Introduction Fresh graduates do face any number of hurdles in settling down. It is worse in the case of arts and science graduates, who are not guided properly and settle down for some meaningless clerical job. They simply add years to their life. Not life to their years and life is always miserable. Yet, with some sort of guidance, and huge amount of learning from the real world, it is possible to increase the employability of such people, by and through a) Improving English language skills b) Going to where the jobs are available c) Picking up additional skills/qualifications d) Switching to value-adding jobs and e) Always looking for new challenges.
Improving English language skillsNo matter whether your mother tongue is Hindi or Tamil or Telugu or Bengali or whatever, please do understand that only English language skills will enable you to stand a good chance of survival and growth in a fiercely competitive market. It is the only International language that is being lapped up everywhere, even in Japan. The Chinese are into it in such a huge way. A decade from now, one is told, the number of Chinese who can read and speak English would be five times that of India.
You do not even need huge resources. The internet itself has several exercises and packages to teach you words, sentences, grammar and so on. It is eminently possible to understand even the most complicated words and their usage if you go through the world-class The Hindu, daily newspaper. Go through the editorials and the new words. Check for the usage and understand the meaning. If you are not very clear, you can easily check with someone who knows the language so well. Be it your neighbour, your relative or school teacher. This is one easy method of mastering the language. The beauty of English is that once you know the spoken language, it becomes so easy to master the written language. It is a mere cakewalk.
Going where the jobs are availableAll sentimental attachments to your native place or the place of your residence should go. This is absolutely fruitless in today's scenario. You need to go to places, that is, the big cities where the jobs are available. Please do note that the Southern States are far better in terms of BPO companies and there are just too many of them in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Just the case of Mr RamReddy (name changed) who had a reference from a senior professor of the college where he studied at Hyderabad. This guy did not know a word of English. He got a job, only based on his knowledge of Telugu, in a BPO at Chennai. He was a very shrewd fellow and understood the situation. When I advised him to learn English( I had a translator who knew both Telugu and English and a very good friend of mine), he readily agreed. The translator put him on to a good Anglo Indian girl also working in the same company, but three full years senior to him, and hailing from Hyderabad. This girl took pity on Reddy and trained him day in and day out. Within 18 months, he was able to manage to speak fairly good English and got a job in the English speaking BPO nearby. Though he chose the non-voice job here, he had to rub shoulders with those who knew excellent English. With the next 24 months, he took a loan based on his father's property at Hyderabad and studied for an IT course at NIIT. As luck would have it, a Hyderabad based company took him for his IT skills and his English spoken skills. This is exactly the route to success for many BPO employees. In BPOs the "Aaya ram, gaya ram" ( ram comes and ram goes) is a very common phenomenon. In fact, Chennai is home to such a huge number of such BPO companies, where the Hindi speaking people also find jobs, only based on their Hindi knowledge. There are so many apartments available for rent, and some seven bachelors stay in one apartment. Life is tough till they settle down, but once they get used to the job, they pick up quite fast.
You need to find out such opportunities and milk them. The aforesaid real case study is just one example. The case study has been quoted to illustrate the route to success.
Picking up additional skills/qualifications This is a vital imperative. It is not only IT qualifications that are required these days. For example, there are private institutes in every metro teaching event management, supply chain management, SAP, cloud computing and what have you.
These courses are all highly job-oriented. The ones on painting, specialized stitching, bakery, interior design and a host of such other courses are also very much job-oriented. Those with such qualifications have always gone ahead in their lives. It is also a fact of life that you should only go after job oriented courses. To give you a simple example. A full-time postgraduate course in Public Administration, combined with sociology, should help anyone to prepare for the Civil Service Examination. However, doing a PG course in Public Administration, through distance education, after you have settled down in an accounts job, for example, will add zero value. It will not help you at all, except that you can gain some theoretical knowledge. This is the only advantage that will come to you.
So, pick up skills that will help you find suitable jobs and a career. Even just ordinary graduates in economics are very good marketing managers. How? They have earned their jobs through hard work, sometimes extending up to fifteen hours per day, and seven days a week, in the first sixty months of their career. Experience counts. However, those skilled in special areas will always find it easier to find good jobs.
Switching to value-added jobs This is also vital. You must become aware of what kind of experience your seniors in the same organization have had. It is fine to interact with professionals in the field and seek good advice. Once you have done this, it becomes very easy for you to understand the different skill sets and related experience required for you to become a success in your own field. Once you have a good idea of all that it takes to succeed, you will be able to chase the value-added jobs, after your initial years of experience.
Always looking for new challenges This is a wider concept. It is not only related to your jobs. It is always related to your adjustment capabilities. It relates to the wide range of challenges that you face in terms of runaway inflation, in the context of increasingly small living spaces in cities, the commuting challenges, the complexities of family life, increasing medical costs and so on. These challenges are huge. Once you go through these and manage to survive all these, there is every possibility that you will have developed mind-sets to take on bigger challenges in your job as well. This is a fact of life, proved to be true in so many real-world challenges. For example, look at the endurance capabilities of those who travel a good seventy kilometres back home in Mumbai. Women cut vegetables, even do the corrections of notebooks ( as teachers), men look into what shares they can buy when back home and so on. The air is full of optimism, full of tremendous action. Not for a single moment do the Mumbai people complain of anything. Those who live in Mumbai survive any calamity, like the bomb blasts. Look at how they go to work when it rains at cats and dogs. Look at how they organize their living spaces. Look at how superb western fashions come into play only in Mumbai. Yet, the city is one of the safest for women.
Such are the environs where the real action of life gets played out in all its glory. Even a couple of years of work experience here will teach you too many things.
ConclusionEmploy ability is not a rocket science. It is just about exploiting whatever opportunities are there in the external environment and then doing something very good. You can also succeed in life if you follow the basics. Just don't worry that you are just a raw economics or science graduate. You can still succeed.
All the very best!
A good article by the author. In our country, we see many graduates coming out of colleges every year and they are on the roads searching for a job. Many small and medium scale institutions and organizations are exploiting these people by employing them for a very low salary and giving unrelated jobs.
The main culprit for this is their low standing in the subject. The graduates should learn the basics of the subject very well. Once they know the basics it will be easy to get a job in line with their qualification. After completing the course one should brush up their knowledge in their core subject for getting a good job. For example, a chemistry graduate will have plenty of chances in private industries provided he understands the basics of chemistry. He can start his career as a chemist. The first point a graduate has to do is to get a grip on the core subject.
The next point is communication skills. They should be able to talk without any fear and should be able to express their subject when the chance comes. This will come by interacting with people and actively participating in discussions. Many people hesitate to talk when they are in a group. They should come out of that problem.
They should try to get some skills which can give them more chances to get a job. They should not be specific about the place and the organization. They should grab the chance that comes their way and start their career. They should not wait for a job leaving the jobs that are coming on their way. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.