The right job isn’t difficult to find
Review of ‘An Expert’s Guide to Top 101 Entry-level Jobs for MBSs and Graduates’ by T Muralidharan
I had read once that books are the best mentors but these words remained rather detached and somewhat dispassionate because I’ve seen people read without intending to follow a word that they had read. On the other hand I have met mathematicians who are burping with satisfaction even though they are working in a patents office. I’ve met finance experts who have carved a name for themselves in journalism. I’ve met engineers who are working passionately on the fiscal policies of the nation. And I have met writers of best-sellers who are qualified doctors. They are all people who have managed to be in the right job obviously.
A job, by the way, remains just a job unless there is passion involved. This passion comes once you are in a job that you understand and love. Jobs then cease to be a chore or work that must anyhow be done. However, look around and you’ll know the sheer numbers sweating away at jobs that they do not love. I can give you the example of my niece who insisted on completing her post-graduation in chemical engineering and then be attached with a research project despite the offers of mundane but well-paying jobs that the university placement cell threw at her. So I asked her, ‘How did you manage to reach this research placement on your own?’
She said, ‘I could have opted for a marketing or finance placement that would have given me more money but when I read about what I was supposed to really do, I just did not feel like accepting any of them.’
Well, I guess she did her research thoroughly before she plunged into a job where her passion lay. Not all the students who graduate are as lucky… nor do they really attempt to know the job and the future prospects before succumbing to the temptation of accepting one. There have been many who have told me that they do not have the time to do all this digging and are, therefore, willing to gamble with their future. Happiness and job satisfaction may or may not happen to them.
To reach the right job one needs the right mentor. The best mentors, as I have mentioned earlier, are books.
Books? How can a book be a great mentor? Isn’t reading a book just a passive one-way interaction? And anyway, how do I reach the right book that can be my mentor for reaching the right job?
Let me admit here that even I have spent more than twenty years in a job that I never learnt to love… but then I did not have T Muralidharan’s ‘An Expert’s Guide to Top 101 Entry-level Jobs for MBSs and Graduates’ way back in the seventies when I was out of college and looking for a job to fall in love with. There was no internet either and research was painful and full of dead-ends. Things have changed a lot since then and I have watched my son prepare massive excel-sheets with all the relevant details and rankings even as he searched for the right college to choose. I have watched him research job profiles and reject many before applying to the one he really thought he would want to accept. Yes, I agree that all this need a lot of time and patience and resources. So when I stumbled upon this book by Muralidharan I opened it with a lot of scepticism as even I thought a mere book might not really replace the kind of research that my son or my niece had done.
Things have changed a lot since then and I have watched my son prepare massive excel-sheets with all the relevant details and rankings even as he searched for the right college to choose. I have watched him research job profiles and reject many before applying to the one he really thought he would want to accept. Yes, I agree that all this need a lot of time and patience and resources. So when I stumbled upon this book by Muralidharan I opened it with a lot of scepticism as even I thought a mere book might not really replace the kind of research that my son or my niece had done.
This book that I am talking about ‘covers 101 job roles of which 69 are specific to the 15 industries/sectors covered and 32 job roles in 8 functions common to all organisations.’ The author specifies that the ‘101 job roles covered across 15 sectors will see creation of 2 million vacancies for graduates at the entry-level in the next six years.’ Well, this is something that I found interesting and thought the book would go on to list them all and make the job of finding the right job a rather confusing job. But this is not correct. Let me tell you why I found the book read like a first class book of non-fiction even for me, a person in his late fifties and no longer looking for a job.
I searched through the indexed sectors and opened the chapter on media and entertainment. The chapter specified that with ‘over 1000 movies produced each year, 600 TV channels, 70,000 newspapers, and over 20 radio FM stations’ the Indian media and entertainment industry is actually growing rapidly. There were tables with figures on the employment growth since 2013 and the expected figure that will be reached by 2017. Now if you think the book is going to talk about only the positives, you’re mistaken. Muralidharan mentions the pitfalls as well as the challenges, has warnings about the growth in print media, mentions the concerns voiced by the unions about wages, and the way the internet is impacting the entire scenario. As I read further I found the pages give me a fascinating insight into all the entry-level job descriptions, the skills sought, the stress involved, the impact on stakeholders, and the career prospects. This isn’t all. The chapter has short interviews and quotes from well-known practitioners as well… and believe me, I couldn’t help but read every word.
A similar treatment was given to every other sector ranging from banking to travel and mentions all responsibilities from marketing to supply-chain. As I skimmed through the other sections, I also realised that most entry-level positions came with an almost similar package… and the growth prospects too reached almost similar levels. What I mean is that none of the sectors were superior to some other and deserved a similar attention. If this is the case, why must everyone think of pushing for just one or two kind of jobs? There are fallacies like this that a thorough reading of the book will remove and leave the applicant with a happy feeling that whatever he chooses is not according to the misguided notions of society but a conscious choice that he has made. I wish this book existed when I was in college… yes, I’d have probably made a beeline for print journalism than opting for a job that I thought gave me more money.
Title: An Expert’s Guide to Top 101 Entry-level Jobs for MBSs and Graduates
Author: T Muralidharan
Price: Rs 295/- (in 2016)
This post was published in ‘The Education Post’ dated 18 July 2016:
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15 July 2016