Saturday, June 21, 2008

Money v/s Work

Folks who are in the IT field are lucky, in the sense that we are paid well to do something we(hopefully) love. At least, me and many of the people I know in the industry enjoy our work - and some of us do "dream in code". Choices we've made in life would reflect this - we've picked quality of work over money or other considerations, we've always strived, maybe imperfectly, to reach perfection in our work, and we've put team goals above individual monetary gain. However, a question has been bothering me for a few months now: is there a time in life when you should give in, and start looking at the other side of the equation seriously?

It's not that I'm underpaid, or that I feel I don't make enough to sustain a good standard of living in today's Bangalore. But, as you grow older, and hopefully become more mature, you start asking yourself the tough questions, and that is when money comes into the picture.

When I joined my current organization, I took a big hits both in terms of salary and in terms of promotions and 'career growth', all for intellectual and academic growth. Recent developments have made me realize that the compromise on conventional 'career growth' is not a one-time affair, but is something that I'd have to accept as being a long-term phenomenon. As my senior in the org pointed out, I'm now trying to straddle two different boats, and with both pulling in different directions, there is a definite threat of me falling in between. Since one of the boats, that of academic growth is not a very viable option, maybe it is time that I bit the ಕಬ್ಬಿಣದ ಕಡಲೆ and made the switch.

What do you think? Let me know :)


itsmeritesh said...

Really regret that I don't know you that much professionally, but from what I have gathered so far, I think you should stick to doing what you do. Programmers have the ability to create and experiment, and that inherent need is what drives programmers into doing what they do. If you still want the freedom to do what you want, experiment and learn then you have to stick to doing so.
But on the other hand, after being a programmer for almost 10 years( GOD!! I need a life ) i know how mundane and unforgiving the experience can be and then its time to do other things. I dont know if Im making sense, I am as confused as you are about my life and its proceedings, but just thought of sharing this with ya. Best of luck for no matter what you decide to do.

Gops said...

I guess we are all confused, aren't we? Quarter-life crises, 1/3-life crises, along with half-life crises are now too common :)

Thanks for the wishes though...things should become clearer soon. :)

Prateeksha said...

Hey Gopal..
Interesting!! Job satisfaction is probably the single most important thing in our industry. Whether you want to be a programmer, researcher or a manager, as long as what you are doing is interesting and challenging enough for you, you are not really missing out on too much..

But the day you realize that you arent really getting what you expected in terms of your work profile, i would say you are quite justified in thinking about switching. Im not sure which of these two cases suit you better. But I wish you a whole lot of luck in whatever you do..

Gops said...

Hi Prateeksha,

Thanks for the wishes! On the job satisfaction point though, I'd have agreed, say a year ago, but now I've downgraded my opinion to an neutral :)

Kiran Salaunkey said...

Hey Gopi,

From when are you thinking about money and the tough questions my pal.

I feel job satisfaction, acquisition of knowledge,the ability to contribute positively and of course the money (preferably in that order)is what makes a job enjoyable.

believe me in the long run, its knowledge that brings in money, even if the money does not come in truck loads(but enough to lead a comfortable life)...knowledge does bring that tangible feeling of being respected.

Remember our Kannada teacher in PU would tell us so much about this, to quote his words "chinna thinnoke agodilla kanri!, yeshtu sampadisidaru anna ne thinnabeku"

Gops said...


Thanks kano, yeah the thought process is in motion. Let's see where it stops.

Yep, I do remember what our Kannada teacher said... :)