Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nightmares of an unpredictable onsite career - Not a myth of being part of an onshore-offshore project

What happens when you are tempted next time to take up a lucrative onsite assignment in a most happening city in the world?   Think again before you do on things that matter to you and your family first.     Corporates and Managers need not be considerate to your priorities and less will they be worried about what is killing you on all sides if you make wrong decisions. 

You can call this my experience or my anguish and pain...what so ever.....when there are so many external areas of control, for heavens sake I should have thought about the things that are well within my internal areas of control.   I am perplexed when people treat people like just any other resource in the organization, a broken table, crashed laptop, virus infected software or a unvending coffee machine....

Trust me you are just matter how much you made the work your life, how much you tried to be loyal to the company you work for, how much you are commited to your client's and project commitments.  We are living in an emotion-free corporate world, where people are no more the most important reason for growth in the companies.   

Next time, when you pack your bags for an onsite career,try to do some internal introspection?  Dont fall for the pursuing words of a manager who is desperate to fill up the Project Org Chart with people...dont think that you are chosen because of your talent and skill set, but because he/she  has a desperate project need to fill you in......dont think that she/he is doing you a favour by chosing for the best of the moves, it is only because a client needs your profile and for that moment you are the best fit and makes this for your fascination. 

When the urgency is gone, when the project is going smooth, and when there is no escalation because of your good work,  trust me, you are no more important to the project and easy replaceable!    You are just given a great incentive and a big piece of the cake which lots of other people are only dreaming off!!!!  

YOU are not the you who was so important at the beginning!    When your goals are achieved, you have done your job,,,,you just did what is expected!  When your goals and project deadlines are missed  and you show sudden surge of improvement,  and turn project from RED to Green then you are the best, you are the great member, you are an acheiver.   Thats why people who consistently perform struggle to grow in the organizations...People who sometimes fix things become god sent!

Today Corporate IT industry is always struggling to get the right people, good people who understand client expectations is short just because of this indifferent attitude of people who manage these organizations.  Their perception and training that no one is important is what is draining organizations of good innovation and loyal employees..... Every time, projects suffer from iterations, lack of good talent and consistent performance and inbuilt employee motivation because Managers speak the parrokeeted words that they are trained to speak to..... I also underwent this training from NIS on how to handle people during performance appriasal discussion and can imagine how strong we are supposed to be not getting succumbed to employees emotional outburst...But please people, think again, you are also reporting to some one else and will hear the same Music!  

After frequent travels on project needs, I decided to focus on my highschooler and asked for an offshore project and just because I had valid visa,  I was pushed to 'Bench'  waiting for that the dream change....When the dream change came,  I was given just a month to sell of my car, bike, my husbands job to quit, tc from school for my kid, put my mom under lonliness, vacate the house, sell of the electronics that would not sustain 2 years of storage and spent so much on the packing...moving to the most costliest city with family was another me, to give the same life to the family on what you had in hometown with the earnings that come, is a challenge but still you showcase a brave front and pretent to be happy!  

Finally the day comes when your visa is at someone's mercy or the project is at stake, or just that your manager is not happy with you because you also talk like him or her  and you end up again in a situaton of relocation with an emotion-free corporate giving a slightest consideration to what would happen to you!   Managers think that we had the INCENTIVE of being onsite...but ask any NRI who lives with the second hand goods, manages to look happy always looking for deals, and alway under the uncertainity of 'What Next?' 

The INCENTIVE is paid by the uncertainity of

 'Which school would take a highschooler in the mid of the year in India?????? Years away from home with No Hindi or Tamil,  World history replacing the Social Studies,... Physics in detail replacing Science ....American English replacing the British Indian English,,......Algebra replacing General Maths...I jus dont know if an admission is by any means possible!  Did I put my child's education and future at jeapardy!   Expecting my company to understand my predicment is way too much.It was my mistake!!!!!

'Will my husband get back a job?  A decent one that he was doing before??'''  May take time though not a big deal

The rest are minor and self-made issues that I know I can manage.....but still the nerve of uncertainty is so killing!

Friends,   Onsite careers are real lessons both on the technical, project perspective and also from a personal front.    You make decisions that are important for you in life and not by your companies..... ultimately you may not be with the same company, or with the same project, for long, but surely the families are gonna be with you for life.

Dont damage the life of your dear one 's in the name of your profession, for career is only a part of your life for your living.   Unless you are able to strike this balance, be 100% sure that the changes you take in life do not impact the consistency and happiness of your people, trust me, dont take chances.  I have seen so many co-onsite workers  who pretend happiness back to families in India,  but look for deals of 5 or 10 $ savings.,  who makes families spend time with the TV and cable, and who struggle with second hand cars that are not happy to ride!  Every thing of you gets compramized because of the 'Onsite Incentive'  and the day the realization happens, you will sit and fret like me on a Saturday morning!  Happy Onsiting!

The uncertainty of life is the New Normal and this is the exact reason why lot of Indians are travelling back to India in search of more peaceful, consistent life closer to family and friends.   I am gonna be one very soon!

Disclaimer:  This has got nothing to do with my company, my project or my manager..  This is the frustration of a mother with a teenage daugther worried about the 'What next?' factor in life at this point!

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