Friday, July 10, 2009

Are you right for a startup -II

The last post generated some questions from job-seekers. A few issues are discussed here.

  • · Most startups and companies employ persons with higher qualifications.

When I was debating whether to study for a higher degree in law, the judge I was working for then, said to me, "It's not the degrees, but what you can do with them that counts." That led to me not only getting my Masters but also to leaving him and going on to better things.

Education is nothing but a manual telling you what to do in order to succeed but ultimately success will depend on your ability to implement that teaching in your daily life.

Any company, large or small, would rather employ someone who has passion and ambition, who can prove that he/she can play different roles, who displays inherent skills like being canny and street-smart, leadership qualities, even aggressiveness, than someone with just a string of degrees.

Qualifications are important. As important as possessing a strong fishing line. But you eat only if you have the determination, patience and skill to use the line to catch that fish.

  • · Companies employ women more readily, than men.

In the news is the Government of India’s latest decision to employ more women in government jobs. It is a fact that the fairer sex is generally believed to be more sincere, more compliant and less likely to run away with the office funds. Women also tend to put down roots and are less likely to job hop. They bond quickly and display far more loyalty than men do. That adds up to a lot of plus points. The downside is that they need more time off for child bearing, rearing, and home making.

Men on the other hand do not take as much time off, are prepared to work late, to come in at odd hours, and to take on heavier jobs. However male employees are far more likely to up and leave and not worry about the mess they might leave their employers in. Men also tend to bond less with their employing company.

However, no firm will employ exclusively on gender basis, except for organizations specifically instituted to provide jobs for women. The best employee base a company could have would be one with a slightly higher level of female to male employees and a finely mixed potpourri of all communities, religions and states, which would bring together persons with area and race-specific skills, adding to the richness of the work atmosphere and also enhancing productivity.

  • · Too much emphasis is placed on communication skills.

In my opinion, not enough emphasis can be placed on communication skills. Face it guys, you have to learn to talk the talk. You need not be an expert in the language. Even people whose mother tongue is English routinely make grammatical and spelling mistakes. However, knowledge of basic grammatical English is a must.

Very often students and employees ask for “tips” to enable them to speak English well. No amount of “tips” can make you speak and write well. I have always maintained that you must think, speak, and write the language if you want to master it.

I also feel very strongly that training in Communications does not end with the training period. During training you learn the basics but in order for the training to have any effect, you must continue to think and speak in English at all times and not just when you are forced to do so. If not, all that you learned will be just so much water down the drain.

I saw a message posted the other day which read, “Say him to write to me.” If you do not know when to use “say” and “tell”, I, for one, would not employ you.

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