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A not-so-young job-seeker's tale

April 24, 2009 12:49 IST

Here is a first-person account of a not-so-young job-seeker's advice to all.

At 63, I am in the same boat with numerous job-losers and job-seekers whose tales rediff.com has published.

Though there is no avenue open for me now to secure a comfortable job, I wish to share my experience so that youngsters may learn a lesson or two.

Right from childhood, I was a pampered individual. Being the only son to my parents in a large undivided family, I never I needed to learn too much. Each time my parents demanded anything from me, my grandparents would come to my aid.

They did things for me that I ought to have done myself.

Hence, I acquired few skills which are necessary for a middle class person to swim through the ocean of life. Whatever little I learnt was not because of hard work but because of exposure to circumstances.

This led to a bad trait.

Luckily I was quick to learn anything new, but I developed a false ego that I was an extremely intelligent person. This notion led to arrogance.

After getting a diploma in mechanical engineering I started my career in Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Here too, instead of developing skills in my job, I started pursuing a career in Associate Member of the Institution of Engineers.

No doubt AMIE threw up wonderful opportunities but my priority was misplaced. I failed to see the blatant truth: for a person with a new job, his or her main concern should be the job at hand.

Also, thanks to my arrogance, ties with my boss were always strained. Naturally my colleagues' career progressed faster than mine. This created a lot of heartburns.

Sadly, however, I never realised that my attitude needed to be rectified.

Instead, I always nursed a grievance that my boss hated me because I was more qualified than him and he was harassing me for no fault of mine.

As frustration mounted, I applied for a transfer to another division. After the change, the same story was repeated. Yet realisation never dawned on me. One fine morning, my boss resigned.

As a parting remark, he advised me to leave the government sector job and join a private company. My progress would be faster there, he reasoned.

Like a mad man, I started searching for a private sector job and soon came out of HAL. But post-HAL, I could not stick to one particular job. Almost once in three years, I had to find a different job not because of growth prospects but for mere survival.

As a consequence my savings also hit a rock bottom. About a year ago, I got an opportunity in the IT industry as a consultant for a year with a dream pay packet.

I worked with lot of interest and created many programmes. I learnt a lot of things within a year. To be honest, I did not expect a renewal of the contract. I was pleasantly surprised when it was renewed with about 10 per cent pay hike.

I hoped to accumulate some funds for my later years as I was not eligible for pension.

Suddenly one afternoon the head of the unit called me and told me that the contract had to be terminated with immediate effect. This took place exactly a month after the renewal of my contract.

What do I do now? None of my previous acquaintances is interested in hiring me again. After about 40 years of service, I am back to square one.

Earlier, I had the advantage of youth. But now I am too old. No one is even interested to answer my phone calls. Only  God, perhaps, can lead me to a solution.

Lessons that I learnt from my predicament:

  • Love your job and learn as much as possible. Learning comes primarily from your job. After fulfilling this requirement you can aspire for higher qualifications. If you don't respect the job you are doing who else would?
  • Save money for future. If you spend on unwanted things, you may not have money for essentials in the future.
  • When you are in a society you are not alone. You may have a family to support. You should not be a liability to the society or to your family.
  • You can make mistakes. But don't repeat them. In important situations in life, ponder over other solutions also. But do not jump to conclusions.
  • And, last but not the least, believe in God.
P Venkata Narasaiah