Every time I come across student community I feel frustrated at the mind set the education system is giving them. Everything is done mechanically without being questioned whether that act brings value or not for today’s challenges faced by companies and how he/she would be the best fit for the job. I feel upset that the environment around them is blinding them from becoming the best and raring to take any kind of challenge with right set of skills when they become future employees or entrepreneurs.
Lack of clarity on what needed to be learnt for successful career is a major problem every student faces. We look at all the existing evidence of senior students who succeeded or failed at interviews and we try to judge our capabilities by using the information as the evidence in shaping the strategies we wish to adopt for our future. One thing that we cannot guarantee is, whether can we exactly duplicate somebody’s success by just doing the same things what the seniors did?
Relying too heavily on previous experiences or information on hand might lead to the faulty assumption that yesterday’s solution to a seemingly similar career or job interview today is appropriate.
Let’s look at an example.
Just few years back software industry was booming and jobs are plenty with hefty pay checks and a promise of a wonderful future. Many students other than computer science background have jumped into the bandwagon of becoming a software engineer. Many succeeded in becoming software engineers. So a fresh student who is in his / her first year of engineering is witnessing that everybody is getting into software job easily and he/she carries that impression from that day till he/she is ready for a job interview himself/herself in the final year.
It is human nature to see every challenge we face as something similar to what we’ve encountered before (seniors getting jobs easily). That’s how our brains work and for good reason
Fast forward to previous year, global recession has eliminated so many jobs in one go from banking to software industry. It took away all the charm of a great life if you happen to be in software industry. Many senior employees lost jobs. Many ended up with heavy debt from buying cars or home mortgage situations.
The situation created uncertainty for next batch of students who are now ready for jobs whether to look towards software industry as a career path for promising future.
Uncertainty becomes increasingly dangerous when we rush to understand it with an over-reliance on what we’ve witnessed before.
What we need to realize is that every situation should be handled based on the present circumstance not from previous experiences of others. Companies adopt changes to their way of doing business or work culture based on present and future competition and employees are trained constantly to adopt to the new cultures by the day.
So as a fresh candidate ready for a job interview or if you are a fresh employee just beginning your new life you need to accept challenges based on the face value of the challenge.
Here are few guidelines.
- Get a fresh perspective. Check what kind of skills needed for today’s job market or if you are an employee check if you got the right communication skills and other employable skills needed for a good career growth. If you need help in judging what skills you need contact me and I will be glad to help you.
- Be flexible: Employers love those who are flexible and adapt to ever changing corporate environment. You should have right mindset to adopt to new challenges and also at solving the old problems with the new perspective.
- Glance back, look ahead. It is prudent to assess the outcomes of our job plans and decisions about our skills; it’s how we get better individually and collectively. However, every review must be conducted at the right level of detail and with care. Don’t gamble with your life or career. Try to assess your position with care and then take appropriate steps to learn employable / entrepreneur skills right from the first year of your engineering or degree. Don’t wait till the problem becomes complex.
Good luck and hope you understand that you need to begin planning with the end “goal in the mind”