July 29th was my last day at work. Exactly 75 days at this wonderful place. It is always difficult to leave your first job. But this was my second, so I didn’t have the emotional bondage. It was too short a period to have one either.
I admit the transition was difficult and the early days don’t bring back very happy memories. But that would have been true at any organization I would have joined. Technology was not their forte and they admitted it.
Too infatuated by technology, it took a while to come to senses and to learn how to balance both. To realize the fact that if one had the potential and the drive to change things for better, it was only a matter of time to be empowered to see those changes. I was beginning to feel that when I had to leave.
When you haven’t seen what can go wrong in how an organization functions, you start whining about trivial shortcomings and don’t appreciate how good the place is. So I want to take a moment and jot down all the good things that I observed in my short stint here:
1. Recruitment - Just as you can judge a person by the company he keeps, you can judge a company (read: organization) by its HR. If there was single biggest factor that persuaded me internally to join this place, it was the recruitment process. Amazing HR team. 3 round of interviews within 2 days and on the dot. Never did I have to wait for more than 2 mins. When I arrived for the interview once, I was escorted to and fro from the gate. Sure, for security reasons or courtesy. You are free to perceive as you want to, but I was impressed.
2. Between Recruitment and Day 1- Calls from immediate manager and HR to ensure that everything was going per plan and there were 2-3 hiccups my way and all were resolved with NO fuss.
3. Day 1 - I was floored. Same level of hospitality as I had witnessed before. The winning score however was a feedback form that I had to fill in at the end of the day. It had questions like –
Who did you have your lunch with? - Team, Friends, Alone
Did the joining procedure take long ?
Very comforting questions. The thought that someone had actually thought of putting such questions and not mediocre ones copied from somewhere was appreciable. Day 1 can be nightmare with hundreds of forms to be filled up, an intimidating feeling of a new place, judging eyes, the nervousness to be at your best to give a very good first impression and so on…But at end of Day 1, I felt GOOD. None less.
I did not have to grope for answers or lie for any of the above.
Can you believe I had a machine and place to sit within 3 hours? It is a big deal in India.
4. First week - I had to go on a 2 day emergency leave to attend to my hospitalized mom. That was no problem either.
A few things that I loved about the place:
1. Professionalism - No where ever have I seen such an universal display of professionalism. Respect for other’s time was so high that no meetings were ever conducted without a request placed atleast 2 weeks in advance. Having said that, it did not mean that you could not have ad hoc meetings if the situation demanded.
2. Transparency - They proved all the rules wrong. I have learnt the hard way to read between the lines in an offer letter or in a financial dealing. Whereas in this case, my suspicious mind tried in vain to find a catch point. There were none. It was all there in BLACK and WHITE.
3. Integrity - Amazing. The rules were the same for everyone. “All animals are equal. Some animals are more equals than the others” principle did not apply. Integrity across departments from HR until Finance and your managers. All read the same rule books, it flowed in their blood, there was no question of mending them.
4. Passion - People drive a company, cattle don’t. And passionate people drive a company better. In India where you can easily replace anybody’s job, it was good to see a place where people are given due respect at all levels and vice versa. The passion is clearly evident in the tone and every action. It is not just a job. You do it because you love it.
You may say I’m dreaming. But this is for REAL. It is a no-brainer to guess the name of the place I worked at.
I don’t know how to put this. But if I ever come back to Bangalore, I wouldn’t think for a moment to consider joining this place again. (and this is a BIG DEAL for someone who believes not going back to a place you have quit from).
FastCompany : Dream Jobs
In July 1999, when I started at my first corporate job as a programmer, straight out of college, little did I know what to expect. The thought of working with thousands others, a boss to report to, dressing in formals everyday was intimidating. As I remember now, I went with one principle. Work Hard. Work Hard come what may. Period. Few years later, I realized things aren’t black and white and my principle had to change. Work Smart.
Job satisfaction was like a sine curve going thr troughs and crests at various periods. Never once did it feel like “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Over the years, I dreamt of working at 2 organisations for whatever reasons. One was Sun Microsystems and the other Google. Now I’m not sure. These were dream companies, not dream jobs.
I post my profile yet another time on a job portal tonight reviving “Project Search”. The question lingers in my mind, “What is it that I want in this new job to turn it into a dream job?” From Slacker @Work
If you don’t enjoy your work, in a general sense, you really will end up being one of those do-nothing layabout slackers us all a favor that give the rest of us a bad name. So do us all a favor and find good work. Office Space is a great movie.
This is an attempt to elucidate the mystery. Five things that I would look for before choosing my new job in the same order:
- Passion: Passion is contagious to an extent. If you take pride at the work you do and whom you work for, then it is a quicksand to get drawn into easily. Passion for technology figures top on my list! There is no definite way of knowing it before joining
- Professionalism/Integrity:A right percentile of professionalism is needed to keep things in check and organized. This ensures you don’t take people for granted and neither are you taken for granted. You start respecting other’s time and effort.
- Freedom:A lil Freedom in everything. Freedom of organising my work thr the day. Freedom of managing the team. Freedom to prove myself. Freedom to be efficient and effective. Smart managers don’t tell smart people what to do all the time.
- Creativity: An opportunity to be creative and not tied to the conventional rules of the game.
- Casual Dressing:Not Friday Dressing. Sounds a lil offbeat for a job expectation. Well yes, I find it rather stupid that it is ok to wear casual clothes on some day of the week while it is not on others. One thing I love about my current job is I get to wear jeans all 5 days. A tiny thing that ticks me off… by David Allen on the same topic..
(Better pay, Work from home and a great library are all just an icing on the cake).
To be honest, I would love a job that requires me to read/write business blogs all thr the day! I hope with the new job I can wake up and long to goto work!
What is your dream job?
Update : A beautiful article on the same topic : Why Do You Work So Hard? Is it maybe time to quit your safe job and follow your path and infuriate the establishment?
Our culture allows almost no room for creative breaks. There is little tolerance for seeking out a different kind of “work” that doesn’t somehow involve cubicles and widening butts and sour middle managers monitoring your e-mail and checking your Web site logs to see if you’ve wasted a precious 37 seconds of company time browsing blowfish.com or reading up on the gay marriage apocalypse.