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Talking Point | Ajay Gupta

Talking Point | Ajay Gupta
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First Published: Wed, Jun 04 2008. 10 32 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jun 04 2008. 10 32 PM IST
With the economy growing at a robust pace, employment opportunities are multiplying, particularly in the rural sector, with companies focusing on the untapped potential there. Mint presents a fortnightly column on job prospects in the sector.
I am a sales manager in a reputed Indian agri-inputs company. I feel that I am getting consumed by the tough competition, wherein I need to put in 12 hours a day and continuously chase difficult targets. What would be the career prospects if I shift to a good non-governmental organization (NGO)?
For career progression and satisfaction on the personal front, it is imperative that one enjoys the nature of work that he/she undertakes. It is from this perspective that an NGO may not necessarily be a good escape route for you. Employees in NGOs may not face very demanding work schedules, but they face a different set of challenges. Such difficulties can be overcome only by those who are passionate about the end results. The rest of the NGO workforce could typically slide to criticizing mode and in the process completely forget the very purpose for which they joined a development organization. Hence, assignments at NGOs could be highly satisfying for some and equally frustrating for some others. Since it is not a case of a response to an inner voice for the benefit of society or fighting for a cause, a shift to an NGO may not be the right move for you. You may instead look at areas to organize yourself better to be able to improve your productivity and take out time for yourself and your family. Also, targets are part of an ambitious executive’s life and need to be accepted.
I am a 45-year-old general manager with one of the largest companies in India. Our company has just announced a voluntary retirement scheme that promises to pay me half the salary of my balance working years. Does it make sense to quit as I am already financially comfortable?
My interaction with a large number of executives who have availed premature retirement suggests that irrespective of the financial gains on offer, voluntary retirement is a losing proposition. It is important for us to have a binding daily schedule, a compatible peer group, defined objectives to be achieved and something to look forward to. Even on the income front, whatever looks sufficient today may not be so after 10 years. The half salary mentioned by you will be half of the compensation you are getting today. Think of your salary 10 years back and see the purchasing power of half that amount today. That scenario is likely to be repeated and the situation may not permit you to maintain the standard of living that you have become used to. Many executives tend to expect some other job post-retirement. But the fact is that such opportunities are difficult to come by. Some bank managers who availed voluntary retirement found difficulty in fetching a job that pays even Rs5,000 a month. In addition, you are in a senior position today in a large organization. You may get irritated if you end up working for a small group at a low salary. All in all, this exit can mean a train of problems for you. Hence, irrespective of your perceived financial security, premature retirement may not be a desirable move.
Ajay Gupta is CEO of ruralnaukri.com. Send your career queries to askmint@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Jun 04 2008. 10 32 PM IST