A few days ago, one of my friends who happens to be a reader of my blog posts sent me this message:
hi Anand,I liked ur blog regarding job satisfaction in IT and gov sector. can u write something more comparing It job and gov job coz its not fair enough to say that gov job only is better.there are many aspects in IT to inspire enough to make career in this sector.I have seen many ppl made their career in IT in a excellent way and their their life style and way of living is far better than a gov emp. Mr. Ashok vemuri , member of board of director in infosys,son of an IAS , has cleared IAS but opted to thrive in this industry leaving behind powerful IAS.Well IAS ,IPS,IFS is something different and no comparison with that but apart from these we cant say all gov jobs are better than private. thats what i think.whats ur take on that.thanks
I told him that I would write something. It crashes like a morbid fake Diwali rocket here:
I am not of opinion that comparison between jobs could be fair and just, especially if it is done by someone who has not worked in all of the departments which are being compared against each other. That is why I would not put a face to beg your pardon for making errors of judgement. Consider this as a disclaimer, read at your own risk; opinions expressed here are my personal opinions and they mean no harm to anyone out there. If you are 'wee bit too touchy,' don't read on. Just skip this at this moment. Take a deeeeeeeeeep full breath and let it go. Yes, you're right, except my soul everything in me is mortal! Gotcha!
Having said that, once upon a time there was a great researcher; his name was Johnson O' Connor. He was hired on-demand by his company to come up with psychometric and aptitude tests to fit jobs to people. His work is still as awe-inspiring as it used to be half-a-century-ago. Take your own time and read about him in leisure. If you don't know about him already, you will be surprised to know that his mention here is relevant to the subject-in-hand.
A job in time saves as many! I am not qualified to compare job of a government servant with that of private, but yes, whoever that wise man was, he said that you need not have a first-hand experience in order to comment on anything, for life's too short to do that; or something like that.
None of the jobs fits all men( Let linguists figure out whether ‘fit’ or ‘fits’ is more suitable here, you just continue reading!) No man is suitable for every job and it's not a matter of training only. No, it's not. It's a matter of aptitudes as well as training. Age, sex, ethnic background and many other factors play key roles in matching jobs to people. But wait, this piece of prose is not to indulge in humanities or ergonomics or industries.
Private sector jobs in India used to be very rewarding jobs as far as salaries are concerned. Sad news is--they're no longer too rewarding. Tsunamis of recessions, every five years or so along with nibbling devil of slow but haunting, scary and nightmarish market-- make it a very challenging field to work in these days. "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger," is a very popular saying. Nietzsche said it but Darwin would have immediately agreed had they been sitting next to each other. Don't take me wrong, I am not bringing theory of evolution here. I am joking. You get to test the worth of this saying more in the Information Technology sector than in the Public Sector units.
I have seen generations upon generations of people in India, spending their lives with the bug of boredom eating up their problem solving capabilities like rust during their working hours. It is not to suggest that they had no problems to solve before or after working hours. You pretty much get the sense of what I am trying to get at. Working hours used to be as flexible as it goes and that tells much of the tale about 'progress which might have happened' in India, but unfortunately did not. The great Indian mentality “go for government sector jobs and retire as soon as you begin” has almost always been because of urge of people to get "retired" even before they have begun their careers. Believe me, for many government servants, you would not be able to tell the difference in their routines if you observe them before and after the retirement. No, I am not getting at what you might not think I am getting at! Their lives were more or less like lives of their 'retired selves'. Don't solve any problems, create as many as you want to- used to be their first commandment. Files related to work were lazy by nature and they did not have a tendency of moving along tables unless they were getting power from a resource ‘up there in politics or deep down in money’. This holy 'environment', this pre-mature retirement, this lack of tendency to use brains made it impossible for people to come out of their shells of security and safety.
IT sector is ever new, ever changing, drill for experimenting with human boundaries of mind. IT sector demonstrated people how servile servitude could go. Every Monday you would find people with belts and threads around their neck, which look like belts around necks of dogs, running to their offices on over packed roads of metropolitans in India. Most of them work for one IT company or the other. IT sector has demonstrated that persons who are just 30 years of age, without any extra weight, seemingly well-to-do, could also die of heart attacks. IT sector changed face of Indian economy and there seems to be a general consensus about it. Feel free to correct me if you feel otherwise.
IT sector poses some obvious challenges for all employees and hence strengthens them mentally and emotionally if they survive. Change is more palpable and probable a factor in this sector than in most others. Physical surroundings might well be interpreted as very comfortable but this is the very factor which brings pot bellies out at an alarming unforeseen rate and then, by and by, plethora of diseases along with it. As a rule it improves communication skills because these skills make business go smooth across the globe. IT sector jobs generally need a good attention to the details, orderly processing, borderline creativity (which is barely 'creativity') and since computer savvy people are hooked to the internet, if they're thirsty minds, they tend to grow many more synapses than they had to begin with. Deadlines are deadlier than in the government/public sectors. Renew or die is the slogan on air and that is why those who survive are some of the smartest people you would ever meet!
There is no stability as monster of recession with 'FIRE arms like no other' keeps on resting over the horizon, watching you on a day-to-day basis and you're a prey no matter whether you think you're or not and when it hits you, it hits you hard in the head. If you like unstable environments, rush of adrenaline, pot bellies, serving for lord Kethu-without-head-or-sense, then go for IT sector. It's all glamour and no substance. You might end up a wreck, in doldrums or a genius with enlightenment, depending upon your tastes and digestion.