Appreciation emails – What are they worth?

In 4 days I will be completing 4 years in the IT field. When you take that into account I am relatively a novice in this field. I joined a large Indian firm in 2005 and I am currently working for the same company. This is the second client location I am working at and the experience has been interesting over the past 4 years. I came here to the US to do my Masters and started working few months after my graduation. So working in a professional environment was kind of new to me then.

Going to work, meeting people and impressing the client were my major objectives when I walked into my first job in 2005. I did a reasonable job at that as I stuck around for 2+ years with the client with a good reputation. During the initial phase of my career in this field any form of appreciation was welcome. It really excited you and made you work harder. An appreciation email or just a quick word from your managers meant a world to me.

Getting appreciated by the client is a great thing but in larger picture, it doesn’t matter unless your parent company recognizes your work. Four years down the line and working for the second client in my short career, appreciation from the client or managers from my parent company doesn’t matter that much to me anymore. It’s not that I don’t like being praised or appreciated but I know that it doesn’t matter in the larger scheme of things.

It’s been an interesting few years working for a large Indian IT firm. Knowing how they operate and the nuances involved to succeed in such a big company. Yesterday I got an appreciated for the job I have been doing by my client manager and in response to that I received a plethora of emails from my parent company managers. It generally follows a similar pattern (Kind of understand the pattern being here for 4 years now). The immediate manager first sends his appreciation copying the other big people in the organization and the Account managers. Then we receive appreciation from the Account manager telling us how proud they are of us and how we have been the shining lights in their armor. The client appreciation is more genuine and they actually do that to encourage the employees. But I never understood the motive behind the appreciation from the parent company.

I was recently watching a show on TV which was actually a debate between Management and employees. The Employees complained that worthy candidates don’t necessarily get raise or promotions. Which is actually true in real world scenario and we have to live with that and should not even complain. The mediator on the show said the right thing, don’t get emotionally attached to a firm, if you feel they are not appreciating your worth, just move on and look elsewhere. This is something I have come to learn in this field after being here for 4 years now.

During my parent’s time, job security and loyalty towards the company used to be the norm. Now days the company is ruthless and the employees need to be ruthless too. So when I got the emails yesterday I wasn’t that excited as I know it doesn’t matter a bit when the decision to promote or giving a raise discussions take place.

I know what I will be told when the next appraisal takes place in my parent company. You did a great job in fact you did an excellent job but still you are not getting anything.

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