I realized beauty and futility of 7-star luxury hotels during my time as a consultant in Dubai !
Updated: Mar 5, 2022
In that firm and my previous firm BCG, I had the privilege of staying, and dining at the premium 7-star luxury hotels and resorts in India, Bangkok, and Dubai. A few of my trips clearly cost lacs.
Coming from a middle-class Indian family, no doubt the initial days of surrounding myself in luxury was a great relaxing feeling. I enjoyed it when my smallest desires were attended to at the midnight. Once, I remember working till 2 in the night, and the hotel staff getting Chef's special food in my room.
Who would not like such a life?
But, then within a month, you realize the value of such luxuries has diminishing returns.
I remember being treated to similar but low-scale luxury during my MBA at ISB where the campus staff treat you by actually making your bed and room. I recall remembering how disastrous I found that luxury- given making my bed in the morning has always been my atomic habit. I remember politely refusing the staff to allow me make my own bed.
That was the rationale why I have never valued more than a necessary luxury in life. The child in me gets more than satiated with Zomato's quick delivery at my home.
In the hindsight, I realize that any job filled with luxury is most likely going to have long hours filled with loneliness and stress. And why would you prioritize stress, loneliness over luxury which isn't even yours! It is bought by the firm you work for. You leave the firm and the lifestyle is gone within seconds!
Sure, I enjoy fine dining but at the end of the day, all I need is to put healthy nutrition in my body.
I don't intend to minimize the value of extravagance associated with hospitality or the great rewards associated with working with such promising MNCs. But I want to share how irrelevant can it be in a big picture scenario.
There are more relevant indicators when we are solving for critical issues during our career- #learning, proximity to family, and calm mental #wellbeing!
My father once asked when I was starting my career at 21, "do you just want to work for five more years because clearly what you are doing isn't sustainable". The key to a meaningful #career is what we do every day that can survive for not just one/two years but Decades with an "S"!
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Author- Shatakshi Sharma, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- BCG, Advisor, Tony Blair Institute