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Dad’s Job seeking Hind-sights?

Wisdom about job hunting technologies, like most wisdom, is about hindsight.

Should it be so?

Enough of philosophy. Let’s get to the facts!

What exactly is the innovative methodology prevalent amongst Indian job seekers today?

One discovers that it is quite the same as Dad’s.
Our approach to the problem is too singular. We have no systematic guidance for imparting survival skills to our kids. We are so embarrassed about our own inadequacies relating to effective job hunting that we would rather leave it to a host of vocational and educational experts who don’t have a clue on what kind of fangs, claws, and incisors are needed.

We cling to the archaic – even our expressions haven’t changed with time. We still talk about getting into a job rather than absorbing the reality of changing jobs throughout a lifetime.

It’s time we realized that when children fall off their cribs, they hurt their bums, but falling off the roller coaster is totally a different deal.

The parameters of survival in the corporate jungle requires much more than the “Learn While you Earn” attitude we so proudly propagate.

I am not a pessimist, or even a youth enthusiast, but it does turn my stomach when I see how we churn out millions every year from an educational system without an iota of education on job hunting skills.

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

Indian 5-Star Gourmet Job Hunting

Putting cooking ingredients on a platter does not create gourmet.

Given today’s job market conditions, it may be wiser to dump the chef.

Too many help services, with too little help. The resume blasters, spot lighters, locators, the career fairs, customized career designers and other such services that promise deep sea hunting and fishing in the Tsunamic oceans of the job market…

Job seekers agree that, ultimately, what counts is zeroing in on the interview and, of course, being invited to it.

It is surprising that in spite of the growth of placement firms over the past decade, the Indian job seeker is still ignorant on how to use them effectively. Either, one chooses to indiscriminately to send a CV to all, or else choose to shortlist the one or two our best friend recommends.

What works is not the right pickings of placement firms, but an effective understanding of the workings of the placement industry — vis-a-vis 1) their clients (e.g. why it may be necessary to apply to a placement firm in Bangalore or Mumbai if we are keen on a posting in Delhi) 2) their vendors (e.g. why placement firms are hesitant to use resumes that come through the blaster services of job websites).

So, how about a home cooked meal cooked in your own pressure cooker?

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

Education and Job Hunting

Perhaps it is time to address the problem about why education does not include job hunting methodologies.

Why do we allow educational institutions to limit the vision of job hunting to who they can invite to their campus? What about all the rest of their crowd who do not make it at first go in the job hunting season – Those who did not find a job because they do not know how?

Finding jobs through the effective use of placement firms remains a backdoor methodology. When most private sector jobs are processed thru them how can they be relegated to the status of witchdoctors not invited to the doctorate banquet?

Perhaps the first most crucial step is to convey the fact that jobs do not find you because you are the best, but jobs are got because you know how to.

Much like explaining electricity to a caveman, but it has to be done.

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

The Indian Job-seeker’s Buttocks

The swivel chair ? Yes the movies did catch on and we have those pictures about success.

The buttocks are the ultimate definition of job success.

Indians have a strong conviction that the buttocks are the defining criteria for future success.

The youth needs hard seats to develop brains for success. Schools and all other educational institutions agree to its role in future success.

As a mother, I have checked the availability of water coolers, the quality of teachers, the accreditation, the lab facilities, the sports facilities, academic facilities, the toilets, hostels rooms etc- And always the Buttock- Rest offered by an institution.

The hardness of the buttock- rest is directly proportional to the success of a student .

All Indian schools always believed in the Buttocks Theory of Education.

Once upon a time corporal punishment was quite the in thing and one got caned on the buttocks to improve performance.Even if it did not work for some, it did wok for some others- so I am told.

But because of statistical problems( I must explain that the the proliferation of idiots who could not be improved and the save the forest naturalists who wanted to reduce the cutting of wood which went into the cane industry, thereby killing our forest,s which was happening because of the unnatural number of idiots being born in that era) all led to the government banning corporal punishment in schools.

The Educationists and the Politicians did much mud flinging but luckily the Parliament passed it.

To counteract this crisis the government as well as the private education authorities advocated a new educational policy of ‘the hard bum education plan’ to help improve the quality of education.

Finally the true test of success would be the swivel chair with a soft seat. If you feel soft on the bum while working that means you are the boss -you have arrived.

Somehow education is still a primary problem.We must outlive the brochures that lure us to a seat which promises a softer future for the buttocks.Employment just happens to the bastard baby that lands up in your lap.

Unfair but real.

The unemployed job seekers who got the so called best of education are the ones who suffer the most. The quantum of suffering being directly proportional to the fees.And the Bum

But the Butt still hurts

Hey – that calls for some justice- but a cushion would help too

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

Switch the backdoor while job hunting

Perhaps it is time to address the problem about why education does not include job hunting methodologies.

Why do we allow educational institutions to limit the vision of job hunting to who they can invite to their campus? What about all the rest of their crowd who do not make it at first go in the job hunting season – Those who did not find a job because they do not know how?

Finding jobs through the effective use of placement firms remains a backdoor methodology. When most private sector jobs are processed thru them how can they be relegated to the status of witchdoctors not invited to the doctorate banquet?

Perhaps the first most crucial step is to convey the fact that jobs do not find you because you are the best, but jobs are got because you know how to.

Much like explaining electricity to a caveman, but it has to be done.

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

A lesson from the Placement Industry – Niceness is Serious Business

There was a time when I used to work as a Placement Consultant.

Placement business is a pure people business.

There is more to it than resumes, matchmaking, and getting the ideal job fit for the involved parties.If we look at any placement firm that boasts of surviving over five years then it would qualify as being good at being people friendly.

Let me give you an emotional perspective.

People who are in the people business have to treat people as important. Since we cannot always know who deserves to be called important we stick with presuming all people as being important.

If a man walked into your office in a shabby dhoti and barefoot, looking like a tramp, with a resume, how would you treat him as a potential candidate for placement?

Suppose you could not put a label on him?

What if he was Mr.Ambani junior, how would you treat him? What if he was the rebellious teenage son of your most important client?

There are no rules here. But as a placement consultant, the safest marketing bet is to be nice, without mindsets.

Placement firms that are “Not nice to people” have a very high death rate.

One of my jobs over the years is to constantly find a large number of new placement consultants for including in each new edition of The Jobnet’s Directory of Placement Consultants. And I can vouch for the fact that hostile, suspicious or rude companies do not live long.

People who are in the people business make it a habit to be generally nice and polite to people. After a while it becomes a natural part of one’s personality.

Success in the people business is about how well they handle people to create a network of goodwill. Goodwill cannot be calculated but it is like manure spread on a field, if it rains then who knows which seed will wake where.

Niceness is serious business.

I was 11 years old. My cousin won a medal for some Boys Scout achievement, and my aunt managed to get me a free invitation for the ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.

Here I was at a tea party. I wore a sari for the first time in my life (that I could not handle) I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere- A gawky, kid, all alone.

Then a nice man came up to me and asked me if I won any medal. I said “No.”
Then he said “I welcome you to have tea and samosas. I hope you enjoy it”.
That made me most comfortable. I enjoyed the rest of the party.

My Aunt told me later that the nice man was ‘THE President.’

Why do we remember people or feel positive about them? Not because they are great or famous or even important – But because of the way they treat us!

The Placement industry is a fitting example of how the people business should be run. Maybe we should apply it elsewhere too.

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

How scientific do Job-seekers have to get ?

Earning a livelihood today is not about knowing, guessing the answers or figuring it all out.

The parameters are changing and we are in a brave new world with an awareness that we are not being brave at all.

The Indian Job seeker faces many dilemmas today.

Am I intelligent enough to know what to do?Do I have to swallow poison to prove that I am scientific and practical?In all this crap I am lost and how best not to show it to others?

The list is long…

Perhaps the Indian Job seeker needs to focus less on what to do or not do.

Maybe the solutions lie in understanding that the uncharted seas are not the problem, but the inability to navigate uncharted seas is what the problem is in these alien waters.

But no one else, even the experts know how to.

Hey, we do not have to be good to get, we do not have to be perfect not to lose what we can manage to get!

Livelihoods and jobs are about what we can give, if only we can find someone who we can give it to.

Easier said than done, Job hunting is not about knowing the technology of finding jobs. It is also about figuring out what needs to be figured out and what does not.

But in this entire exercise one needs to realize that the handicap of not knowing how to get jobs is not personal but about hitting the right combination…

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

Let’s Microwave Darwin

The boss called one of his employees into the office. “Anil,” he said, “you’ve been with the company for a year. You started off in the post room, one week later you were promoted to a sales position, and one month after that you were promoted to district manager of the sales department. Just four short months later, you were promoted to vice- chairman. Now it’s time for me to retire, and I want you to take over the company. What do you say to that?”
“Thanks,” said the employee.
“Thanks?” the boss replied. “Is that all you can say?”
“I suppose not,” the employee said. “Thanks, Dad.”

It does not matter anymore that we took a couple of million years to develop into what we see in the mirror today but we seem to be in no mood to continue the process at the same speed.

The experts tell us that it takes fixed time frames to complete infancy, adolescence, adult hood and whatever else that comes in between maturity and geriatrics, but somehow the calculations are not quite adding up.

The developmental journey of humans was a long drawn process but today because of environmental pressures causing intense competition, we are being forced to mature much faster.

Focus is the essence. Armed with technology and information we no longer need to become Columbus to discover the new world. It has become unnecessary to emphasize the development of skills of discovery, innovation or creativity as much as the skills of application with precision.

Everyone seems to be growing up faster and are capable of doing things that they are too young to do. And I am not only talking about sex. But even if I do take sex as an example, the modern fledgling has scored over us again thanks to television, which did more for them than the Kamasutra did to ten generations of our ancestors.

When I see the quiz contests of school children I am quite convinced that they have more evolved neuronic connections in the brain which enables them to learn about the exact number of chairs in every room of the United Nations and the names of six hundred kinds of sharks with equal élan.

The ancient Hindu scriptures talked about 4 distinct life stages — student, householder, retiree and sanyasi –
The whole process of personal and social evolution that took a life-time.

We have recently realized that, ever since the word play got replaced with learn, our babies are born grown up — Generations later, like the magic beans that grow into the clouds in a single night, our future test tube babies will thrive.

So what has happened to the time cycles of learning and growing? Have homo -sapiens finally managed to find a new shortcut to the evolutionary process? Yes, I think so. Much like what science fiction talks about worm holes that allow you to journey across different parts of the universe in moments.

A long time ago when Alvin Toffler talked about Future Shock, we realized that survival is about change management. But it is only when we have been transported into this reality do we realize that change cannot be managed. And in spite of the technology at our finger tips it also cannot be controlled.

For a short while we had become dinosauric in our existence, focused on the maintenance and preservation of our form, unable to grow beyond our own self-preservation. Today we have simply given up. Somewhat like the old saying that says when rape is inevitable you might as well lie back and enjoy it.

Andrew Carnegie, who was once considered to be the steel king of USA, stated that “It is a matter of course for individuals to work hard in society. But whether one becomes successful in life or not depends on how he uses his time from 6 to 8 pm; after work.” What is six to eight after work? Half the world cannot figure out the concept of after work and the other half cannot figure out the connotations of what comes before work.

There is no point in asking questions that no one has answers for but I can’t help it if I get an immense sense of happiness from knowing that you are as lost as I am.

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal

Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

Every Jobhunting Abhimanyu’s Chakravyuh

Does every Job seeking Abhimanyu have a Chakraview?

Winning a war is not just about staying alive; it is about killing the competition.

There are fortunately two renowned schools of war management offering their expertise in the secret of this job market Chakraviewha.

Gurus from the A Business schools say that success lies in the review of the Chakravyuh. The view from the general’s tent gives many options for better MIS (management info systems)

Those from the B Business schools say that success lies in the retreat from the Chakraviewha. Well, if you do not know how to get out, if may be wiser to focus on your retreat rather than on your funeral.

Both are absolutely right.

The Indian Job-seeker is worried. If what the pundits say about the secret of successful job hunting is true, then why exactly is no one explaining what this Chakraview is ?

Perhaps the Job seeker is only bewildered because in this job hunting Mahayudh there are more generals than foot soldiers? Other-wise who would design this crappy formula for job hunting that requires a rocket scientist for a translator?

When did this job hunting business get to be a business?

I do not know? But I suppose ever since the resume ceased to be a resume.

Ever since we began to feel incompetent in describing what we do and what we are good at- just because we could not fit it into popular keywords.

Perhaps Indian Job seekers need to shift their focus from the battle field technologies on- How do we get in? The right education? The right resume keywords? Mass mailing resumes? Mass contact of placement consultants ? Job alerts from famous websites? Resume blasting, resume bombing, resume land mining and resume cannoning?

How to get in is not as important as “How to get found?’ Yes the pundits forget to mention that getting found is the most important factor in the job hunt.

Do we need an expert to tell us how to get found? The age old battle cry of the job seekers has always been- I am here, come and get me if you can! Only the platforms have changed.

Job hunting still remains the same old game of winning – over everyone else.

Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publishers of Jobnet magazine & the Author

Hello Bolo!

This comes under top secret, classified Government secrets – but I can safely tell you that we have no need to really worry about the nuclear bomb. The new weapon of mass destruction is worse – the vernacular.

The fall out is also more deadly.

We had disease, floods and droughts that once killed off our population in vast numbers. Now all we have to do is get p’proper government approved schooling. The advantage here is that you can opt for your vernacular. But the fallout is that it gets your jugular.

Ambiguous?

Try sitting for an interview where the interviewer knows only Tamil, Hindi, and Bengali, while you only know Telugu. Just the same if you knew only Swahilee and your interviewer, only Japanese.

No good for getting a job, is it?

But if you did some wire pulling and got a job in spite of such communication breakdowns at interviews, because you knew the prime minister’s secretary’s mother, then I suppose you would not fall into the category of the jobless, starving masses. If you were lucky, you could even land up with job as a doctor where always the doctor has the upper hand in killing the patient and not vice versa. (Legally you can blame it on the Latin in medical textbooks.)

Well, the History of Lingo is a bloody one!

When the first colonization took place, the British had dinosaurs for neighbors. Like all good neighbors, they were suspicious of each other and the fact that they did not speak each other’s language made things worse. The rumor that the dinosaurs ate humans for lunch was rampant.

So they hired a British multi – linguist spy to check out on the dinosaurs. The spy was told to give a precise report which stated whether the dinosaurs were vegetarians or non- vegetarians.

The spy lived in the dinosaur colony, for a while, observing them and was impressed with their kindness and consideration towards him and their peaceful compatibility with each other.

When the spy returned, he was asked for written report.
Precise – so a military decision could be taken.
Tick the appropriate – Vegetarian or non -vegetarian.

The spy simply wrote – truly Humanitarian.
The next day, the humans exterminated the dinosaurs.

India had British imposed English language while they (the British) ruled, and when we became independent (true Desi colonial rule), we became multilingual. But we have had to develop our own indigenous interface with languages so we can understand each other.

New developments took place.

Like Honking on the roads while driving anywhere, all the time.
The need for translation is not required.

Different states have adapted in their own unique ways to handling multilingualism.

Let me tell you about Delhi as an example. I live here. Perhaps the most unfair accusation the Delhi’ites are subject to is their reputation of being rude. This is simply not true. It implies that the Delhi’ites talk in a language which others can understand.

Soul language is the mother tongue of the Delhi’ite. It can be interpreted, but never interrupted. This is a language where words do not matter, but the emotion counts. It has its own uniqueness … and starts with Maa Ki… Behen Ki… or involves sign language involving thumbs with fingers along with vocals…there is also rich literature involving body parts.

Being the capital it has adapted to encompassing multilingualism on a global scale. You cannot feel lost here, you will always feel at home – like the generation gap with your parents, you do not understand it, but you feel it, it also has an association with home.

India is fast becoming the most favorite tourist destination for Indians. Go to a small, remote town in the interiors of this Asian sub -continent and you will be surprised- not only will you not know where you are, the locals will not be able to tell you too. The road signs will be in strange squiggles which will not match the GPS on your mobile and the sign language will fail to produce food, water, and directions.

No wonder the tourism industry is globally promoting India as the number one destination for adventure tours.

India is probably the only country that has shown great breakthroughs in solving the multilingual crisis. The solution is to go atomic.

Let me explain. The science of communication as we Indians have discovered, can be condensed into an atom – Hello. How you say it be it hello, Helooo or heliwo will convey the sentence, the mood and the meaning.

I learned the art from my Mother in- Law.

Relationships can be condensed into a single hello. She gives give me a cue – and I wish a hello, to my numerous in-laws, in the correct precise way (the pitch and tone precisely matched to the relationship). I do not remember ever having the necessity of adding any syllable to the hello. Or even going a word beyond it.

No linguistic or relationship complications, here.

And I am proud of my linguistic competence of being able to talk to anyone on any subject, in a single monosyllable.

Hello?

No understand? Then you must be – Chinese? Briteesh? Bhusavalese ? Udipese ? Sirsaese? Tejpurese ? Malerkotlese ?

ISSUE 200 Jobnet magazine
Copyright © 2014, Lima Sehgal
Republication or dissemination of the contents of this article are expressly prohibited without the written consent of the Author and publishers of Jobnet magazine