Developing A Career

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Jobs And Careers:

Securing a Degree and getting a Job thereafter is only half the job done. Usually only the creme de la creme manages to land a cushy Career. As a rule the lucky person is a 3-in-1 –having an Engineering Degree in one pocket, MBA in another pocket and a Computer Diploma in hand. Getting America Inc., loaded with Dollars, to breathe down one’s neck, was what dreams were made of. However, after 2008-2009’s  Recession the Employment Scenario stands drastically changed. If marriages are made in heaven, Jobs are made further above while Careers are made still further up.

Jobs To Career Transition:

Getting a Job is like getting a toe-hold on slippery ground. How one grows with the job and develops it into a full-fledged career depends on the incumbent’s natural inclination and the Company’s outlook vis-a-vis Success Sharing. Most good Indian companies are family-owned ones which tout professionalism as their password, but in actuality it is still a question of buttering the bread on the right side that matters. In the US of America, Professionalism is encouraged and also rewarded but still needs to be handled with kid-gloves because of the loose cannon-fodder policy of “Hire and Fire” which is rampant. Work Culture, Professional Ethics and Fair Principles of Employment etc. are all ideal but confined to Management Books. Eventually following the Peter Principle the sour cream rises to the Top. In USA people tend to be more professional not because of good work culture and ideal working conditions but because of the continuing fear of getting “Fired!”

The Practical Down-To-Earth Career Scenario:

So does it all boil down to oiling the bosses and toiling hard to prove one’s loyalties? Well, yes and no. On technical and financial matters companies cannot afford to fool around as there are far too many yardsticks to adhere to. No wonder Whizkids in the spotlight reap Double Benefits! Obama’s rage, at American Financial giants doling out bonuses to their executives with US-Government’s bailout funds, was but natural. Merrill Lynch executives got $4-Million in Bonus, courtsey: John Thain, Chairman. It was done to retain the “Best People”. Yes, ie. people who lost $15-Billion in the Fourth Quarter!? Therefore this area is still somewhat grey and circumspect with the proverbial “Burra Sahib” or Big Boss calling the shots. Not many skills are required here except saying …”yes sir, yes sir, three bags full …” Just because India was getting the benefits of USA’s hand-me-downs through Outsourcing in the I.T., B.P.O., K.P.O., sector, a semblance of Career Planning was seen for a change. Alas! in 2009 it is a vanishing scenario with the US deciding to pay duffers of the soil fat salaries for dud jobs instead of outsourcing Quality Jobs cheaply from India. Proper Career Planning implies that a fresh entrant can see where he will stand 20-years hence. Talking of years, how many years of Active Service are there after Graduation and the little hands-on Training? Hardly 35-years to Retirement if you are lucky enough to give Pink Slips the slip. Yes that’s it, Luck is what matters more than anything else. No wonder many Indian CEOs who have made it to the Top, swear by Red and Blue Astral Gems on their fingers, and Amulets and Charms under their Three Piece Suits!

Shortcuts To Successful Careers:

There are no shortcuts to Successful Careers unless you happen to marry the Boss’s daughter. Even the “Rolling Stone gathers no moss” story falls flat. Many become General Managers in Five to Eight years by switching jobs every two to three years. Some others start as Clerks and end up as GMs after 30-years in the same company because of peculiar home-grown circumstances. There are cases of Brilliant Allrounders stagnating at one place in a lowly post because there was no room at the top! There are also stories of Misfits who make it Big by using the Right Connections in the Right Manner.

Conclusion:

However, because of Unknown Factors in the Workplace, there are no hard and fast rules in carving a niche for yourself. Hard Work, Patience, Perseverance, Sincerity, Tenacity and a big slice of Good Luck is what builds up successful careers. A Critical SWOT Analysis of your own self does help, and wherever possible try to build bridges because you never know from where the helping hand will come. And last but not least, if you do your Half, God will do the Other Half for sure.

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