Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Build Career before buying..

One of students who was campus recruited by a MNC has just completed a 3-month in-company training. He told me " On the last day of our training programme we were asked to assemble at one place and we all thought that we would be receiving placement orders in one of the many of MNC's centers across India". Instead they were given 15-days paid holidays. This announcement caught most of the trainees unaware. One by one went into action mode. One of them cancelled her air ticket to home town and instead booked bus ticket. Another one downgraded his ticket from expensive Volvo bus to ordinary bus.

This seemingly insignificant event highlights one of the deeply seated trends in our youth. Tendency to spend rather lavishly even before earning it completely. In general it is good to spend when you start earning. Every spending helps someone in the economy.

The current economic down turn is very genuine and is hurting many. To be sure, it is hurting some of them very severely. But many of them have made themselves more vulnerable because above mentioned trend: committing too much before earning it. Even before they are 3-6 months into firs job, many of them have bought cars, and within an year they gone for apartments with huge EMI commitments.

Of course nothing wrong with this. They have been consciously or unconsciously borrowing a pattern of progress practised by their parental generation. The parental generation believed that the major phases of life are: complete education, find job, marriage and buildi or buy a house. With a guaranteed job for a couple decades (either in government or in a company in protected economy) and with predetermined dates of retirements such a policy made sense and in a sense was in fact necessary. Once into world of work, the system took care of promotions and pensions.

However current industrial jobs do not come with such privileges. But our youngsters presumed that kind of assurance and went ahead of proven path. To certain extent gravity of current problems faced by many of them may be blamed on it.

Our youngsters must realise that today's job world is radically different one. One must consider building career before buying cars or committing for expensive but career limiting commitment on apartment. One must build career all along the path to have any hopes of sustained career. The current career path is not of type " once educated and always progressing "kind of job world. They must spend at least first 3-5 years of career in building competencies to ensure sustained career progress. Ideally you must be the last person to be considered for layoff. That happens only when you have a strong career record- experiences and exposure. That comes only with strategic intent. Do not think that your first job is everlasting or current educational qualification is always sufficient. Consider some investments in higher education and domain expertise. Build strong career cars and apartment will follow.


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