Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 11th 2015 Contents SBG12 FINANCE
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt OCTOBER 11 • 2015
As Stacy Seales leaned back
in her leather office chair
she couldn t help thinking,
with a sigh: "So this is what
it feels like to have made it".
She had just returned from attending her
first executive s retreat after being promoted
to the position of branch manager at the bank
where she worked. This was her second pro-
motion since joining the bank as an accounting
assistant in 2007 and it represented a major
achievement for her career.
As she reflected on the meeting, she couldn t
help wondering how she had come across to
the other managers, most of whom were at
least 20 years older than she was. She remem-
bered the advice that she had received from
Frank Peters, the head of the HR department
when she had been promoted.
He said: "Stacy, you are only 32 and most
of the managers in this organisation are from
an older generation. Don t let that intimidate
you. We selected you for fast tracking because
we believe that you have what it takes to get
the job done. Just make sure that you keep
your head up and provide the strong leadership
that we expect from all our managers".
While Stacy knew that Peter s words were
meant to provide encouragement, she couldn t
help wondering whether she would be accepted
by employees who were so much older than
she was and what she could do to earn their
Stacy Seales had always loved mathematics
so it was no surprise to anyone that she decided
to pursue an undergraduate degree in account-
ing. At the end of her second year at university,
she was accepted for an internship at one of
the local banks, where she was exposed to real
world applications of concepts she had only
read about in textbooks. The manager of the
branch where she interned was so impressed
by her work ethic and attention to detail that
she suggested that Stacy should apply for a
permanent position at the bank after gradu-
ating. She indicated that she would be happy
to provide a favourable recommendation if
she ever applied for a job with the bank.
After a brief stint as a payroll officer at a
manufacturing company, Stacy joined the bank
as an accounting assistant in 2007 and began
working in the loans department. During her
probation period, she earned a reputation as
someone who was ambitious and willing to
take the initiative in getting the job done. She
also got along well with her co-workers and
always seemed to have a smile on her face.
In 2010, Stacy was asked to assist with the
installation and integration of a new suite of
accounting software across all the bank s
branches. This proved to be a challenging
assignment since branch managers were reluc-
tant to change from the existing systems which
they were comfortable using.
In order to ensure that the project stayed
on schedule Stacy often found herself working
on weekends and public holidays but the suc-
cessful completion of this project also earned
her a promotion.
As 2015 began, Stacy felt that she needed
to plan her long-term career path at the bank
and requested a meeting with the HR manager
to discuss her future.
During the meeting she dropped gentle hints
that she might consider changing jobs if there
was little chance of future promotion. She
also expressed some dissatisfaction with the
benefits she was receiving given the high level
of performance she had consistently demon-
The HR manager responded by compli-
menting her on her job performance to date
and encouraged her to apply for a branch man-
ager s position that was expected to become
available later that year. He also suggested
that she consider identifying a mentor in the
company who could provide advice on the
best way to achieve her career goals.
Stacy felt this was good advice and changed
her approach to how she did her job. Instead
of simply trying to figure out a solution when
stuck on a project, she started going to her
supervisor and other senior managers and
asking them what would be the best way to
overcome the problem.
She became friendly with the veterans in
her department and often shared ideas about
how to more effectively organise the work
flow with her fellow employees. She continued
to volunteer for extra assignments and work
late into the night but also made an effort to
join her younger colleagues at their weekly
after work lime.
She was not sure she completely believed
in their motto of "work hard, play hard" but
she had to admit that it felt good to get out
of the office and let loose from time to time.
During this period, she also began pursuing
an MBA degree in order to "keep her options
open" as she described it to a friend.
Eight months after her conversation with
the HR manager, following a glowing per-
formance review, Stacy successfully applied
for the job as a branch manager which rep-
resented a further step towards achieving her
While she was excited by this promotion,
she sometimes felt like a misfit since she was
often the youngest person at meetings and
often found herself in the uncomfortable posi-
tion of having to give instructions to subor-
dinates who were twice her age. She com-
pensated by working twice as hard to prove
that she deserved her appointment.
Shortly after her appointment, Stacy attend-
ed a branch meeting where employees were
asked to provide feedback about how they
viewed each other. Stacy was shocked to find
out that some of her colleagues viewed her
as a hard worker but somewhat abrasive when
dealing with staff. She had also been expe-
riencing increasing friction with a few of the
older staff members who seemed to resent
her rapid rise in the organisation.
After one particularly testy exchange with
an older employee who inferred that she lacked
leadership skills she couldn t help thinking
that maybe it had been a mistake to turn down
the offer from an accounting firm which had
approached her. "Not only would I make twice
as much money but I wouldn t have to deal
with this stress. Perhaps I should call them
back," she thought.
1. What are the typical character-
istics of employees who belong
to Generation Y?
2. What strategies would you rec-
ommend to manage these Gener-
ation Y employees?
3. What challenges does Stacy
Seales face in her current position
and what career advice would
you give her?
Dr Barney Pacheco is a lecturer in the
Department of Management Studies at
The University of the West Indies, St Augus-
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