Shyam Sundar who is part of NDLF IT union is having around 20 years of experience in information technology. He is writing an article on “Is IT employees Life full of fun or Problems” to create awareness on various issues faced by IT employees. This write up is continuation of Part 5.
In the previous part we discussed the role of HR personnel and their mistakes while trying to extract forced resignation from employees.
We understand that HR abide by management policies and implement management decisions. So the question arises whether HR takes the blame for wrong policies of management or not. To answer this query, we will see what happened during Second World War.
After Nazi Germany was defeated in the Second World War, Nazi officers who were involved in war crimes were arrested. Judges from countries such as Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States conducted the trial of 24 major Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945 and 1946.
Though the accused Nazi officials accepted their crimes they argued that they are not to be blamed since they carried out the orders from higher officials (i.e they had no personal responsibility).
The judges did not accept these arguments. They held that “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
They sentenced 12 Nazi criminals to death for various war crimes and others to varying degree of punishment.
From the above incident, what we understand is even if we say HR officials are following management orders, they should be aware of the Indian laws and abide by them.
In this episode of the article series, I want to talk about a few of the common mistakes most of employees in our sector make. I might have also made these mistakes in my life and got this different view through experience.
In our country, information technology is one of the fastest growing sector and a job in information technology is the dream destination for many of the college going students. Even with the many difficulties, like more pressurized work, stretched office hours, job insecurity due to layoff threat, IT is still the dream destination for many young people. The reason for this is compared to many other sectors, IT jobs pay better salary, give global exposure, and opportunities to work across globe.
Now we will have a close look on how an average IT employee’s life cycle is and how to overcome various issues an IT employee faces after job loss.
There is famous quote from APJ Kalam who asked us to love our jobs and not our company. There is famous book named “7 habits of highly effective people”. This book is published in 1988 by Stephen R Covey and it is one of the famous books for shaping our lives based on principles. I slightly modified what is told in 7 habits according to our current IT Scenario.
Imagine a situation where your HR manager is calling you for a quick meeting. When you enter meeting room, you see your boss is also in the meeting. Your HR manager initiates the discussion saying due to organization initiatives company is relieving a few people and you are also part of that list. He insists that you submit your resignation with immediate effect. You will be getting 2 months salary for the notice period and you are out of the job in which you worked day and night for several years.
This can happen to anyone in IT industry. Just imagine that your job is lost and close your eyes and imagine what you will do in this situation. Here your skill set, company you work, boss, colleagues do not matter; your family, kids and your loved ones matter more.
In all my previous articles, I argued that retrenchment is not very easy and company has to follow multiple procedures to perform retrenchment. Now you may ask me how you suddenly say that job loss is possible. Fighting for your right and preparing for job loss are completely 2 different things. We have to be prepared for any eventuality.
So try to answer the following queries yourself if you face such a situation in your life.
- After you lost your job, will you be able to lead same life with your family as when you have job?
- If you have loans, can you repay all your loans as you are doing now?
- Can you meet your children’s education and marriage without issues?
- Are you prepared for any medical emergency of your loved ones?
- How long (in days/months/years) you can manage without job?
Every IT employee has to do self-examination by answering the above queries. If you cannot manage even for 1 complete year, then we should conclude that your condition is very bad
We are lucky we still have jobs and have more than 2 months of notice period to answer the above queries. So it is very essential for IT employees to find answer for the important queries which determine the rest of our life. If we are not in a position to lead same life for even 1 year, then something is wrong.
Let us closely examine the common mistakes IT employees do which push them to this bad situation.
I have many friends working across the globe and they work at onsite position for several years. When I enquire about their plan of return to India, they mention it is difficult to settle back in India and they want to settle permanently abroad. They mention that the main reason is if they get more salary working onsite and they will not get this salary in India. Many of them personally want to return back to India but they are afraid to return back due to the comfort zone built in onsite countries.
All of them forget that the education and experience they received in India only prepared them to travel abroad. But more money and comfort zone in foreign countries removes their confidence and makes them want to settle life time in other countries. The main reason for this situation is IT employees not setting clear goals to answer the above queries.
I just quote one of my friend who lived for several years in US as an example of how IT employees fail to set goals. My friend worked in US for 5 years and returned back to India. He has 20,000 USD in his US account and there is no interest rate for the money deposited in US banks. If this 20,000 USD (Indian rupee equivalent to 13 lakh) is invested in Indian fixed deposit, it attracts interest of 1 lakh rupees. If the same amount is invested in mutual funds or other high yielding instruments, he would have earned more.
The following are some of the common activities which we are doing as part of our IT culture:
- Spending several hundred rupees in theatres for pop corns and junk food
- Buying sea view flat in 25th floor without even knowing what is UDS.
- Buying all electrical gadgets if they require or not
I am not saying all the above activities are wrong which are quite common in IT industry. But if your answer to my questionnaire is I will not be able to lead my life for 1 year, then all the above are major issues. So let us keep in mind that IT industry is evolving and we have to be prepared for extreme situations. We should prepare ourselves for loss of job even when we are in job.
– Shyam Sundar