Friday, May 29, 2009

9 Reasons I Quit my IT job

"The word safe is both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective it means “being free from danger.” As a noun it’s “an enclosed storage container with a lock on it.” If you’re living the adjective, you’re living the noun too." - Steve Pavlina

I am no more an "IT Proffessional". I have been a Software Engineer for 2 years in Bangalore. It was not resonating with my heart’s desires and the value-add was reducing. Even though it made me grow well in one area, it decelerated the growth in other areas.

I have had lots of moments when I hated my job but could not get out then because of so many reasons; fear, lack of clear vision about my life and financial ties being some of them. Finally, I overcame all of them and I took the decision that I wanted to take. I quit.

I have mentioned some of the most predominant reasons here. I hope this gives insight to those in college (or not just them), thinking of joining a similar kind of job.

1. A Stupid Theory on Productivity & Time Management

We are at a time now that it has become an unwritten rule in Indian IT environment that, we need to spend more time than what was actually agreed upon. [Mostly you end up working somewhere more than 25 hours extra in a week]. The saddest reason for the manifestation of this kind of an environment to prevail is that, most of the managers stupidly equate productivity just with time spent in office.

It is one thing for you to get involved in work too much because it challenges you in a very interesting and growth-oriented way that you forget to eat food in time or stay late night to focus & deliver the project within the timeline. It is completely another thing if you are forced to do that. You are pushed in a situation where you end up working like a slave even though you had other things planned – Weekends included.

With a schedule like this, you don’t get to manage your time, as your time is not always yours to manage.

2. Good Work is rewarded with more work

Mostly, even if someone finishes the work ahead of time, they wait till the end of the day to report it to the Manager. This is because the fear of more work allotted which would eventually consume lots of time making you to stay late.

This kind of unproductive strategies could be reduced if the manager respects his employee's early task finishing and rewards appropriately. Instead, the managers load them with work without any consideration of the time lines and the employee has to end up staying late.

This does not improve productivity, neither yours nor the employer's.

[With some managers, the above mentioned tactic does not work after a while. I used to work with a manager who liked to retain people till at least 8:30 PM by giving more work. Fortunately, I moved away from her, to some other project. I heard that the time increased from 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM. She was a true sadist]

3. Motivating the donkey

Money, (often a raise in salary) is perceived as a motivation factor. However, the major motivation factor used on the employees is fear. When I say fear, it’s the Fear of losing the job or fear of losing the bond money that was agreed upon while joining. They instill that fear upon you, to keep you whipped. So, there is just no happy and cheering motivation to work.
Lack in motivation here affects the overall energy levels, making the whole day bad.

4. Too much micro managing

Its too frustrating when the managers try to manage and scrutinize every second of your time, assuming that is going to add up to the productivity.

You might not believe if said that once I was asked an explanation for taking too many toilet breaks. What can I say then? I have extraordinary capability to pee?

  • And, hovering just behind while you try and get the work done.
  • Asking for status every half an hour, when both of you know that it is going to be over not before the end of the day.

These are just some examples for too much of micro managing

5. Feeling Dissatisfied even after delivering a project

Any work coming out of an employee who is made to work out of fear, obligation or compulsion will always be in poor quality. Now, imagine a project you are involved where majority of team members are such employees.

Mediocre project delivery is just an eventuality, even though you were not one such employee.

6. A balanced a lifestyle? Keep Dreaming!

The way to have a balanced life style is compartmentalizing the 2 major and different areas of life: Work life & Personal Life. But, when a conflict arises, i.e. when both work & personal life need immediate attention, the priority is automatically given to work (because of) and slowly the work encroaches the personal life’s territory.

With all the above points considered, your balanced life style becomes a far-fetched goal.
It’s a sad truth that your lifestyle depends upon what kind of manager you get.

7. Diminishing attention to physical fitness

There is very less or no physical activity in the job. Also, as the job pressure slowly takes over, even a regular physical activity like going to gym gets tossed off often, eventually ending up with a big tummy and much regretted fat ass.

If I kept continuing this, I am sure to face an illness before I hit 35.

8. A Boring Society

The work environment isn't fun anymore. The conversations with your colleagues become mendacious, phony and boring.

Initially, when I joined, I enjoyed the diverse population that I interacted with and the various curious minds. But, slowly the interactions get constricted within a closed circle of people and more pretentious. Even though the fun part was there, it was drastically reducing.

The interest in meeting new people gets saturated so soon because, after one point there is nothing new and only repetition of what was once new and interesting.

9. Balls to competitive growth

This point might be little naïve of me and it happens probably everywhere.

The scenario is such that, if a person is good in his work, then, he/she is always trusted with the most important & critical work. The learning curve is reduced and soon you become an important employee.

This seems a good and best way to move up in the ladder.

Well, you are wrong. That’s not enough.

You have got to be a good sycophant too (some times, just that is enough) to have better visibility, to have a better movement up the ladder.


Even though there were many perks being in the job, they all either vanished or eventually got saturated or transformed into some other desires, either way, making that place no more reasonable for me to stay.

What am I going to do for money? I guess I am pushed more towards aligning myself with my true desires and finding & doing the right thing and (possibly) making it lead to financial Independence.


Prasanna said...

True! Well expressed! This is case in most(not all) IT companies!
& bro...
fix the typo-o(s) ..small grammatical errors done in speed typing!!

d wanderer said...

aha!! I see why you have quit your day job.
But what I am more interested in is how you gonna address those(reasons you have a broblem with)..
would like to see a follow-up to this blog, say in 3-4 months, about what you have done about it.

Varun said...

wo!! thats brave of u to have quit as soon as the bogie of the contract is over!!!!.....

now u have the problems!!! once u have solutions!! lemme know... but one thing advantageous is that if u work hard enough u would make sure u arent in any of these 9 reasons atleast!!!

But i guess reality might be there would be 9 more!!!!!

but BRAVO!!!! make use of this time wisely

Santhanam said...

I am glad you liked it.

I have fixed some errors i could find. This blogger editor is not that helpful

d wanderer,
Of course I am going to tell you and even more going to bug you to read it and comment on it.


I think i would be more fit in a independent work model, without a boss. Am researching more on entrepreneurial ideas. May be MBA is going to cross paths with me.

aravindv said...

Hi Santa

Just went through one of your articles today....
First of all let me say...
your writing style is good. I have read many blogs which just hold my concentration to the first few lines only...(of course after that click and move to the next page) but i read each and every word of your article. Try to maintain the same pace with all the articles...

And comments about the content...its the same problem that every ITES guy faces...but then as the others have asked, where is the solution for this ?
Some companies have really worked out on these issues...Will update you on that some time later.

Meanwhile you have one more ardent follower of your blog ;)

Santhanam said...


Wow...I am flattered... That is a really good boost for me!!

I am planning to write more and hope to present it well...

And, A reason this one came out well was because this blog has been cooking in me for over a year now... I had so much more to write, but in order to keep it short, I clubbed many things...

if you can add something to the list, that would be great!!

Edwin said...

Great that you have taken a bold decision that many ppl fear to take (including me)... And let me tell you, your negative critics are the ones who will drive you to success..

I would suggest you write a blog on the reasons why you took a job ie. about the educational system and about the traditional way of living..

Goks said...

This is really good..
I will fwd this link to my manager!

You addressed some 'common' problems.. But how you gonna solve these problems in ur unique way...

To avoid these problems u did quit ur job?

I hope that u r enough capable to face these problems and come over..

I can say the only reason(u quit ur job) is "U got bored"... U r looking for a change..tats it..ryt?

San said...

Problems are interesting if they challenge you and help you grow.

Problems get saddening when they get repetitive and no more fun solving them.

I am not running away from problems... just going towards interesting ones... change is just a eventuality (a by-product)!

Hope this makes it clear...Gokul?

Goks said...

Tats fine.
Your wish..
Keep rocking!

meet you soon.

Goks said...

Hi San:

I really wanna thank you man!
Your post ignited something in my mind.

I did small research about the topic 'Love ur job' with the consideration of points u mentioned and finally I got an excellent answer for that.

"You will like your job more if you make a friend at work"

If you have gud friends at work, u can make the difference between loving and hating the job.

I experimented this in my new project and its really working fine.

FYI: This research gonna be my next post.

rujokin said...

gud one... all the issues are pretty much common in all kinda jobs. i don't think doing MBA is not gonna help much. Anyways it is ur choice. Make sure that u dont regret ur next step.

Shivaji said...

I hope what had happen is good for you and which make you feel and realize what are you looking for exactly. What would I suggest is, you should expose more to the challenging path and get expose to problem, beneath how you define the problem.

Uma Gautam said...

Wow! Beautifully written/expressed!!

There is no courage in suffering without any enquiry.I do think it takes enormous courage to break out of the 'matrix' and explore. Only a man who doesn't make a God out of 'security' can afford this luxury.

I loved what you said about 'problems'. Yes, I too think there will always be some problems everywhere. :)) Without friction, there can be no growth.Like you said, problems must in some way be conducive to growth.If they simply deaden you, you have to look at that.

I too, many years ago, left a job with Titan Watches and took up a small studio where I started painting. My friends were aghast and told me it was foolish and unrealistic to 'start afresh' after so long.

My paintings (they were awful in the beginning) started to sell, very slowly at first and then much much better and now, 7 solo shows and 17 group shows down the line, I know the universe always supports courage, always rewards a 'break from conditioning'.

Thank you Santa. for your thought provoking article. Looking forward to reading more from you. You write from the heart !I love that.