I was called early last week to advise that I have been deployed to a work location for an indefinite period of time. This was not an offer but a statement. This secondment is considered a reward of sorts as it recognises my work ethic by placing me in semi-permanent location for stability.
However, my initial reaction was disappointment. I had worked the particular location for numerous shifts. I found the location did not offer me the opportunity to interact with many customers, provided little to do for a large part of the shift (which may suit some but not me) and possibly worst of all, did not have weekend or morning penalty shifts. There would be a significant financial impact that would compromise my early retirement goal.
Unfortunately, I can’t always think logically immediately after a disappointment, so for a day or two I felt sorry for myself and saw my early retirement goal drift away. I woke up a few days later though to pull my thoughts together to look at what options and opportunities the secondment would offer.
Plan A – My first option is to dispute the secondment. This proposal is proving to be somewhat difficult, as I am obliged to agree within the terms of my employment agreement. Nonetheless, I am pursuing the matter with a reasoned approach. Rather than just approaching this matter by bemoaning my personal concerns, I have primarily focussed on the benefits to the business by redeploying me to a more dynamic location. Of course, the locations I am recommending far better remunerate me but in all honestly, I do believe I am being underutilised in a quiet work location.
Progress – I have secured an appointment with Human Resources to discuss further. I’ll be approaching this meeting carefully as I don’t want to complicate my future in the company but I do want me point of view to be considered favourably.
Plan B – If Plan A fails, I considered how the secondment can benefit me. As the work location is quiet, there is 2-3 hours each shift of downtime that I can utilise to my benefit. This time can be used to learn more about the managers role to obtain an internal qualification. Once I have the obtained the qualification (which, generally takes only a few months), I can be redeployed to temporary manager roles throughout the network. This is not an ideal preference for me as I don’t necessarily want to pursue a manager’s role, however, it would assist in reducing the financial loss.
Progress – I have several rotating managers. I have approached them to ask for training, which has been welcomed.
Plan C – Start applying for higher level jobs. Strange as it seems, I can make considerably more money by continuing to work night and weekend shifts at a base level role than I can for a lot of higher-level jobs that are in Monday to Friday work locations. Again though, the purpose is to reduce my financial loss and keep my goal on track.
Progress – I have applied for a higher level role. Realistically, my chances are poor but by expressing my interest I am making myself noticed. I will consider an interview as a success in this instance and take any feedback as a learning opportunity.
Plan A is the ideal. I continue to work hard and make good money in the job that I enjoy in locations that are busy. While I do like the ‘all the eggs in one basket’ type of thinking as it promotes the desperation to succeed, Plan A may be restricted by formal legislation. Therefore, to ensure that I do not become desponded should Plan A fail, I have other Plans to pursue to maintain my motivation.
Every problem has a solution. Not every solution may be perfect but as long as I’m moving forward I’m not going backwards.