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Sunday, January 8, 2012

First step of talent unfolding has to negotiated quickly

If you see my earlier blog on three steps on unfolding the talent , you will understand that the first step of 'choosing the talent zone' has to be negotiated quickly. Talent zone is your zone of 'skill set' which matches with your interest plus abilities that you have acquired during graduation plus domain ( be it telecom, automobiles, or software).

Ideally, this preparation of choosing a talent zone should be over by the time you graduate, so that you waste little time. But like Anshuman in the earlier case, who took 4 years to choose 'corporate training' after he graduated ( and then later dropped after investing 5 years of effort in acquiring the skill), most of the graduates do not prepare themselves for choosing of their talent zone. And consequently they choose whatever comes their 'way', and then drop it later because it was not compatible for them.

As we have seen in the blog of choosing the talent zone, the risks in choosing the talent zone are limited and lower than arts and sports professionals. Unlike arts and sports professionals who chose their talent zone by the age of 10, you can chose your talent zone at the age of 23. So what makes it so difficult to chose the talent zone even after 5 years after graduation?

Having coached several graduates in the experience range of 1-5 years, here are the four bottlenecks that i have observed the most:

1. Lack of information of what skills are required for a position: Many professionals cannot see the Job description of a position, convert that into 'task list' and then deduce the 'skill+domain+interest' required to perform the tasks. And remember some of the skills required are 'hard' skills like logical skills, while some are soft skills like 'People management'.

2. Understanding of skill market: Like a product has its market, every skill has its own 'skill market' which determines the 'money' you can get for that skill in the market. Some market conditions are fluctuating, some are almost static. For instance, 'remuneration' for 'software' jobs have increased because of the good market conditions. On the other hand, remuneration of 'front end jobs' like sales will always remain higher than 'back end jobs' because these positions are perceived to be contributing more to the organisation's revenue and profits.

3. Inadequate understanding of one's own interest/abilities: Even if money in 'software' domain is high, it is of no use to you, if your own abilities do not match. Many graduates do not have the elementary tool set to 'understand' their selves or understand that 'virtues like honesty and confidence' are not the targets to pursue. More importantly, they lack the basic understanding of how our mind works. For instance, they are not aware that ability-gap can be bridged by forceful application of Will, but interest-gap cannot be bridged forcibly. They are also unaware that if they have to find their interest in 'software' without working in software, they have to 'engage' with 'software' in different innovative ways !

4. Incomplete understanding of unfolding process of talent: Because of incomplete understanding of process of how the talent unfolds, graduates are clueless and lack any coherent direction. They are therefore not aware that even if they cannot choose a 'core skill' like training or programming after graduation, they can still chose to develop complementary skills as fall-back options. Complementary skills are those skills that are required irrespective of which core skill you choose. For example, interpersonal skill is required to work in a company. One can choose to focus on this skill, if one is unable to chose the core skill. And remember, interpersonal skill is not about learning to 'talk beautifully' or 'crack jokes' or 'give short speeches at birthday parties'.

Which of the above four bottlenecks you are encountering in your life?  

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