As a project engineer,
First year :
you are thrilled and excited to be part of a tier 1 company and amazed by the IT campus and facilities on offer. You work hard, eager to prove your worth, sometimes till 10-11pm in night. Your team lead praises you, project manager applauds you..
Second year :
You are excited by last years appraisals which gives you the top rating, you are eager to repeat the success. Seniors in the team, in the name of exposure gives you bits and bits of their own work. You don’t mind, anxious to leave your mark in team and project.
Third year :
small things like back pain and occasional migraine has started troubling you but you are ready to give your blood and sweat for the project. You are slightly troubled as appreciation for your hardwork is taken over by onsite leads and managers but still you rejoice in the useless appreciation mails send over to you by client or team manager. Also you are thrilled to get awards for star performer etc… Regardless of your body’s warning calls you still fire away until midnight. Inbetween there are the useless appraisal exams and mandatory certifications nothing related to your current work, which you should clear to get appraisal.
Fourth year : You start to get bored with the work assigned to you as it is repititive..Also the team lead wants you to “mentor” the juniors in the team, a plain old way of losing his headache, in addition to handling the extra work and “addon”s on the group. You start to look for a job change like to Infosys, TCS , lured by the 40-50% jump in salary atleast. You give your resignation. In HR discussion, the HR and your manager desperately try to stop you from leaving offering goodies like “initiation of H1B and travel within 6 months”, 10% hike in salary etc.. You accept it.
5th year :If you are lucky, you fly to the US to the client’s location and start working. Your bad luck , you realize that the offshore team is lazy and slacking out and not as hardworking as you, you start to send escalation mails to them and threaten “consequences”, thereby earning the badwill of the team. meanwhile the Delivery manager keeps on pressurizing you to complete the project well before timeline to impress the clients. Helpless, you yourself start to do the basic coding/testing work to pursue weekly timelines. and you are tired of telling lame excuses to client for not meeting the same.
6th year : You are married and have taken a new flat and new car on loan EMI. Your fancy onsite allowance pays all those so you are not worried. You have to face competition from the erstwhile junior guys who are also whining to get onsite by now. You continue your work which has by now become dreadful and boring, but to keep the kitchen running.
7th year : You are called back as the project has come to a “sudden end” as client declared bankruptcy and unable to spare one more dollar to your company. You return back to your old cubicle to find all your friends and colleague have moved on and not even one knowing face is there. You try desperately to go back to US but still face acute competition. You are meanwhile made the project manager of a new project and given 20 people and assigned to make them do 50 people work. You struggle a lot, working 12-14 hrs in office, office bus , home and even avoiding sleep as clients like to call hourly basis at night (their morning) to check “progress”. meanwhile your wife and first child complain that you are not spending time with them. High BP, back pain makes your body weak but still you toil day and night hard. Meanwhile you are saddened by fact that people who don’t know basic english grammar and have IQ <=50 , flying to onsite for “coordination” as company’s mandatory onsite policy. Desperate, you realize that your faithfullnes to your company is useless and start hunting for jobs. But the reality you face is that you are “overexperienced and overqualified” so no vacancies.
9th year : One day as usual you are toiling hard, you are surprised to see a mail asking for HR discussion. assuming about a new leadership role, you are amazed (and later shocked) to find a young fresh <25 MBA HR girl telling that as part of “workforce optimization” and “rightsizing” you have to leave the organization in 24 hrs. Assuming it to be bad joke, you storm out of the conference room and check your mailbox to see a mail stating that your exit process has been initiated, attached is the final settlement salary components and you have to leave the campus before 12am tomorrow night.
9 years of toiling hard for the company, giving your blood and sweat for the company, getting BP, migraine, backpain as bonuses , left with EMIs for the flat, car, furniture, even the fancy phone you are holding now and an unstable family relationship,you just realize whether was it all worth it??
This post is not meant to terrify you or any badwill against any company but just the sad facts of IT life. You can live out your youth like a king, own the world, but after 35.. you are seriously left with no choice..