Today I had an enjoyable lunch with a friend who is specialized in Human Resources. We talked a lot about jobs and opportunities and how much the corporate world has changed in Geneva. Statistics show that most people reject promotions than they accept.
A thing unheard of in my time; you would never have dared to refuse a promotion as it would have been an insult to your hierarchy and you would end up fired shortly after that. Back in my days, it was considered an honor to be promoted, and there was nothing else to say but thank you.
Now it is different. It is well accepted as the environment changed so did people. The would rather give up a more prestigious or influential position with a higher paycheck to keep their current job and quality of life. In other words, people are now willing to swap money and power versus quality of life. The rat race has lost some of its strength which is a good thing.
Just a bit of information about Switzerland employment’s situation. It is legal to get rid of somebody without any explanations. This may come as a shock to some of you, but when you dig a bit deeper, it makes total economic sense. The unemployment rate in Switzerland has always been very low, except for few years. The business-friendly structures that the government puts in place for small and mid-size companies as the authorities recognize the importance of this portion of industries as it translates to roughly eighty percent of the job market. The government made sure to have strong laws and regulations for them to prosper and to be protected. One of them is to have the flexibility to hire and fire as they see fit. When an entrepreneur is scared to hire somebody because it is virtually impossible to fire them later it will result in not hiring anybody in the first place, that individual will show up the unemployment statistics. In Switzerland, none of this comes into play. Most of the time small and medium-sized firms have a very low turnover because employees know that they better to the job right or else. It may seem harsh to some, but it is ingrained in the Swiss mentality and is, for most us, a non-issue as the system works.
This conversation generated this question; if you had to do it over, would you do the same thing. Without a doubt, I said yes, but after a split second I came back to my statement and said no.
My friend asked what would have done differently? I went back to what we’ve just been talking about. I would have rejected the promotion of Head of Private Bank and my involvement in the Executive Committee. I would not have had the incredible and extraordinary experiences with the film festival and not have the same salary.
But if I had done that, which was impossible in those days, I would not have had a burnout and still a good life. I am convinced about it. The stress levels would have been so much lower. I also believe that these multitude of high-level decisions regarding my other functions were feeding my hypomania phase.
I self-destructed myself.
Peace and serenity