I passed out of B school exactly five years back, which means I am now five years old in the corporate world. I still remember that hot sultry day in Hyderabad, back in May 2009, when I joined company D as a campus hire. Of course I was super excited about my new job, especially since it was a well-respected MNC and voted as one of the best companies worldwide to start your career. But I was more excited about my brand new laptop, crisp new clothes, the ID card which proudly displayed my name, the good food at the five star hotel where we had our 2-week induction and most of all the promise of “good life”!
Five years later, let me take a quick walk down the memory lane about my journey through this phase:
Now that I have survived multiple meetings, year-end appraisals, office parties, trainings, team bonding events and networking sessions, let me highlight the top three entertaining aspects of the office culture:
1.Skip level meetings: I simply love the concept because it opens up the can of worms (the pandora’s box if you will), where for a change, managers are under scrutiny instead of the employee. For a change, it gives the usually suppressed young employee an opportunity to speak up without worrying about getting penalized for doing so. And for a change, it questions the authority of the manager and puts him/her under the radar. It’s just about as empowering as it can get in the conservative corporate world. Most of all, it’s fun to just see grown-ups hyperventilate.
2.Resignation and farewell speeches: Having witnessed my share of resignation instances, where a fellow colleague has put in his/her papers and come out smiling, it’s indeed a Kodak moment to see the relief and happiness, no matter how transient it is. This is the platform to vent all the pent up emotions and grudges against the organization, its policies, managers and quality of work, even if it’s only a matter of time before you move on to another “bad” organization and start complaining about its policies, managers and quality of work. But what amuses me more are the farewell ceremonies, when the employee graciously sugarcoats his/her experiences while the others do their best to put up the façade of happiness, while secretly planning their own farewell speeches. I have had mine ready for four years now, but I am still waiting to use it.
3.Relationships: My biggest takeaway from the five years of corporate life has been the people I have interacted with, as surprising as it. A lot of my closest friends are my colleagues from the two companies I have worked in, irrespective of our career choices and current organizations. Being in a role which requires me to work with complete strangers in different countries, I have ended up forging a strong bond with people with whom I have nothing in common, and yet, they have graciously kept in touch with me or taken me sight-seeing in a new country or forced a new cuisine (which I could barely pronounce) down my throat. Finally, I have been lucky to work with some of the best managers, who continue to support me despite moving on to different roles/organizations.
At the end of the day, if I look back, I would summarize my journey as: “I get mail; therefore I am.” (Scot Adams)