Two in hand is Better than one in Bush

By Umer Raza Bhutta

Well ! don’t perceive this wrong here. I do not mean anything else. The idiom “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush” seem to have reversed over the years. The new one is “Two in the hand are worse than one in the Bush”.

This is not a media based, hype created report but it is actually happening around us. Most of us are on board in making this new idiom work. This new idiom is a creation of a desire to have more, to not be satisfied with what one has and to dislike what one possess. This is true for different kinds of settings. But since I am a Human Resource Professional, I am more focused towards the practicality of this new idiom in my kind of work setting.

I have been involved in interviews and evaluations of resumes for jobs for over a decade. During all this time I have received, seen, evaluated, rejected, accepted, deleted and improved thousands of resumes of all kinds of professionals and non professionals. Most recently this idiom came to face with more force as I have seen many candidates (unknowingly) behaving in this way.

Few weeks ago I was looking for few candidates for some positions of different categories. I shared this with some of the professionals so that they could submit their resumes. In just few days I ended up with more resumes than I could actually handle. And these resumes were also of not the kind and quality that I wanted. Anyhow, I selected few and started the interview process. The position had a very clear “prices tag” on it (i.e. the salary package on offer). During the interviews it was revealed that there were candidates who although were very much aware of the package, and had their current package more than what was on offer, yet wanted to apply and appear for the interview. Upon my query as to why they want to do so, the answer was that they want to try the new setup and company and they were not happy with their current company. I also found out that they wanted to just switch their job either because of boredom, lack of personal satisfaction or lack of personal touch with their job and company. One of the candidates even sent the resume on the day when it was his first day on his new job. I called him the same day as his resume was suitable. He said that he just wanted to check if this could be a good job for him. His salary was better than what the new job (that he was not yet considered for) had to offer. There was yet another candidate whom I approached and interviewed. During the interview it was revealed that his salary is about 50 thousand more than what is on offer. After getting the confirmation of the offered salary he politely refused to be interviewed further and the conversation ended. I was happy too, as this was a genuine and more decent way of going about such things. However, my pleasure was short lived as in ten minutes the gentleman called me back and after some usual exchange of pleasantries ask me to consider him for the position despite the fact that the salary on offer is lower than what he is getting. Upon my query as to why this change of mind, he explained that  there is  always a possibility if negotiation and if the company likes my profile and convinced through my interview and skills level they might raise the salary of the position. I was convinced too, though shared my suspicion with the candidate as the salary might be negotiable but not to the tune of what he is getting now. Anyhow after getting some more assurances about his seriousness and getting the feedback that despite the fact that salary was higher in his current position he was not happy with the company, I agreed to forward his resume. The point is that the new idiom “Two in hand is worse than one in the bush” – hit me even harder.

There are many other candidates who want to just leave the country and look for any opportunity in UAE or UK or anywhere in the world. This is an old practice/theme and people over years have tried to do so. Many had been successful in this and there are still many who just keep trying. There are many in the other part of the world, who have gone there and now have worked for few years, call back and want to return to homeland. May be that they have earned a lot and now wish to return. But in most cases people call or connect with me on email and seek if there is any opportunity in Pakistan where they could come back. At the same time those who are working in Pakistan are not happy with what they are getting here and want to go abroad. When we get something its utility diminishes over time. “Two in hand are worse than one in the bush”.

There are many such examples around us of the people who are not happy at what they have in hand. There are two ways to look at this phenomenon. One is, once you are satisfied at what you have you tend to stay at it and do not want to develop yourself further for further improvement of yourself and your surroundings. Hence people want to change what is in their hands. This is a largely, popularized way of looking at such things (not a popular way of practicing though). Those who look at it this way claim that because of this they get the motivation to move on, to experiment, to identify themselves and to enhance their self capacity. If this is the motivation and it creates a lot of satisfaction within one to “carry on” in life, then this is the ideal way to look at the things, provided you have the ingredients to carry yourself for further improvement. These ingredients include and not limited to the your personal capacity, your learning aptitude, your personal believes, your self-confidence and your ability to adapt to the new conditions and circumstances. Many lapse in getting qualification for all these at one time.

The other way of looking at this phenomenon, is our utter dissatisfaction and lack of happiness with what we have. We are good at finding faults with what we have. There are many people around us who crib while working in an office. Their focus remains on what “others” are doing, saying, stopping them, behaving with them unprofessionally and how they are being mistreated. The focus hardly shifts on “I”. There are many instances of “walking victims” around us. There are people who despite having a good job, feel that they are “victim” of office politics and are not given what is their due. These ”Walking Victims” always throw their resumes in the hope that their new office will have less politics, better working environment, better boss, more friends, less enemies and will work more at new place to improve salary in due course. These “walking Victims” always see the things as “two in hand are worse than one in the bush”


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