We Will Let You Know in 2 Weeks’ Time

You dressed up in office attire, travelled 1.5 hours, sometimes you got yourself lost trying to find the place of interview; arrived early but had to wait for the interviewer; was interviewed for 2 hours and then was told that you are the job applicants that they saw or the headhunter had scheduled another few candidates that they need to see, and that they will let you know in 2 weeks’ time.

You got hold of the interviewer’s business card; wrote them a thank you note but 2 weeks came and went, you did not hear from them but they already hire someone else.

“You Are Unsuccessful”

In the old days, the interviewer was on time; they introduce themselves; they brief you on the structure and duration of the interview; and they kept you informed even if you are unsuccessful. However, those old days are gone.

The Truth

Let us face the truth: There are bad employers out there or there are employers out there that are trying very hard to keep afloat.

Why You Are Not Hired

You are wasting valuable time guessing the reasons why you were never hired.

How to Avoid Neglecting Other Options

As you send out your resume to hundreds of job postings, gone for lots of interview, the time just drift by quickly. If you had been prudent to put aside an emergency fund of 6 months of your salary, you would have slowly depreciated the fund over time.

If that job you wanted never came by the sixth month, you will be in trouble. It is time look for an alternative. Be prepared to change your mind set:

  • The size of income from the alternative source may never replace your former employment income.
  • The income may be erratic or irregular.
  • The income is likely to sustain only for a short term.

To avoid neglecting these alternatives, you have to schedule to work on them rather spending all of your time in job hunting for your replacement job. The earlier that you started, the better it would be.

Be Quick

Be quick so that you can seize the possibility of turning a negative situation into a positive one.

Let us say that $10 goes out of your pocket each day starting from the first day of the month. If you are able to put in $10 each day into the same pocket from second week, you would suffer an outflow of only $10 per day for 7 days.



5 Basic Truths about Employment

The 5 basic truths are:

When you work for an employer, you have only one customer. When you lose that customer, you lose perhaps your only stream of income.

When you work for an employer, you are working to build or maintain his business.

When you are in employment, you are exchanging your time for money. Sometimes you land up giving more time that you are paid for.

You are really your longest employer. You are your greatest asset. That is why you should always pay yourself first.

Between you and his business, the business owner care only about his business. Between you and his job, your boss care only about his job.

Dear Diary: The Thief Within


This is a write up about a real situation at work. It illustrates how little control we have over our own work life.

It has nothing to do with our own work performance. In fact we may even get into trouble if we did a good job. The situation leaves us cold, either out of a job or looking for a new one. When that happens, we cannot meet our family responsibilities or financial commitments.

There is no solution offered in this written situation. This article is just food for thoughts. A lot of us have been sold this idea of working at a job and building a career. It could be much better road if we had started our work life creating and building our own work.


It is your new job. It is a express courier service, where a big team of employees send documents by motorcycles within half a day or the next day around the island of Singapore. The company is a subsidiary of a logistics company that is in the cash management, supply chain management and mail room management business.

You have been hired as a Credit Control Supervisor. Your job is to follow up on payments due from customers. You report to the Finance Director. Both the previous Credit Control Supervisor and Finance Director left their job because they were not able to collect the large amount of receivables that is outstanding.

The company is managed by a General Manager. He is friend of the business owner of the logistics company. The General Manager is directly in charge of the sales team and he brought in the key salesmen into the company.

The Situation

As the Credit Control Supervisor, you have a team of 2 Credit Control Assistants. You got hold of the report on the 30, 60 and 90 days receivables and the list of phone numbers for the customers and start following up with them on the outstanding payments.

Some customers said that they had already made payments while others mentioned that they had never received specific invoices. You followed up with Finance Department on these feedback and resend invoices with a follow up call.

Money started coming in and the team is motivated. This has gone on for 3 months. Then suddenly you are called to the office and questioned by both the General Manager and the Finance Director and your services are terminated.

After the Situation

By chance you met one of your credit control assistant while you are waiting at a bus stop. You told you what had happened after you had left.

Your termination got the curiosity and suspicion of the business owner. This particular credit control assistant being vocal voiced to him “Why fire the Credit Control Supervisor when our team is doing a better than before job in collection?”

Eventually, the business owner took the General Manager to task and his friend confessed that he was running a similar express courier service behind the business owner’s back and was siphoning some of the sales takings into his own company. Of course, the business owner fired his friend in the end.