Friday, April 15, 2011

Freshers in IT industry

Many freshers enter IT industry with varied expectations. For some, lucrative package and onsite opportunities are a priority. Some others (like me) are desperate to get into whatever job comes their way and fortunately or unfortunately, get placed in an IT company. :) For some, just the ‘feel’ of being an IT professional (carrying a laptop) and enjoying other corporate privileges drive them into the IT industry.

When we were school students, elders used to say that it’s the foundation of a bright future and the most important phase of life. When in Intermediate, we hear them say, “This is more important than your life at school. Work hard for these 2 years. Then, you can enjoy your life!” All the time and hard work put in studies till the Intermediate education seem to be pointless after getting admission in a good engineering college. The first 2-3 years of engineering is generally spent towards 'enjoying’ life. Then comes the desire and need to get a job. Finally, after getting placed, (we think that) the time of stress and anxiety is all over! This is the case for most of the freshers entering IT industry.

Everything will be great (at least) in the first few months. The salary getting credited every month as opposed to pocket-money requests to parents, not being dependent on anyone, the pride in saying ‘I am a software engineer in ‘X’ company, I was in a meeting till now etc.’ are few things that fuel a fresher’s happiness. As time passes by and we lose the “fresher’s tag”, slowly disappointments creep in and happiness tends to fade out.

Why do we lose our happiness at work? Why does the stress begin from the scratch again?! Sometimes it’s because of the circumstances and sometimes it’s because we are not mentally prepared for the circumstances. Workload, job satisfaction and career path are very important points which generally a fresher misses out to consider. These are the points which may lead to one’s disappointment at a later stage.

High workload is obviously what almost everyone hates to have, since it is stressful. Low workload is what many prefer to have, but can have a very negative impact on one’s career if it is at all times. Money is certainly a very important thing to consider, but job satisfaction is equally important. After all, what’s the point in making money, when we hate what we do throughout the day! Also, what’s the point in being satisfied with the job, but being totally underpaid! :)

Now, coming to the next point namely career path. This is the major mistake which a fresher can make. In the hurry to get out of bench or for whatever the reasons, generally a fresher accepts whatever the project he/she is assigned. That could turn out to be either way. Firstly, we ourselves should have clarity on what we want to become, on which platform we want to work on, etc. Only then, we have the chance of defining our career path.

Work culture is relatively less important when compared with the previous ones, but needs to be taken into account. The stricter a company is, the lesser the happiness. It’s common to be discontent when we don’t get what we deserve, but it’s also unfair to expect recognition for all the little things that we do.

Besides all these, there are certain 'trends' in IT industry which can either add to one’s excitement or disappointment. Every company desires to have 100% employee retention and 0% attrition. However, many companies give lower hikes to the existing employees when compared to the ones recruited from other companies. I somehow cannot digest this policy! If all companies stop giving major hike to employees shifting from other companies, at some point of time, the thought to ‘jump’ from one company to another will cease in the minds of employees. Instead, they can give relatively higher hikes to existing employees, thus increasing the probability of 100% retention. (But, this may never happen. :D)

Each job will have its own pros and cons. A government job will have the highest job security, its own privileges but it also has few disadvantages. For example, as rightly said by one of my family friends (an elderly man), government job is the one where a donkey and a horse are considered the same. No offence meant! What it means is that the one who works very hard and the one who works as lazily as possible will be rewarded the same way, based only on experience and not on excellence. This is not the case in IT industry. There will be at least a slight difference between the two! :)

If freshers can focus at least on the aforementioned points and tune the frequency of mind appropriately, I believe they’ll have no regrets of entering IT industry nor will they be disappointed at a later stage. If anyone has any regrets, I shall only say, “You may not be able to change the circumstances, but you can change your attitude to the circumstances.” :)

P.S: This is not intended to defame IT/anyone/any organization. This is just my view on IT industry and felt that it might help someone somewhere somehow sometime. :D :P

[This has ended up in a lengthier blog than I expected. :)]