My profession gives me a lot of privilege to talk and interact with Gen Z. A lot of reports and news has come around India being the youngest country by 2020 with 64 percent of its population in the working age group.
The data obviously looks good to see and get excited. The reality is quite different from the beautiful picture that has been painted. When you interact with the population, i.e. the majority which is not from IITs, NITs, DU and other esteemed institutions you find that there is a large gap between demand and supply which needs to be filled. I have interacted with both sets of people – kids those who are highly focused in terms of what they need to do and how will they reach. I have also seen people those who are clueless about anything. They haven’t explored and probed themselves much, they are doing things for the heck of it. There is nothing wrong in being clueless about a situation but the problem begins when you do nothing about it.
The colleges that come up in our country are like mushrooms. There are “n” number of colleges on Ghaziabad – Delhi highway, Noida, Greater Noida and Gurgaon. And you can see such colleges scattered all around. Such thing not only exist in Delhi NCR but every corner of India. The faculty in few of the colleges is the alumni of the same college. The same things are getting repeated, nothing new in terms of intellectual growth. The students are not getting enough exposure and reality check.
A couple of months back I was in a panel for selecting students for my alma mater. And trust me there was not even one student out of the lot of 20 people. Some of them didn’t know why they wanted to do an MBA and on top of that their expectations were to get a package of 8-9 lpa. I mean yes to an extent MBA curriculum will groom you and help you being a better and smarter person, but it’s not a magic that in two years they will turn you around. They can help and guide you but the hard work and understanding is something which has to come from the person himself/herself.
There is a lot we can do, I mean if each one of current working professionals can pledge to help one- two students from their alma mater, I think we could see the change. Rather than having seminars around bridging the gap, let’s take a step in actually making a bridge so that the students can feel empowered in terms of knowledge. If you see the larger picture to this, which I’m visualizing is that not only India will have a majority of working population, but skilled people. These peoples can be then absorbed in any companies easily because their mentors were people from the industry itself. They will not be only equipped with theoretical concepts, but they would know the reality and what takes to work in a company.
There are few pointers that I can highlight with my interaction with the students off lately:
Take Interviews seriously
I’ve encountered this a couple of times that people take interviews very lightly. They won’t bring their CVs. They won’t know what the core business of the company is and when you don’t know about company how you can know to add value. So I think the students’ needs to be proactive and do their homework well. Whether you get selected or not, you surely leave your mark.
Go Through Your CV a Couple Of Times
If possible get proof reading done for your CV and please take care of fonts, alignments etc. Don’t overdo it and whatever you write, be honest about it. From your hobbies to whatever you have learned in your internships. Don’t be clueless about what you have written in the CV. Since you are fresher, that can be the only thing for the interviewer to know you.
There is no harm in saying “Sorry, I don’t know” rather than beating around the bush. That can make interviewer grill you even more.
Talk To Your Seniors
Your seniors can give you good advice. Rather than asking for jobs over LinkedIn, ask what is that you can do differently. Since they are in the industry they can tell you what should you do or not do.
Invest In Yourself
This is most important. It’s only you who can help yourself. You can talk and meet “n” number of people, but at the end of the day what matters is you doing something that adds value. It could be reading books, playing a sport, watching videos that add to your talent. There is so much to learn in the world out there, you need to start grasping it.
And Finally, Write Your Emails Properly
I had completely forgotten about this until I got an email from someone which made me include this. I know it becomes difficult for a fresher to draft their emails. I faced the same problem. You need to get this right. Your mail will set the tone of your conversation and professionalism and trust me no one will reply back if you write informal, casuals and grammatically incorrect emails.
About the author: Megha Saluja is a Senior HR Manager at Inc42 and when she’s not working, she can be seen penning her thoughts. She can be reached here.