Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Perils of Media and the Placement Boom

This is rather crazy. Everyone I have met since I have come home has been asking me about my salary. And once I tell them the figure, I can almost see their minds brooding over how much I fare against those dollar figures floating around the whole space, in each living room, on each morning paper, on every news channel. Its like media's field day - the celebration of the "mega" salaries that the MBA grads are getting. Its not just the humiliation of being compared to a number that bugs me about this hype, it is also a violation of my private space, my private life. My package is something very personal to me and I don't like to discuss it with someone, except perhaps a set of my friends who have gone through a similiar decision making process of weighing profiles, opportunities and packages and know what its all about. And I don't want the probings and advices about which sector I should have gone to, or in which country I should have hunted for my job. I think, even without talking to me personally, media is at a certain level invading my privacy and encouraging this invasion into the lives of so many of us graduates.
And its not just about the packages. Some people figure its their duty to educate us about the huge career opportunities that we are missing out upon. And they take pride in telling us that someone left the same job with a same package, because it was not good enough for them. Sure. I didn't even considering applying for jobs that I didn't think were good enough rather than have the pleaure and pride of leaving them after bagging them. I have made my career choices based on what I want to do, where I want to go and how I want to shape up my own life. and I perfectly know that there are people who will choose a different path. What I don't understand is why anyone else's choices should make me liable to explain my own!
I think the short-term perspectives of so many of my interrogators (and assumed well wishers) has led to this situation. They see this job as a destination, but for the graduating students, it is only part of the journey. At the end of the day, what they do will make a difference and not merely where they go. And irrespective of how much they bag now, they will still have to chalk out a career path and not be lost in that numeric figure. Its only for each individual to decide where to draw the line between the figure and what they want to do and be.

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