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Archive for the ‘Personality Development’ Category

employability_personality-development_01Professional degree awarding colleges/universities take pride on speaking about their students in terms of ‘Placement record percentage’, ‘Highest salary offer for Job’, and ‘Partner companies from industry’; but rarely speak about ‘employability’ and ‘personality development’ of students. ‘Placement cell’ in most engineering colleges acts more like a recruitment consultancy company providing ‘job search’ services to students. So, (1) how different is the term ‘Placement’ from ‘Employability’, (2) which one of the two above terms should the management board of engineering colleges give more focus, (3) what parameters distinguish professional degree courses from basic general degree courses, and (4) what add-on skills apart from scoring high in academic semester papers ought to be learned by engineering students before graduation?

News media often talks about poor quality of graduates coming out of engineering colleges in India. Industry also cites that majority of graduating students do not possess clarity on engineering concepts and are not up to the basic level of employability skills. Both the technical education accreditation body ‘AICTE’ and respective management board of engineering colleges seem to focus more on academic contents plus infrastructure provision provided and at times on academic staff profiles, than personality development aspect needed for students to be an ‘Engineer’. ‘Placement service’ is about supporting students to get recruited by visiting companies at the college/university campus, and thus, focus for ‘placement cell’ in engineering college is rather on quick-fix approach to satisfy basic entry requirements mandated by recruiting companies on the attending engineering students to their placement process such as percentage score in semester exams, previous scores in school and higher secondary school levels, aptitude test conducted by the company, technical and HR interviews of the company, test on specific technical areas (e.g. programming language, technology domain). Hence, placement preparation activities by engineering students are portrayed as if an entirely different unrelated activity during the engineering study program from the ethos of learning semester papers.

‘Employability’ refers to enabling the student employable i.e. qualified and ready to work. Thus, it hints to grooming the student on three key aspects – (1) mindset/behavior attached to that specific engineering profession, (2) background knowledge and skills need to execute tasks in that specific profession, (3) awareness of industry culture and career growth patterns in that specific profession. Format and academic content of engineering degree programs in various colleges/universities are accredited by AICTE for maintaining quality. Some practical oriented skill training modules are inserted to the course program structure by respective engineering colleges (and universities where they are affiliated to) in order to accommodate practical reasoning skills onto theoretical concepts. Still, most engineering degrees are rather focused on ‘academic reasoning’ and ‘basic technical skills’, thereby lacking a sense to impart common sense skills/knowledge of actual industry requirements on engineering graduates. Employability services (if provided) ought to aim the much needed outcome of ‘what’s exactly expected of an engineering graduate by the current industry’ not just by focusing on ‘placement activities’ aspect.

It isn’t the mandate of any university (or college) to guarantee a job to students, though universities/colleges may advertise their student placement record to attract prospective students. Employability services are valued-added facilities provided to students that aim to connect the two mindsets of academic world and real industry world. Many engineering students (and few professionals even after working in industry for years) often get doubts ‘what that engineering job is about?’ and ‘is that profession really meant for him/her?’. Unlike basic general degree courses, professional degree courses ought to intend to create a professional out of a student at the end of that course program. Studying basic general degree courses is about curiosity to explore the knowledge aspect on a specific domain, whereas studying a professional degree is about applying the knowledge of understanding a specific domain onto some applied activities/outputs. Thus, imparting professional spirit much needed by the actual industry in addition to providing the academic knowledge and reasoning skills is very crucial for professional degree programs.

Engineering colleges/universities should provide equal focus to ‘employability agenda’ on par with ‘academic excellence agenda’. The Management of those institutions currently focus heavily on planning the successful conducting of ‘admission process for newly joining engineering students’, ‘semester classes by leading academic staffs’, ‘periodic examination for students’, ‘timely declaration of exam results and conformance to academic calendar for various curricular activities’, ‘living supports during the course of study and accommodation services at hostels’, etc. Moreover, in India, these engineering colleges/universities emphasize more on bachelor degree education and feed degree graduates to various companies at entry level engineering jobs, thereby sidelining priority on post-graduation (Master and PhD) levels esp. R&D activities and technological innovation. Some cash-rich engineering colleges/universities (including eminent management groups) do provide non-academic services such as ‘placement cell’, ‘social/local impact clubs’, ‘sports/entertainment facilities’ and ‘alumni engagement cell’.

A lot more needs to be done on ‘Employability’ agenda by engineering colleges/universities, if the intention of these institutions is to create a professional out of an engineering student and not just an engineering graduate with a degree similar to a basic general science degree. The term ‘engineering’ itself means ‘practical application of science to commerce or industry’. Employability is also about inspiring ‘enterprise’ agenda among engineering graduates so as to aim to setup startup technology companies. Academic excellence can be easily guaranteed by respective engineering college/university since that is the core purpose for setting up those institutions. The discussion needed now is how to impart the ‘value-added services’ under ‘Employability agenda’ to engineering graduates. This employability topic is even more important to those engineering colleges/universities located in Indian states wherein there is less ongoing economic development activities and minimum/nil industry presence. Colleges/universities providing general degree programs may produce ‘graduates who can think and come up with new conceptual ideas’, but professional colleges providing professional degree programs must produce ‘graduates who can apply thoughts to reality as products/services’. Thus, providing ‘placement services’ isn’t sufficient enough for students in those engineering colleges/universities located at less industrial activity regions; rather these students need to be imparted with skills of technology entrepreneurship and how to survive in startup jobs without opting to get placed as engineers in some companies.

Key add-on skills/activities that engineering graduates should aim to acquire or get involved during the 4-years degree program (with/without the support of management of respective institutions) are:

(1) Co-curricular activities – to identify relevance of academic contents being studied to the real technological world; e.g. attending professionals’ technical conferences, project workshops, research journal paper presentations, hands-on skills training on technical areas

(2) Extra-curricular activities – to build social behavioral personality needed in the industry/society; e.g. joining debating clubs/competition, sports and fitness clubs/competitions, cultural programs/events, managing groups/clubs of interest, organizing team/group activities

(3) Job/career oriented skills – to build professional personality needed in the industry; e.g. Speaking (on stage, during interviews, among team/group), Dressing (during casual or business/official meetings), Presentation (as PowerPoint slides, without any technical tools to present, style/tone of expression in front of peers/seniors/externals/juniors), Writing (in blogs, journal articles, newspaper columns, as official letter, emailing format), Team-work (during group discussion/meeting, problem solving in tight project schedules, tasks delegation among a group), Corporate skills (speaking other foreign/regional languages, programming/technical skills, industry news update, connection to working professionals in relevant industry sector)

Finally, engineering institutions ought to start thinking on how to provide the above add-on skills to their engineering graduates during the course of 4 years degree program, on top of, just acting as the recruitment agency for companies through their placement cell.

About the Author:

Shanjoy Mairembam (BEng, MBA) is a Business Strategy Consultant based at London (UK). He supports mentoring of young entrepreneurs in ‘conceptualization of ideas into business case’, and offers role of a ‘Business Doctor’ to local NGOs/SMEs in Manipur.

For further info, visit http://www.shanmaiconsulting.com; E-mail: shanjoym (at) gmail (dot) com

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People are living longer in this century due to availability of better health and social care facilities. Pace of change in social lives is also very fast in recent decades due to the emergence of internet, social media, and mobile communications, etc. In such situation, this world is facing new dilemma of high aging population around. On one view, these elder generations have gained huge experience in life and build on piles of wisdom because of having overcome many challenges in their lives. On the other aspect, these elder generations need to keep up their pace to adapt to social changes around to make their lives interesting and lively among the current younger generations. Out of nowhere, curiosity arise – what elders can do when they retire from their jobs, not only just to enjoy their own lives but also to contribute to the society in their last peg of lifespan.

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Retired senior citizens can guide middle-age adults who are in-charge of various organizations by sharing their own experiences of running those institutions in the past. Advices of seniors are often useful to such middle-age adults since they have encountered failures in the past and lived through crises by amending mistakes. Technicality of doing things can be learnt but wisdom of common sense (i.e. gut feeling) needs to be passed on from one to another. Senior citizens may not need to work for a living, but sharing know-how experience to middle-aged adults may stimulate their brain power back again and help keeping them in-touch among their peer groups still even after retirement. Senior citizens may form groups or social clubs among liked minded friends and colleagues of their age based on similar interest of sports, or previous careers, or social cause, or fun habits to enjoy, etc.

Kids and school going teenagers often tend to bond better with grandparents than with their own parents. In this way, grandparents may indeed support the kids to shape their characters and personalities for future. Parents may be too busy to make earnings for the family in order to lead a better future, but in the process, they often may miss to rectify small mistakes of their wards that can lead children on wrong paths of no return. At times, children can be very stubborn and family can be in chaos due to tensions between parents and growing up teenagers. In such scenarios, presence of grandparents can ease the atmosphere within the family bringing happiness and mutual understanding.

Since people live longer now and social change is also rapid due to impact of new technology trends on people, senior citizens have to re-learn new ways of doing the same old habits. About shopping, online shopping using credit card is the new trend; about banking, it is about online and phone banking; about watching TV, it is now digital flat TV with touch screen or online streaming; and so many other examples. Even middle-aged adults often have to re-learn various habits of doing things newly, or else, they will miss opportunities in their careers and not able to get along with changing trends in the society. Thus, senior citizens also have to show interest in the various social trends if they are to live in tune with trends in the society. This social change is not something this generation or last generation nor next generation can ever stop; the only way forward for everyone is to adapt accordingly.

Most teenagers and youths find honored to have met senior citizens who possess command over intellectual ideas of high significance over relevant topics in the society. They may even follow those elders (as fans) who are still up-to-date with modern technologies or social trends. Most senior citizens often become role models for the school going teenagers and youths; because their lives are all in the limelight having proven and passed through almost every phase of a human lifespan. As modern lifestyle for everyone is spent on being too busy competing with each other for a better life, retired senior citizens may offer peace of mind and calmness to current generation by sharing their wisdom through occasional interactions.

Mentoring is similar to coaching or teaching or training or advising, but still different from these terms. Intention of mentoring is neither to teach someone what one knows to the other nor just about to advise a junior by a senior. Mentoring is like parenting in the sense that ‘the mentee is allow to create own imagination of their life ahead, and mentor only ignites the mentee’s passion enabling realization of dreams while keeping the mentee on check from possible mistakes’. Of course, it is good to have a mentor who has some experience of the topic or scenario the mentee is in the past. Yet, role of mentor is not inclined towards technicality as a trainer; rather, it is understanding like a coach and still allows the mentee to lead own path.

Retired elders from work or any senior citizens can indeed enjoy mingling with teenagers and youths by only just adapting their willingness to do so. They can act as mentor to younger generations, which will not only spice up their retired lives but also able to still influence the society they were once the shapers of social trends. Young people also can avoid falling into uncertain pitfalls in life by listening to experiences and wisdoms of elders. Mentors are like trust-worthy friends who listen with full attention and share their honest opinions.

Thus, we can clearly see that there is a win-win situation for both senior citizens and younger generations to engage often in all means of discussion themes. Elders can learn about modern trends followed by teenagers (enabling them stay relevant to the current society), while teenagers can gain experiences of elders (enabling them shape own lives ahead better).

About the Author:

Shanjoy Mairembam (BEng, MBA) is a Business Strategy Consultant based at London (UK). He supports mentoring of young entrepreneurs in ‘conceptualization of ideas into business case’, and offers role of a ‘Business Doctor’ to local NGOs/SMEs in Manipur.

For further info, visit http://www.shanmaiconsulting.com; E-mail: shanjoym (at) gmail (dot) com

 

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Our basic need is survival and rest of other activities is around making that living comfortable. Thus, ‘Education’ is about enlightening us the best appropriate way of doing things from past experiences, while ‘Common Sense’ is the knowledge about applying past experiences on day-to-day realities happening around us.
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Like in most countries, India follows a system of imparting knowledge to students in the form of a tier-system of education (e.g. 10+2+3 for general studies) so that necessary level of teaching and learning is provided to only those sections of people who actually require that level of knowledge. There are also various skill-based training and vocational education system in place in India. There are reasoning behind the form of pedagogy developed for education system chosen by govt in own countries. The question each student/youngster should be asking self is ‘How much education is enough for self and future career making?’

Logically, we can consider all forms of profession being comprised of two types of education needs – Business aspect and technical aspect. For example, rice is an essential food needed in our daily lives. Knowledge is required to understand how to cultivate and get rice – thus, that’s about technicality and there are students learning courses on Agriculture (e.g. Bachelor of Science in Agriculture). Also, knowledge is required to obtain rice from fields, transport rice to storage, distribute rice bags to wholesalers, sell rice to consumers – thus that’s about business and there are students learning courses on Management of Agriculture businesses (e.g. Master of Management in Agro-based business). Similarly, for better healthcare system, we got education systems on becoming doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, social carers, dentists, medical technicians, etc. In order to systematize the know-how to cater to needs around us, we create ways of educating the learners in a leveling tier approach. Thus, if we try to see the bigger picture around a profession and the related environment within which the profession operates, we can realize that education is rather about providing a common sense way of dealing with our societal needs.

Having a basic level of education (10th Standard in India) is sufficient for someone to understand the society’s common sense better. Having intermediary level of education (12th standard in India) is about preparing someone to have an interest in a segment of industry/knowledge with more focus; while having a graduate level of education (12+3 standard in India) is about giving the specific required level of knowledge to someone to execute the most tasks necessary in that industry segment. Further level of education (Masters or doctorate levels in India) are to provide specialization study to understand with more depth why things happen as they are and what new approaches can be created/discovered to do things in a better way. Thus, one does not need to go to college or university for higher study ‘as mandatory need’, but rather based on ‘situational need’. Just to reemphasize this view, globally reputed firms such as ‘Apple’ and ‘Microsoft’ are founded by College drop-outs (whom latter employs qualified engineers/managers with degrees and doctorates to run the companies). Even locally within Manipur (and in other parts of India), we can see large businesses run by not even 10th standard pass entrepreneurs and yet these able-industrialists manage to run their businesses by employing skilled engineers and managers accordingly.

Youngsters (under guidance from parents) often proceed to study popular courses in professional undergraduate level such as MBBS, BE, BPharm, BSc-Nursing, and also in general studies such as BCom, BA, BSc. Some youngsters directly get entry to job or on-the-job related courses in central and state govt services such as paramilitary forces, NDA, banking, state police, etc. Very few youngsters in Manipur (and even in entire India) deviate to think about setting up own businesses or learning knowledge/skill that will help themselves in setting up that business of own dreams.
In countries like UK, the approach of ‘Learning by Doing’ is followed more in the society in the form of youngsters taking up apprenticeship jobs in companies just after completion of GSCE (similar to Class 10 in India) or A-level (similar to Class 12 in India), and growing their careers henceforward from bottom to management level. Most organizational managers and CEO/COO do not even possess universities degrees, yet they are expert in their technical or business skills. Also, senior managers are often found coming back to universities at the age of 30+ to study in some degree courses related to their already experienced industry to have the skill of critical thinking with academic learning approach.

Though one needs not necessarily go to colleges/universities to make a living or successful profession/career in life, one can gain a lot by going to colleges/universities once in a lifetime. Education is rather meant to give away experience of ‘various know-how’ collected over years to the future generation in a very simple and concise format in a very short period of time. Colleges/universities are not just meant for getting higher education in various knowledge domains or industry sectors, but also a platform/forum for meeting people (like-minded as well as non-like-minded) to share ideas and experiences to learn from each other for own future. By being in colleges/universities, one can get access to libraries (having tons of knowledge contents), professors (having vast experiences in the areas one may have interest to explore), colleagues (having similar interest to work together in future projects), and professional networks (having industry experts and business support groups), friends (having similar social and emotional behaviors), etc.
Successful people in every profession never stop learning about things that may be useful in their lives irrespective of having gone to study in school or college or university. What may be effective about preparing self to learn about a profession is to start thinking in backward from that chosen future dream to present situation in order to evaluate how much education and what skill-sets one may need in order to realize the dream. Thus, first need in life is ‘survival’; then next need come ‘food’, shelter, clothes, etc; and then, educating self is to find a way out to earn money through a job/task to cater to the cost of surviving in style.

Thus, students/youths in Manipur should focus on having ‘Common Sense’ in life more than running after ‘Education’; because, education (in some appropriate form) is just only a means to acquire knowledge that is needed for having ‘common sense’ in one’s life.

About the Author:
Shanjoy Mairembam (BEng, MBA) is a Business Strategy Consultant based at London (UK). He supports mentoring of young entrepreneurs in ‘conceptualization of ideas into business case’, and offers role of a ‘Business Doctor’ to local NGOs/SMEs in Manipur.

For further info, visit http://www.shanmaiconsulting.com

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Without a cause, there can’t be an effect. So, anything around us happens because of a cause. An idea will remain only in philosophy unless it’s executed. There is life on the physical body, only when it has the soul. Thus, in spite of the presence of all the resources on an individual, like strength, talent, skills, and intelligence, etc, nothing worth without the magic word “Inspiration“. For something to happen, for something to realize, for something to achieve in this world, “To get inspired” is the key value that every individual must strive hard to make all the difference.

Human beings are smarter and more intelligent than other living beings, because we are continuous learner. When the learning stops, the individual is no more in sink with the world. When an individual grows up, he/she is not sure what is destined for him/her. Everyone expects someone to come and tell what he/she is expected to be in their life-time. All the great people we have seen so far have tried by self reasoning what skills they possess, what passion they have, and what extra qualities they own. So, the first step on any individual who wishes to make an imprint in this world needs to understand the extra resources that he/she possesses since birth till date. Skills and knowledge come only out of experience. But, gathering them too requires another key value called “passion” to learn. Thus, our education we had so far, our communication with everyone, our relationship with people around us, etc are the means of getting the resources that we possess today. So, the onus of trying to understand what EXTRA the individual possesses that will define him/her remains with self.

Secondly, having a purpose for the task to be executed is the main step once an individual realize own worth. So, it’s similar to igniting the light on the lamp whose main purpose is to bring about brightness on darkness.

Imagine there is a brand new car filled with everything that needs the car to drive. But, interestingly, that car will move only when the driver decides to drive it in the direction that will take him/her to the destination. Similarly, we may have got enough potential within us to realize various wonderful ideas. But, to take control of self to execute those ideas into action, we need something to excite our will to do the task. And that excitement happens because of something that can inspire us.

Finally, the question comes up – How to get inspired?

Every individual has a different way of thinking. So, it differs how every great people had got inspired in their life-time which made them to remember as what they are as of today. And it is not necessarily true that we also will get similarly inspired by following their way of living and principles of life; but to read their biographies & their ideas do will help us to shape our personalities.

Interestingly, ‘Music’ is one of the finest inspirational things that can hugely impact our instincts at the moment of need. As an example – this may be the reason we have national anthem in most countries worldwide. And moreover, we use to get something amazing being felt at our conscience at the sound of a particular musical tune. Similarly, someone can get inspired via various ways, which one of our five senses – eyes, skin, nose, ear, and mouth can feel the spirit.

The journey of self discovery has already started for everyone since birth. Now, it’s up to the individual to try to find what EXTRA does one possesses that can make a difference among the crowd, and the way to get self inspired. Only those who can understand these two criteria will be remembered as ‘The Man of principles” and he/she will gain self dignity from everyone around.

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Human intelligence comes out of the urge to learn new things as we come across from birth till being an adult. The complete life-span of an individual is indeed a journey to explore, to understand, to recreate new ideas for the well-being of self and the environment around. Time is valuable more than anything and it’s the basic wisdom that says ‘Life is a struggle which requires passion, faith and contentment for what an individual does during the life-span’.

Today’s generation needs to understand the basic 4 C’s to help self in defining the purpose of one’s life – namely Curiosity, Creativity, Cooperation, and Courage. This 4 C’s applies to everyone irrespective of age. None is 100% sure of exactly what life is all about, but scientific reasoning explains that its better to have some purpose and try working on that during the life-time.

The first C – Curiosity means ‘a state in which you want to learn more about something’, i.e. the urge to explore the unknown aspects of something that excite your attention.

For example – If a student wishes to get good score in the examination or a contest, he/she needs to have the curiosity to explore what has to be done to be among the winners; or, if a person wishes to realise an idea into action, he/she needs to understand how the same idea can be brought to reality before hand; and so on.

For something to realise, for something to start understanding, for something to create newly, a person definitely has to a ‘Child’ in the first place i.e. the urge to know, the passion to learn, the purity in concept, the dream to adventure have to be there on the person, just like a child carves for knowing things around due to curiosity.

The second C – Creativity means ‘the ability to create’, i.e. the passion to realise something new to the current environment out of internal instinct.

For example – If a student prepares for the examination or a contest using own tips of expertise quite different from others, then he/she has the creativity to think and realise extra-ordinarily; or if a person comes up with a new idea to realise the old concept in a better and efficient way, then he/she has the creativity to invent or discover the ways that others dare to go about; and so on.

Having decided what to learn and what to achieve is indeed a great step toward achieving the vision, but creativity is the aspect of life that will distinguish among the experts/competitors.

Great leaders or great scientists or any extra-ordinary individual are those who dare to be different in approach for realising the same objective with a creative mind. Creativity has to be associated with optimistic attitude and the individual should question self whether the creative mind is on the right track or its leading towards complexity unnecessarily.

The third C – Cooperation means ‘joint operation or action’, i.e. the need for working together as a team to achieve the objectives being set.

For example – if a student is able to win in a contest or examination, then it is in fact the team effort of the family being reward individually on the student since the people & the environment around him/her are the key criteria of his/her success; or if an individual wishes to get success in life or career, then, cooperation with the surrounding (which may be his/her family, or colleagues, or friends, and so on) is critical since the thinking, the motivation, the physical health, etc will depend on the people & environment around him/her.

It is therefore very essential for every individual to create the right environment around him/her so as to succeed in life/career (which includes the company of friends & colleagues, the books one read, the films/songs/audio-visuals one listens/sees, the food one eats, the habits one follows, and so on).

The fourth C – Courage means ‘a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear’, i.e. the positive attitude to deal with the subject in front with a purpose irrespective of any fallback on the expectations.

For example – If an average student dares to compete with the top ranking brilliant students in a contest or examination using her/his own tips to be among the winners, then, he/she has definitely the courage and has understood the meaning of self-dignity; or if a person focus majority of effort & time on the strengths that he/she has, and the remaining capacity on minimising or controlling the weakness, then the person has indeed the courage to deal with the situation in front.

Courage does not refer to being always bold, but being giving one’s full effort intelligently with respect to situation.

Thus, anyone can follow the 4 C’s for his/her vision to realise – since there is a need to dream (curiosity), a need to visualise (creativity), a need to stimulate the right resources (cooperation) and a need to believe (Courage).

Human intelligence comes out of the urge to learn new things as we come across from birth till being an adult. The complete life-span of an individual is indeed a journey to explore, to understand, to recreate new ideas for the well-being of self and the environment around.

Time is valuable more than anything and it’s the basic wisdom that says ‘Life is a struggle which requires passion, faith and contentment for what an individual does during the life-span’.

Today’s generation needs to understand the basic 4 C’s to help self in defining the purpose of one’s life – namely Curiosity, Creativity, Cooperation, and Courage. This 4 C’s applies to everyone irrespective of age. None is 100% sure of exactly what life is all about, but scientific reasoning explains that its better to have some purpose and try working on that during the life-time.

The first C – Curiosity means ‘a state in which you want to learn more about something’, i.e. the urge to explore the unknown aspects of something that excite your attention.

For example – If a student wishes to get good score in the examination or a contest, he/she needs to have the curiosity to explore what has to be done to be among the winners; or, if a person wishes to realise an idea into action, he/she needs to understand how the same idea can be brought to reality before hand; and so on.

For something to realise, for something to start understanding, for something to create newly, a person definitely has to a ‘Child’ in the first place i.e. the urge to know, the passion to learn, the purity in concept, the dream to adventure have to be there on the person, just like a child carves for knowing things around due to curiosity.

The second C – Creativity means ‘the ability to create’, i.e. the passion to realise something new to the current environment out of internal instinct.

For example – If a student prepares for the examination or a contest using own tips of expertise quite different from others, then he/she has the creativity to think and realise extra-ordinarily; or if a person comes up with a new idea to realise the old concept in a better and efficient way, then he/she has the creativity to invent or discover the ways that others dare to go about; and so on.

Having decided what to learn and what to achieve is indeed a great step toward achieving the vision, but creativity is the aspect of life that will distinguish among the experts/competitors.

Great leaders or great scientists or any extra-ordinary individual are those who dare to be different in approach for realising the same objective with a creative mind. Creativity has to be associated with optimistic attitude and the individual should question self whether the creative mind is on the right track or its leading towards complexity unnecessarily.

The third C – Cooperation means ‘joint operation or action’, i.e. the need for working together as a team to achieve the objectives being set.

For example – if a student is able to win in a contest or examination, then it is in fact the team effort of the family being reward individually on the student since the people & the environment around him/her are the key criteria of his/her success; or if an individual wishes to get success in life or career, then, cooperation with the surrounding (which may be his/her family, or colleagues, or friends, and so on) is critical since the thinking, the motivation, the physical health, etc will depend on the people & environment around him/her.

It is therefore very essential for every individual to create the right environment around him/her so as to succeed in life/career (which includes the company of friends & colleagues, the books one read, the films/songs/audio-visuals one listens/sees, the food one eats, the habits one follows, and so on).

The fourth C – Courage means ‘a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear’, i.e. the positive attitude to deal with the subject in front with a purpose irrespective of any fallback on the expectations.

For example – If an average student dares to compete with the top ranking brilliant students in a contest or examination using her/his own tips to be among the winners, then, he/she has definitely the courage and has understood the meaning of self-dignity; or if a person focus majority of effort & time on the strengths that he/she has, and the remaining capacity on minimising or controlling the weakness, then the person has indeed the courage to deal with the situation in front.

Courage does not refer to being always bold, but being giving one’s full effort intelligently with respect to situation.

Thus, anyone can to follow the 4 C’s for his/her vision to realise – since there is a need to dream (curiosity), a need to visualise (creativity), a need to stimulate the right resources (cooperation) and a need to believe (Courage).

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On personal views, I am sharing how Engineering graduates can look forward once they start working as software engineers in various Software Companies after college. The idea can be applicable to other graduates working in various fields of profession after college or Universities as well. Due to our current Academic Education Systems, we are urged to view studying academic degrees & career as the ultimate thing in our lives that everyone has to do compulsorily with tremendous self-pressure. Most of the students in colleges & schools are urged to be among rank-holders. They are being asked to get job and then, even after that our struggle for better career do not stop. Thus, there may be a lot of self-questioning doubts – what exactly we are doing and what we are supposed to do once we get job after our College Educations.

Struggles in Academic days in colleges or Universities are far less compared to the struggles in corporate world. There comprise things like neither friendship nor any kind of emotional sharing of thoughts among people; but just that people are colleagues or partners to complete the job assigned. The real struggle of living & understanding the world will start once a student is into work-environment. A lot of changes will be on the way of entry into corporate world –

1) Work Ethics – Ethical understanding of what to do & how to do in Work-environment
2) Personality Adjustment – Conflict of personal behaviors & work-environment
3) Company Culture – Multi-cultural understanding among the employees across the global locations
4) Balancing of Personal life & Job-requirements – Family commitment versus Project Datelines
5) Urge for growth in career – Comparison of things attached to self with peers & other people
6) Many more….Serious topics to think about… because. It’s about the real life and not like those days of college or schools where mistakes or faults can be considered to be forgiven once or twice.

If we closely look into the nature of skills to be possessed by every working person in any kind of job; we will be able to find three main areas whose degrees of involvement are varied according to the job responsibilities & nature of job. They are –

1) Technical Role
2) Human Role
3) Business Role

So, every person under any designations will have the above three roles with varying percentage of capacity. But, we have to realize that as our career grows; the percentage of involvement increased towards the lower side (i.e. Technical side to Business side). Life in any career can be considered as if a kind of Business. People having sound knowledge of Business role will survive fluctuations in life rather than those with higher skills of Technical role. All the three skills are indeed required and all of them are a MUST for any level of work-positions in any Organization.

Here, the word “CHOICE” matters the most – because, every individual has to decide on how far one wishes to go ahead in career. But, one has to understand and think carefully that personal lives other than career are also to be looked into more in-detailed; since unless there is a balance & clarity on the complete picture of what the individual is supposed to do in life, there can be big issues in life. We have to remember that – Rewards & Medals in career is not the only thing which says a person is a good human being; since Career is just the means of living and our life as such is the main road which we have to think carefully.

Engineering Graduates will be surely happy that they have started working in big branded companies & they have started earning good salaries every month. They will be sometimes motivated to learn anything and at times, they will be also curious to know what exactly is going on corporate world. Everything in offices will be seemed as just about works and nothing more than that. Everyone in the office will come to office to work and go back home once their daily works are completed. At times, these newly graduated Engineers will start feeling that things are repeating again & again. They will start asking what is going on – is this life or is this way to live on till the last day, or many more…

Let me share my view directly so as to understand practically for things related to job & future planning for career in industries to some extent.

1) Learn the technical works & domain knowledge of what a person is exactly doing in a project at the starting of one’s career. Have the technical ability to explain the project to any person from any technical domain other than the own project members). Reason self technically with queries and try to answer them.
-> This will help the individual to understand the probable questions which other companies may ask when he/she goes for interviews & also it will enhance the skills & mindset of technical works in the current project.

2) 2 years of working in the same project or in the same company is a bit long journey nowadays. If a person keeps on working in the same project for 10 years still more, he/she may indeed learn more about the product and yes, he/she may be promoted to project leader or project manager in future. It’s really good that each individual will grow up technically on what they do and indeed, they will get satisfaction for what they have worked. May be their Bosses will also say “Well Done, Good Work“… But, each one will not be sure whether their success is on the right ladder or wrong ladder. At the same time, the individual has to create enthusiasms to learn & know as much as they could during the 2yr time frame. Because, the years of experience has to match according to the knowledge & skills one has to acquire.

-> Let me explain via drawing a diagram to understand the reality.

Try drawing many straight lines from the centre of meeting point of X-Axis & Y-Axis. These lines will be representing the learning & work-experience in years an individual has spent. An individual may know many skills on various technical areas, or may have personal learning on many fields or may even is excellent on some of the skills other than the current job or work.

BUT, one should keep a check on market value i.e. what one knows and what one works, so as to have a value in terms of which customer/manager who is accepting the ideas or product will rate a weightage or the value of the individual’s work. Knowing too much on something which has less value that the individual can sell makes less sense, because, he/she will be not recognized to the extent he/she should be.

So the Market value will not only refer to monetary terms but also a sense of satisfaction on self & also from Customers or peers. Example:- In the resume of Campus placement, students may mention that they know C, C++, JAVA, ORACLE,, etc. but, in future course of career, no company will recognize these knowledge unless the person has worked on a company project in his/her overall experience; and even if the person have worked on company projects, the future companies will look to the latest experience only; because, companies want only the best people for the particular task they are in need. So, one has to be specialist on some which has high returns – Remember… Most will find this term many a times – ROI [Return on Investment].

3) Either one has to be technically very strong n go on the way to create new ideas to make new product so as to sustain own company in the future; or, one can the technical skills and move on finding other similar careers to excel and show own strengths. Engineers are in-fact just workers and they are the work-force of a company.

And, what we need to realize is that – when the Company management or share-holders say that – they are closing the company or they are changing their business from Java-Oriented company to C++ oriented company or from one technical field to another, or may be even dumping the full business domain & move to others; then, the engineers will loose jobs.

In fact, the knowledge/skills learnt by the engineers will find difficulties to showcase themselves on other domains of new jobs. Moreover, to become Technical Architects or Topmost Experts on any technical domain, an engineer not only requires 15-20 years of experience on the product/job, but also, the engineers should have been provided the chance to grow with positions n responsibilities by the employing company. But, Remember, The Employer/Company may have already changed the business by then, or may be the technology is no more valid. So, the risk factor & luck factor matters a lot in pure technical domain career.

-> So, the best way of gaining technical knowledge n utilizing the success of the knowledge is – learn the process & business models too along with having couple of years of experience on technical domain and utilize the ideas on other Business Domains. Again, how many years one has to spend on technical terms is not what is to be really considered as experience, if someone is indeed going ahead with new business ideas.

What responsibilities one has done, what role one has played, how far one has co-coordinated with team-members & clients, many more are required. But, as the competition among peers is also there… one may not get the chance just like that, and he/she may not even be given the chance.. So, a lot of thinking & planning has to be done both technically & behaviorally in advance for career growth & peace of mind.

4) Instead of working as employees under the banner of some company, it’s better to have own business & run as employers. It will not only enable to face the challenges of work, but also the efforts will be recognized by everyone. Here, the word is about entrepreneurships in the domain we are good; or even if our knowledge is not that sufficient for that kind of big ambitions, we can at least be top Bosses on some big companies.

-> To become project leader, then project manager, then Technical manager, then higher up positions are all not just about time-bound or experience bound concepts. There also involves a lot of politics & inter-personal relations, because everyone will like to be BOSS. With the passage of years while working, everyone will slowly realize all; but, why not learn today, so that one can use the knowledge for the better of tomorrow. Thinking Hi-Fi is good, but realizing by simulations at present is better option. First of all, one’s behavior & attitude have to be molded w.r.t. the practical personal inter-relations, i.e. what is there in book & what is there in mind are not applicable directly in reality, because this is not an IDEAL WORLD.

5) Anyone can work anywhere for any customers or organizations and live comfortably as every other does. But, Question self – why not try to create own opportunities via which one can work similarly in Manipur or for Manipur or something related or near to our family in Manipur or at least a sense of Manipuriness. One can earn & learn technically more n more. But, just with an engineer’s earning alone can’t help one’s own family or many families of our relatives in Manipur.

It’s not about finding what problem Manipur or people or our relatives have; but, it’s about how to solve issues using our ideas & our skills. The main concept is – Share the smile & learning with fellow friends & relatives in Manipur; because, there is no limit to career growth & none can take anything when the last day comes in our lives. One may have tried building a big empire of own, but once he/she is out of picture, it may not take even a year to vanish the whole empire into history.

-> One should try to use one’s strength to the full extent. So, preparation & planning has to be done from Day-1 of professional career. I am not saying that we should jump directly into Manipur and start working immediately. One has to use the intellectual & scientific reasoning to find the answer to issues and give solutions. If one wishes to do something big, one needs knowledge & Money. Well, remember the saying – CHANCE FAVORS THE PREPARED MIND… It’s worthless to run after chances, but, it’s reasonable to get prepared and, if chance comes, we strike it and win it. Being a Manipuri, I feel that we ought to do give back something we can. Creating Ideas & working jobs for people in other countries or states or firms are more or less same as if working for people in Manipur; but, its just a choice one has to make. Because, unless we try to do something for ourselves, none will come forward with personal interest.

6) During the early phase of professional career, it’s good to come out of India and work abroad so that one could not only save huge money, but also realize the life-style & thinking people have there. With traveling & getting in-touch with various people, one will get the chance to realize the technical dreams & also big ambitions (if by chance). One will learn to make friendship with big buddies too (if by chance). Working aboard for 1 year is indeed similar to working in India for 3 years in terms of Salary & money that one can save due to variation in currency values. Secondly, Companies will respect & reward for the international experiences, when he/she comes back to India & try to become Team-Leads technically. Thirdly, one will have better idea how to interact with clients in future via teleconferences & mails, etc.

So, 2 yrs in India and then 3 yrs outside India; and then, Planning for higher studies in a good Business School, or even continuing on technical fields is the better option in software profession.. But, we ought to keep the trust that we will surely think about ideas to make new changes in Manipur, both technologically & socially. Because, that is what I expect as return from others for sharing my ideas (it’s not a must, but it’s understood internally by default).

Its is the right time to look beyond what one can see as software engineer, because, by 2010-1015; economic Boom in India, China & South-East Asia is for sure under the current Trent.. and at that time, why we should work as mere engineer or technical manager… why not we choose to work as General Manager of a huge software firm or CEO of our own firm. FIRST BELIEF SELF THAT WE CAN DO IT… BIG DREAMS… yes… So…INDEED BIG INVESTMENT & PLANNING REQUIRED… But we also need to have SOME SECURITIES.. FOR SELF TO FALL BACK if our plans don’t work out…We do need motivation & care at every step.

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Exam results are declared for 12th Standard and again the same old story of puzzles with regards to future of these students crops up again. This article will only discuss about the steps & guidelines a young teenager has to take with regards to career & personal life after clearing the 12th Standard. This article will also only talk about the underlying reasons of suggesting the choice, but each career paths after 12th standard will be discussed in upcoming articles.

Most parents would either tease or praise based on the score card of their wards. People will always wish the rank holders and tease the rest with inferiority attitude. Neither the students themselves nor the parents are interested in knowing beforehand what exactly should have been afforded to pass through the exams with flying colors. Everyone is interested in the result, but, in fact, someone has to do the ground work for the result to be good. It is said true that surrounding environment makes the basis of the welfare of the young teenagers studying in schools. Good schools, good teachers, and, good educational coaching does help grooming young teenagers to excel in the academic exams.

Well, we would discuss things required before hand in another article. Now, we should think about how a young teenager ought to decide the future course of their career & life, so that there is effective utilization of self effort with respect to the actual capability of internal instinct.

Behold, Dear young teenagers, here are some facts to cheer up for you all. Not all toppers make up to the lists of dignitaries recognized in the society for their contributions to mankind. List of toppers in the exams are few and there are thousands who comprised the rest of the students. So no need to feel sorry about that if one has indeed tried using the strength one has. To be a topper in exams is indeed a good feeling; but the more important criteria to justify one’s worth is to verify self how much one has achieved success, while using how much percentage of self resource. Some students come out of well-groomed families and have had good education.

Now, the concept should be in such a new way like – whether We are unable to get quality education at schools or we are unable to get access to all those facilities for grooming students to be brilliant in academics, we will have to win the game with the effective utilization of resources around us and try to gather those we need somehow. Yes, past academic performance does come for preview in future career struggle; but the world is changing very fast. It’s now like – If you could win today irrespective of what you are yesterday; you are the undisputed winner till date. So, let’s try to analyze the future how one is suggested to lead by today’s teenagers.

The society, the industries, the government, the world, everything is going to be in the hand of Today’s Teenagers. So, every teenager in schools should be proud of that very true reality that they are the Masters of the Future; and it should be taken as a knock-out tournament, where everyone will be decided on how well they can play when the time comes in future.

The so-called education that we all are receiving via, schools, college & universities; are just for gaining knowledge to be able to realize our self-worth. For living, we need three basics – food, shelter, clothes. One has to earn somehow and realize the three basics of livelihood. The society comprises of many aspects of job prospects to realize the same. In fact, one does not need to formally undergo all such educational courses to become a billionaire or just be able to lead a comfortable life (not just the three basics of livelihood). But, undergoing a suitable educational course helps the individual to recognise the self worth to gain respect in the particular career and live with satisfaction.

As per the current education system, it is felt that after 12th standard, a teenager can be finally molded in a specific trait of livelihood. So, there come many diverged career aspects – Engineering, Medical, Legal, Nursing, Arm Forces, Arts, Literatures, etc.

The school authorities & parents should be sharing the future prospects while the young teenagers are undergoing classes in the schools. If anything has to be planned for future career path, each teenager should have gathered info – right from the first day of 11th standard, since the entrance exams of most of the professional courses cover questions from the syllabus of both 11th & 12th standards. Getting good scores & being among the top ranks in the exam results of 12th board exam is a good achievement; but getting success in such exams is not fully worth unless one is able to get a decent job to earn livelihood in future, or create ideas to earn livelihood, or inspire self to excel in some traits to gain recognition in their professional lives. Studying just for the sake of formality i.e. other friends are also studying in schools or colleges do not make sense; and every teenager has to have time to think about the future.

Human life, as we can understand, has the average lifespan of 70-75, at present, instead of theoretical 100 years or so. And the period between 15-25 years are crucial for one’s professional career & also for one’s youthful lives. Whatever one has learned and gathered enough is what one is going to utilize for the remaining 50 plus years of life. So, one has to balance both the aspects of life. The mind of teenagers are like warriors who fear nothing, and who is ready to go ahead any hurdles once decided on something, whether right or wrong from the perspective of future aspiration. Not just a teenager has to focus on the academic excellence but also the need to build up self personality to be able to stand up bold with head held high with dignity should be groomed.

Today’s toppers seem to be a bit shy from social & leadership traits, because of the current theoretical education system. They seem to be more of robots programmed to execute some activities whose button is handled by some other individuals. Technical skills & medals of getting among the toppers in academic exams hold no good unless, one develops one’s personality to be able to speak up in front of the huge gathering of dignitaries, to be able to analyze & think the general concept in addition to the academic meaning of the various theories in books, to be able to realize the social responsibilities, and so on.

Being a topper just on getting good score in exams is not a sign of excellence & brilliant, but rather it is just a sign of good executive who just follow the guidelines. Anyone can be toppers in such exams if one studies smart – knowing the already available textbooks & notes and following a punctual time-table with examination tactics. But, the real exam is the life as how one has to go ahead. So, teenagers should concentrate both on academic front and personal fronts, since, personal front can make or break the goal in the academic front. There needs a trade-off between the two aspects of life.

For a comfortable future, every teenager has to realize the basic need to groom self during the age span of 15-25 years. For a healthy future, one has to take care of good food & healthy habits. One needs to look for good friendly environment & inspiring culture to motivate for future career. If things are not okay today, every teenager has to create the same somehow with some plus & minus. Every teenager needs to think of the reality that their parents are soon going to old enough to take care of them as they are in the age of 45-60. So, they too needs affectionate care from their wards and today’s teenagers should keep these facts too while planning for the future professional career & personal lives.

As one grows up, life seems to be more complex than expected while being kids. Moreover, it looks like everything is just left to the teenagers to think and decide. Everyone needs guidance or info or at least good friend-circle to breathe comfortably to share thoughts. Every teenager should speak up instead of compressing the issues & thoughts like the pressure inside the pressure cooker. Instead of blaming others, even our parents for everything, every teenager should try to find a way out to deal with issues or thoughts relating to personal life, professional life, and so on.

So, if not one’s past is great, one can still making future bright if we don’t loose fate on self. It is just that each & every teenager needs to find out some space & individuals to chat to understand their own instincts to guide for their future.

Lastly, a quote that worth reminding is – “The future belongs to those who believes in the beauty of their dreams“.

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