Nine to Five and Beyond..

“If we go to work at 8 am and go home at 5 pm, this is not a high-tech company and Alibaba will never be successful. If we have that kind of 8-5 spirit, then we should just go and do something else.”

These words by Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba are truly a lesson for the work culture at Indian companies. Be it established companies or start ups or banks or official departments, workers do not want to work beyond this unofficial cut-off time at all. Sometimes, even when their employers need them the most. Mr. Bill Gates, if you say you would find a lazy person to do a difficult job so he could find an easier way out, make sure he’s not the kind who sleeps on their desk perpetually. There needs to be a radical change in the way an Indian worker looks at his job and his employer company or firm. Embrace the work as your own for only diligence will get you to find your way up in the long run. Working hours sure draw the line between professional, social and personal life. But only how you perform at your work will enable you to lead a good personal and social life. Procrastination, inefficiency at work and many such devils have killed businesses that may have a huge future potential. A huge and successful enterprise is seldom a one man show. There are always persons behind the scenes who quietly help the business push it’s way forward.

There are a number of parameters a person will take into consideration before taking up a job or starting up a new entrepreneurial venture. A reputed company, a challenging job profile ofcourse in your line of interest,  flexible working hours, good amount of leaves and ofcourse, how can you forget, good money! An eye candy in the office is always a bonus! And you think you have it all. Infact, you don’t just think so, you surely know it. This has been, if I can put it this way, a universally accepted tradition. No one wants to work around Hari Sadus and Maalingams at their workplace. People work for themselves in this highly competitive age.

So I suggest we alter the parameters in this manner. Firstly, it’s really necessary that the job or business is of the kind that you’re really interested in and doesn’t become monotonous for you too early. And one should understand that interest and curiosity are more important than skill or talent as the latter can only be developed with the existence of the former. Now you might be underpaid or working long hours and that is perfectly alright as long as you’re having a good time doing the work you are doing. That Sunday when you feel you really don’t want to wake up for office tomorrow, leave that job immediately because you surely are made to do something else. Now the parameter that I personally think people should add to their criteria of selecting work should be the number of people that are affected or the extent of it. Not just directly, but also indirectly. As a teacher, I feel when my students will score well, it is a step closer towards achieving their respective dreams, and also a big relief for the parents and other people concerned. This thought at the back of my mind allows me to enjoy my job while being responsible. I don’t mind teaching to the point till my students feel that I have done it well. The example is surely crude. Now think about call center employees, good politicians, policy makers, social activists, inventors and anyone who you feel can make it to this list. Time spent and money earned is never a parameter. They always understand that they are doing the greater good. Having named a few jobs, I don’t tag different professions and jobs as good or bad. It is the mentality and attitude you approach the job with that makes all the difference. A share broker may have a few clients and make more money for himself than his clients make. Another one thinks more about his clients’ money and thus gets more clients and eventually more money with added goodwill. People should understand that more money will only make other people think that you are living your life well. But the more number of lives you touch, the longer you live. The movie Schindler’s List is a perfect example of this idea. And if you resort to charity or any amount of community or social service over and above this, it is like icing on the already beautifully made cake. Everyone in this way will get to experience the joy of giving in a way where you don’t really have to spend extra time or money but your work is already a means to it.

So don’t follow the mind as it will ask for logic and reason. Let the invisible hand of Adam Smith do it’s job. And everyone shall be rich and immortal.

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