“Even if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, keep to your own side; it’s where you belong. There you can plant your own grass and tend to it.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons
It’s a human attribute to see the beauty outside him, in people, places, things and everything which are not his. But he feels sad that he doesn’t have them. There is a rage in him telling him all the time, that he’s lost the race.
I learnt about this anomaly while I was trying for moving abroad. I began my career with an Aluminium Smelting Company in Chattisgarh, India in 2004. It was one of the best technologies available in India at that point of time. But I was always thinking to move on. Gradually, some of my colleagues left for the middle East, where they had some big expansions in 2006. I tried earnestly, but failed miserably.
I was in Operations when I started my career. I always felt, maintenance was much better. Being an Electrical Engineer, I always felt that Operations is not my cup of Tea. So I was always on the look out for openings in Maintenance, Finally, I convinced our Operations Head to move me into Maintenance. After about 2 years in Maintenance, I started feeling ‘Grass is greener Outside’ syndrome again. I was feeling monotonous and increasingly restless, doing the same things again and again, day after day.
In 2008, like a double whammy , I got married & also got transferred to a new location in Orissa, India. It was a new epoch in life as well as in career. The new job role demanded long working hours as well as new skills like Inspection & Project Handover. My partner was supportive & adjusted a lot. She never complained. But the stress was evident. Finally, I started looking for Greener pastures.
I finally made my move in fag end of 2009 ,to a company , regarded as the doyen among the Aluminium companies in India, having it’s footprints in 42 countries. They were putting a 0.5 Million Ton per Annum Plant with the latest technology available from Pechiney, France. These were glorious times indeed. My eldest daughter was born in 2009. The Greenfield project gave me immense learning in technology, Project Management and most importantly, to handle people. I understood, that one has to develop his leadership & soft skills more than his technical skills to progress further in his career. 2012 was a key milestone. I was promoted as Manager & my second daughter was born. But by 2015, I had again started hunting for new openings. I still had that yearning for exploring new shores. I even thought of immigration seriously. I spend a lot of time and effort preparing documentation for Canada, which seemed to be a good bet those days. Lot of money was spent in Consultation fees, Exam fees and bribing my University officials for getting transcripts. But nothing happened. Home was a nightmare, with me & my wife quarreling and debating on a daily basis on the poor show. Canada was not happening. I had believed it to be a cake-walk then. To make matters worse, I was also in late thirties. This was reducing my CRS scores on a consistent basis. In 2017, I landed with a Head of Department role in a Group company. With no other options available, I took the plunge & relocated to Nagpur. Although the Unit was loss making, the location had strategic benefits. It is an Educational and Medical Hub. Prime Rail & Air connectivity made it very convenient for us to do travelling for leisure as well as going home in Kerala, more often. Kids were in a good school, one of the best Educational institutions in the country.
On the flip side, my Unit was performing poorly in the Reliability front. We used to deliver an awesome figure in a month & follow with a pathetic show in the next. The HODs were always in the firing line. Staying late & returning in the morning became a norm. Breakdowns were rampant. Our Team strove hard. Finally, there was a reversal of fortune. Breakdowns came down. Then, our Corporate people thought, Preventive maintenance procedures should be strengthened with more focus on Predictive & Condition Based Maintenance. The onus was on Planning & Engineering success. This was interesting till the last appraisal. I was expecting a promotion for my efforts & timely recognition of my new role at the latest Unit. I got shocked, when I was not given my due. I started looking for new avenues with increased vigour. Immigration abroad attracted me again. This time, it was Australia. I took great efforts to finish my documentation for submitting my CDR & got a positive outcome from Engineers Australia, who ratify the Engineering qualification of applicants. I was just about to write my PTE, when Covid-19 struck.
I’ve also landed a job, just before the lockdown in March. The joining date is in June. I really don’t know, when I can move to the new workplace. But , I certainly hope the new place is Greener. I wish I can finally plant some more Grass there & tend to it.
I feel, it’s inherent in us to look for something better always. We keep on searching and finding throughout our Life. Sometimes, it was destined to keep Human Nature that way, so that every person, every place gets a taste of us. We are unique creations, who have mysterious purposes in life. We never know our true potential, until we experiment and reinvent ourselves. Innovation is the spice of life.