Friday, July 15, 2016

Circle of life

2016 hasn't been kind on the job front with me job hopping back and forth between the same companies. When I was peaking at the client place with everything so well set, I decided to make a jump, purely based on career advancement as the goal. It was the most logical and practical decision I had ever taken in my career front, probably the only time when I wanted to make the move rather than having to. But it turned out to be a damp squib. Apparently my morals and ethics were way too stronger than I had imagined and it didn't quite gel with the unprofessional attitude that was encouraged in the new company. I again went back to where I came from and as luck would have it, the project that I had nurtured with such care went off to competitor in my absence. Had my move been based on any negative reasons, I might've not even considered moving back. But having based my decision on the right choice for my career, it feels all the more blue to be back at what I didn't feel was a right step. In fact, it had pushed me two steps back from where I wanted to be.

It was creating all more chaos in mind, when a conversation happened. It was with a friend who seemed to have taken a fast path into his career and after so many stutters and false starts, he is on home stretch now. The discussion point was no way related to career and office and was more about why he feels black money and parallel government run by private individuals is the right way of life in this country. He was so utterly convinced that, since the government doesn't care two hoots about improving his lifestyle and since there is absolutely no value for his tax money that just keeps increasing and at every stage of life he has to bribe the officials to get things done, he professed that given an option, he would happily cheat the government. His belief was that there are only two options, either we go against the system and clean it up by coming on top of it, which is possible only in movies or side with the villains, anti-heroes rather. He shared a hint on how he came back so strongly on his career front, having taken a real life matinee idol, whom he considers as his thalaivar, as example. He reeled off as to how many "alcoholic club" parties he had to attend, having been a teetotaller and how many favours he meted to his superiors and how he coerced appreciations from them for him and his team. He also mentioned how he advised another friend of his on surrendering to his boss, to protect his job, when that guy was about to get into a war for having been overlooked for another promotion. He finally completed with a quote that, unless everyone else is willing to by the rules, there is no point in playing solo and if you have to survive for long, thick skin and playing to the gallery are the two vital tools that one need to be strong in.

I couldn't quite disagree more with him on any of the points that he so strongly believed in and have put in practice with bumper results. But I can't help to realize how each of my career decision had tallied to every single point he made. I was recommended to have a personal discussion with a superior to take the case of my promotion, few years back, in one of my previous companies and the suggested venue was a pub!!! In another case I was literally asked to fall at the feet in submission and plead for my case and be in the good books of the boss when the situation was dire and finding a billable position was as difficult as Lionel Messi scoring in shootouts on major cup finals. Those discussions only made me more adamant and my ego much more precious to me. I did manage to win a role for me solely based on merit and till date no one approaches me for any out of the way favour. It helped me to keep a clean slate with my superiors and they never held me on to anything. I established my capability that they tried to question and when the promotion was finally offered I rejected it and quit the company. At hindsight it was a stupid decision, but felt good on the ego side. After the conversation with my friend, it made me realize the enormity of the stupidity for I am almost convinced that, if you have to survive, leave alone growth, you have to suck up - not just sometimes but every time. There are people who simply refused to believe that there are options like doing your work and then claiming the reward - even exists!! for they are accustomed to the assured way of sucking the way up.

I am becoming fast disillusioned with what is called as service industry. Nothing could be more fake than this entire industry where more than honesty and honest intent, having a drink and smoking with your bosses sets you up for bigger things. Again, this is not "naan romba nallavan" kind of post. Every "I" mentioned in the post represent those people, who don't smoke or drink and are solely dependent on their wits to grow in their career and not by sombu adichifying.

My actions and their reactions in my career, never before I realized the reason behind them. Now that the past is evident with the results, its the same situation once again. The skin has grown way too thick to shed. Anjula valaiyala..pathinanjula valaiyuma? God only knows :)


mahesh said...

You know what's best for you VSR - thiruppiyum solraen kassa invest panni a farm far away from the madding crowd aarambikalam - kaaygari vikkara velai ki - naama organic farm aarambikalam.

Ramesh said...

No No No Gilsu. Your friend is dead wrong. Careers are long - with God's grace we will live long and you will work for 40 years. In the very short term, it is possible to think you are ahead by adopting the tactics your friend describes. Take it from me, who has seen something of this world for a fair time, in the long run, these never work. And they never bring you happiness and meaning, which is what we all crave.

Stay like you are Gilsu. Don't change. And you will be both successful and happy.

Venkat said...

Eventually everything fall into place, until then stay calm and find peace. You can dig the gold by continual process at same place, if you hard at several places you leaving the gold exposed for others.

gils said...

thanks makkalay