Thursday, September 13, 2007

A new approach to work

I go to office at around 9am, wearing the "IIT uniform" - TShirt, Pants and Chappals, and on an 8-year old Hero Puch, and yet I reach within 10 minutes. I go to my cubicle, remove the chappals, and sit comfortably with my feet on the desk and laptop on my lap... I work till 7-8 pm and then go home and take conference call from 9 pm to 10:30 pm ... I argue with people a lot about tiny technical details, and yet there is no ill feeling around. And I'm having a lot of fun. But for the fact that I'm exhausted at the end of the day, I'd keep on working.

Yes, I'm no longer in Patni. I've joined a startup as product marketing manager - a really ostentatious name for an L-Board MBA, just 4 months out of the b-school.

I always wanted to be a product manager. During PanIIT 2006 conference, Google were advertising for product managers for current IITians. I applied and got rejected, because they were looking for fresh BTech's, and not one with prior web-related experience. I hope they got what they wanted, but I think their HR policy is just screwed up. Sour grapes etc ...

Anyway, just as I was getting comfortable at Patni and learning how to threaten PMs, IT managers, etc, I got an opportunity out of the blue. A switch back to networking, with some of the most brilliant and capable people I've worked with, as a product manager ... wasn't something to be ignored. I thought about it, and finally the lure of a profile this good and in a startup this promising, was enough to generate the necessary escape velocity to escape the overwhelming comfort and inertia of a big company, and make me jump at the offer.

People's responses have ranged widely from "I told you so - why did you stay in Patni for so long ?" to "Are you crazy ?". The main objection has been - do you know where you want to be after some 10 years ? Do you have a career map ? It reminds me of the first class in SOM (the HR class), where some people declared they want to earn crores of rupees in 10 years ... how typically stupid !

I have no career map and I don't know what I want to do in future - I don't even want to know ... that would remove all the fun in life. I'll just go where I feel I have to go. I've continued to ignore their wishes and go where things take me. So far, I'm not disappointed.

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