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职场也可以吃“回头草”

更新时间:2013-12-18 14:07:29 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

Can You Make a Workplace U-turn?
职场也可以吃“回头草”

It's a potential career nightmare: You switch jobs, only to realize days or weeks later that it was all a huge mistake.

这或许是职业道路上的噩梦:换了一份工作,几天或几星期之后才发现自己犯了一个大错。

While it may seem inconceivable, it is possible to make the dreaded employment U-turn.

职场上吃回头草是人们避之唯恐不及的事情,可能显得不可理喻,但它还是可行的。

Bouncing back to a former employer after quitting isn't the resume killer it once was. People who have done it say it is often worth the humiliation of having to admit a mistake and beg former colleagues to take you back. Returning employees usually end up appreciating their jobs more. And their careers can emerge unscathed, if they give sound reasons for flip-flopping -- and stay put for a while in their second stint.

辞职后跑回原来的单位,已经不像过去那样会成为简历上的一个污点。那样做,你不得不承认自己犯了错误,乞求以前的同事接受你回去,因而会感到丢人;但真正那样做过的人说,这常常是值得的。通常来说,回到原单位的员工会更珍视自己的工作。另外,如果能说出让人信服的变卦理由,并且在回去之后继续工作一段时间不跳槽,他们的职业发展也可以不受影响。

'The new normal is that movement from job to job is tolerated' in many fields, says Bob Damon, president of the Americas for Korn/Ferry International, a Los Angeles-based executive-search and leadership-consulting firm. With companies rushing to adapt to changing markets, it is increasingly easy to make mistakes matching people to jobs, he says. And a shortage of skilled workers in many fields makes more companies 'perfectly willing to take back good employees.'

杉矶高管猎头兼领导力咨询公司光辉国际(Korn/Ferry International)美洲区总裁鲍勃·戴蒙(Bob Damon)说,在很多领域中,“容忍跳槽已经成为新的常态”。他说,企业都在争先恐后地适应风云变幻的市场,人员与岗位的搭配越来越容易出错。而很多领域缺乏熟练程度高的员工,使越来越多的企业“巴不得让好员工回来”。

U-turns happen most often among people in design, tech, media agencies and consulting firms, says Tim McIntyre, chief executive of the Executive Search Group, of South Glastonbury, Conn. Some job-changers say they boomerang back because they miss a workplace culture or a respected boss. Others quit to join an entrepreneurial venture, then return after the opportunity fizzles.

康涅狄格州南格拉斯顿伯里高管猎头集团(Executive Search Group)的首席执行长蒂姆·麦金太尔(Tim McIntyre)说,吃回头草的现象在设计、科技、传媒和咨询公司里面最为常见。有些换工作的人说,之所以回来,是因为他们想念某种工作氛围或某个受尊重的老板。另一些人辞职加入某个初创企业,机会消失之后又回来了。

John Turner's U-turn took just 18 months. He left his job as director of business analysis for Healthways, a Franklin, Tenn., company, after a headhunter recruited him in 2011. Mr. Turner had worked with data to help develop and track behavioral-change programs for improving the health and well-being of its customers' patients and employees.

约翰·特纳(John Turner)吃回头草仅用一年半的时间。他原先是田纳西州富兰克林Healthways公司的业务分析总监,2011年一家猎头公司挖他,他便辞掉了这份工作。特纳在Healthways的工作是梳理数据,帮助开发和跟踪旨在改善客户单位病人及员工健康和幸福感的行为变化项目。

At his new employer, Walgreen Co., he scored a raise, a corner office in the company's Nashville offices and an opportunity to work with a huge health-care database at a company nearly 100 times Healthways' size in both employment and sales. As a senior director of client-enterprise reporting, he oversaw five data-analysis teams in three states.

在新公司Walgreen Co.,他获得加薪,在公司的纳什韦尔办事处坐上了宽敞明亮的角落办公室,还有机会在一个员工数量和销售额都接近Healthways公司100倍的企业里面处理一个庞大的医疗数据库。作为负责客户企业情况汇报的高级总监,他管理着三个州的五个数据分析团队。

After seven years at Healthways, though, Mr. Turner had grown accustomed to its intense fitness-focused culture. He wore workout gear to the office, took on-site yoga classes and ran with colleagues at lunch; Healthways Chief Executive Ben Leedle was his teammate for two overnight relay races. And Mr. Turner got free advice over the phone from a personal-health coach provided by the firm.

但特纳在Healthways工作了七年,已经习惯于它强烈关注身体健康的氛围。他穿着锻炼行头上班,参加公司现场的瑜伽课,并在午休期间和同事一起跑步。Healthways的首席执行长本·理德尔(Ben Leedle)是他两次参加通宵接力赛时的队友。特纳还通过电话接受一名个人健康教练提供的免费咨询服务,由公司出钱。

By contrast, during his first week at Walgreens, when Mr. Turner told his new co-workers he was running a half-marathon, he says 'everybody looked at me like I had two heads.' Separated from his fitness-minded former colleagues, he says he stopped exercising and gained nearly 25 pounds over the next year.

相比之下,据特纳说,刚进Walgreens工作的那个星期,当他跟新同事说他在跑半程马拉松时,“所有人看我的眼神都像我长了两个脑袋一样”。他说,与关心健康的前同事分开之后,他不再锻炼,一年时间里体重便增加接近25磅(约11公斤)。

Mr. Turner thought he would like having a private office, after working for years in Healthways' open-plan headquarters. To his surprise, 'I missed the open space,' which fostered deskside meetings and easy access to higher-ups, he says. And the sheer size of Walgreens, with $72.2 billion in annual sales and 240,000 employees, made it harder, he says, to make changes or see how his data analysis benefited customers.

在Healthways总部的开放式办公室工作数年之后,特纳觉得他想要一间私人办公室。他说,结果让他意外的是,“我想念那种开放空间”,因为那种空间有利于跟同事在办公桌边碰面,而且很容易见到上级。他说,Walgreens公司单凭其年销售收入722亿美元、员工24万人的规模,就使改革变得更难,也更难看到他的数据分析给客户带来了什么样的好处。

Despite its size, says Michael Polzin, a spokesman for Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, the company has an 'entrepreneurial spirit,' with initiatives like pharmacist-administered flu shots and free mobile apps for refilling prescriptions. The company doesn't comment on individual employees, he says.

Walgreens公司总部位于伊利诺依州迪尔菲尔德,其发言人迈克尔·波尔青(Michael Polzin)说,尽管规模很大,这家公司仍然有一股“创业精神”,比如有药剂师负责注射流感疫苗的项目,以及补开处方药的免费手机应用程序等。他说,公司不对员工个人发表评论。

Mr. Turner says he liked his Walgreens colleagues and the company's focus on customer service. Like many managers there, he worked at a Walgreens store in his neighborhood over the holidays in 2011. He performed well and was promoted to vice president. But at home with his wife Katie and their two children, Ellie Kate, 4, and Jack, 2, Mr. Turner says, 'I was depressed. I wasn't as engaged.'

特纳说,他喜欢Walgreens的同事,以及这家公司对客户服务的专注度。2011年节假日期间,和该公司的很多管理人员一样,他在自己社区的一家Walgreens药店上班。他表现很好,被提拔为副总裁,但特纳说,回到家和妻子凯蒂(Katie)及两个孩子(大的四岁,叫埃莉凯特(Ellie Kate);小的两岁,叫杰克(Jack))在一起时,“我感到消沉。我不像原来那样全神贯注了。”

He stuck it out for a year and stayed six weeks after resigning to help his boss, then spent several months at home caring for his children and thinking things over. After exploring and rejecting two other job prospects as 'exactly what I just left,' he says, he decided to try to return to Healthways at any pay, in any job.

他坚持了一年,辞职后为给老板帮忙又呆了六个星期,接下来几个月都在家里看孩子,想事情。他说,他在重新找工作期间拒掉了两个机会,因为那两份工作“跟我刚刚辞掉的工作完全一样”。之后他决定尝试回到Healthways工作,什么工资、岗位都行。

One criterion for a successful U-turn, Mr. Damon says, is to explain what has changed since the employee quit. 'An employer needs assurance' it won't get dumped again for the same reasons, he says.

戴蒙说,要成功地吃回头草,有一个条件便是解释辞职以来,员工哪些方面发生了变化。他说,用人单位需要确保它不会再次因为同样的原因被员工炒鱿鱼。

In an email to Mr. Leedle in fall 2012, Mr. Turner described his change in attitude. After 'some soul-searching,' he wrote, he realized he had taken for granted what he had at Healthways, including employees' focus on 'creating a healthier world one person at a time.' That mantra is sandblasted into the front walkway of the company's headquarters.

2012年秋,特纳给理德尔写电子邮件描述他态度的改变。他写道,经过“一些反思”之后,他意识到自己把他在Healthways拥有的一切看成是理所当然的而没有珍惜,包括员工专注的目标──“创造更健康的世界,一次一个人”。公司的这个口号用喷沙器印在总部正门前的走道上。

Mr. Leedle says he was glad to receive Mr. Turner's email. If employees who perform well 'have slipped away, we're happy to re-engage them,' he says. Healthways found a spot for Mr. Turner within a month as a director of market analytics, at the same pay as his Walgreens job.

理德尔说,他收到特纳的电子邮件感到很高兴。他说,如果表现好的员工“悄悄溜走了”,“我们乐于重新聘用他们”。Healthways在一个月之内就为特纳找到了一个市场分析总监的职位,工资跟他在Walgreens一样。

Asking to return was gut-wrenching, Mr. Turner says. 'It's hard to admit to an entire company of people you respect that you were wrong.' But he got a warm welcome, and no one criticized him.

特纳说,请求回归是很痛苦的。他说:“向你所尊重的全公司的人承认自己错了,是一件困难的事情。”但他受到热烈的欢迎,没有谁批评他。

Employers have different rules about rehiring employees. A few ban the practice altogether, to encourage loyalty. Many others classify departing employees as 'eligible for rehire' or not, based on performance, says Paul Rubenstein, an executive at Aon Hewitt, a Lincolnshire, Ill., benefits-consulting firm.

不同用人单位对于重新聘用员工有着不同的规定。有些公司完全禁止这样做,以鼓励员工效忠。伊利诺依州Lincolnshire薪酬咨询公司Aon Hewitt的高管保罗·鲁本斯坦(Paul Rubenstein)说,另外很多公司根据离职员工的绩效把他们分为“适合重新聘用”或“不适合重新聘用”两类。

A successful U-turn requires more from the former employee than just a humble-pie moment. Most employers like to see such resume rebounds 'bookended by years of a solid track record on each side,' says Executive Search Group's Mr. McIntyre.

回头草要吃好,前员工需要做的就不只是低声下气一会儿。高管猎头集团的麦金太尔说,大部分用人单位都希望在回头员工的简历上看到,他或她在跳槽“前后都有多年扎实的成绩”。

Mr. Turner, 41, isn't likely to move on soon. Perks he regarded in the past as 'cheesy,' such as yoga classes, make sense to him now. 'I realized that is what makes us a living lab,' he says. He works in the open at a standing desk, fueling impromptu meetings with colleagues at all levels.

现年41岁的特纳短期内不太可能继续跳槽。原先他觉得廉价的福利(比如瑜伽课)现在对他而言都是很有意义的事情。他说:“我意识到正是这些东西使我们构成了一个生活实验室。”他用一个站立式工作台在开阔区域办公,跟各个级别的同事说开会就开会。

Other people bounce back to an old employer after a new venture falls short. David Greene quit his job as an account executive at SAS, a Cary, N.C., maker of business-analytics software, in 2005 to become vice president of a digital-imaging startup co-founded by a friend, where he hoped to use his skills as a photographer.

另一些人则是在创业失败之后回到原来的单位。2005年,戴维·格林(David Greene)辞去北卡罗莱纳州卡里市商业分析软件公司SAS的客户经理职务,在一位朋友与人共同成立的一家数字成像公司当上了副总裁,希望在这家初创公司将自己的摄影技能派上用场。

Mr. Greene didn't leave without misgivings. When he helped tour customers around SAS headquarters a week before leaving, explaining the on-site health-care, child-care and fitness centers and other benefits that keep the company's turnover low, he thought, 'I'm crazy for leaving here,' he says. He took pains to depart on good terms, giving a month's notice and helping train his replacement.

格林辞职的时候还是有些纠结的。还有一个星期离开的时候,他和人带着客户在SAS总部参观,介绍公司内部的医务中心、托儿所、健身中心,以及其他一些旨在降低公司人才流失率的福利。当时他想:“我好想离开这里。”他尽自己的努力做到好聚好散,提前一个月通知了公司,并帮助培训他的接替者。

Just 3 1/2 months later, the startup changed direction and dropped the photo-sharing business that had attracted him. Mr. Greene stayed 14 more months, doing a different job that didn't interest him.

仅仅三个半月过后,这家创业公司调整方向,放弃了之前吸引他过去的图片分享业务。格林在这家公司又呆了14个月,做另外一份自己并不感兴趣的工作。

Mr. Greene says he probably stayed six months too long. Korn/Ferry's Mr. Damon recommends moving quickly after realizing a new job is a mistake. 'If you decide to leave, every day longer that you spend there is another day you'll feel unhappy and unfulfilled,' Mr. Damon says.

格林说,他可能多呆了半年时间。光辉国际的戴蒙建议,在意识到新工作是一个错误之后要赶紧行动。戴蒙说:“如果你决定走人,多呆一天,你就多一天感到不满意,没有成就感。”

But Mr. Greene, 50, says he learned new organizational and leadership skills. And when he reached out to former SAS colleagues in 2007, he was offered and accepted a job within a few days.

但现年50岁的格林说,他学到了新的组织能力和领导能力。2007年,他主动联系原来在SAS的同事,没几天公司就给了他一份工作,他接受了。

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