Life is a set of moments which define its state. Moments of all shades.
It starts when we have no control, we define controls and loose all controls, settle back to where we started, the same state. We speak, share, fight, resist, learn and grow. Different dimensions, random chaos and some confidence. Dark inside light outside, hacked by materialism, a series of cause and effect, and we search peace sometimes, somewhere. In the same race…I joined IBM. 07 Nov 05. IBM Silo office. This was a time of high learning, a transformation phase in my life, where i learned basics of work, life, money and expense.
When i started my career in IBM, i joined as a fresher.
Money was not in my mind. The center of my work-life cycle was the knowledge-learning need. Money was at circumference. I was least interested in knowing my salary breakup, income tax computation, reimbursement etc. I left these things to default factory settings and focussed on understanding the environment, technology, skills and proving myself to be the best. I learned new things, how to put your thoughts in words, communication protocols, technology, Globally integrated enterprise. I enjoyed being an IBMer. The family respect, value in society, a sense of pride in my parent’s eyes. All, what a college graduate need. I was transformed from a fresher to technical professional.
As we all progress, we grow.
Growth is what we perceive to get satisfied mentally. I started technical career from configuring perl codes to generate MRTG graphs for network links and CPU usages of devices. Learned data networking, CCNA, worked on processes, ITIL, VA, IP management, DC networking. Slowly i started looking into the innovative approaches. I gained mass and velocity and my technical momentum gained impulse. Off-shore project, Srilanka was a life time experience. Working with people in distant geographies is what i enjoyed most. I met some of the most influential people in IBM. I idealized a lot from different people.
A stage comes in life when we stop, and think, “is it worth enjoying pizza out?”.
I can manage 10 days family budget with same amount. We then start prioritizing the happiness. When bachelor, less liability set us free and the definition of enjoyment changes with responsibility. It started itching the melting pocket and this was the time i started calculating my expense. First time ever i looked on my salary breakup. Did research on what can be controlled, and what can be improved. Money started drifting from circumference to center. In a couple of months my all life functions started revolving around the money, as i think more deep. I realized the value of savings. “It matters what you save, not what you earn.” I realized the three mistakes of my life.
Mistake 1:Believing Miracles.
If you think miracle can happen, you are good in your thoughts only. Life is balance. Miracles never happen in real life automatically, instead miracles are the outcome of calculated sustained effort. My mistake lie in the thinking of not taking my salary part seriously. With the start of my career, i never given any consideration to my income. When my father ask my package, income tax calculation, savings, i remain puzzled. I always made an obscure gesture, like this is not my business, look i am with one of the great company, in the long run i will get dramatic salary etc. etc. This is good to focus on improvement, but my focus was only on the technical improvement. I assumed a secured shell around me, and justified my ignored approach towards salary part. This strike me slowly when i realized my colleagues with double, triple salary. I was surprised when one of the consultant asked me “Why you are getting only this much with such a good experience and time.”
Moral of the story: Money is not everything, but at least make money as one of the important measurement criteria of your professional growth. Your salary hike is based on “how much is your current take home”. Money baselines your current state.
Mistake 2: Initial charming credit cards, bank loans, shopping malls, branded stuffs.
As this civilization is moving forward, it is hacked by consumer markets. Most of the youngsters like me, when sense the heat of money, their desires are hooked by the approved robbing authorities. I call these outlets, malls etc. as approved robbing authorities. Facilities like credit cards, charming malls, 50% discount hoarding all are set to exploit your vulnerable desires. These services make their own profit by giving you momentarily materialistic pleasure. I was having six credit cards of different banks, and within 2 years of my job period, i was in a debt of around 1 lakhs. I never knew how this much money was piled up. However when i realized the stupidness of my act, i set myself free from 5 credit cards within six months, and that was my most relaxing day. Sixth card of ICICI is still with me, and inshaAllah, i will get it disabled with my current job change. I started saving money. Killing daily the daemons of desires. Noting down my needs, calculating and living a satisfied, calculated happy life.
Moral of the story: Saving is earning. If you have credit cards in your pocket, stop thinking yourself being a rich person. Loan ruins your life.
Mistake 3: Getting satisfied.
Todays satisfaction will be tomorrows suicide cause. Keep moving. Do not get satisfied ever, be it your job profile or salary. Satisfaction is a mental state. We should be satisfied with what we spend and what we do, not with what we earn and what we have. We should be satisfied with the three times a day home made food, easy and low cost transportation, good simple life, helping needy people, doing charity, social welfare, doing justified work, good work life balance, yes we should be satisfied with these, and encourage it. We should never be satisfied with what we earn, or where we stand. Each moment we should strive to get more money in lawful way. If someone is satisfied with his/her earning, this is a state of death.
Moral of the story: There are things to be satisfied with. There are things not to be satisfied with. Earn more, learn more, never get satisfied, work just. Expense need satisfaction. Baseline your expenses, and spend in calculated way. I am not telling you to be greedy, but do not stop thinking big salary, rather stop thinking expending big.
This was very tough deciding me to leave IBM.
There happened a lot sessions on career planning, long term career plan, focussed wide strategies etc. These all work well with no disagreement. I do believe in long term planning. I also do not see any shortcoming in current management strategy, business policy and the type of physics, environment is going through. As business dynamics changes, so the career growth path on corporate level, and we must align ourselves with the system win-win path, to be in a win-win situation. However there are individual instances where the gear and accelerator combinations do not work well, and the car experiences intermittent jerks. Unfortunately, my boundary conditions forced me to change the orbital path and get a jump. This was not a momentarily decision but it took me months of thought process, specially for me since this place is where, i learned most, and started my career.
This information age is what we call a global village, and am sure we will be in touch. This was fun working with Varadhu, Kalyan, Pawan, Alok Sinha, Aman Sharma, Amit Gaur, and Vivek. I share some of the best learning experience with Sandeep Saini, Kalyan, Pawan Banduni, Alok Sinha, Aditya Chowdhery, Rajiv Bahl, P Gopal, Tarita and Namita. I have seen the Bharti Network team getting matured from scratch to an Industry Standard, and i am proud of witnessing the historical transformation. I was like a newly born baby in IBM and the initial support from Ramesh Goel, Varadhu, Kalyan and Pawan Banduni is what i will always remain grateful to these Leaders. I thank my managers Varadhu, V Rama, Rajeev Dobhal, Harishankar Gupta, Deepak Mahajan, and Vivek Chandra in showing confidence in my capabilities, they nourish my skills and i got the best encouragement. I will definitely miss the leadership and support i always got from the team. Working in Srilanka was difficult without Nishan and Ruwan, Thanks Srilanka Team. Sujith and Nikhil were a great source of inspiration, and i will miss Somen’s humors from Srilanka tour. People recognize me for my one liners, serious humors, but rather i enjoyed a lot with you people. I thank entire NSD family and ITD above all for invaluable support and recognition.