Reflecting on Success in Career
“I saw you speaking at the Thane HR Group event yesterday,” Lulu, my parrot, said as he flew in from the window. “I had only seen you introducing the speakers there in earlier event.”
“You are right, Lulu” I spoke as I picked up my cup of coffee. “The core committee of Thane HR Group suggested that I should speak, and I accepted!”
“Reflecting on the Journey of HR Manager.”
“All reflections are autobiographical,” Lulu said as he spoke slowly as if in deep thought. “In fact all expressions are autobiographical, it certainly tells something about yourself.”
“No question about it. I told the audience that career is like a journey. You get in a bus. You take halts, meet fellow passengers, chat with them, make friends, and occasionally even fight with them. You look at how much you have travelled, and how far is the destination.”
“Thanks. And when you get down from the bus, you walk towards your home. I have retired from my corporate career eight years ago. So I have got down from the bus and my walk toward my home has begun.”
“Man! The ‘home’ can be interpreted to mean the final destination of all living beings. Ha! Ha!! But what did you say to the audience?”
“When you look back on your life, you develop a deep sense of gratitude. There are people who made huge difference to you. They shaped your thinking, they shaped your way of relating.”
“They kind of peeled off some layers of your personality which were like dead skin, they had lost their utility, but you were retaining them.”
“I get what you mean.”
“Then there were decisions you took which got criticised, but you thought you would have failed in your duty if you had not taken them.”
“These must be based on your values of fairness and justice. Those are not only difficult decisions but also contestable.”
“But isn’t making a decision itself a choice? You can get away by not deciding at all.”
“No! You have to decide. Some decide not to decide. That is disastrous.”
“Sometimes I feel that God places you in situations when you are not ready to handle it. Time just overtakes your development as a person.”
“You can’t escape making a decision, right?”
“HR Managers’ decisions affect people’s careers. Sometimes their reputation. Moreover such decisions are often irreversible. Decisions of punishment or termination are among the most difficult and most contested.”
“Surely they tell something about the character of the HR Manager himself.”
“You said it.”
“And the values he practises.”
“Absolutely. The talk must have been autobiographical – and as they say, an autobiography is the story of how a man thinks he lived.”
“Right! What matters is whether he left good legacy behind. In final analysis, have those difficult situations made you a better person – that is the question. ” Lulu said as he fell in deep thought.
“That’s the test of success in career. And it will take a few sleepless nights to decide if you passed or failed.” I said.
Vivek S Patwardhan
Thanks Vivek; I’m sure every HR manager can relate with your thoughts on decisions that need to be made. Yes, they’re difficult at times, and contested as well. One of the tests for us is whether we can live with those decisions, look at ourselves and say that ‘I was true to myself (my values) and did what was best for the organization’.
Nice one Sir.
“HR Managers’ decisions affect people’s careers. Sometimes their reputation. Moreover such decisions are often IRREVERSIBLE”
Good article, sir. Nice narration, love for Lulu!
Thanks Vivekji for the gist of your session on Friday @ Thane HR meet. Had missed it as I was in Chennai for 16th Anniversary celebrations. Truly said, Career is like a journey. You get in a bus. You make halts, meet fellow passengers, chat with them, make friends and occasionally you fight with them. You look at how much you have travelled and how far is the destination.
Always a pleasure reading and this time your own reflections. Very insightful. The analogy of the bus is so very apt. Also the ability to decide when faced with the many dilemmas that we are confronted with and the values that have helped us take the right decisions. Like they used to say in one of my earlier organizations on – learning agility is what you do when you dont know what to do.In such instances only your principles and values help you find the direction. Thank you.
Dear VSP, A very serious reflective matter you have summed up so effortlessly. But, whats new in that? I/we have come to expect that!
My key take away was “In final analysis, have those difficult situations made you a better person – that is the question.”
I am in agreement with your anology of a career with a bus journey ! And may be once in a while , there can be a road accident ….as it can happen in the career path….
some one looses his job , for known/ unknown reason ?