22 August 2011

Change is inevitable, but it doesn't mean I have to like it

I've been at my current job for 3.5 years. I like what I do and I like the people I work with. I work as an Accounts Receivable (AR) Specialist in the finance service center of a multinational company. This isn't really a job I would have ever thought of doing. Sure, I did get a degree in International Business, where we learned a bit about marketing, accounting, e-commerce, etc. But I not that great in numbers, beyond the basics. Things like calculating interest, taxation, depreciation and so on just weren't something I grasped easily in school. So, I never really thought I would I'd have a job where numbers figured big in it. What I do as an AR specialist doesn't really have much to do with interest and depreciation, but we do deal with numbers on a daily basis. I'm just very thankful we have computers and SAP. (Although, SAP can sometimes be a pain too! lol) I think I'm quite lucky to be able to say I like my job.

The service center where I work only came into existence about 4.5 years ago. Before this center existed, each office, site or mill around the world had their own finance department and their own ways of working. Our center was created to consolidate and harmonize the ways of working. It sure has been a process with many challenges and learning curves, but this service center has shown great results.

As you can calculate (4,5yrs-3,5yrs = 1yr), I wasn't there for the very beginning of this process, but I have been there through most of it. The team I am in only came into existence when I started with the company. Before that, the work we do was still in its own units around the world. I was the first of our team (well, our team leader was really first). Through all the other people coming and going, I am still in the same team and same department. In fact, myself and another teammate have been in our team and department the longest. (I find that so strange to think about.)

At the end of 2009, the global business climate started to change and take a down turn. Our company, and many others in the industry, started negotiations to cut back the number of jobs. Several mills were to be shut down (and did shut down) and a plan was announced that many jobs (roughly half) in our service center would be sent to China. For almost all of 2010, we didn't know who was staying in the company, who was leaving and which sections of our jobs would leave us. As the dust settled and issues worked out, some people left the company on their own and some moved to different departments. I learned that I was going to be one of 9 people that would be staying in our department (as I have a permanent contract). Yay! But, I also learned that almost all of my team's work was going to transfer to China. Un-yay.

Fast forward about a year and some of our Chinese counterparts came to our office, learned some of our tasks and took them back with them. This part of the change was ok. Only some of what we did was transferred to China at this point, and actually it was part of what I liked the least. *big grin*

Fast forward again to the beginning of this summer and several more Chinese came to our office to take the major part of what will be transferred to China. This is where the change happened. Friday was the last day for me to officially handle the tasks that I've been doing for the last 3 or so years. What I went to another country to learn and bring back to Finland is now being transferred to China. I'm quite sad about this, yet I knew and know it is a part of work and life. I really liked the tasks I was doing and the people with whom I was in daily communication with. Sure, I'll still be in contact with the same people, just not as often. I'll also still be doing the same basic tasks, just not my original countries. Life will go on and I'll learn new stuff. Change happens, it's inevitable. But I just don't always have to like it!