Shifting Priorities

Earlier, the headlines grabbing our eyeballs would be, “ABC topped the IITJEE” or “XYZ topped the IAS exam.”

Nowadays, the more popular headline is, “The highest salary at IIT Roorkee is Rs 2.15 Cr.”

Apparently, IIT Bombay and Guwahati got only the consolation prize, though they still managed to grab salaries in excess of Rs 2 crores.

Naturally, the youngsters joining some Indian firm for salaries in lacs are wondering, “What sin did I commit? What a failure I am!”

If I could give one piece of (unsolicited) advice, this is what it would be — ignore this nonsense.

First of all, comparing with others is a huge folly.

Furthermore, these meaningless numbers are dollar salaries multiplied by a huge exchange rate. Even a truck driver in the US earning $50k can be said to be earning more than Rs 35 lacs. On top of that, the ‘salary’ may include all kinds of perks, variable pay, stock options, etc.

Even more importantly, this discussion takes away your focus from what truly matters: Will your job teach you a hell lot or will you be a cog in the wheel doing a repetitive job? Does it align with what you enjoy doing, at least sort of?

Will the work be relatively low-stress and meaningful? If you think this is theoretical, do know that many Wall Street jobs paying loads of cash are virtual torture chambers.

Having worked in many jobs, earning Indian government salaries, US dollar salaries, and no salary at all (startup), all I can say is that money at the cost of peace of mind is pointless — you might as well work in a coal mine.

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