Monday, January 24, 2011

1419 : Glass half empty

I read with interest the article Top IT firms to recruit 1,80,000 this year. I work in IT and I should be damn happy, right?

Wrong.

I find this number growth equated to “bumper success” almost antiquated. I think as a country, as a land of opportunity we are milking our own sore udders.

Let me explain via a digression.

Most folks I know in this space are between 25 and 40, and are mid to senior managers – careers built on being opportunistic versus  a “real world skill”. We are ideally supposed to be able to draw out 35 odd years of productive work before we retire.

In the 5-15 years, we have already seen irrational growth, and a whole host of us, have built their careers on market inefficiencies….a kind of hubris similar to the one we saw in 99 during the dotcom bubble.

We don't have any significant real world skill – and we definitely don't know how to pace yourself for a 35 year career. We are being opportunistic scum bags versus “consolidators” and “accumulators”.

Will this bad karma come back to bite us? Well, it could.

So what would I do differently.
1. If you work in one of the IT firms, ask a question : if you work for GE via Infosys – would “GE hire me directly”….if the answer is “No” or “maybe”, you already are on the fringes.
2. Be opportunistic, but quickly bank your gains….use this career jump you already have to stick yourself into the real world “built to last” firms like P&G, Kraft Foods or even Goldman Sachs…(why not!!)
3. Keep constantly asking question 1 – am I relevant to the firm in a real sense (am I indispensible) or am I a bloody commodity?

One last bit that I keep reminding myself – I am the best startup I can invest it…I should constantly SIP into myself….If I forget that, I will sink into anonymity and trivial commoditization…and that seems so scarily plebeian.

Get the drift?

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