Work hadn’t been kind to me for the last month and a half and I sure didn’t appreciate it. The biggest fallout of my recently enhanced levels of work has been the rapid return of my IT belly (http://neilsrandomramblings.blogspot.com/search?q=it+belly&max-results=20&by-date=true) that undoubtedly adds 3 years to my perceived age. The glasses that I wear add another two and my rapidly receding hairline (well my Dad and I have a competition to see who has a fuller head of hair each time I go home. Seriously) adds a year and a half. All of which makes me look much older than I actually am and have contributed to the numerous ‘Uncle’ comments that I have received from young women recently. By young I mean 25 years old. Talk about ego busters.
Now one of the biggest challenges that someone like me usually faces in the IT industry is the instant lack of credibility (given that I’m far far away from crossing the 30 mark) when I sit down for a customer meeting. The people I meet with are used to managing IT consultants with 15 to 20 years of experience and then someone like me walks in for a meeting with around 5 years of work ex and you can see that they are a little perplexed. Usually it take them a few days to get around to the fact that a young pisser like me can conduct interviews and run playback presentations to their bosses and make recommendations on how they need to change the direction of their IT strategy when they have been doing this for years. Once they see the merit of my argument, it is easy to get them on-board but the credibility factor is a big hurdle to cross. I’ve noticed that they often prefer working with someone having 10+ years of experience but with 75% of what I bring to the table. Go figure!
All this was until I landed in the US last month for another few weeks of assessment discussions. This time given the cold (close to zero degrees with mind numbing winds ever so often), I had to shift to the cardigan wearing routine which I immediately realized, directly added another 3 ½ years. And with that went all my hopes of impressing the pretty women in Memphis. Sigh! But the moment I sat down for my first meeting I realized I was being taken a lot more seriously as compared to my last trip. It took me a day or two to understand why but I have to admit the truth - work hadn’t been kind to me for the last month and a half but this time I sure did appreciate it!