08 August 2010

Another Milestone

When you get to be my age milestones are easier to come by.   Once you turn 50, it is often time to celebrate your silver wedding anniversary.  It has been more than 25 years since I was married, but as I got divorced I dont think I should celebrate its 25th anniversary.  Maybe I could celebrate the 25th anniversary of my divorce, but that is still far away.

I completed 25 years of my service with my newspaper last year.  But our office has a cut off date for counting the years,  and I missed it by one month. Hence, this was my 'official' 25th year.  This year there was a line-up of eleven people who completed their 25th and I was just one in the crowd. I got my mandatory Titan.  I don't wear wrist watches, but my son loves them.  So he gets to wear it.

These days the young ones forge ahead in their career by switching jobs strategically. This is the best way to get a sizeable enhancement in your salary and also get a few plummy promotions.  Sticking for too long in one job is seen as a thing a loser would do.  When I started working, people got one good job and stuck to it through their working life.  This mantra works wonders when you are in a government job with a healthy pension to look forward to, especially after Pay Commission 4.  But what about the poor privateers who have fallen between the two stools of modern careerism and the old stick-to-it style?  Our own company looks at us as if we were deadwood, our experience and knowledge are underestimated here (it shows up dismally in our yearly appraisals), and other companies (in India to be specific) are shamelessly ageist, so it is no longer feasible to switch jobs..

If I could go back to the early days of my career, I would make sure that I care more about me and my career.  Indeed, if I could regain my youth, I would spend it more in hitting my books and making sure I have a decent qualification than other things.  When I was undergoing training in computers, my teacher told me that harder I worked at the outset, the lesser I would have to do later on.  This is one mantra I found very useful every time I had to learn a new software. I could have applied it to my studies when I was young, and I could have had an easier career path at this stage.

Be a career monger.  Don't bother about milestones, they pop up after every mile, if you miss one, you can still make it to another.  You can buy a wrist watch of your own choice for a couple of thousands, but a career that pays you enough to live comfortably is priceless.


  1. Sticking is not that bad, but yeah sticking for long than required is seriously not done.

    My bro started his career one year before me and has switched 5 companies in last 9 years compared to 2 companies in 8 years in my case and for sure he gets paid more than me.

    Anyways, certain things cannot be redone. There is no rewind button.

    so jo hai wo hai. Khush raho.

  2. Although you say "Don't bother about milestones", nevertheless, congratulations on your milestones.
    Also, instead of defining our income & assets in absolute terms; if we define them as a fraction of Bill Gates' income & assets; 99.999 % of us are merely fighting over how many zeros we have after the decimal point. And if I remember rightly, he did not ever change a job.

  3. Happy anniversary Avdi.

    Very well penned. In my case, I was a career monger. But there came a time when I had to quit my job due to unexpected personal constraints. The whole world looked at me like a gone case. But I'm happy I did what I did.

  4. Happy anniversary Avdi! I think it's subjective. Just a couple weeks ago I came across some people who had been with a software company for 15 years. For techies, this is an unheard of statistic, but everyone involved believed in the company and their work. I think the job-hopping occurs when people are not satisfied, now there are many more choices whereas earlier people had to grin and bear it. But, this also leads people to many misconceptions, the ageist thing for example saddens me. Sometimes I think our values are upside down in India, I hear people ranting about the age of the Air India hostesses etc whereas in the US the airline companies are now hiring policemen/women after their retirement. For some reason we love to make people feel useless.

    So yeah, long rambling and pointless comment, but I guess I just wanted to say, enjoy the milestones, they are what you make of them.

  5. Reema- thanks

    Vee - What your brother does is fairly common these days.

    Samir - Ha ha ! Thats a lovely argument. If I owned my company, I wouldn't move either.

    BB- Not working is not an option for me. But yes, sometimes tough decisions pay off.

    CP- I was very happy here a decade ago. But then things changed within the company, there was less job satisfaction. By that time, I was stuck here more for personal reasons. The ageist thing is sad. No your comment was not pointless, it helped, really !

  6. Congrats on reaching the milestone......was a time, when people used to boast about their "loyalty" - 30 -45 yrs. in same company. But now,unfortunately, it gets a different interpretation !
    I never had a career, so cannot comment on "job satisfaction" or anything else. But Husband was one always looking for fresh pastures; restless. The longest he put in was 15 years ,in the last position , more because by that time he had crossed the invisible age barrier, so couldn't land any new job that would pay better. Now retired, he does not regret not sticking on and rising to top rung in the same ladder, but is rather content with the exposure he got to varied work environments.

  7. Yosee, Your husband's career is, what I would call, Ideal.

    I think 5 years in one job is the tops these days.

  8. Visiting late Avdi...congrats on completing the milestone :) And agree completely..

  9. congrats on the 25 years service ... wow!!!.. how many people can say that they were at the same company for 25 years ?? i guess i was a career monger once too ... and love the Dr suess poem put up here ...

  10. The last para of advice is priceless :P very true! the other day my cousin was "surprised" to observe that all she met in HP have been there for 3-4 years! it sounds like decades to her!

  11. Nice one. by the way congrats for the 25 years. Thank you.