Memory.. Little threads that hold life's patches of meaning together. ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, September 01, 2005

5th Anniversary Year In The Work Force

Every year this time, I would ponder over the same issue - My career.

Today marks my 5th anniversary year with my firm, yet I don't know whether to be elated about it. Being with the firm for 5 years is a milestone for us here. The staff is given a "Long Service Award" - a free trip to any destination with a specific amount (and extra 5 days of leave for the trip. On top of that, (s)he is allocated an additional of 4 days each for annual leave and medical leave (all in all, 20 annual leave days and 22 medical leave days). The next milestone is 10th year service.

This is my first job. During these 5 years with the R&D, I've gained a lot of exposure and skills like system analysis, development, troubleshooting and support. I've worked on projects alone and in a team. Besides focusing on my job scope, I've participated in various fields like the ISO Quality Audit implementation, understanding the works of Income Tax Double Deduction claims, and organizing the company's annual events such as the Annual trips and dinners.

I've really learnt a lot from my job. I guess this is the advantage of being in an SMI (small & medium industry) firm. The downside is that the pay sucks (it's waaaaaaaay below the average market rate) and so far, I've only been promoted once, which is the Senior level. There's no way I can go up to be a Manager, since NR is very much comfortable in his position. Besides, he don't intend to leave the firm.

I've always wondered how is it like being in a bigger or multinational firm. Should I be vigorous in the career ladder climbing? It would be nice to move on into a new direction, into a different industry, with a better pay. Then marriage comes into the picture. Sooner or later, I'll build a family. Do I need that extra stress (the higher I climb in an MNC firm, the more responsibilities I'll have, therefore more stress) then? Over here in my firm, there's not much of politics going on, I don't get so much of stress, I don't bring work home, I get to leave at 6pm, and I'm very comfortable with my colleagues. We're very close-knitted with each other, so much that we practically know each other's life stories (We're like a huge family!). Leaving for a new firm would mean having to start all over again. Do I want to do that? This firm is a very good place to be in for married women. Should I be contented? Some day, I would want to quit to become a full-time housewife and mother. Would this not justify the amount of $, sweat and tears Dad & Mum had put in all these years to provide me a good education, to do E&E Engineering in the University of Sheffield, #1 uni in UK (at that time la.. I don't know if they're still #1 now) for that particular course?

I don't know what to do, what decisions to make. Two years ago, I was offered to work for a competitor with a salary twice higher than what I was getting then. I rejected the offer and during last year's appraisal, Dexter came to know about it and gave me a "counter offer" adjustment. It still wasn't enough, but I'm at my comfort zone.

At the moment, I'm filled with mixed feelings. On one hand, I'm quite happy with where I am, with what I'm doing. On the other hand, I don't know if I should be feeling this way, if I should reach for the stars so that when I'm old, wrinkly and toothless, I would not regret anything for having to gone so far. I really don't know what should I do...


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