Lorenzo Pirisino
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Career Woes

Posted on 2007/09/25 12:56:57 (September 2007).

[Monday 24th September]

Today after more than two months we managed to meet with the RPG group, as finally all of us are back from holidays and other various issues. We have lost one of the players, he decided that he wanted to start Uni again and the business due to the study brought him to cut one of his appointments.

In the evening I went dining at Simone’s, and inevitably we got talking about work, as recently (but I feel I should say in recent months), things have gone a bit downhill for him as well.
In a way I see myself three years ago, Simone is quite proud of himself and tends to regard in a very high way his professional figure. If I didn’t know him so well I’d probably think he’s an arsehole, but in truth that’s how he is.

Anyways, after five years of experience as a sales rep in a company that produces high tech medical equipment (though he doesn’t like the idea that he is selling, he thinks he’s more of a “support” guy to the medics, but that’s another story), he is longing for a career move, more money, more responsibilities.
I think that this is quite ok, because he’s good at what he does, he puts a lot into it and he’s got the capacities to be better.

The problem is that apparently his boss doesn’t seem keen in letting him “grow”, or at least all the chances that he has had so far have been thwarted by bad luck, and apparently little action from his superior.

In a way I see myself some years ago, although the difference is that my superiors at that time did not shut their mouth and started promising a series of things that later never came true. At least Simone’s boss doesn’t do that, which I told him I considered a positive point.
On the other side Simone says that he needs to be stimulated and needs to see a possible reward (both money and position) in the future, because he feels that he’s been there and bought the T-shirt already.
This is leading to a growing frustration and a general rebellious feeling, that is getting him to fight with his boss quite a lot.

I see myself some time ago, it seems that ages have passed but instead it’s only a few years. I didn’t have any special advice but looking for a new job, just to see how the market is and what it offers, probably his career in that company will not be dazzling and fast as he would like it to be.

On the other side we got talking about leading other people, because it’s quite clear that this is what he is aspiring to.

We were talking about his colleague, same position as him, more or less same “weight” (if not bigger) on sales, but with a totally different behaviour. Simone dresses smartly, tries to talk in a very complicated way just to win respect and arguments with people that are a bit more “simple minded” (although he tried with us several times and he failed badly, just calling “shit”, “recycled bodily by-product” doesn’t make it smell any nicer…), he’s a perfectionist, quite authoritarian.
On the other side his colleague is always open to a joke, he’s much more relaxed and laid back, dresses much more casual (this is what he told me).

In his opinion he is much more fit to be a boss because “some people need to be told what to do” and he thinks that his attitude is better to retain the staff of command.

I used to agree. Then my experience in Ratti changed my mind, as you need to have authority and the ability to make unpopular decisions, but on the other side you also need to be “loved” or at least to have a glimpse of “general esteem” from the workers. You cannot keep a group of people only on the sheer authority factor (i.e. “I am your boss”), leadership must come from the base, imposing it from top is not always the best solution.
Not to speak about the atmosphere that you have in the workplace, constant tension is far worse than a relaxed place where every now and then you joke about things and have a laugh (but where every now and then things are said harshly).

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