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Is there competition for projects at your work place?

On would expect when hired on a job to be asked to use your skills and knowledge to the maximum capacity, to feel in most cases over worked and under payed. Had any of you have the chance to experience or witness the opposite? Have you been in work places where smart talented people leave because of being under used, where getting your hands on a project is a privilege and the people above others on the hierarchic scale maintain control by doing as much as they can themselves and delegate projects to people not based on talent or ability but rather based on some random personal preference? Does it happen only in government jobs or also in the corporate world? There is probably little chance of it happening in small business. How is it at your work place?

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    Oct 10 2013: C'est la vie, my friend. Darkness always exists with the light.:)
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    Oct 9 2013: Yes there are.
  • Oct 8 2013: It happened twice in my career.

    DEC had a downturn and the Operations Committee decided to not have a layoff and keep all of us. We worked on what we could and proposed new projects. In fact Ken Olsen made a comment saying How come during the period when we had money to support projects, we only had a few proposals. Now that the money is low we have 50 good project proposals.

    The 2nd time was when I was consulting for the government. Because of the union and seniority, I saw people assigned to projects by seniority and not by ability. Do not get me wrong there were many great professionals working hard, improving their skills but they were paid the same as those that did not and when people were sent to conference, it was by seniority and not by who could benefit from it the most.
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    Oct 8 2013: Yes, just about every job I have held so far there was competition, inequalities, and lack of opportunities or trust within all. There was only one in the past five years (2009) where all the opportunities and trust was present. What still remained was the competition out on the streets with more qualifications and certificates. I was also advancing in wages based on performance. This new crew with all the certificates and different experiences as of validations that replaced the old crew (which I was in) did not last long at all. I was the last one on and the first to go, story of my life :) At times I flushed my confidence down the toilet until I later find out what big changes the company made shortly after I had been laid off (how do I fix me if I'm never told what I did wrong? ...I pondered endlessly). It never comes with a reason only a timely (weeks to months) painful quest of why..
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      Oct 10 2013: If you had a say, or maybe you have, to build and form a corporate culture, how would it look like? What would be important? Which elements would you introduce for improvement?

      Much from what you said I have seen or been part of, yet it never came to my mind to fix me to blend in or to synchronize with a flawed or foul system.
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        Oct 10 2013: I blamed myself many, many times as I was always left in the dark in the beginning until it kept happening repeatedly. I'm asking for it again. It is my only choice in a monetary system. I don't know how much of me I have to lose to blend in or to synchronize with a flawed system. What are the limits each individual has? Example, are you willing to shave within an hour before coming to work? We realize it takes you an hour to get to work. That's a good enough reason, ..."can him! (curb check)" My spouse at the time, damn I should have kept my mouth shut. Next thing I know she was trying to synchronize my imperfect hairs on my face. As far as me improving a corporate culture? [large grin] The growth of improvement "to me" would not fit the name "corporate culture" at all but I will take a stab at answering your question. I will do my very best here and think about this for some time then edit (add to) this post with my thoughts with pleasure. Thanks for the opportunity to do so, Lejan. Hold it now, how much are you willing to pay me :B well, I am thinking extremely corporate!

        Here is some sarcasm for the mean time just for my brainstorming.
        1. Everyone would have free passes to get their skin tanned or bleached. In small print have it say "may be strictly enforced". We have to make them believe this is a good thing.
        2. Employees must realize that there is always someone else that can do a much better job than you and you are very very replaceable. It's just a matter of time before we find him/her on the street willing to except half of what we are paying you.
        3. If you discuss how much you make with another employee, you will be SHOT.
        4. To move up the corporate ladder here you must endure the mental torture at all times.
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          Oct 10 2013: How much am I willing to pay you? Not a single dime! Join me! Become my partner! Let us produce something, let us exchange with others, let us share and decide together how we do our business. I don't mind your 'designer stubble' as long you don't mind mine.

          I was thinking a long time why corporations do what many of them do. Why so many people are not enjoying their work and just wait for the weekend. Now meet the same people in their spare time, they are all changed. Watch them doing things they like to do... a whole different story!

          I won't give you any more ideas right now, as I like to get your views, yet you may already sense where I am heading ... :o)
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        Oct 12 2013: lol, 007 has no stubble here pictured- Maybe I'm missing the tone here but "join me!" sounds a bit like a cult or something. We all produce something but yes in a different mind set, plan, or ideas would be better than what is present. I am happier living with less items and appreciate the items I do have much more. I pay more attention and time to those items. I can't think of anything I would want to exchange as in items at this present time but we are in the right place for exchange of ideas. I want to learn more about energy alternatives and bury that monopoly for myself to begin with. If this is who I believe it is, I watched a youtube video a little over a year ago about how to live off grid with solar power before I knew about this site. A $2,000 two story home I believe it was. I do believe we have some common ideas and views. However, I am forced into a corporate world of aviation (most all complain about money here and play cut throat) which could lead to benefit others eventually and change from within if I can keep myself from becoming "just like everyone else" :B. I can't decide if I'm gonna shave for this interview coming up or not :). I shall let my youth decide, which is just as contradicting in a sense of able to grow full stubble or not :B We should share by exchanging our experiences and reasons here openly. This is what I do here. Yes, I take that risk.
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          Oct 12 2013: Let me share my experiences on stubbles and interviews. As long it is not a full, nice and tidy beard and the company conservative, I would shave if my intention was to get the job. If the company is seeking for 'creative folk', or was easy going, I would give it a try with a stubble.
          The usual conventions about 'appropriate' appearance and dress-code, whatever that means within society and the corporate world. Yet, it depends on the time and the region.

          'Join me!' isn't a cult, or at least not more of a cult than those which are set in place in the corporate world already. What I meant was the idea, that instead of working for a company as an employee - with all the given downsides and detachments - why don't we run corporations as corporations of the people who actually are the company?

          It always surprised me, that the 'western world' is pretty much into democracy for their political systems, yet when in comes to business, there are only oligarchies and no alternatives to choose from. To me this is odd, yet no coincidence.

          If I had a choice, I would rather work in a company in which I become a parter, instead of just an employee the moment I get hired. This way I would be an integrative part of the decision making process of that very company, which in my understanding would have very positive and motivational 'side effects' to the whole company 'climate'.

          Some people may fear this idea and are likely to name it socialism or communism, yet if this was the case, any western democracy would be a socialist or communist state, which of course they are not.

          Here is a list of employee-owned companies, which function just fine within the given, capitalistic framework:

          This is what I meant when I asked you to 'join me'. Not me personally, of course, but the concept of 'employees' vanishes the moment you become a partner in a company. Many lawyers today are working very hard to become just that... :o)
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          Oct 12 2013: Just one example from that list:

          John Lewis Partnership

          ''The John Lewis Partnership is an employee-owned UK partnership which operates John Lewis department stores, Waitrose supermarkets and some other services.

          The company is owned by a trust on behalf of all its employees — known as Partners – who have a say in the running of the business and receive a share of annual profits, which is usually a significant addition to their salary.

          The group is the third largest UK private company in the Sunday Times Top Track 100 for 2010.''

          Imagine, an employee-owned partnership is the third largest private company in the UK. Isn't that interesting...

          Now imagine the likelihood for employee-owned partnerships to 'export' their jobs to china for profit reasons. To me, very unlikely, because people usually don't harm themselves for no reason. This type of partnerships have even positive effects beyond their companies, as they would act very stabilizing for any domestic market and therefore stabilize the nations in itself.

          But if your partners would tolerate your decision on stubbles I don't know... I guess this highly depends on those partners ... :o)
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        Oct 20 2013: Stubbleless and all, I didn't get the job. The youngest out of the 5 of us in the room was chosen. Thanks for the link.
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          Oct 20 2013: Sorry to hear, hopefully next time!

          If young age was the only requirement, this job wasn't a save one anyway, unless one knows how to stop aging ... :o)
  • Oct 8 2013: First, if you are hired to do a specific task, an employer is going to try and get the most talented person for the least amount of money, believing this will lead to the most value. This is sort of a short-term situation, with the focus on the task not the employee.

    Second, if an employee has been hired full-time, a good manager will spend part of his time trying to decide the best fit between employees and tasks in workload planning and balancing efforts. This involves trying to map talents, availability, interests, skill sets, and career growth to long-term and short-term assignments. The opportunities are usually not something that can be ordered for a perfect match. Often they come unannounced as a result of customer demand, market shifts, or world events. Some are predictable, as part of the life-cycle of some large asset or recurrent event. Others are speculative, as in the case of writing proposals, bidding on contract work, or random contact from customers. A good manager will try and map the employee side of the equation to the customer side of the equation to the best of his ability. It is like an on-going game of human Tetris, looking for the optimal fit. If the manager neglects this responsibility, your workforce becomes unhappy and this causes churn (employees leave) which is both expensive and time consuming.

    Finally, the employee is engaged in a constant evaluation as to how their skills are being used and rewarded. The rewards may be financial, career growth, enthusiasm for a project, work environment, or similar things. If they are being underutilized, they are not earning their potential, and thus constantly look at the job market for opportunities, unless they are happy with the current situation. Work is work, not fun. Employers are focused on customer needs and making a profit, not employee desires. You need to be your own advocate to change a bad situation. However, be realistic in evaluating your value in the job market.
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    Oct 8 2013: Many people in times of economic downturn remark that employers can and do hire people who are quite over qualified for the tasks they will be asked to do, provided they can get them at the same price as a less qualified employee. I am sure in all kinds of organizations, those in positions of authority allocate to themselves rather than to their subordinates the most interesting work. It is hard to imagine that they would assign to others the most interesting work and keep the drudgery for themselves, unless they do not have the skills for the project.

    When assigning work, an employer or manager likely takes many factors into account beyond how talented an employee is. For example, a person who seems arrogant or not a team player may not get the best projects if the manager can help it. Provided either of two employees is capable of doing the work, an employer may choose to develop one he prefers to cultivate over another he values less personally.

    Many organizations maintain a level of staffing at a pretty constant level rather than making rapid adjustments to changing market conditions. This means sometimes people will not have enough to do and sometimes they will be overworked but the employer avoids the costs of frequent hiring and layoffs.
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      Oct 8 2013: Yes, that is exactly the case here: maintain staffing in spite of the down turn in the market conditions. The problem as I see it, is that some people are promoted to command others and they feel so empowered but they can't use the power gracefully and creating an all including atmosphere, they make it all about themselves and about the people they like. I understand that we are all humans, and have natural preferences but when you are empowered to work with other people you need to make a point of using the human resources wisely and fairly. I realize that their job is not to keep employees happy but lack of fairness and exclusion of good employees can be quite demoralizing. Probably the worse part is that people above on the hierarchic scale, even though aware of the situation are going along and keep the easy going attitude and don't want to shake the boat as long as the job gets done.
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        Oct 8 2013: Many times those in professional employment continue to work at a high level even when their morale is low. This may be one reason the leadership does not make employee morale in your organization a priority.

        Have you ever worked in an organization in which smart, talented employees constantly talk about leaving but then don't? The management in such a case is probably not worried about losing those employees because of lower management practices.