January 28, 2010

A Poetic Career Journey

Note: This was an individual assignment given to us - to reflect on our career paths and submit our career story in our own original style. Gave me another chance to unleash my creativity. Here it goes...................................
On the first day of office I was introduced to colleagues and managers,
I was given a desk, a computer and asked to take KT from colleagues- knowledge transfer.
As I started picking up the tricks of the trade and my work far exceeded expectations,
My managers summoned me between appraisals, to know my career ambitions.
When I expressed, in not as many words, that higher study was an option on my mind,
The thorough corporates didn’t let it show, but within themselves were in turmoil….

When one of my team-mates left, ‘Make hay while the resource shines (!)’- became their policy,
Now additional (paid-for) work on alternate weekends, became my extra responsibility…
After the first few mock-CATs I took, the rest started going for a toss,
Life in software is weekends off but ‘Hey! Life’s like that! Face it!’ said my boss!
Living with two other flat mates who gossiped all day on phone with boyfriends,
Our 1-BHK atmosphere was not tooooo conducive for a GMAT CAT XAT aspirant!
And so with mock CAT performance graphs going down and down,
I decided to fall ill for a month and headed to my home town!
It was a respite here to get my performance back on track,
‘Never mind the leave without pay’- I patted myself on the back!
Falling ill was not entirely false for I returned to my work city with severe pain in my neck,
I had brought all the antibiotics, ointments and prescriptions for my managers to check….!

While exams went on eventfully and I ensured that I delivered the best at work,
I knew that the next review appraisal would not get me the rating ‘exceeding expectation’.
Still it was perfectly fine and life had never been better for us,
We finally got promoted from a 1 BHK to a grand 3 BHK house!
Now there was a wait-and-watch for interview calls and results,
I had three such calls, and each of the interviews went really well.
When the time for final decision came, I chose XIM,
My parents were overjoyed to know my career preference.
I put in my papers and my office was more than willing to let me go,
Why not- after all, it was the recession time….!

A farewell party in which I cut pizzas and not cakes (!),
I had fun in office till the very last moment of my last day!
Thus, bringing my memories and work experience of 23 months,
I walked into the B-School I had chosen for myself.
Here, at XIM, I have been unlearning and learning ever since,
Nuances of a busy to-be-manager’s life…..
Getting back to classroom held its charm only for the first month,
Now I sometimes long to get back to work again!

My future resume is gonna boast of IT, wealth management, teaching rural children and more,
I am gonna run a self-help group, write books and will still call it my ‘career’ for sure.
Kartikey and Komisar have listened to their hearts,
They don’t live life as cowards and as slaves to their jobs.
I admire these men and even Subroto Bagchi’s thoughts,
On how job satisfaction is actually an elusive fact.
He says- Make the most of what position you got,
But what about the boy who ran away- what if he later set up a factory or a shop?
Did he earn more than the boy who retired as Foreman of Tata Steel?
These answers still remain incomplete….

Not getting a great working team and a good boss,
In terms of professional happiness- is a great loss.
Frustrations galore make some individuals leave the organisation,
But others stay on to manoeuvre their career and challenge the system.

Yes, in India friends and family have a great say,
Still, it is the individual’s life- he finally chooses his way.
Today’s organizations are so much focused on their bottomline,
That individuals’ career paths don’t so much matter;
They are quick to fire employees during a recession,
And quick to hire when the going gets better.
After I left, I saw my own friends getting fired from the same project,
On the performance front people had been forced to resign- is this corporate culture?
When all that drives you is only profit,
Then also it makes you a big time loser;
Such should not be the motto of organizations,
Though we can never disregard the functions of profit.

Think of the loss in credibility of these huge companies,
Think of the goodwill lost,
The fear psychosis only brings down productivity of existing employees,
Apart from bringing down cost.

I thank Professor Ganesh for letting us express and reflect on our career paths,
A hundred and eighty original styles and stories- what more diversity about life can one ask for?!
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