November 7, 2010

Managing the career aspiration of Youngistan

In a recent Conference organized by MTHR Global in Bangalore , I particularly got fascinated by an interesting analogy given by Mr Sangeeth Varghese.

The panel discussion revolved around managing career expectations of freshers.

More specifically it was a discussion on the after thoughts of presentations by 3 incredible students on their 'Dream Company'.

Mr Sangeeth Varghese spoke about how he also was in a simmilar quest of finding something perfect a few years back. Just like the students were chasing their dream of finding the perfect company/job/career, he was in the quest to find the perfect life partner. He met the 'perfect' girl and had the 'perfect marriage'. The situation remained perfect for a few days after marriage but soon he felt it was far from perfect. The relationship was not perfect anymore!!!

This made him retrospect for sometime. He did realize that his wife probably did not meet his expectations but did he ever make any effort to know if he met his wife's expectation? On further retrospection he felt that he did a worse job.

His wife also had expectations which were probably overlooked. He then decided to work on the shortcomings and gaps. The relationship did improve and today he feels he is blessed with a 'perfect wife' :-)

Whatta perfect analogy!!!!!!!

Indeed, freshers (including me) often ask how much has the company done for them and how much more it can do for them. Often they measure their expectations from the company. It's equally important to reflect on how much we are able to live upto our company's expectations.

I remember Mr Sangeeth saying that 'Perfection is a frame of mind'. I feel in order to achieve that frame of mind one has to sincerely reflect on their own & others' expectations and more importantly work sincerely on meeting those expectations.

This also reminds me to share an insightful post contributed by Gautam Ghosh & written by Sunit Sinha. Here are a few excerpts from the post:

  1. A job is what you make it. If you look at your function as only a job (show up, fill a desk, answer a phone, pass on a report), that’s what it will be. But if you recognize the time you spend in your early, entry or junior position as a process of career building, then that’s what you will have: a career. Always play your role with dignity, looking for ways to learn from it.
  2. The real keys to success are not smarts or qualifications or belonging to a brand-name firm. Rather, success is derived from courage, drive, energy, passion, ambition, enthusiasm, excitement, initiative, discipline, a dream and enough self-confidence to keep trying.
  3. Don’t be intimidated by senior people. Remember, they also started somewhere, and if they are purposely intimidating you, they can’t be very secure themselves. Don’t, however, confuse intimidation with respect. Even if you don’t agree with a senior person, they have earned and deserve their due for what they have achieved in the organization.
  4. When you feel underappreciated (or undercompensated) take a deep breath. Even if you are doing better work and have more responsibility than someone earning more or being treated better, show some patience. It’s the long term that counts!!
  5. Broken promises are remembered more than kept promises. Do what you say you are going to do. It’s better to have the guts to say up front, “I’m not sure I can get that done,” than to accept a task that you can’t deliver on.
  6. It is important to , listen to the assignment and carry out what has been asked. Again, remember that you are the directee, not the director, at this point in your career. You may not like the assignment, but do it with the same enthusiasm that you show for those projects you do like. Pencils must be sharpened, and everyone (even the CEO) has taken his turn.
  7. Remember that success is not spontaneous combustion; you have to set yourself on fire.
  8. Last but not the least – remember who actually pays for your salary – the client. Never lose your connect with clients, and always put them at the centre of what you do.

November 5, 2010

More on 'Employer Branding' lessons from SHRM India Monthly meet

I am keen to share a few learnings I recieved on 'Employer Branding' from Mr P Ravishankar, Chief Human Resource Officer, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd during the last SHRM India Meeting held two weeks back.

Following are my key learnings:

  • Employer Branding is essentially the reinforcement of Company's values.
  • Key messages that the HR function can transmit using company's employer brand are: Redifination of leadership competencies, living your core values,redefination of performance,renewed code of conduct & governance.
  • How you drive change in your organization, community and the ecosystem is also a major value lever of your 'Employer Brand'.
  • In the persuit of branding one should remember to 'balance' both internal and external employer branding.