My journey to the Big Office

Inspirational Moment (2006) - In my previous job, there was an Indian girl who managed a team. She was in the same age group as I was. I think that’s  when the goal of moving up the ladder seeped into my head

Next Steps – I expressed my interest to my boss and she took it up to her boss and we came up with a doable action plan. The next 6 months was glorious and everything looked great and positive.

Turning Point – While I was working on my professional goals, at the home front, M’s boss was in NJ and showed interest in moving him to NJ. The temptation to move to a bigger city worked its charm on us. We sold our house and were all set to move to NJ. I interviewed with Google and was in very high spirits. M found a better opportunity in Dallas TX. Ri was our big reason to move to a warmer place. We were not ready to deal long winters with two kids.

Starting New (2007) – I started my current job and things were going smooth. I was on an intermittent assignment and blew them away with my performance. The senior management was more than glad to have me on a high budget-high visibility assignment. The first few months were a struggle. There is a comfort zone for every one; I figured that once I made my way through a few good leaders, the effect dribbled through them to their teams. I had not forgotten my goal to reach the big office. I was the best they had and was foolish enough to assume that they would serve it to me on a golden platter

Down Time (2008) – I am not sure at what point my goal turned from a motivation to an obsession. There were a couple of organization changes and I was proving my worth all over again. I was already doing the job; all I was looking for was a title (plus the office space) to match it. There was a point in time, when I did not enjoy pay raises or bonuses, just because they did not come with a title. There was travel, working late nights, quite a few send off parties and celebrations for various project milestones. But my heart was still not on it.

Never underestimate the need for a Mentor (2009) – By this time, I was comfortable with my new boss and she was quite a lady. In one of our heart-to-heart conversations, she confided, that I had a lot of ‘Negativity’ in me. I was in a shock. That was not me. My greatest strengths have always been my optimism and the positive energy I bring into any project. But she was right. She pointed out where my obsessive need for a title has taken me to. I failed to associate my smalller accomplishments as successes. In such a short time, I had earned the respect of the entire cross – functional teams, I worked with. All I noticed in my career was a lack of title.

I tried to take her feedback in good spirits. I started working 2 days from home and focused more on Ri and Ro. I did my best to view my career from multiple perspectives. I had a job, when people were getting laid off. I started appreciating the monetary benefits of my job.

At the back of my head, there was a part of me that still wanted it. When you need to keep your motivation alive for like 3 or 4 years, it’s easy to sound negative, whiny or even threatening. Every time I had a change of boss, moved to another department, I went over my goals with positive interest to the new audience.

Finally it happend. They announced it yesterday.

Corporate America is different. A title change or even a pay raise could have absolutely no impact on what you do day to day. You ask for additional responsibilities and you take a few perks yourselves. I don’t think any body tells a CFO or a CEO where to sit, they choose their offices. I did the same. I am moving to a bigger office next week.

2 comments:

NileshPhotos January 26, 2010 at 5:33 PM  

whats the title?? btw, this story reads a lot like mine...I feel the same way. With Nishta, I am trying to relax. For a science career, I am where I should be...if not further ahead..but I am ruthless when it comes to ambition.

Geeta,  February 13, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

Apart from the title, we have a grade system as well. My grade got bumped up by 2 levels.

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