Friday, October 12, 2007

My Farewell Mail

I had no intention to post my farewell mail to my company on this blog. However, looking at the overwhelming response that I have received from colleagues and several others who have read it, I have posted it here. The idea is not to sound very pompous about the entire thing but to share my feelings with a larger audience. It was Sudarshan's idea to post it here, though intended half in jest but I decided to take his point seriously!!!

I have always hated reading exit mails since most of them go overboard praising and thanking everyone-working in a dream company and the greatest set of colleagues etc. Why can't people just be honest atleast while moving out?

The idea was to be honest but at the same time not sound very bitter while leaving - after all that's the easiest thing to do, rail against everyone while leaving. Joining a company is a conscious decision that we have made and need to take responsibility for our actions instead of blaming the rest of the world for any misfortune that we may have faced.

Just to clarify, I have not faced any such issues and I'm leaving the company without carrying any baggage from the past. Of course, it is ironic that more people know me now that I have left the company than while working there.

Dear team,

After a brief stint of 17 months through the corridors of *******, I am moving out of the company today and going ahead in life to pursue my career in another company, infact another industry. It's been a bit of a mixed bag, with much more time at my personal disposal than in my previous job. Except for a few hectic months when in Kuala Lumpur , it's been a slow drive on an empty road.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Facilities, Canteen, Travel and Transport departments for the excellent support that I have received during this period. People may inundate the BB with complaints on these aspects but trust me, there are not too many companies who provide these kind of facilities. Laterals like me may understand this point but freshers and those born and brought up in ******* may not appreciate it.

I'd like to offer a special thanks to the entire *** team with which I have been associated during the entire period of my stay here. And a special word for my ex-PM, RC, who's been a wonderful support and guide throughout this period. One of the better aspects of my life here was the ****** pre-sales trip; it was a difficult phase but worth remembering, especially for the friends that I made in those few months in Kuala Lumpur .

Job satisfaction is not a company perk; it comes from doing quality work and with due respect to everyone, I do a feel a tinge of regret that this did not necessarily happen. This is no reflection on the company but on many other factors, both external and internal. There comes a time when you realize that there is a mismatch between your vision and that of the company, and then it is time to move on. Living in one’s comfort zone for the sake of stability may not be the best way to live, at least during early years of one’s career.

There are no regrets or sadness in leaving the company, however, at the same time, it is not exactly a gung-ho feeling. I realize that there is no dream company or dream job; we work because we need to do something and the month end SMS sent by ICICI justifies our efforts. My regards to everyone here; best of luck in the successful completion of all your endeavours. Also, there may be people whom I have consciously or sub-consciously hurt/disappointed during my interactions; my apologies to all of them.

I am available at my personal id - ******** - and also blog at - one of the legacies of bench management in *******.


P.S: The sentence in bold is not an original thought; that was taken from an ad released by Microsoft as part of its recruitment campaign. I have masked a few names for the sake of confidentiality.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

GoodBye, IT

Oct 10th-Wednesday will be my last day in my current job. After 17 months of spending my work life in a premier IT company, it is time to bid adieu to it and move to the industry of my birth-banking. Well, the industry and company shift has been a relatively easy decision but not the change in location. Moving from Hyderabad back to Mumbai needs a certain mental preparation and I still need to prepare for it.

These 17 months have been a mixed bag, really, as it probably happens for most people. It gave me an opportunity to travel abroad (referring to 'abroad' as 'onsite' is a feel food factor and another exercise in branding) and work at unknown areas like pre-sales and direct client interaction.

It has given me enough time in hand to rethink my priorities both at the career and personal front. Now time is not something that was available to me in my previous job but it was plenty here except for a few hectic months in Kuala Lumpur.

I must thank my company for the excellent infrastructure and facilities provided. The canteen, transportation and other miscellaneous facilities (gym, swimming pool, book stall among others) are something that went beyond what the company promised to deliver to its employees. There may be a second opinion about this amongst many but I don't have any complaint at all about it.

But then there are things that go beyond all this, don't they? What about your nature of work? Considering the fact that most of us spend close to 10-12 hours daily at work, it is imperative that we feel good about our work. The remaining time is anyway spent in gossiping, entertainment and sleeping.

The inherent nature of the IT industry facilitates the creation of a large bench strength (something the Indian cricket team badly needs) but then bench management is no joke. This problem is more acute for laterals who keep comparing their nature of work with their previous job.

Having the fastest growing bench strength may sound good on paper but not necessarily so in real life. With a growing emphasis on global offshore model and a rising rupee, onsite opportunities may also be shrinking, adding to the chagrin of employees.

Most IT companies recruit en masse from colleges and have a huge fresher strength. It brings in a certain sense of camaraderie amongst them but this is not the case with laterals. With due respect to the freshers, I have felt that many of them are pampered (atleast in my company) and so, they have so many unreasonable expectations from the company. Look at the complaint boxes in these companies and you'd realise what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I did feel like a fish out of water here. One reason could be my natural aversion towards technology; that clearly slackened my willingness to adapt to work in an IT company. For a functional person like me, technology was only an enabler, not the driver which was at odds with my company philosophy.

On many an occasion, the client and I were at sync with each other but to explain this to technical folks was always a headache-the kind of things that happens when you have scores of people who have never thought outside data tables, Java and codes. Again this is understandable; after all, that is why functional personnel are recruited.

Working on onsite projects also means working with different sets of people and probably never meeting your boss, except when you have a concall to discuss your appraisal; contrast this with my previous job where my boss and I spent more than a month preparing my appraisal form. But with due respect to the company, I do not hold anything against it. The reason for this amicable split is just that my vision and that of the company are different.

Whenever you leave a company, people keep congratulating you and for all such people, the only thing I have to say is there is no dream company. Maybe I'm just too cynical, but simple reasoning says that if I were to love my job, my company would not need to pay me. The pay is the reason we are all sticking to jobs we want to run away from. Knowing myself, it may not be long enough before I get tired even with that job and start cribbing. So, no false hopes for me.

Finally, moving out of Hyderabad and abandoning a life with zero costs currently (advantage of staying with parents) and throwing myself into the din of Mumbai life may not be everyone's idea of progress and I agree. Parents obviously do not understand but then we can't explain all decisons to them, right? After all, gut feeling decisions are best left unexplained.

Hoping that Mumbai will be kind enough to me to ensure that I have a decent piece of real estate for stay, at an affordable price, when I land there in less than 10 days time. And for my Mumbai friends, please open your doors and keep inviting me for dinners; my culinary skills are extremely suspect!!!