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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Do you have enough career intelligence ( CIQ)?

Last week i was going out to Mumbai. I happened to reach the Railway station much in advance. Besides me, two young confident-looking individuals were sitting. Let us call one of them as Mike, an Engineer and Paras, the pharmacist.  From their talk, they seem to be meeting after a long period. Both of them seemed to have done graduation a year back. Listen to this talk. 

Mike : I guess you were working in a big hospital.
Paras: Oh that.  I changed that job. All these huge hospitals suck. They pay peanuts, but expect 'almonds' in job.
Mike: But did you not get a hike of 1000 from the last job. 
Paras: But that still meant i was getting paid 6k. And that too for a job of 10 hours.
Mike: So you changed job twice in last year.
Paras: Oh no, this was my third job. And i will leave this job in next six months. 

After a while, Paras asks Mike. 

Paras: Why you haven't got a job yet? You were in the top 10, isn't it? I understand that many companies had come for placement in your college.
Mike: Oh yes, i had got a job in Bangalore. But they were paying 15 K. How can one live in Bangalore in 15K? 
Paras: These companies are leaches. They will pay 100 K for a IIT graduate, but pay poorly for Nashik graduate. Is there any difference in the course? What about Nashik jobs?
Mike:  Oh in Nashik, they do not even pay 7K. I was working in a company. But the boss was too 'pushy'. Plus the colleagues were also bickering and complaining as i was the smartest..
Paras: So what are you planning to do now?
Mike: Not sure. I may do MBA next year if nothing turns out.

What do you think of Career Intelligence ( CIQ) of Paras and Mike?

Paras has got into the 'victim' mentality. He seems to be over-worried about 'what he was getting'  with no idea of 'what employer wants/needs'. Many graduates, like Paras, only cater to their boss's wants, ignoring what company needs or what skills they need to produce the outputs required in a next job. To learn these skills, they must understand the 'work-output' required in a job.

On the other hand, Mike is unable to manage his 'boss's requirements. Given Mike's high academic score, he seems to be too 'hung' on his individual work-output. He behaves like Avinash who believes in producing best output instead of acceptable output. He seems to be ignorant of  aligning with Boss's requirements (System owner's requirements).

And both, Mike and Paras, seem to be completely ignorant of ability development, skill market and domains in which abilities develop. They are like Nishikant, completely ignorant of skills and skill market. For instance, in the skill market, employers pays higher premium to get IIT graduates, in the same way that we pay more to get Surf Excelmatic in the product market. Or , in skill market, customer pays more only after enough effort has been spent on building the brand reputation. Paras, by changing three jobs in a year, is destroying his brand every day and still expects to get more from his customers - the employers.

In other words, neither Paras nor Mike seem to be having career intelligence. They are just lemmings rushing towards self destruction without any plan.


To be employable, graduates do not need secondary cognitive skills of communication and planning alone. That is not enough Not knowing this, many colleges have been calling Trainers in their colleges to undertake  'personality development programs' for their passing graduates. Because of these programs, the graduates have learnt to wear ties, dress well, write good resumes and speak 'better English'. But this does not make them more employable.

Graduates, instead, need higher Career Intelligence ( CIQ). They do not have to speak fluent English, instead they must learn to communicate their 'technical' understanding of a subject in a 'workable' English. They do not have to present themselves impeccably, instead they must explain how a given job aligns with their own goals. Writing 'Error-free' resume is not enough, instead they must learn to highlight their strengths in the resume so that the interview is focused on their strengths.

If they do not enough CIQ, they may simply spend time like Mike in taking more degrees, but lack the basic career intelligence to convert their degrees into marketable skills. Or, like Paras, they may keep on taking and leaving jobs with no increase in their marketable skills. Instead of using free training of 10 hours to develop the marketable skills, for which he should thank his employers, Paras is wasting his opportunities. What are you doing? 

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