What do you do v/s where

Wanted to write about this from long time but never got that blogger urge until today. I had noticed this during my sabbatical but then it became much more after I quit. In most of those social meets I get asked

“So where are you working now?”

It seems for some reason where we work is more important than what we do. So all of a sudden the interesting stuff that I am doing doesn’t seem to have any value. I am reduced to the most irresponsible thirty year old who doesn’t have any plans for future. It’s quite interesting how people are not a bit curious in what I am doing (and probably earning more than them in the process!) but more interested where I am working. Why brands are such a big deal?

My friends think it is Colonial Mentality where we take pride in working for big people, big companies, big foreign companies. Its insecurity that is playing which has its root in colonial mentality. It’s the reason we feel comfortable, good and secure working for big companies. It’s the same reason why my parents think Govt jobs are the best and my grand parents thought British Govt jobs were the finest. It could also be our education system which is just Job Oriented Training. I think thats how we are conditioned and unless we break the fish bowl we wont come to know world is big.
Inner peace
Coming back to the question. Initially I used to get offended. Now I explain the difference between what v/s where. Most of them get it and some don’t. Can’t help much, right?

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12 Responses

  1. Sanjay Nayak says:

    Thej – I admire the path that you have chosen. It is not often that we get a chance to do things that we yearn for. These days I too get the urge to start something on my own and spend time in meaningful work, but the pessimist in me is worried about the bills to pay.

    Though, I am not sure that it is the colonial mentality but the orthodox middle class values which holds us back. For us it it always the settled life and the risk free decisions. I went through a situation recently where holding a job, whatever it may be, held more weight than an individual’s values and principles.

  2. ravi atluri says:

    Other thing which has to change is – Whom do you work “for”. Do we always have to work “for” someone? or Do we want to work “with” someone.

    Or rather should it be – we “for” something/goal “with” someone ?

  3. hari says:

    Expcecting this to come from you for a long time. What you missed is so-and-so is getting that much with only XXX years of experience…me sick of hearing this when i aim for work(place) which suite me and i like than the salary

  4. karthick r says:

    Thej – Though I always look upon people like you[who put their passion in front of every other thing], I dont see myself doing it.
    Reason is pretty simple – I have promises to keep.
    Right now, All I do is to do at least ‘something’ which I love.
    And reg Inner Peace. I have a diff opinion ;-)

  5. Thejesh GN says:

    Something which you love is just more than enough to work there. Its much better reason than some where I love according to me.

  6. Jayadeep Purushothaman says:

    It makes sense for a football player to be asked such a question – if you play for a Manchester United or Barcelona, that means something for people who know football. Mohun Bagan or Salgocar would tell you were you stand! I play for my own club doesn’t make sense!

    And the question you mention is also an indirect one for “how much money do you make? “. It is money the final motivator for majority of people. Can’t blame them.

  7. Shweta says:

    I completely identify with this post Thej, as you already know :) I chose the same path of lesser money and no big brand by becoming a full time writer. For a year, I sat in front of my laptop, not writing but depressed of what would people think. I still deal with the societal expectations which are a strong part of me (unfortunately!). So there, choices are never easy to make or stick to! This was a tangent, i think i will blog on this as well :) Cheerios!

  8. Very interesting and intriguing topic.

    On top of many people’s mind.

    I too vote for working ‘with’.

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