Monthly Archives: December 2009

For a good professional life…

“A good professional life does not come by default”…

Something each of realised pretty soon after joining a company? Yes I guess… Why is that so? Quite obviously, despite all the jargons of “Having a common goal…” etc, it is to be realised that there are conflicting interests of multiple people and then of people vs the organisation itself. Its a matter of fact which we cant escape from. At least in todays’ Capitalistic settings…

While Capitalism has been the fuel for “Growth” as humanity’s recent progress is termed, it certainly is also the root cause of all conflicts at office we see… The solution, at least in our own hands is not to move to a Socialistic system or any other system. But to understand a few simple facts and find peace…

I focus on the IT Sector… (as thats the only one i know). Others though I hope can find similar patterns in your industry too…

Realise our potentials and limitations and accordingly Choose the Industry and position to settle in correctly.

When I say the above, what I mean is that we need to choose which segment of the IT sector we should settle down in. It is not about the first few years. The first few years are high energy years with lot of enthu and we can make many things work which over time are found Unsustainable…

We need to clearly understand that industry settings work more or less as below. I know i am making a generalisation which is not always true but it helps us get a little focus and thats the sole purpose of classifying as below. (No offence meant… Pls excuse…)

High Talent – Research and Development, Product Design, Entrepreneurship etc

Medium Talent – Lead positions in Service Sector

Average Talent – Engineer / Senior engineer roles in the Service Sector

I know it is a very delicate issue that most of us would like not to spek about. But there is no point beating around the bush and trying to fool ourselves about our position in the above ladder. If we wish for more than what we have worked to get to, we are going to be creating a mess around us…

While I do the classification as above, I fully recognise that TALENT is one thing we can BUILD, at least in the sense that it is percieved in the industry. Its a combination of our knowledge, skills and attitude to work. Once we recognise our current position, we need to draw up long term plans for moving into a position we can settle in. When I say settle, i mean get to a position which is sustainable and comfortable, one that meets our own just demands and also that of the organisation.

If we notice ourselves itching for freedom to execute things as we like, there is no point sitting long in the service sector. Its going to drain us. On the other hand, if we notice ourselves looking for instructions and being content, lets realise that we are FINE in the service sector. No work is bad per se. But certainly, each kind of work has it’s own value and the salary we get is very much based on what our work leads to and how much that product or service is in saleable. Thats a fact and the sooner we agree, the better. If we can stretch ourselves and get to higher and higher pay positions, gr8…… But certainly it comes at the price of stretching ourselves. Its good to set ourselves goals higher than what we currently think we can as history has demonstrated not once but innumerable times that WILL POWER can take one higher than one could ever imagine. While the above is true, there certainly is a point beyond which our attempts fail given the current conditions, conditions in personal life and circumstances in society and position of industry. At these times, we would not do ourselves any good by stretching. We need to priorotize and accept current conditions and settle down..

To summarise, I mention some quick thoughts.

Key decisions:

First things first:

1. To stay in the current industry or not? (Service Sector Vs R&D Sector as said above)

Once our industry choice is done:

2. To stay in the current organisation or not?

Fairness and Transperency in policies and performance management is the key to this question. As long as you realise that there is no politics or backstabbing thats happening and you would get your due, it makes sense to stay and fix the small issues that would always exist. While the grass does look greener on other side, lets be sure there are troubles there too. Our leaders and managers can assess us quite well as long as they wish to and are dedicated to it just as we always know how well they handle the team or company. We cant fool around for long and neither can they fool around for long.

Performance management becomes much simpler when both parties recognise this and also the position of both in the particular industry settings. If the service sector pays less, its simply because they cant survive by paying high. Its for us to choose where we wish to settle. There is no point bullying around and making lives of all difficult. After all, the manager / leader is doing his / her job too. 5% here or there does not matter much. Such errors would always exist in any system. If the organisation does not agree with us and we have other good options, cool…… But cribbing while being in is no good for anyone, not even you.

Our global choices of industry and organisation have the biggest effects and there is not much to gain by negotiating hard inside. The organisation is doing us no favour and neither are we doing them any favour. So, with the people with who we work, lets be cool…

I know i have digressed quite a bit and not made a strong case… Just some thoughts i have put up… Do feel free to comment / correct. Have a nice time… Our peace is more valuable than a few bucks…

Jai Hind !!!

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All of us are Good people…

(Just sharing a simple thought)

All of us are good people…

Is that so??? Yes. When do we call a person good? When he / she does good things? Yes. If so, we are all good people… We are always doing good things… !!!! The key question though is “Good for who?”

One can do good in the four following ways:

1. Good for SELF

2. Good for FAMILY

3. Good for COMMUNITY

4. Good for HUMANITY

All of us certainly do keep doing at least the first “Good” of Good for self. Quite often, we may be doing good for family too and a little for the community. Rite? So, that very simply makes us good people. But wait !!!

While we do any one of these “Good”s , do we also do some Bad for someone??? Thats the second key question. There can very similarly be four kinds of “Bad”… For Self, for Family, for Community and for Humanity. When the quantum of good that we do is higher than the quantum of bad we do, we are termed GOOD people.  Quite natural…. Right?????

Also, the key concept here….. All the four “GOOD”s or “BAD”s are not of equal value…. Very obviously, when one looks from the GLOBAL GOOD perspective, for the sustainance of humanity, the activities, either good or bad done by us rank in Value in the following order.

1. For Humanity

2. For Community

3. For Family

4. For Self.

So, in simple terms the more good we do for Humanity and less bad we do for Humanity, the more GOOD we are in the eyes of other people.

What happens when the Good for Humanity or Community or Family causes Bad for Self???? This is one condition which very few people would prefer and allow.  But when it is accepted and allowed, we call that act a SACRIFICE. Being able to Sacrifice has been hailed as one of the greatest virtues… It certainly is good…. Being precise, “Good for Humanity”… But does the self lose in such cases? Not necessarily. There could be some physical / mental loss for the self. But spiritually, there is nothing that the Self can ever lose. In fact, Sacrifice takes the Self also to a Higher plane of existence. There is no greater happiness than seeing happiness of self in the happiness in others…

Each of us do activities which are distributed in these 8 categories. The simple goal is to do the shift towards the top of the below shown Ladder of Activities.

Good for Humanity

Good for Community

Good for Family

Good for Self

Bad for Self

Bad for Family

Bad for Community

Bad for Humanity.

Also, another important question that arises is this. When there is a good happening for someone, does it have to be bad for someone else? Not really. This is what is often termed as the Win-Win situation… We can always find a middle path where neither loses but certainly there could be some compromise to make. Why should we compromise? In order to move our activity more towards the top of the ladder. If viewing only the short term benefit for ourselves, we take a decision to focus on the good for self and allow bad for anybody, we gain less in the long term.

Just as Alexander, the Great told his people to bury him with both his palms facing upwards to indicate that despite all his conquests, he is carrying nothing with him when he is dead, we too wont carry anything “material” when we leave this world…

Its a choice each of us have to make in each of our activities what are we bargaining for … “Good for Self while allowing Bad for Humanity?” Never… If each of us shift a little more up the ladder towards “Good for Community” even, the world would be a much better place. We dont need miracles or revolutions…

Jai Hind !!!!

Study Child Rights Law at National Law School….

On Dec 29th, 2008, I saw a small article in the newspaper that the NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL OF INDIA UNIVERSITY, BANGALORE is offering a POST-GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN CHILD RIGHTS LAW (PGDCRL).

What did i do?

Went the very next day and registered..  (31st dec was the last date.. i made it…)

The result: I have never looked back. Simply wonderful course…. Not just academically. You learn all the relevant perspectives..

To be a little more elaborate,

Who all joined:

Social Workers (both independent and those working in NGOs)

Child Welfare Committee / Juvenile Justice Board officials

Govt Officials from the Ministry of Women and Child Development (officially deputed)

Law Graduates

Pshyciatrist

B.Com Graduates

Lastly, techies like me, a mechanical engineer working for aircraft engine design….. and a software guy…..

Required Qualifications:

A degree… simple.. no more..

Course format:

Distance education: We attended 3 days contact class in january , 3 days in may and finally 4 days in November (same time as exams)

U r allowed to stretch it to 3 years but certainly preferable to finish in the first year itself…

Self Instruction and further Reading material are sent across by post…

Course Contents:

The course has 4 papers. The first thing that struck me on checking out the topics were the beautiful logical sequence in which they were organised

Paper 1: Child, Family and the State in India: Realities and Issues

In this paper, you get to know the ground reality, the statistics, the issues in lay man terms etc

Paper 2: Child Rights, Policy and Law: National and International Framework

In this paper, we learn the philosophical arguements about child rights , about the important United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and National policy etc

Paper 3: Key Legislations relating to Children in India

Here, we learn the core national legislations in various fields like child labour, education, children with disabilities, marginalised communities etc. We also learn the history of how these developed and why they are as they are today.. Importantly covered is the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 and it’s systems, issues about the same.

Paper 4: Working with Children from a Rights Based Perspective

This one in simple terms is a Social Worker’s Guide. Deals with how to build programs / projects for children with a rights based perspective as against the usual welfare perspective. Talks of Public Interest Litigations and how u can use it etc.. Talks about counselling skills, mediation etc.. Also talks very importantly about working in a Multi Disciplinary Setting (by involving ppl from many roles like parents, teachers, doctors, psychiatrists, lawyers, social workers) and how Integrated schemes for children can be built.

Reccommendations:

If you care for child rights and wish to know more, Do not miss this course. . . The faculty and staff at the Centre for Child and the Law, NLSIU and professors from other departments at NLSIU are just the right people to learn from. The energy and enthusiasm, the empathy and deep understanding of all issues and subjects and very truly of children are the clinchers. Also, you get to have lectures from various other people like from NGOs, State Legal Services Authority, Judiciary etc. The student community too form a great source of perspectives and knowledge too, from various parts of the country and from various disciplines.

Why have I not spoken about opportunities for improvement in the course? I am confident they are at work on it and considering that we were the first batch, we cant complain much. The small logistical issues fade in comparison to what we got… The second batch and henceforth would certainly benefit more…

Jai Hind !!!

Corruption in India: Two forms? Less evil and more evil?

One (with some kind of authority or power) can take money / gifts etc for two purposes

1. To do what he anyway has to do (as a public servant and it being his duty)

2. To do something or rather omit something to unconstitutionally / immorally favour somebody

To take examples,

For the first form: Processing a passport renewal request by local police, RTO giving ‘no objection certificate’ etc

For the second form: Metropolitan authority giving garbage collection / disposal contract to worthless / incompetent company which employs child labour,  police not registering FIR against someone who was caught for a crime…

Are these two forms of corruption really very different? Is the first form less evil and the second form more evil? My first reaction / idea certainly goes this way but then I wonder whether someone who indulges in the first form would stay away from the second form? I feel he / she would certainly get tempted to pursue the second form also if pushed a little, simply because there is a clear absence of INTEGRITY even if he / she indulges in the first form.

It certainly seems that the second form is more evil and should in no case be supported by us. Even if we are caught overspeeding or violating a traffic signal, we pay the fine thats to be paid…. Not to push 50 bucks in his pocket n go our way…. This is truly one place where i see that we as CIVIL SOCIETY have a RESPONSIBILITY to not encourage them. There is no point feeding the pig dirty stuff because it is ready to eat and then call it a dirty animal.  May be even the pig can be a nice pet if we did not feed it dirty stuff and make it comfortable being dirty.

Next question is: Is it ok to pay up in the first form? For something that anyway that official has to do? Just because we want to save some time or some inconvenience? Do we feel that he / she is underpaid by the Govt. for his job and that is why he / she is asking for that extra Rs. 100/- ? While I acknowledge that the police probably do get little pay, at least the constables, does this form a valid excuse for feeding them? Would it not make them addicted to ‘EASY MONEY’ and later allow them to ‘GRADUATE’ to the second and more evil form of corruption?

Do write in your feedback…………………..

Jai Hind !!!!