Professionalism or sentimentality?

I know, I have been rather sporadic in this space, but work has kept me busy. Speaking of work, this post is going to be a rant – not about the work itself but the kind of people and their attitude that I have been noticing of late.

The area that I work in is a niche area and people who have expertise in this field are not too many and naturally there is a good demand for them. Our organization was one of the initial few to step into this space and we’ve done some good work and we’ve had some really good people working with us. It’s another matter that many of these good people have moved on looking for greener pastures as more players have come into the market and the competition has increased. But of late, after the slow-down and the subsequent recovery in the markets and the industry, this trend has seen a sudden spike.

This is not about the attrition problem or anything of the sort – in the past few months I have seen people who are juniors in the practice with as less as 1.5-2 years experience putting down their papers without a second thought.  I know looking for a new job is each person’s own choice and right, but these are just kids. They haven’t been in this area for so long to actually gain the expertise which they think they have. Even though I and others have been here for longer than that none of us can claim to be experts, because the space and technology is so vast and so complex that you will find very few experts in this field.

These guys are fresh in the corporate world, they were just out of college and were absorbed into the practice, trained and worked on projects and learned along the way. They have been given the opportunity to be a part of this select group of people working in this space by this organization which makes them a prized catch. They do not stop to think about any of these – all that they are interested in is the money. Their list of complaints never end – from the work being monotonous and tiresome to there being a lack of onsite opportunities to the remuneration not being upto the market standard to everything else that they can think of.

It is the attitude that makes me angry and sad… there is a serious lack of interest to learn and gain domain knowledge, there is absolutely zero concern/ loyalty towards the project or the company – their first ever place of work, which gave them the independence to be on their own for the very first time in their lives. Am I being a sentimental fool? Or has the tide turned and I belong to an ‘older’ generation? Call it what you want but it has left a bitter taste and a sense of deep disappointment in me about this generation.  

Aren’t they still like fledglings stepping out into the wild – don’t they realize that they haven’t seen it all? They don’t know that the world and this industry can be cruel – the markets are surging now but it doesn’t take much to bring it down as we’ve seen so often in history. I just hope they don’t end up learning their lessons the hard way!

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5 thoughts on “Professionalism or sentimentality?

  1. I understand where you are coming from. Engineering colleges are churning out graduates like factories and nobody is bothered about the quality. One of my friends asked an interview candidate ‘How many bits in a byte?’ and the candidate answered ‘Two – 0 and 1’. Such people call themselves software professionals and they join a company only to leave it and join another one for monetary benefits.

    That being said and to give the benefit of doubt to our young generation, not all of them are money minded. Many people switch companies for other reasons too. They start off with a MNC or a big company and move on to smaller or start-ups because the work is undoubtedly better. You have a lot of freedom to do various things and learn by getting your hands dirty. You code, test do some computer admin job, do deployment, work with some great minds and all this without the burden of time sheets, 8-hours logging time and following process.

    I personally think that it is very important to re-assess yourself every couple of years. You should compare yourself with others in the market: skills, soft skills, designation, role and money, of course. It need not result in switching jobs, but it will give you a picture of where you stand. Or else, one becomes complacent. It’s like the old saying about a frog in the well and all that. If you have ever worked in one company, how will you know how other companies and other people are?

    “It is the attitude that makes me angry and sad… there is a serious lack of interest to learn and gain domain knowledge, there is absolutely zero concern/ loyalty towards the project or the company – their first ever place of work, which gave them the independence to be on their own for the very first time in their lives. Am I being a sentimental fool?”
    When it comes to the latter part – loyalty, first company – sorry, but I think you are being sentimental. The company hired you because you are ‘hire-able’. If not this company, then some other company would have given you ‘the independence to be on your own’.

    • I would like to belive that not everyone is money-minded, but the majority of folks I’ve come across of late seem to be so. I can understand if the need is to do other more challenging work or get one’s hand dirty as you say – but this definitely is not the case amongst the people I’m talking about.
      I definitely agree that one needs to constantly self-assess and I would say not necessarily with people in other companies, even otherwise you need to self-assess, else as you say one can become complacent and lose the interest to grow and learn along the way.
      I know that the company hired me because I was hire-able, but that is just one part, I am also talking about my position, role and responsibilities when I’m assigned to a project. Isn’t it ethically and professionally required that one doesn’t leave by causing serious damage to the progress of the project at hand? And what do you say of folks who not only indulge in such irresponsible acts but also instigate and encourage other ‘friends’ in the project to do the same -so that the project is more or less left in a lurch?

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