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Two items in this section:
1-Managing employment downturns
2-From academia to industry


Managing employment downturns
ISBN: 9789078546290

This cd-book belongs to the "GEM-Chem - management"series.On this webpage, the table of contents and the first page of an edition of the book, not necessarily a recent one,are exposed.
The book is addressed to all white collar and blue collar employees irrespective of their function or corporate level





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The author of the cd-book is Dr Demosthenes Kyriacos, President & CEO
GEM-Chem, E-mail: dk@GEM-Chem.net ; phone +32-2-7710649

D.Kyriacos has worked at Upjohn, GE and ICI in international TS, Sales and Marketing. He holds a B.Sc.(Distinction, Honours, University award of Chemistry) from Alexandria, a M.Sc.course,(ICI scholarship award) in Polymer Technology and, a Ph.D. from Loughborough (UK)
D. Kyriacos is the founder of DK Business Group and GEM-Chem.


From university to industry

This short article is addressed to university students, who look forward to a career in industry.
As soon as the university era approaches to an end, the majority of graduates and postgrads, as well, try to find a job.
It is not the aim of the text to give counsel on the process of job search. The advice we can give in that respect is that deep thought must be attributed to the choice which will be made, since it may have serious consequences, we wish only positive, in the whole life of the young job seeker.
To many, those are very stressful times. The stress is generated by instablility, economic strains, social pressures, and, essentially, a confrontation with the unknown.
It is important, however, to start the approach by looking into the future with a positive mentality and a good dose of self confidence.
You and your colleagues
Most of us have heard, more than once, the odd expression "it takes two to tango". In a company, and specifically in large ones, it takes more than two to tango.
The new employee must establish good contacts within "his" company. Building a working relationship with colleagues, he will need to cooperate with, at all levels, during his employment is of major importance.
The inevitable conflicts of egos must be avoided or easily forgotten. Employees should learn to bypass frictions resulting from different views, approaches and clashes of characters. However a company consists of such a diversified blend of personalities that the onset of iniquities is inevitable.
The art, when such situations arise, is either to avoid them or to moderate them and forget them very fast otherwise they may end up in an unabatable conflict.
Try to take the initiative in that respect and avoid the mediation of bosses and personnel managers because the outcome might not be to your advantage even if you think you are right.
Among your colleagues you will find several types. Those you like and those you dislike as well as a whole spectrum in between. It takes time to evaluate who is who. Some will look upon you with a positive eye, others will make their utmost to nail you down to your boss or to anybody else either on objective or on subjective grounds. Those are principally poor characters. They quite often win their bosse's support especially when the boss takes advantage of such situations to set you aside if you are too good or, perhaps, not good.
In general whatever the situation you find yourself entangled with, try to put your case forward clearly, calmly and objectively.
You and your bosses
Not many employees enjoy having bosses, let aside ordinary people, since we are all born free. The term boss, by itself, is somehow old fashioned and miserable. Only graduates of military academies are trained to accept the concept of obeying, without questioning, the orders of superiors. Some employees appreciate having above them someone who defends them in case things go wrong. Some others wait for their boss to tell them what to do in order to start moving. Remember too, that many people get fired through their bosses' intervention. Your boss can be fired by his boss too, and so on. Such actions sound very often as non managerial, but they happen. The phenomenon is even more pronounced in the so called "hire and fire" companies.
Bosses may be best described as superiors or seniors within the organisation. A good relationship with your superior is important for the smooth progress of your career. If you want to change job or be elligible for promotion, your superior's contribution will certainly play an important role in that respect.
The strategy is applicable to all levels within an organisation. You need not to be the best of friends with your superior. This approach is usually followed at low levels, where superiors assume a protectionist sometimes fatherly role.
It is more important to have a good work relationship with your superior as well as one of trust. If you feel that this relationship has been breached or that your mentality has overgrown that of your superior, ask for a transfer to another department by inventing a good case. Finally if your relationship with your job collapses irreversibly you can still ask for another job through your contacts with senior colleagues or through the personnel department but do not stay with your boss. In exremis you have to think of leaving the company.
A leader of a group of people is someone who achieves the aims he has set (or others have set for him), through the people he leads. The more you help him in reaching those targets through your work and initiatives the more valuable you are for him.
Of course everyone expects his superior to show leadership skills, have a bright mind, be an objective and mature man manager, be competent in business and have a good knowledge of technology and science.
If cheer leading or toughness are the boss' only attributes then do your job and try to manage him if you think that his career prospects within a company are moving on sound grounds. He may pull you with him in his way upwards. If this is not the case, then search for another boss within the company who may have better career prospects for you.
You and your job
You have been hired by a company, as an employee, to do a job or fill in a position which requires the implementation of business tasks. You are therefore paid to do this job and fulfill the tasks to the best of your abilities. To that end you have to work efficiently and make your utmost in order to bring about business results. In doing your job show skills, such as initiative, enterprising spirit, originality. Nobody can blame you for putting those skills into practice even if you do mistakes.
Fullfilling a specific task and then going home may not be enough. On the other hand spending long hours in the office or travelling continuously without bringing back tangible business results are cost generating exercises. You will be more of a liability.
In other words, does hard work help job performance. It might, if the energy put into the job generates results. It is better to work shorter hours in a smart and efficient method rather than to sacrifice long hours by doing a job in an unstructured way.
Within a company, you will grow, as a person, with the job you do and responsibilities you take.
The more successful you become in the company and the more mature you develop you will realise that a tiny share of the company is under your protection or even, belongs to you.
This share may become larger and larger, as long as you grow within the company, until you become elligible of assuming the responsibility of the whole company.
You and the company
To all employees new and veterans, either in junior or in senior positions the company becomes frequently a source of pride. It reflects the social nature of the human being and his tendency to belong and contribute to a group. Within this group employees spend the biggest chunk of their life.
Basically a company is nothing more than a group of people, some being more senior than others.
Whatever the size of the company, it can be whittled down to small and smaller groups.
When an assignment sends one employee from one division, or department, to another, it is almost like changing company altogether, since the social environment changes. The company's name tag reminds him however that his old chums are all under the same " big roof".
If you dislike some of your superiors' decisions or the policies of the personnel department, for example, do not blame the whole company. This is a senseless expression of frustration. It comes down to blaming every body, your best colleagues included.
Think objectively about the exact source of your wrath. It cannot be attributed to each and every member of the company, but to a specific person or better, and more objectively, to a very concrete subject.
If you find yourself at odds with the company's culture, then you either have to change company or be patient and work hard until you reach a level within the company from where you will be able to change the culture.
You can do that from an early stage as soon as you are promoted to a position of leadership.
You and your career
Thinking that the evolution of a career within a company is the result of a democratic election where the majority of the subordinates have the right to vote and elect a superior or, a chairman, is a fallacy. Nobody is elected in a company. The very few choose the few, quite often in a subjective manner. For the career minded, the strategy for career evolution, is to be in touch with the very few, in the upper echelons, who have a say or an inflluence in the choice of the few. Every time a career jump has to be made the same game repeats itself, perhaps in a more subtle or tougher way. On the other hand, every potential, chief to be, needs acolytes. If you are among them, then your promotion, as a result of the promotion of your senior contact, can be a plausible consequence. As a newcomer observe and try to understand how the game is played in your company. Act accordingly. Give it also some thought and set some basic, long term, strategy in that respect by dedicating to it a few minutes every day. It is advisable not to think about this game when you are driving in order to avoid car accidents. Some like forgetting all about their work when they return home, others don't want to get involved in such tactics which they describe as politics. Basically such people are not suited, at this stage of their professional life, for any dramatic progress within the company. They can make however excellent support, scientific or technical staff. Unfortunately excellent scientists within companies, even Nobel prize winners, never became chairmen. Think of Edison the inventions of whom helped founding General Electric. Think of the inventors of polyurethanes, polycarbonate, polyamides have they ever reached a chairmanship or a CEO position. No!

To conclude it is worth mentioning something about reorganisations.
As indicated earlier in the text bosses come and go. Those who come, want to shape up a department, a division or the company according to their likes, many will say according to their vision. In other words there is a scent of reorganisation in the air. Those are stressful times for all employees. Under such circumstances, you can lobby hard people who seem to be on the promotion pipeline in order to obtain a bit of success from them. Otherwise freeze and do your job as good as you can.
For those whose careers are affected negatively by reorganisations, the options ahead are rather few. In any event they must do their job very well until another reorganisation favours their wishes and hopes. They can also or try to find another boss to work for. A better job can also be found with another company.


The author is Dr Demosthenes Kyriacos, President & CEO, GEM-Chem,
E-mail: dk@GEM-Chem.net, phone: +32-2-7710649

D.Kyriacos has worked at Upjohn, GE and ICI in international TS, Sales and Marketing.
He holds a B.Sc.(Distinction, Honours, University award of Chemistry) from Alexandria,
a M.Sc.course,(ICI scholarship award) in Polymer Technology and, a Ph.D. from
Loughborough (UK).
D. Kyriacos is the founder of DK Business Group and GEM-Chem.

Deny Kyriacos: LinkedIn profile

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