I have a good friend who used to work for a good company. He came to US through them, worked here for over 2 years for them and then quit. He quit the company almost after 5 years… when I asked him the reason to quit, it was not money or anything else….it was just internal politics at work regarding promotions, salary hike.…he is a great guy with great work ethics and very straightforward…he does not believe in kissing someone’s a** just for the sake of promotion or hike. I think career growth and work politics are critical issues to consider for peace of mind. Based on my experience, they are different in India vs. America. Let me share few thoughts. This is part of series: : Settle in US or India? Life in USA vs. India? Move back?
Work related Politics for Promotions like Manager, Lead or Salary Hike :
Let’s go back to roots of Indian society, we are a male dominated society and very hierarchical in nature. The second part is very key, every person is respected based on his role in society and people treat with respect. Unfortunately, though we are so educated, some of us still carry the inherent characteristics of hierarchical society and we expect others who work for us to respect us in a different level….Also, if someone tries to flatter or apple polish people just take it because it feels good for ego. Unfortunately, it is not the right thing to do and not everyone are clever to do it by kissing someone’s a** . Anyways, the point I am trying to make is, Managers without proper external exposure carry these characteristics and show favoritism towards someone who apple polishes them…which is a bad sign. Not trying to generalize here, but significant number of them unknowingly carry this bias.
On the other hand, if we look at western culture, it is not hierarchical…there are no deep roots here…Everyone calls other person by first name…very few occasions people refer by Mr . The point is, work culture is very casual, there is no need to apple polish someone and people do not expect anything. In fact, it is against work ethics to show favoritism. I am not saying it does not happen, but the possibility of getting someone by apple polishing is not very common. Most of the Americans do not like to hide anything or lie, they say upfront. If they do not agree with their boss, they will say I disagree…but in Indian culture, it is considered impolite and we do not do that…so there are fundamental differences. The overall point is, there is no need to kiss someone’s a** here to get promotion. Your work is well recognized.
Also, when it comes to work related politics, there is too much of politics in Indian companies…colleagues or friends who are always as a group try to help each other for onsite chances, hikes, promotions, etc…and in the process some of the good people who are not part of the group gets hurt. There are politics everywhere, others complaining about you in secret to your manger about something for getting impression, similar childish behavior. I am not trying to tell stories here, these are real incidents I heard from friends….On the other hand, in US it does not work that way. Most of the times, people do not complain behind your back, there is less chance of group trying to suppress anyone. In America, if you work hard and show your work, you are recognized by your boss and will be rewarded. You do not need to do anything like in India….Overall, there are less work politics in US…
Decision about promotions and Work related politics :
Personally, after talking to my friends and after my little work experience in America, most of the times, it is very positive and less politics. Work related politics are real frustration and kills your creative energy and decreases morale. You do not want to inhibit your growth and face all this frustration when you are young and trying to enjoy life. I would prefer to work in America for at least next 10 years or even more until the playing field becomes more leveled with maturity in mangers and lesser politics at work….
What do you think ? Do you have any work politics story ? What is your opinion ?
Image Credit : http://www.bottomsupcomic.com/comics/2009-10-21-Office-Politics.jpg