Do we need to be obsessed about our career or do we just need to ensure that we have a job and do it well? Isn’t a good job synonymous with a successful career?
When we started out in the employment field in India thirty years back, job was a luxury and career a word in dictionary. Better qualifications got you a better job- a more secure job. The first thing that was mentioned on getting a job was that xxx has got a secure job. Today’s generation would be puzzled by this obsession, as job insecurity ( for a skilled and young individual in India ) is not on the horizon.
When does job translate into career? I believe that gaining expertise and higher responsibilities in one’s chosen area or allied area of expertise on a continuous basis would translate a job into career. Doing a function mechanically needing limited application of mind would perhaps indicate that stagnation has begun. Another indication would be when your immediate Superior’s job seems attractive, easy to do and more importantly having self confidence to do it well.
Do we need to be obsessed with career? In other words, is career different from our employment with the present organisation? In today’s circumstances career obsession seems to be a pre requisite for success. In today’s changing times, every organisation demands skills and talents relevant to today and not yesterday or day before. We are as good as our last victory (like our cricket team). If we do not measure up to the tomorrow’s need, then in comes a rank outsider who is seen to have those skills. Yesterday’s heroes or heroines are now to follow the new leader or well …. look elsewhere.
In such a situation what does an individual do? I believe that he or she has to continually upgrade their skills so as to be relevant to today and tomorrow. Age has nothing to do with it. It would be incorrect to say that “I am too old to learn new tricks. In my time we used to………”. These kind or dialogues would draw embarrassed silence only.
Is not the organisation responsible too? Does it have to be obsessed with its own success and survival and not care for the people who were responsible for this? Yes, it also has its responsibilities. It has to nurture and grow people who lack the obvious skills, but with some assistance could be re-deployed suitably and prove to be assets in changed circumstances also. This requires visionary skills at upper and middle levels of management and listening ability. Also the appraisal system should be have a core of honesty which has creditability within the organisation and which would inform the correct situation so far as the individual is concerned.
Well, what would you say to your young cousin who has started to examine new openings within a month of taking up a new assignment? I would say focus on career, upgrading of skills, higher levels of responsibilities, exposure to new areas and opportunities for a larger contribution to the organisation would be the key to the decision.
What do you feel? I would love to get responses to the above views- especially from the younger generation.