Monday, 18 January 2010

Life in a Professional Firm vs. Life in a Commercial Firm – Episode III

Some very light differences were mentioned in Episode I. There after, I have touched on some technical issues in Episode II. For the final installation, allow me to apply some finishing touches…

The world does not function like a PF

More often than not, PF is the place most graduates lose their working virginity. Just like any other breaking of virginity, the impression is often lasting. Slaves who spent 3 – 4 of their formative working years in PF tend to end up thinking that the whole working world functions like a PF.

You have to do away with that thinking. Else, you may be in for the biggest culture shock ever. For example, you may not have a horde of subordinates under you. You may have 1 or 2 or, none. Your department will most probably not the same size of your original “Group/Unit” when you were in PF.

It is very important to realise that PF is just a small fraction of the entire corporate world. Just because things are done in a particular manner in PF, it doesn’t mean it’s the same everywhere. Also, just because you leave a PF with some glamorous title feeling all big with many people reporting to you, be prepared to feel like a tiny mouse when you move to a CF, especially when you move into a big multinational conglomerate.

Express vs. Impress

It is very important to impress your boss and your client in PF. It defines your future. But that may not be the case in CF. I am not saying that is not important in a CF. However, the manner is different.

It is an undeniable fact that professionals love to use highly sophisticated and bombastic language when presenting their point. It is so complicated that sometimes, it makes Shakespeare an easy read. The intention is to impress the client and at the same time, show to your boss that you can write your professional advice in the most professional manner possible.

If you write such things to your stakeholders in CF, all you get will be “Please explain” or “Don’t understand” or worse, you would be dubbed as one who is not able to deliver your message.

It’s not about impressing people about your prowess but rather, express your thoughts in a way that other can understand. And since they are not professionals, it is a very difficult task to express your professional thoughts.

And that is a challenge that you have to face in a CF.

Perks

PF is famous for its life-squeezing nature. Benefits are almost non-existent. I understand that PF have revised their salary structure a few times in the last couple of years but one thing remains, their benefits still sucks.

When you move to CF though, you will suddenly realise that perks is the name of the game. Of course, some CF will have better perks compared to another but generally, they are all generally better than PF.

Take me for example. My current employer covers all my medical bills including my wife and (future) children, specialist treatment inclusive. There are also allowances for various types of personal expenses, which is hard to come by in PF. And did I mention 30 days annual leave?

And… the single most attractive benefit of moving to a CF is… no time sheet! Only professional would be able to appreciate this, right?


Last but not least, many young aspiring professionals enter PF as a stepping stone to greater things. Hence, these people must realise that a PF will only be a stepping stone if you have the courage to step away to greater things. Not to say that everything is gloomy in a PF. But certainly, there are greater things out there.

Hope my thoughts have been of decent enlightenment.


1 year ago…
Will you report?

22 comments:

Faisal Admar said...

i'm getting tired to impress! now it's time to express! :(

Faisal Admar said...

my office sucks... i mean... very sucks!

goingkookies said...

OMG!!! the timesheet part was accurate!!

haha. i m still like.. whoa.. no need to do timesheet every fortnight! but IT dept sucks in my new firm.. hehe..

and i can SO relate to this post!! especially coming from one of the PF's after being there 3years plus.

mh said...

Hahahah -time sheets - yes a bane in life!!

whoalse said...

Hahaha...can't agree more, esp on the timesheet or billable hours!

Planet of the Monyets said...

PF will never be able to compensate staff as well as CF simply because the staff cost (in a PF) is such a high proprotion of their total costs.

~aSstHa~ said...

hmmmm... weird... my PF offers those benefits u mentioned whereas my CF didn't... cept for the timesheet part... that one stays true... but when i was working in accounts in PF i didn't need 2 do timesheet... only when i'm in IT now... *bah humbug*...

mostly cos the accounts dept will need to charge our hours to the relevant country/project since we're doing support and implementation... (see they charge the hours v work to client but v dun get no extra pay/OT/etc... such is life *sigh*)

deusXmachina® said...

mmm....lot of different ya between PF and CF
thanx zewt...it's a good explanation for me as a fresh graduate....

Ninja Coffee said...

enlightening~~

Huei said...

wait...what about small companies?
=P

Anonymous said...

professional firm sucks...commercial firm rocks...

thebiglazyworm said...

Indeed. Most people treat PF as a stepping stone.
But I guess the question remains, "When to leave?"
=)

ZACL said...

What is a PE please?

InjusticeSistem said...

I still remember vividly how a smartly dress fresh grad consultant came into my dept and interview me abt how my dept is run n da stuff i do....
Few weeks later da consultant hand in their report n i saw how dat asshole copy n paste my job description, throw in some big fancy powderful england words with fancy mumbo jumbo jargon....
Every1 was happy tat day....
1. My boss is happy my dept is run exactly da way da consultant advise....DUHHHHH?????
2. Da consultant gets paid
3. I'm happy cos da consultant professional advise is da same as wat i've been doing therefore i don need to change anythg.....but why am i still screaming like a bitch?

j_yenn said...

This link has totally nothing to do with Zewt's article but it's SO DARN FUNNY:
http://wthashtag.com/transcript.php?page_id=7959&start_date=2010-01-18&end_date=2010-01-20&export_type=HTML

zewt said...

Faisal Admar - seriously, you ought to channel your talent somewhere else...

goingkookies - hahahaha... i am sure many can too. all hail no timesheet!

mh - i feel you!

whoalse - hahahaha... only we will know the pleasure.

planet of the apes - hello there... you got a point there. but i think, it's just bogs down to stinginess.

aSstHa - your industry a bit off leh :P

deusXmachina - plenty of things to read here for fresh grad.

zewt said...

Ninja Coffee - am glad.

huei - that one a bit susah...

anon @ 19/1 8.52pm - agreed.

thebiglazyworm - that will depend on the individual. frankly, i think the position just before manager is good enough.

ZACL - PE? or PF? PF = professional firms.

InjusticeSistem - hahahah.... now that is truly a con-sultant.

j_yenn - shall view tomm...

ms. lili@ said...

"Hope my thoughts have been of decent enlightenment...

definitely! eh is this the last episode already? :(

anyway, reading your latest entry re the latest discovery, yeah i guess you better put a stop writing about this topic. looks like there are many copycats out there taking advantage.. really set me speechless.

zewt said...

ms. lili@ - those are the main differences :) yeah, i should. and seriously think about a modern slavery book.

Petite Lass said...

Indeed. Success comes to those who at the very least dare to make a bold move.

Alexander said...

Hi great blog very interesting. I use online timesheets which have helped a lot.

zewt said...

Petite Lass - have you made one lately?

Alexander - cheers.