Thursday, June 2, 2011

6-2-11: New Job

It’s been about two months since I started my new job at GE Aviation after nearly four years at Sikorsky Aircraft, my first employer out of college. It’s been quite the transition thus far.

It hasn't been that difficult in general. The hardest part so far is dealing with the fact that I’m new to the group and have to prove myself all over again. That’s something you don’t really think about until you arrive at a new job. I forgot how long it took at Sikorsky to warm up to the group and build some clout. It’s a totally different ballgame when you start somewhere new. Fortunately, the position at GE Aviation is a promotion of sorts from my last job, so I’m not treated the same as I had been starting out of college. I’ve already been given small bits of responsibility, which is nice, but it’s a process. I need more patience.

This process had reminded me of how my generation is thought of as generally feeling entitled. I think there’s unfortunately some truth to that, but there are also some misconceptions from older workers towards people my age (in their mid 20's). In general, people my age don’t feel as tied to employers as in the past, partly because we grew up in the age of new opportunity and a more global job market. It’s also much easier to apply for a new job today than it was 15 to 20+ years ago when most of the older workers began their careers. I won’t say it’s easier to land the job itself, but the fact that you can apply to a job with only a few mouse clicks provides applicants with a reduced sense of “marriage” to their current employer. That's simply not "how it used to be."

The past few years have been tough for job applicants of all ages, but I would bet that turnover will pick up among employees under the age of 30 in the next few years once the economy picks back up. Companies should take this into account. Keep the younger employees engaged. If an employer takes advantage of the employees' fear of their job security during a recession (Sikorsky did not do this, in fact I applaud them for their treatment of employees throughout the slowdown), they will not forget it when the economy picks back up and other opportunities present themselves. I simply made a choice. It was far from easy, but I left with a good feeling and miss my former group. That's the sign of a good working environment.

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