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'That urge to switch over'

india Updated: Jan 22, 2007 13:59 IST
Ajay Jain
Ajay Jain
None
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It was December 31, 2006 and sitting at the balcony of his Chicago apartment, Ravi could feel the cool breeze pressing the hand-woven sweater, which his mother had sent from India.

He was thinking how some of the bold decisions of his life had made such a change to his career. It was exactly two years back in India, when he finally decided to submit his resignation at ABC Technologies.

Ravi was in a great dilemma that day. He was not able to decide if it is the right time for him to say goodbye to ABC Technologies or if he is too ambitious to grow so fast. He possessed the engineering and management qualifications from the premier institute of India and never thought of anything less than a CEO when he passed out of the college.

But that was the dream. Now he had spent more than 10 years in industry but still he was not able to cross junior management level. He had started to have serious doubts about his capability.

Ravi was born and brought up in a small town of Rajasthan and was still not able to adapt himself to the cutthroat competition and politics in the professional world. He had spent almost seven years in engineering industry with the aim to learn the technology. But later on he decided to shift to IT as it was a sunshine industry and offered a better package and a better quality of life. ERP was a natural choice to enter IT as it greatly utilised his business process knowledge that he had acquired in the industry.

He found the IT environment too good initially as the colleagues were young and ambitious as him. The organisation believed a lot in training and hence he was getting a good training every two-three months. He was working for a support project, which had hardly any work and hence he was also able to spend sufficient time with his family. He was proving support for a US company and hence working from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm as per Indian timings. He would get up late, read newspaper leisurely and had all the timings in the morning for the family. He could not have imagined a better life than this at that stage.

He had completed more that one and half year in the organisation. But now he started to get restless. The support project did not provide much learning to him. Looking back he was not able to conclude what he had learnt in past one and half years except a few soft skills and some certifications, which he had acquired during the training. He had left the engineering industry as the workload was too much. And now he was fed up in IT too for a totally different reason - the lack of work .He did not have literally any work except a few daily tickets which required him to spend hardly two-three hours a day.

The manager of this project was a local person and always favoured his own protégés for all the plum assignments and other assignments providing good learning experience. Because of the strong brand name of ABC Technologies, Ravi had joined it at a much lesser salary than the market. And in his last appraisal, his salary hike was even lesser than the inflation rate.

ABC Technologies had a policy for a locking period of 18 months for an employee in a project. As he had completed more than 18 months in that project, he asked for the project change from his manager who in turn told him to continue in the same project further for next six months. Ravi got really mad this time. There is this policy of project change in 18 months. But if his project manager refused that, then that could he approach?

He was confused. As such this organisation paid him much below the market, given single digit growth in salary, it offered him only support work. Over and above, it was refusing to give him another project when he desperately wanted to change the existing one.

He did not know whom to approach for his issues? There was hardly any visibility of HR in this organisation except to arrange for the interviews of the candidates and sending them offer letters.

It dawned on him that in this industry changing company is much easier that changing projects. Next day itself, he prepared the resume and floated it on all the job sites.

Next full week he got the calls from a lot of consultant and recruitment department of different companies asking him for his profile and if he was looking for the change. But now there was another problem. He had worked predominantly for the support projects but most of the companies were asking for end-to-end implementation experience. But he decided to stick to his true experience and finally he got an offer from a company offering him a 40 per cent hike along with a US posting one year down the line.

Now he was in dilemma. He did not want to leave ABC Technologies as he had completed only two years in this organisation but also did not want to waste any more time due to the lack of growth and the learning experience. Finally, he decided to take this calculated risk and joined the XYZ Corporation.

And now, after spending 14 months in the new organisation, Ravi was happy as he is able to finish two implementations in last 12 months, and is working now in the US and is fully satisfied from his earnings and learnings.

Now here's why Ravi left the first organization.

1) If ABC Technologies would have relieved Ravi from his project after completing 18 months locking period in that project, which was also as per ABC policies, Ravi would have continued in the organisation.

2) The HR presence was negligible in ABC. Hence Ravi could not find the correct forum to address his problem.

3) Ravi's manager should have worked impartially in a professional way to distribute the task as per the people's caliber, not as per their caste and region.

4) Ravi was fed up because of the lack of work. The organisation should have used shared delivery model to assign Ravi to some other project as well. The company could have gained more by more billing for Ravi and would have been also happy on account of getting sufficient work.

5) The organisation had a lot of onsite opportunity. But as the project managers were not ready to relieve the people from their projects, hence people who joined recently and were not allocated to any projects, were going for onsite assignment despite their lack of experience to handle such assignments. HR should had taken a strict view of such cases and should have ensures that people are given the due job rotation once the necessary locking period is completed.

Our surfer can be contacted at aju _jain@yahoo.com.

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