The beginning is always the same, you start a new job with hopeful optimism. It pays better than the last, with better benefits, nicer looking work stations, complimentary beverages and not to mention everyone seems so utterly cheerful and satisfied. You feel that this will finally be your big chance to grow your career (as promised in the job ad), if only you put in the time and pay your dues. But little by little, the pretty little picture of hope begins to unfurl. You begin to feel that all too familiar squeeze, a tightening, you feel trapped and ultimately JAILED!
In the admin world, you’re generally hired to fulfill a role of convenience. You’re presented with a set of tasks and once said tasks are mastered, you become valuable in that you can successfully perform those job functions over and over again with ease. And why advance you, when time and money will be wasted to teach someone else those same tasks over again? It’s easier to keep you buried there, suffocating in crapulence for the foreseeable future.
Office politics are also a key player in the job-prison-hell spectrum. For example, you may be asked to take the title of Administrative Coordinator when really you perform the functions of an Executive Assistant, a title which typically comes with better pay and the slightest of panaché. You assume this is a title you can ascertain with time, only to find out that the executives at your direct supervisor’s lever aren’t “technically” allowed to have EAs due to budget constraints. So you are left there to languish in Coordinator doom and gloom.
The real career jailer however, is not the company or company structure itself, but the neurotic boss who hired you in the first place. You’ve gotten used to their patterns and special ways. You’ve mastered the way to manage their every idiosyncrasy and oddball request. They love you now and will NEVER let you go. No matter how badly you want to apply to be transferred to a different department or advance within the team. HR will always side with them, and that is that.
So how then do you avoid a career as a professional job-hopper in this torturous corporate climate? Please, we beg…let us know when you’ve figured it out! HARUMPH! For it seems, everyone is on the opposing side of the dejected, bottom of the totem-pole employee/potential job seeker.