Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monster.com... Now I know why it's called "monster"
Well, we all know how I made it through to my current job: It was a piece of cake. Company comes to campus for internship, company gives long case study, company shortlists 15 people from 150, and company selects me. Two months of internship, company understands it invested way too much money in me, so company decides to offer me PPO. I write my way through MBA, I avoid studying like a plague, recession hits, and I accept PPO! And everybody is happy…
Six months into said company, I realize what I have gotten myself into, that I am overpaid, and I have no skills. To make things worse, I fall in love, lose my focus at work, and one year down the line, I realize my career is going nowhere. So I start job hunting, and that’s just the beginning.
In the last six months, I have taken some 20-odd interviews, some of them in really odd companies: Private Equity, Banking, Equity Research, Investment Banking, Sales Support, Consulting, Journalism, Credit Rating, Social Media, Micro finance: you name it, I have tried it! The best part about my profile is it’s versatile, it has all the right sounding degrees and the right sounding brands: so I do get flooded with calls from excited placement consultants, a fair amount of which gets translated into actual interview calls.
But then the trouble begins: I can’t convert them! Companies who want me, can’t match my current salary and companies who are willing to pay me, don’t find me good enough. Also, there is something called this illusive ‘profile fit’ which often leaves you baffled, especially after you have had the best interview (or so you thought) and yet it doesn’t get translated into a 2nd round. And then there are times, when you almost make it and sheer bad luck stands between you and that coveted job. Finally, there are those embarrassing interviews which make you feel like you are illiterate (which is very often the case with me)
Then there are always these doubts: money or profile, lifestyle or learning, work culture or work? You can’t have it all of course, but balancing the trade-offs is a tough ask. The fallacy is that companies like mine compensate you for bad work, while in other companies you pay the price to learn and deliver. The responsibilities, the significance and the satisfaction of your work is inversely related to your salary. So you choose: would you rather sit in an AC floor, work five hours a day, stay close to home, enjoy a MNC culture and flexibility, and have a good life or would you travel in local trains, live in a coup in the name of a room, have no savings, no MNC tag to boast about? The former right? The catch is that the MNC tag gives you the glamour and the money and no job satisfaction, while the latter gives you the real experience which makes you a sought after person in the long run.
My best experience: I started writing random emails to newspapers, asking them to let me contribute to their organization as writing is my passion. I never really expected anybody to respond, and I was pleasantly surprised when a senior person from a leading daily took the trouble to call me. Finally it didn’t work out, but I am grateful that they check their emails and respond to them!
My worst experience: American company shortlisted me for a Business Analyst role. I had no freaking clue what the profile was, though I was keen on the brand. HR sets up telephonic interview with a senior person in America. Due to technical difficulties, the call doesn’t work out. Firang guy asks me to call him back!Unwillingly I make an ISD call, he interviews me for 50 minutes, and I realize it’s the kind of work that I wouldn’t do even if I was starved to death. Obviously, Firang guy doesn’t foot the bill of the ISD call, and I am poorer by one grand.
I know I reached my personal low when I responded to a shortlist for a television reporter: for the first time in my life, I had to send a snap for a job application. I wasn’t shortlisted, but I refuse to believe that I am too ugly to be on TV. I am sure it was a case of ‘profile fit’.