What it means to spend 10 years at an organization

From 2nd June 2008 till date-Working with Bentley Systems.

Woohooo I have completed my ten years, first time in my career. Now that speaks a lot about the organization and of course about me as well (chuckle). How can I forget that day when I had served my last day at ICICI Bank, packed my stuff from Delhi, said good bye, and with a vow to never return to Delhi’s work life? Don’t take me wrong I am a Delhiite, but in my heart, I had that feeling I do not belong to this corporate life, something is missing, I need to pull up my socks and get the scattered pieces of my life together. In Pune, I did not have any relatives, no place to stay and I had to start putting the building blocks right from the base. Apart from my luggage, I had the undying belief in GOD and trust that this move of accepting offer at Bentley Pune will turn out to be positive. And yes, it surely did!

HR Gurus do have their theories that “why you should stick for a longer period in an organization” but I have discovered some of my own as well.

1) Work life like any other relationship is complex. Don’t expect that you will learn the rules within a year or two. After all, apart from IT processes, organizations are also run by “people”. Do think about it. I am keeping this statement open ended.

2) You can get a chance to learn new disciplines while remaining in the organization. (provided you show your mettle and desire to be open to new projects)

3) It earns you respect when you mention that I am with this company for more than 5/7/10 years. Though there are people who will say “Does it mean that you were not getting any opportunities externally” Ignore them and walk away with a smile.

On this occasion, I took the liberty to gift myself “a motivational poster for my desk” and got a cake to celebrate with my team. Now I am sure you will say, why did you buy it yourself? It’s a moment of joy and there are no rules that you cannot bring your own cake!

Going down the memory lane, I do have many moments to cherish. Being the second person in the marketing team, I have seen the team to grow till 20 and still growing. I see a mix of faces who were with me ten years back and many fresh faces. I thought it’s a momentous day to share my top ten learnings as well 😊:

1) What it means to have a mentor. Trust me it means a lot. There are very few people who consider you as a “human” rather than an “object” There will be more people pushing you down rather than pulling you up. So, does not matter at which point of your career, you have a mentor, but a mentor is a “must have”. And if your manager becomes your mentor for life, you are blessed. Count that as a gift of your good karma! I consider myself fortunate to have seasoned seniors like Aravinda Billavara, Brian Robins, Sharavan Govindan and Simon Horsley who believed in me and mentored me at various stages of my career. Thank you!

2) Every day is a new day. And each day brings its own set of challenges. Smile and have vigor to take challenges head on. Baggage from the previous day or your reaction to an unfavorable email which pops into your inbox, will only do harm to you and affect your performance. Learn from it and move to the next task

3) Providing more information or less information might backfire your plan. Learn how to balance and how much to share

4) If you are moving from one team to another never burn the bridges or for that matter relationship with a colleague. You might have had a tiff or a disagreement, do not go to that limit where you change your way when you see that colleague coming. Life is a full circle and I can guarantee you that there will a task in which you will need to involve/interact with that person. Take it easy, keep your sanity and smile

5) There must be one point on smile. How many times when you enter in your office, you greet the office boys, security guards and your fellow colleagues. A smile goes a long way in turning the tables and of course you will feel better when you “strain” your facial muscles in an effective way and start your day

6) Think and feel from your heart when you are handling a team. Yes, you need to be hard at times to get your work done, some situations demand stern feedback but don’t let the human in you become a devil. Sometimes your reaction might harm your team member in a long run. It’s your job to upscale your team and keep their confidence level up and fueling

7) The day your conversations steer away from people and move towards goals, visions, give a pat to yourself on the back

8) Hands on learning, experience outweighs any degree

9) Be a leader and not a manager. And even if you are a manager, do not take advantage of your position and treat others or your subordinates as “objects”

10) You are not what your title is, titles do not matter

All these might sound philosophical and you might have heard/read it before, but work does not define you, your own personality defines you. Be a good human and be empathetic towards people around you. Sometimes you might need to take a hard stand, to get the work done or achieve targets, but never lose touch with your inner human. Good karma concept is also applicable in work life.

Hard work, honesty, enthusiasm and right attitude goes a long way. The greatest gift which I can present to myself will be “Never have the desire to retire” as I never felt that I was working.