Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Change

Life was horrible until 2005. There was absolutely no time for anything personal. Work was the most personal thing in life. Though I am calling it horrible today, it wasn't that horrible to be drowned in work then. I only hated those who talked about work-life balance then for their inablity to go the extra mile, which gave me many frequent hikes when I was badly in need of them.

The career change that happened in 2005 promised a lot of time for things that I love to do. Got excited with the concept of blogging and started off very happily with it. It continued for some time in some or the other form. Then there was a lesson that said no job is peaceful for too long. There are places that do even the easiest jobs in the toughest ways. The same role that promised so much of free time took away all the time that was available.

Some players prove themselves by providing the best possible outcomes whereas there are others who do the same thing by putting in the best possible efforts. The former does more of expansion whereas the latter does both expansion as well as reductions. Needless to say, the focus gets split in the latter case. But, it is justified for them because that is what is their USP. And, the relationship between effort and outcome is mostly proportionate. More focus on time management, time sheet entry, leave rejections, micro-management, operating margin, cost cutting, conservatism, etc. yield great results year on year but they surely take their toll on their employees' work-life balance. This certainly has an impact on one of the long term aspects, employee morale. On the other hand, it is not to be justified that too much freedom and lack of control are paths to glory. That has the risk of filing bankruptcy, too.

From personal point of view, getting into that kind of a loop always reminded of looking for a better place. Some people do not like asking for permissions, leaves, breaks, hikes, promotions, place changes, etc. Thanks to their sheer lack of negotiation skills. For them they should come automatically. They never ask for them. When things don't go the way they want, they quit. They don't fight for rights. They don't question the status quo. They don't have the task of changing the culture or environment in their charter. It's not worth doing all that, when there are easier solutions. Some times, not always, I too fall in this category. It's fun fighting for rights. It's all the more fun when you are sure that you are at the right side. I got this trait of fighting for the right from my 'left' background. But, at times, when the world around doesn't have the maturity to appreciate it, it is not worth it. Some cases have to be settled out of court. Justice doesn't knock your door even if you are chief justice. Fighting for work-life balance has always been like begging. That too, when the personal USP has been the ability to compromise on work-life balance all along, which has also paid back in great degree, it is very difficult to compromise on that.

Now that the change has happened, it looks unbelievable at times that no one looks at my time sheet entry and questions the shortages of few hours. No one cares what time I come in and go out. I am happier even if I get up earlier some days though there is no need for that. I don't have to open the laptop at times when even the moon is tired. I don't even care where the laptop bag was thrown until Monday morning from Friday evening. What do all these signal? Either I am in for a major trouble or even this will pass. I surely don't want to continue like this forever. Nor will I keep quiet enjoying this forever. But, this has given me enough relief and rest. I am ready for the next big game. I can hit harder after this break. I need this once in a while to get better. And, looking back, I also realize that I have been very productive whenever there was spare time. The productivity formula here takes into account the completion of 'useful' tasks, not completion of 'just' tasks.

And, the high beam focus on productivity leads to automation of work using people being treated equivalent to tools. What happens here? Nothing happens to the people. They don't use their intelligence. Their brains start resting and then slowly rusting. They become less intelligent machines who can handle only specific instructions in the way explained earlier. And, this is what some companies are consciously aiming to achieve. For too much dependence on some people's intelligence affects the operating margin. And, we have no time to reinvent the wheels when we can produce millions of them in a designated style. As a growing (present continuous tense) economy, inventing new wheels in different shapes is not what we are expected to do, too. Industrial revolution has just started for us. We need to produce as much as possible on war-footing to get access to sufficient wealth, which will enable us to do the invention business eventually. So, please correct if inventory is misspelt as invention in any of our notice boards. You need good inventory of money and time to do the inventions.

That said, what do I want to be now? I want to be a successful consultant. What for? Want to make good money. Never want salary to be the deciding factor for any of my future job changes. Don't want to look 'up' to my peers for few thousands every month. Don't want to feel jealous of an old-second-level-sub-ordinate's onsite earnings.

Then what? What else? Want to see the world outside our boundaries. Want to feed the passion to know about various cultures. I like other cultures as much as mine and at times more than mine. From the day I got down from a TNSTC bus in Bangalore, every simple observation about the things around have excited me. Need to write a bigger blog on this. Noted that in 2008 itself in the charter. No progress yet. Want to see such things across national borders as well.

Want to do my bit to bring the best practices from there to the homeland. Want to see the Western cleanliness, one of the good lessons that we failed to learn from them while being busy in learning the bad ones. Want to see the color of Sun and Moon in their countries. Want to know why many of our cousins who come back after an overseas trip start hating this holy land. Want to prove to some people that I haven't become anything more than myself after travelling in a few international flights. Want to check out if the RTO offices, traffic policemen, fellow passengers, Govt office peons, politicians, shop keepers, carpenters, colleagues and friends are better than those here or worse.

Professionally, want to work with clients in their dens. I still remember one of the old boss's comments about clients loving me so much. Want to check if those traits are still alive in me, after working for so long with internal customers that come with different challenges and flexibilities. Want to be able to understand the American and British accents without any difficulty even in unclear telephonic conditions, like the way I understand the tongue that my mother speaks.

Above all, some places give better returns for the same efforts. It is missed out due to the simple reason of not being present in the right place at the right time. And, it may turn out to be the best place for someone with the abc skills and xyz traits, which may not have been the best combination for the current place. If nothing works out, always have the option of coming back to the previous place with the satisfaction of having learnt the best and the worst. Don't want to stay safe in 99 not out till the end of the innings by trading-off the century for the fear of getting out.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to read the blog on the subject that is only thing which remains always unchanged i.e CHANGE... Keep going ..enjoy the change :-)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...