Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The great proffesional life trick

Anybody who reads The Hindu Opportunities , or glanced the "new HR trends" articles would be aware of the line "balancing the professional and personal life". I believe this is one of the fundamental determinants of the HR policies of any respectable organization. Yet there are thousands of disgruntled employees in the post liberalization job boom era, simply because they cannot do the balancing act. Private organizations which fueled this job boom is always on a quarter to quarter bottom line chase. This chase ultimately results in ever shrinking deadlines and insurmountable targets.

Being the only son in my family , I often think what decision I should take, if there arose a toss between my parents or my professional life. What should one do when, one have an ailing parent, or a wife and kid on one side and a lucrative onsite opportunity on the other side? As Peter Lynch the former fund manager of fidelity said " After you retire , you never regret for not having spent one more extra hour in office". So it is always personal relationships and associated memories that we are going to cherish. At the same time , I believe proffesional achievements give us that sense of accomplishment in the retired life.

One group that is asked to call this toss on a regular basis is working women. It is digestible to think about a husband leaving his family back and flying off to a foreign country to work. What if the same opportunity is presented to a wife or even worse, to a mother of two kids? The call to family duty is always strong, but there is also a societal pressure to comply to the accepted model. Often women are not considered for senior management posts simply because, they can never be expected to meet the demands of such a job. How many companies have HR policies that truly accepts the double role that women have to play and yet give them a chance? . In that perspective most organizations are chauvinistic. Women folks here must understand that, most of these organizations are trying to run a business and not trying to prove some lofty morals.

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to listen to a talk by the Miss Patty Morrison VP and CIO of Motorola Inc. Her profile ( ) , illustrates why she is considered a true winner, yet in the talk she mentioned , a phase of her life when she had to travel hundreds of miles from office to home on a weekly basis. On one side she oversaw SAP implementations and on the personal side, she had to suffer some really bad misfortunes. When the going gets tough , the tough gets going.
Towers like Miss Morrison stand tall, because most of the ordinary folks are never that tough. Yet it is the ordinary humans that comprise the bulk of most organizations, and without them the towers will never be made.