Career Year 2013-14: The Year We Survived

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It was our most popular poll last year. We asked professionals in a snap poll how 2013-14 played out for them – was it a great year, a bad one or somewhere in between?

Over 150 of you responded, but the result was a shocker! It turned out that 52% professionals felt they just survived the year, while 29% said that they would prefer to forget the year gone by. Only 19% of respondents said they had a great year!

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We took you up on the challenge and set out to bury all that made 2013-14 a forgettable year. In conversation with professionals to hear what they want to bury and what their wish-list for FY 2015 is.

Nothing happened

This was the pet peeve. 2013-14 it seems was the year of stagnation – no challenging projects, a lack of development avenues, grey areas in management vision, few, if any, benefits and dull days at office.
Abhiraj Sen, a research manager with an analytics firm said, “I kept looking for a change but nothing concrete came my way. The same mundane, routine work was assigned, with no new challenging projects. Nothing moved in terms of appraisals or on the promotion front. The job market was down too, and everyone just held on to the jobs they had. In two words here’s how I define last year – nothing happened.”

The fear factor

From the management team to freshers, an undercurrent of fear touched organisations and everyone played super-safe. Economic uncertainty spilled over to the workplace, killing the spirit with which people went to work was missing and driving down initiative.

Mohit Kumar, head of marketing with a consulting company said, “It was a tough year from the word go. Right at the beginning of the year we were hit by retrenchment and appraisal day was a dark day for all of us. It set the note for the year that followed. Those who survived were nervous of losing the job in hand and most of us took a cautious approach. I did not take leave for my annual holiday, kept a close look at the management policy and tried to keep my head down at work.”

Endless work & work-days

Though the year had nothing to offer, anxiety and deadlines kept mounting. With retrenchment in the air and companies stalling on new hires, people were under tremendous pressure to perform, with accompanying burnout & stress.

A working mother at a reputed automobile company shared, “It was the worst possible year and very stressful. There was just one job at a senior level, and everyone was vying for it, resulting in intense competition and office politics. Juggling between work and home became very difficult and I had to often work on weekends.”

Work was a 1-way street

The input-output ratio went haywire last year. People were working for more hours, often without any breaks and on weekends too, but appreciation, rewards & recognition slow to come. Doing more for less was a way of life and often one had to double efforts to achieve the same result.

“It was a strange year. There was increased pressure and far too much work – without any results or rewards. It was as if there was only input and no output. I felt as if we were doing spot jogging, running and sweating at the same place without moving an inch,” sums up Nandita Singh, operations head with a leading BPO organisation.

Bring on 2014-15, a year that we hope will bring in the exact opposite of the year gone by: dynamism & energy, risk-taking & growth, great work & plenty of rewards!

Let’s talk careers. We’re keen to hear from you.

Interested in being a guest blogger? Write to us on lounge@headhonchos.com

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