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Chrm Message From: tara Total Posts: 49 Join Date: 25/12/2006
Rank: Executive Post Date: 30/12/2006 04:43:25 Points: 245 Location: United States

I've not read anything more honest than this which is a writeup by Subroto Bagchi and appeared in The Times of India..

Jobs are not meant to satisfy us. Jobs are not animate things that have knowledge of who we are, what we are seeking and what our special needs could be. You may say that I am just making a philosophical statement. To the contrary, I believe that it is not the most practical and rewarding way of looking at many things in a professional career. When I see scores of successful people around me, I believe that they have gotten to where they are in life largely because of such a perspective. It also occurs to me that developing such a perspective is eventually beneficial in every way possible. Let me go back a century to tell you a story from my family. My grandfather was a medical practitioner in Bihar in the 1920's. He had a brood of children who were orphaned due to his untimely death. Two of my uncles had just about finished high school when he passed away. Their older brothers couldn't afford to send them to college for furthering their education, but then the two had to be gainfully employed, somehow as soon as possible.

They were taken to Tata Steel an hour away from where they lived. Tata Steel and the Government of Bihar were the only two employers you could think off in a five-hundred mile radius of my uncle's hometown. If someone were to work for Tata Steel, he had to be a technologist-engineer or just a manual worker. So what could be done with the two boys with their high school qualifications? They were neither fish nor fowl. "Take them to the Lab," someone said. A German Technician who ran the place was looking for a few new hands. The burly German took a hard look at the two boys. Then showed them a broom standing in the corner of the lab and asked them to sweep the floor. By the end of the day, one of the two uncles bolted away, never to return to work. To him, it was too much of an insult to digest. The other one who stayed back retired as a Chief foremen of Tata Steel. The difference between the two? The one that stayed on was not trying to seek "job satisfaction," instead, he focused on satisfying the job.

The more prosperous the industry, the higher is the number of people looking for this elusive thing called "job satisfaction." Similarly the more qualified some people are, the higher is their need for "job satisfaction." Sometimes it is elusive as seeking "true love,. There are times when we get lucky – deservedly or otherwise. But we also get used to it and conclude that it is the responsibility of the organization to maintain the continuous supply of job satisfaction for us. Whenever I think of job satisfaction, I remember all the people who have to work as night policemen, patrolling the streets of the cities, airline pilots, nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, and hotel staff, and of course the sentinel of the snow and the desert and the mountains. Do their jobs "satisfy" these people or do these people satisfy the jobs with which they have been entrusted? Are the jobs loving things that can ever "satisfy" us?

In the corporate world, like any other place when we open the bonnet and look under it, we find a bunch of touch, dirty but strategic tasks that must get done for the bacon to come home. Sometimes, they are so tough and so dirty that they overshadow the strategic nature of the job. So, all such jobs have to be `sold' to prospective incumbents. More they are sold, the less the buyers they attract. Often, the man who takes up the job is either a loser who has no other choice, or someone who just views it as a transit camp. For many potentially high-performance individuals, a false sense of survival, desire for glamour or just the need for creature comforts make these jobs undesirable. "I would rather be in Kolkatta than be posted to Mungher. I'd rather have the corporate planning job than collecting bad debts." Or consider this one here: "Give me a cerebral job, I do not enjoy handling transaction…"

Few of us ever ask the boss to be rewarded with a tough and dirty job. We only look for the "plum" ones. Yet, there are people who given a tough and dirty job make it strategic: they transform the job in unbelievable ways. In a typical career span, there must be at least four such solid stints in anyone's lie to make the person a solid professional. All the great people I know have been in trenches for much of their lives, and their inventory of bruises outnumbers the commendations they have received. The occasional commendations stay on the wall. It's the bruises these people carry with pride. 


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