Saturday, December 25, 2010


2011 New Years Resolution

This week, I was contacted by not one but four different IT professionals who shared with me the fact that they read my blog and took actions on my recommendations...

All four people decided to quit their jobs and did so without having something already lined up. They all were burnt out and frustrated with performing tiring meaningless work and felt over time that they somehow lost themselves along the way. We all know that many employers are exploiting the fact that the job market is suboptimal and putting pressure on employees to work longer hours which translates into spending less time with their family.

When I departed The Hartford, I had the opportunity to do something meaningful but somehow ended up in a situation that doesn't capitalize on my strengths nor affords me the opportunity to spend more time with my family.

Everyone draws the line of work/life balance differently where some are OK with seeing their children on the weekends which works fine for them, while for others, think that they are OK as long as they can tuck their children into bed at night. For me, my children are my life and I choose to draw my line not by hour many hours I am at work, but more along the lines of how many hours am I away from them.

Each of these four people have decided they needed to find themselves and interact with their children not only more but more deeply. Somehow they have managed to take my advice and apply it to their own daily life while for me it becomes even more elusive. So, in 2011, I am committing to visit more school plays and after school games and will be savage towards those who threaten this precious time.

It has been four months since starting my new job and I also discovered something I didn't like about myself. I realized that being charitable has somehow left my vocabulary. As an employee of The Hartford, we were granted time to perform charitable community acts. Now as an employee of a consulting firm, everything is about billable time and the opportunity to help people in need during the day has been taken away.

Sure, I can rectify the gift of charity by simply throwing money at the problem, but charity is meant to be more personal, more human. One of the people who quit stated that she would be spending time in Africa helping abused girls learn English. Another would be helping build homes in Central America. They are using their time on this planet not just to make money, but to touch the life's of people less fortunate. I have to figure out how to get back something I have lost.

In the meantime, I am starting my own charity which will help kids who are being bullied to defend themselves. I am working with a few Sensei's in the area to help provide martial arts instructions to kids who otherwise can't afford.

My third and final resolution is to live more green. In living green, this doesn't necessarily translate into having more green products and can simply mean having less products. This week, I decided to eat poor people's food and was able to make an entire week's of grocery for $60.

Did you know that many of the Indian outsourcing firms who send their employees to the United States get a stipend of only $80 to $100 a day? That works out to $36,000 a year! More importantly, people from these firms actually manage to save a lot of money and generally are more happier than their American counterparts.

As an American, I am embarrassed with how much waste and greed is baked into everything we do. I am committed to living with less going forward...

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