Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We had 2 speakers discuss talent and population challenges for S'pore at this afternoon's industry-organized seminar. 1st guy was from a private sector consultancy, a Permanent Resident himself, focusing on the competition for talent around the world and looking at some of the factors that attract talented people to make a decision as to where they want to stay.

From his company's studies, financial reward comes last out of 4 criteria. The most important factor is something so subjective that it's difficult to quantify: talented people want, above all, a challenging experience, and a "buzz" in their work culture and environment.

Call me parochial, but I couldn't help thinking about my own employment situation, wondering if the "buzz" I'm getting now on the job will be enough to keep me going, and for how much longer. In the workplace right now, there are staff who've been here since like forever, so there's no doubt there is some kind of "buzz" going on. In a recent email, a friend of mine from waaaay back, listed a number of our old teachers from our sec school days who are still teaching there, and I'm like, wow... If I can already consider myself a wizened, shriveled, prune of a sage, these old mentors and tormentors of mine must have become hardened into diamond by now after so many years on the job. Would I ever last that long? Do I even want to?

What's the "buzz", anyway? It obviously has something to do with the challenging nature of the work, which should be stimulating in process and somehow results in benefits for others -- which makes the job worthwhile. Solving problems for people can be quite an ego boost, sometimes worth even more than the financial compensation for the work done.

But the "buzz" is also a social thing, in that there must be other co-workers who inspire, support and socialize informally with each other; sharing time, food, caffeine (or similar biochemical stimulants), gossip and jokes apart from the work-load. The "buzz" is excitement in the things we do together, whether it's duty-hours serious business, or off-duty fun and play. People respond positively to busy-ness within an atmosphere of "buzzy"-ness.

This year, I've had to get used to things being a little less buzzy, and I kinda' miss the Boyz still. CCA-wise I feel isolated and cast adrift since I've got no partner to bounce ideas off, or to spur me to do more than just tread water, or even help me get my admin straight. But I am appreciative of my current company, and the effort we make to still have meals together, at least. Today's pasta lunch before the seminar, the few movies we've sat through, and the upcoming D. NY EL Retreat, for example, show we still know how to create a buzz for ourselves. Even without the Boyz who, I'm beginning to be convinced these days, were a bit of an anomaly.

Guess I'll be sticking around a while more...

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