Monday, February 24, 2014

Month 112 and 111

Changing Jobs is never easy. Especially after you've worked at a place for more than 10 years. Till mid December, I was chasing up two opportunities as desperately as a horny dog chases a reluctant bitch. I was pushing cajoling, following up with them on almost daily basis. They would sometimes ignore my mails, messages and calls. I'd be hurt, sulk a bit and then chase up another contact from the same company. Or I'll go after the HR consultant. Then after I'm done with one, I'd follow up with the other. There was a rigor, persistence and steadfastness with which I kept the tempo, till I finally landed one.

That was it, I stopped chasing the other one too. Following up on anything is a tough ask. Especially when you risk giving away your desperation and be completely at the mercy of the provider. You debase yourself often. You brush aside the bruises that come from their indifference, curt responses and simply ignoring your existence.

The offer that landed in Dec, initiated back in Aug. I got a call from an HR consultant and I met with the group CTO of a financial co. The role was of IT Head for one of their Lines of Businesses. The interview was short and the CTO introduced me to their HR Head to take it fwd.  Then the lead went cold. Nothing moved.

In Oct I went to the US. It was a an eye opener. I realized I'm getting wiped out in my new role. Sooner that later my role will shrink just as the business from the LOB I was to manage shrinks. The writing on the wall was bold and clear. It wasn't coming from some internal sales guy or one off client. Client after client said the same. Be it NY or NJ or Chicago or Huston. By the end of the visit I was totally disillusioned. I was was also disgusted with myself for not being able to move it. I remember the night before I was to return, looked at my reflection in the bath mirror and spat at it. I was ready to explode. But there was nowhere to go.

Right while I was in the US, I got a call from an old friend of mine in the UAE. He had submitted my resume to his IT and they were keen to talk to me. He told me the name of their IT guy who showed interest. I rung a bell. Upon questioning, I realized, he was my classmate from B-School. I agreed to talk to him. I really wasn't sure about how it was going to be.

The classmate called and we spoke. He made it clear from the beginning that our relationship will be of a boss and a reportee. While I was smartening over it, he came up with another one stating I'll be a Project Manager. Now, I was a PM 10 years ago. Today was a Delivery Head with 300 ppl team. I was disheartened and yet I did not close the door. I needed a way out.

Upon my return, from the US, I got interviewed by my classmate's boss. And he mentioned he wanted me to speak to their COO as the next step. And then, there was complete silence. I kept following up but to no avail.

3 weeks passed. I was already desperate and was ready to explode. Out of sheer frustration, I sought out the Group CTO of Company A on Linked in, and pinged him. I wanted to know his feedback. I wanted to understand where was I going wrong. He graciously accepted the request and responded assuring me there really wan't much wrong with my interview, just that the IT Head position was put on hold and if I was available he wanted to initiate that discussion. Well, I was game and the interviews started anew. I've mentioned about them in a previous posts.

I spoke to the CEO, COO, CRO and then CEO of another LOB within the same group and the HR. After about half a dozen rounds the things started to move. However, the CEO to I was to report to, came across as a demanding man. Instead of making me feel at ease, he confronted me saying, he is a difficult man to work with and he has fired 3 CTOs in the last 4 years. And that the industry is in a slump and that the future is uncertain. Not very comforting. But given my circumstance, I nodded politely and murmured something that sounded like a lame assurance. Anyhow, I realized that this position will come with a lot of uncertainties.

I reached out to the other co. I messaged my classmate, telling him about the other opty. I told him, I'd prefer to work for him if he can expedite the process. He heard me and might have tried to push things, but nothing moved at his end.

I finally landed an offer with the first co. late December and accepted it. The pay was marginally better, with a joining bonus. I took it and stopped following up on the other one.

Right after the new year, I got a call from an ex colleague of my present company and he congratulated me on the offer. After the pleasantries were exchanged, he came right to the point and warned me about the CEO I was about to report to. He was a vendor with this CEO and had a not so good experience. After he had leveled with me he wished me luck and left me sweating on a Jan morning....

I continued with my notice period, till one day I got a call back from the other company that they would like to pursue it if I was still game. I said yes and set them a definite timeframe to close it, or I'll take up the first offer.

Another round of interviews followed. They finally closed it right on the last date of the agreed timeline at 7:00 pm IST.

The next day I had a tough time refusing the first company. I spoke to their HR apologized to him. He was surprised. It was just one day before joining date. I knew I was wrong. Very wrong and I heard him out. I also apologized to the HR consultants. It was embarrassing and it was hurting me. It was against my ethics and yet I did it. Why?

The money. This series is a countdown series. A 10 year countdown to retirement. Month by month. The other offer allowed me an opty to get there faster. I took it. Am I selfish? Yes, I am... 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Getting Things Done!

Eversince I resigned from my position from the software company, I've tried to get a bunch of work done. A lot of it mandates my interaction with govt. agencies.
Such as
- Getting a passport
- Changing my electricity meter from Builder's name to mine
- Removing lien from my car
- Collecting PF from my previous company that I left more than 10 yrs ago.

And my interaction / brush with the admin has been bitter sweet. I have made progress but I still haven't concluded any of these transactions. Everything is work in progress, some since Dec-2013.

I thought, I had completed a few of these tasks, till I later found out that I actually did not. They are like Hanuman's tail that keeps growing and growing....

I have a couple of more weeks to conclude these. Hope I'm able to fix some of these...