IT industry is booming in India. Owing to abundance of cheap labor here, most IT giants have been shifting their base to India post liberalization. Be it IBM, TCS, Accenture, Cognizant or Capgemini– all boast of majority of workforce stationed in India. Given the volume of employment these IT companies generate, chances are fair that you might land up in an IT firm. IT industry looks too glamorous till you get to see it inside out. It might seem too lucrative to refuse, but before you join, you must check if you fit the bill.
- Long Working Hours:
Post-recession, IT companies expect their employees to work for atleast 45 hours a week; this would normally exclude your lunch and off-work hours. Your normal shift timings can be from 8:00am to 6:00pm or 10:00am to 8:00pm. Essentially after spending 10 hours in office, you hardly have time or energy left to do anything else, leave alone spending quality time with your family.
Mostly IT industry supports European clients or clients based on remote locations. Hence working on a client project, you should be available during the client working hours. Hence don’t be surprised if you are expected to work in morning shift for a week or two and then switch to night shift for the next two in the early stage of your career. If you were ever taught about biological clock that your body follows, forget it!!!
PS: Working beyond normal timing can get you few extra bucks. In my last organization, working overnight could get you Rs 500 and working beyond normal shift could get you Rs 200 each day as the shift allowance.
- Work-Life Balance
Even if you escape the shift schedule as you grow in experience, long working hours and odd timings are here to stay. You can expect late night conference calls and early morning meetings. You might have the liberty to attend these from the comfort of your home but these come over and above your normal working hours. Higher you grow in your career level, more would be such overheads.
Weekend is all yours. Sleep, party, Drink!!!
Not here. If you land up into a support or deployment team, major chunk of your work will happen on weekends. You will get compensatory off in lieu of this, but that can hardly compensate for your loss. While your friends would party around, their Facebook snaps would mock at you when you cool off on Weekdays.
Yes this is the best thing that can happen to you in your career. It essentially means that the company has no work for you for a while. So you are a free soul. But it comes with a rider as well. Essentially if you have a substantial variable pay, it all comes down to nothing if you have been on bench for a long time. These companies have a complex formula to calculate your chargeability. Lesser the chargeability, lesser your pay.
Yes this is labor intensive industry. Right from jam packed shuttles to chaotic cafeteria to busy bay; you will find swarms of people around you all the time. It is said that if you randomly hurl a stone anywhere in Bangalore, it will either hit a street dog or an IT professional. This might be an exaggeration but it’s not very untrue.
With crowd comes politics. There are so many employees that you can’t expect your manager to keep a track of all of you. Visibility is limited, which itself is a double-edged sword. If you are a shirker, you can still fool around for a while. Real problem is, even if you are a high performer or you are putting in extra hours, your work might not be appreciated for a while. For promotion and increment you must be in your manager’s good book. And for that to happen, you must be in his camp. If you land onto other side, you are screwed….big time!!!
- Changing Team
If you are not happy with your team or leadership, don’t worry. You keep moving from one project to another like nomads. New project means new team. Your stay in a team may vary from few months to years. On the flip side, even if you have great rapport with your team and manger, it wouldn’t last forever. You have to start afresh.
- Excel-Mail-Conference Call-PowerPoint
Yes this is the new mantra for your life. If you are a developer, you end up debugging endless lines of code written by a smartass from the west. If you end up in a different profile, say consultant, researcher, analyst or no matter what they call you, Excel-Mail-Conference Call-PowerPoint is what you are supposed to do.
You will create excel-sheets crunching data that nobody cares. You will love your work until truth dawns upon you that your job is just a glorified data entry job. You will shootout e-mails that no one cares about. You will be in conference calls where no one cares about your existence. You will create powerpoints that would go straight into dustbins. You might also present some which no one would pay heed to. The focus would always be on how you do it than what you do. You might be pulled up for wrong format, while a blunder in the substance might go unnoticed.
Disclaimer: If IT industry suddenly appears moribund, morbid and melancholy, I have successfully scared you. But this industry has its own perks. If fat paycheck and glamorous lifestyle fascinates you, you are made for this industry. Come, join me!!