Those who leave soon

Recently, I had a good conversation with my long time business friends. One of them is a director of design at a prestegious interiors design firm in Japan, and we talked about the change of attitude toward work by college recurites.

They leave, she said. She meaned notable percentage of their fresh out of college recruites. Her company hires employees younge people fresh out of famous colleges and universities. But obviously, there has been big increase in a gap between the type of people a large company needs, and new recruites. After they start to work, some of them say within a year that they are not happy with the job, with their range of responsibilities. It used to be that after one joined a company, one grid his/her teeth and stayed, because that was what everyone (seemed like, anyway) did. But by doing that, one learned basic business manners, picked up on tacit knowledge at work, and just like a ballet dancer doing boring bar exercise and bit by bit learns the move and expands into real dance, one learned real work. Now, before learning the basics of business, new employees leave.

Probably, out of fraction of percentage of people who leave a company like that will learn on their own and succeed anyway. Some will find out that staying put and learning the basics are neccessary in their second or third jobs. Some will drift. But thats nothing new. There has always been people who drifted.

It seems like matter of perspective. When we compare how work situations were in Japan 500 years ago, 100 years ago, 20 years ago, difinitely, things changed. Some of the companies will realize that they need to educate the new recruites differently and succeed. Those hanging onto the old (how old?) ways or not able to change might not fare so well.

I personally know maybe a dozen young Japanese people who quit relatively shortly (1 year to several years) after they joined big and prestegious companies. They are learning marvelously well. We all learn one way or other.

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