The Journey

Six Years…That's a good time to turn back and see…Afterall, in the interviews, they just asked where do you see yourselves five years from now…and sometimes, they even asked where do I see myself ten years from now…But no one was creative enough to ask me where do I see myself six years from now J

And that's how the journey started…May 17th 2004 ….in the city of my dreams…Bangalore…In a conference room…We had a few weeks of induction training…And then onto the job…the department that I was assigned to was decided based on the policy of 'Diversity at Work' which meant every department should have a certain percentage of women…and the ones which did not fill the quota took the girls in the group…This was the first of several irrational behaviors that I have seen in the corporate world over the years…

Things I learned in Year 1:

1.       "Treat everyone with respect. Your junior today may become your peer tomorrow and boss at a later stage. It can also be the reverse." This was something my first mentor said during induction and it has stayed with me all these years...It is one of the best advice I have ever received…It encapsulates a lot of things…especially the fickle nature of human beings and the decisions they make.

2.       When you are ready to quit, you will be offered a plum role…My principle has been to never accept these sweeteners which come too late…

3.       You can find great buddies even in the corporate world…

I lived up to the statistics of most MBAs not staying in their first job for more than a year…

Year 2 and 3 was in a consulting firm which I thoroughly enjoyed…There was a lot of politics, but I enjoyed the intellectual stimulation the place gave me…The last few months though were tough as I had to shuttle between two cities since my hubby was in a different place… And around this time is when I started coming to terms with what exactly life is…

Things I learned in Year 2 and 3:

1.       If too much money is at stake, manners go out of the window…We had a system of bonuses associated with appraisals and often this was a good chunk of money…the rest is best left unsaid J

2.       "A job should give you enough time to enjoy the money you make. It should also give you enough money to enjoy in the time that you have. Too much money and too little time is a waste of your life and too less money and too much time is a recipe for frustration"…This gem of wisdom came from my hubby…and whenever I have wondered if I am leading a balanced life, this is the yardstick I use…

3.       It is not easy to give up something you worked for, for all your life, even for the sake of love…Yea, even a romantic like me found that difficult…

I had always dreamt of having a great job and a great family, but sometimes you have to make choices…I made a choice and regretted it many a times and was happy about it many times too…I will only know whether it was the right choice after several more years…

I shifted to my home town in the middle of Year 4 to a job that wasn't really doing justice to the skills I had…That job though, gave me a lot of power, respect from colleagues and seniors and the flexibility needed to start a family…I had my son, traveled to foreign lands for work and hated the proximity of too many relatives crowding my personal space…Finally, by end of Year 6, I was ready to move again…

Things I learned in Year 4, 5 and 6:

1. There is more to life than a rocking career.

2. It takes at least the first five years of your job for you to truly realize what you want to achieve from the next five…

3. When you share your dreams with another person's dreams, it becomes a three legged race…It takes longer to reach the destination, you decide not to stop at certain places though you always wanted to go there, but you also get to see some fantastic places which were not in your itinerary at all…

I am now back to my old firm, but I have really grown over the years…and hence, it does not feel like having come full circle…And I guess the journey was interesting enough for me to want more of it …

And in these six years, there are things that have puzzled me too…The foremost being why people inflate their salaries…I can understand that a salary to a certain extent shows how good you are in your career, but it also depends on which city you are in, and which industry you are in…I am intelligent enough to know these things and when people throw random figures at me, it leaves me puzzled…

And before I close, here is another gem which I have always kept in mind whenever I get disappointed looking at my bank balance. "It does not matter where you start, it matters how fast you run"…The journey has just started…It is a marathon…and the lead runner in the first 100 meters may not always be the winner…And often your marathon route and destination may be very different from that of your neighbour…

Thanks Anu, this journey of introspection made me realize that I haven't wasted six years of my life :P

Comments

Anuradha said…
:) Choose the next number when you would like to introspect! :P

Popular posts from this blog

Weekend Blues

Pregnancy and Feminism - How Heavy or How Lite?