Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Post 4: The crest, trough and the median..

Let me do some career/work/work place related post today..

When I began my career, like the thousands of fresh graduates who join the work force, I was also very ambitious, full of energy and all set and willing to put in the hard work to learn, earn and grow up in the ladder..I have put in many late-nights while I was single and even after I got married, I made sure to give in as much as I could without disturbing my personal life to a big extent. Along the way, I also started comparing myself against my peers, my batchmates, the competition grew bigger and tougher, politics was being played at the work-place.

 At a certain stage, there used to be so much of talk/discussion/gossip about how one person is being paid more while he/she doesn't do half the work that the other does, how the manager is favoring a certain individual, how tactically that one needs to project their achievements  when it comes to appraisal, how one needs to convince the manager , how we'll have to fight it out or in better words, how one needs to play it smart to move up the chain..Added to all this is when a new person joins the team , how certain work is allotted to the person which is not given to another who has stayed in the team for a longer duration, and how much people who are recruited are paid more while employees loyally working for the team are given peanuts would be the talk/buzz in the team ..While  the work  environment being filled with such not-so-obvious-but-still-something-hovering-around atmosphere, it is quite natural that any employee would be dragged into such talks and thoughts of all these would keep lingering in the mind even after office-hours..It required great amount of strength, grit and a strong I-know-what-I-want-from-work clarity of mind to stay away and to not let these affairs at work not affect an employee..Since I didnt belong to the above category, obviously, I fell in the trap and also got the opportunity to see that side of the coin..Though everything would look perfect from outside, each team member was recording  instances when he/she helped another team member and brought this up while giving feedback ..There are a few who would act smart and talk technical stuff only when the manager is in vicinity and try to put down others, there are some who would do the same job allotted to you and always try to compete with you and prove that he could do the same job faster than you..Since I was also in the rat-race trying to move along, all these used to trouble me so much and I used to wonder if I should also behave tactically. But , soon I realsied that I couldnt, it only increased my frustration..
I also have to mention here that while working under the same environmental conditions described above, I've also had instances where I've excelled, not once or twice, but many times..I've tried my hand at innovation, writing /publishing papers, handling multiple responsibilities, mentoring , deep diving and becoming an expert in a paritcular domain..I've also experienced phase where things were not just going my way, the code broke down, i sought help from my team member, a particular issue was blown out,I was pointed fingers at..I've also had the experience of getting up from the fall, re-proving my skills and talent..

When things were going well, naturally, I was happier, was motivated, worked harder. when things were not good, it affected my confidence levels (this happened when I was undergoing personal crisis as well,), my self-esteem was at its low, and it affected my mental and physical health..having gone through the crest and trough, I've realised , its not worth the pain..meaning, taking work way too seriously , having the burning desire to compete and win, always aiming for that promotion or hike doesnt help or work out in the long run and doesnt give much returns back to you..That doesnt mean, I believe in staying relaxed, not meeting deadlines, not doing a good job at work..For the last one year , I've been trying to have a equanimous state of mind, when it comes to work and work-place.

I go to work, trying to learn , trying to contribute my best, doing a good job at what I do..I dont anymore care about what others think about my skill-set (earlier, when there was an instance when my work wasnt upto the mark, which I've mentioned earlier, I felt so bad about myself..I was more concerned about what others would think about my skills and when people made remarks , it hurt me badly and I was in self-doubt).I'm not  a super-duper genius and I accept that there are many  technical aspects in my domain that I do not know and I'm ready to learn if my job demands it..Especially now, the worries about career growth, competing with others dont bother me..I only try to set goals for myself and try to achieve them..With this state of mind, I'm contended than before .Touch wood and kala Tikka!!


  1. I am loving reading about you Ramya. I read the three series you posted and could identify with this one. I liked the title of this post the most :P


  2. very nicely written, right from the heart. I am glad that you have managed to come out that silly rat race.
    Wishing you always the very best in life!

    1. Thanks you soo much for the wishes , Rama. The wishes mean a lot to me !