Sunday, May 11, 2008

An appropriate parable

A long time ago, the parable goes, in a land just like our own, was a rich and prosperous kingdom, ruled by a benevolent and intelligent king. The land was fertile, the education system was good, and trade with the neighbouring kingdoms highly profitable. In short, the people of that land, all lived a good life.

One day, the king decided to check how good his people were. So he told them that he would like each family to donate one pot of milk for a yagna to bring more prosperity to their kingdom. He then kept a huge drum in the temple and asked each family to bring one pot of milk that night and pour into the drum.

Overnight all the families came one by one and by morning the drum was full. However, when the king checked the drum in the morning, he was heartbroken to find that it contained mostly water with just one or two cloudy patches to indicate that some (very little) milk had also been poured in. Obviously, most of the people had assumed that their pot of water would go unnoticed in the whole drum of milk and had brought water instead of milk.

Thus the pot contained mostly water and whatever milk a few good souls had brought was also lost due to the miserly acts of the majority.

This parable is a good analogy to the state of most of our current job sites. With millions of resumes in each database, people assume that whatever falsifications they do in the resumes would go unnoticed.

However, all they are doing is diluting the quality of the entire database of resumes and making extraction of the good resumes within nearly impossible, thereby diluting the credibility of each and every resume within the database.

I don't know what the king did, but I think I have a few ideas that may just work...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What if...

What if you knew more about the job market and your prospects?
What if you knew how your salary compared with that of others in your industry?
What if you knew how your salary compared with that of your peers, ex-colleagues, classmates?
What if you knew more about your employment opportunities in different cities?
What if you knew, to a ballpark, your total future lifetime career earnings ?
what if you knew your career growth path for the next 5 - 10 years ?
What if you knew which jobs will result in interesting opportunities and challenges?
What if you knew that switching now
--------Will not make a difference in your total earnings?
--------Will adversely affect you earning in the long run?
--------Will have a significant long term impact on your earnings?
What if you knew that you will have more responsibility but less pay if you remain in your current job for the foreseeable future?
What if you knew exactly what courses to take in order to improve your career?
What if you knew exactly which new skill sets to acquire now for a great career?
What if you knew which company will make you the happiest?
What if you knew which company will pay you the most in the long run?
What if you knew which company will provide you with the best environment for growth?
What if you knew which company will let you achieve the most?
What if you knew you will always earn more than you need no matter where you work?

What would it take for you to plan your career now instead of looking at just the next jump?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Productivity and happiness

For many people, going to the office is borderline misery. To them it is an unavoidable activity that needs to be performed, however unpleasant it may be - kind of like having to take a leak midway through a beer session - only more time consuming.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Let us look at one common complaint that people have and the steps that can be taken to avoid it.

"I am spending 12 hrs a day at work and my boss still complains that the work done is not enough!"

Now, if this happens only rarely (like during sudden unforeseen times of increased demand), then it may be ok. But if this situation extends for long periods of time then the possible reasons could be:
a. Your boss is an as**ole.
b. You are not spending your time productively

While it is convenient to choose option (a), that may not be the sole reason. If it is, remember life is too short to work under an as**ole. Quit now and find some other work place.

If you think some part of your problem is due to reason (b), then we are already on our way towards the solution.

Making the 12hrs into 14hrs in NOT the way. This is a classic case for "less is more". Here's what you need to do:

First, get a life. Find something interesting that you have to do every day or at least most days. It could be anything that you already have a passion for. Then, decide that you will stay in the office only for 8 hrs. This will make you focus on the things you need to get done so as to get out in time to do that which interests you. Once you start prioritizing big chunks of your time, you will become adept at prioritizing and scheduling the smaller bits that make up the bigger chunks. Soon you will be able manage your time better. And that is the secret to productivity.

A Life + productive work = happiness.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The difference between a job hop and a career move

In a day, you have 24 hours.
If you are like me, you will spend at least 8 hours of that sleeping.
Another 1 hour on hygiene.
An hour and a half eating (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Another hour and a half traveling to and from work, if you are lucky, that is.
A couple of hours on personal work
About 9 hours in the office.
Leaving you all of ONE HOUR to do what you like.

If you take a job where you can put in those 9 hrs for better pay, or a better designation, or something like that, then that's a job hop.
But if you find a place where the ONE HOUR (doing what you like) gets converted to TEN HOURS of enjoyment, then you have made a career move. It's that simple. And it's all in your hands.

Don't just find your next job. Go ahead - make your career move!