Alma Pater

Think about itFollow me, if you will, through a little scenario.

Let’s say you get a job offer.

This job entails your spending four years attempting to complete a project. You can take longer. You can take less. But four years is the generally accepted amount of time to complete the project.

You’ll be working with a number of other people pursuing similar projects. And all of you will be guided by a respected management team that has helped innumerable individuals achieve success with similar projects.

Other consultants will advise you from time to time. And you’ll likely wind up on a number of cross-functional teams.

And while both you and the organization will grow in mutual affinity for one another, you will both realize that your tenure with the organization is fleeting. And that one day in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be completing your project and leaving the organization.

You both accept this as fact.

So, four years come and go. Your project completes. And you move on to another organization, with projects anew.

But it’s not the end of your relationship with your former organization.

You get letters and magazines and brochures on a regular basis. They weave stories about what the current employees are doing, what has happened with the organization, what is planned for the future.

Every once in a while, they ask if you’d be willing to participate in events with former co-workers, all of whom are pursuing other interests like you.

They keep the relationship–and your emotional connection to the organization–alive and well through these efforts.

And all of this is based upon an understanding. An understanding of planned obsolescence. An understanding that, while you won’t be retiring from that organization, you will have a lifelong relationship with them.

Oopie. One thing I forgot to mention up there at the top: you have to pay to work there. And after you leave? You’ll still get requests to pay from time to time.

Interesting. You would pay for that experience and to establish that relationship.

Now, if we can establish that kind of relationship with an organization that we paid, why can’t we come to a similar understanding with the organizations that are paying us?

Maybe there’s room for an Alma Pater? That is, if those organizations paying us could learn a little from an Alma Mater.

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Corporate Culture, Employment, Loyalty. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Alma Pater

  1. Toby Lucich says:

    What’s that sound?

    “Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!” goes the flashing lights and overhead alert system.

    This is Dead-On. Money.

    If your organization hasn’t created an alumni network, where will your people be investing their continued interest?

    If they met your rigorous hiring criteria the first time, and then learned under the master tutelage of your wise leadership team, why would you NOT want to try and recruit them again?

  2. Pingback: Still Training? | More than a living

  3. Pingback: Newest TV series: When jobs go bad! - itzblogging big - Serving the Unserved – Recruiters, Job Seekers, Quiet Working Professionals

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