Early last year, I made my first job switch to move out from a Multi-National Company (MNC) to a Small-Medium Enterprise (SME). It was a huge risk that I took upon as the company was based overseas and was not fully established in Singapore, hence I was their first employee. That year, I learnt the hard-way for the importance of negotiation.
As I first started work, I was hired as a junior staff as I was deemed to be of lack of experience despite joining as an experience hired. Soon, my local boss was hired and things did not go as I’ve expected. To expand and strive for success in the local market, my ideology was to work together as a team. Despite that I’ve volunteered to join-in for management meeting and chip in my thoughts for the next strategic plan for the local market, I was deliberately left out.
Days goes by, soon I’ve realised that even though it is start-up like in Singapore, MNC-management was set in place. There is no transparency oppose to the advantage of being in a start-up, such as flexibility and easy communication. There was no room for discussion but to agree with my boss.
In order to bring in clients, my boss always over promise on the service to be rendered and quote extremely low price. Once the deal is done, he would happily grab his commission and throw the project fulfilment to the delivery team, whom often have to work on the unrealistic timeline and perform magic.
More importantly, in the eyes of the management, it would always be the delivery fault for not able to deliver to client expectation (putting aside the unreasonable ones that expects everything to be of “perfection” in their own way) when the delivery can be overwhelm with many parallel projects.
Next, instead of choosing between the maker and checker, why not both? Take upon every chance to boast his past experience and glory. However, failed to grasp the basic understanding and usage of Microsoft Words and learn new tools that help simplify workflow as these should be work down by the low worker.
Take every opportunity to expense through the company including treating his friends as a “potential” business talk. Also, always try to network around people he deem to have connection to job hop for the next better job, just in case that things did not goes well under his helm.
At work, always take the credit of your employees and push blame if anything goes wrong. Rinse and repeat all the above and surprisingly, company do are eager to hire without even trying to validate or dig a little deeper to the fluff.
When hiring, somehow people never question the validity of the 10 to 20+ years of management experience on paper (unless they have been working in the research field) when the actual technology only took off 5 years ago. I’ve no idea if this is due to the desperate need of “technical” in the market however, these definitely brings more harm than good most of the time.
Of course, not every start-up and bosses are like this. I’ve seen employees and start-up founder working together to build the company together and become core member of the firm. I’ve also met great boss that takes extra-steps to groom their employees. I still do have my respect for them.
I’ve since moved on and changed job. This was a valuable lesson learnt to choose the right boss and company. Even in a start-up/SME politics can exist even though it should be to build dream and passion. So far, I have yet to see any successful SME with MNC hierarchy and process, I would hope to surprise more in the future if I come across one.