Its been more than 5 years now that I am doing counseling/coaching for students, and professionals. When I look back, there are so many lives we have touched. This process was never been a one-sided affair. While I was guiding them, the processes have enriched me in several ways. I learned many things out of these interactions and to add to my year resolutions, I thought to bring down some of these learning to you under the fortnightly series titled as ‘Counselling Conversations.’
Though names and the identities are disguised, the essence and the crux would always be the same. I believe the learning out of these stories can be of much value for people going through same experiences or on the verge of committing similar mistakes.
So here’s presenting with the first one out of the several series
What you would want to be Flower-pot or Money Plant?
It was a usual Monday morning, busy as it should be. I was checking through the activities we had planned for the upcoming week. The rest of the team was still on their way to the office. The last thing I would like was, I get distracted by a call.
On the other side of the call, was a young female voice, very precise about her inquiry. “I am an engineering fresher, graduated out of the college. Though I studied Computer Engineering, my academics was not adequate enough to fetch me campus job. I am now receiving an offer A from a start-up for an internship which will provide me a chance to learn Web Development. On the other hand, offer B states working with a software training company as a Counselor. Which one should I be choosing?”
Based on the provided facts by her on the call, it wasn’t possible for me to come to a conclusion, hence I asked her to come down to our office for a quick conversation.
Jaya is one of that clan of engineering graduates who realize that their four year engineering degree and the clean slate of skills would not be sufficient enough to fetch them a job. Most of them come down to a city like Pune to top-up their skill-sets with a short duration skilling programs, which more often results into drilling further holes in their parents pockets, hoping they might land up a job. Jaya did exactly the same. She enrolled for a program in Web Development which led her to getting some traction in job market and she has decision to make.
Jaya came down to our office half an hour late on the agreed time. One thing I noticed about her was, though she had good looks and personality, she lacked the confidence. The lack of confidence was mostly because she was not sure what the RIGHT thing for her is. I took some time to understand her profile and options she had. She was looking for a verdict from my end, but instead of a solution, I asked her a question. “Given a choice what would you want to be, a flowerpot or a money-plant ?”
The reaction on her face made suggested that my question had pushed her to another level of confusion. I elaborated it further to her. Though Option B is going to pay you more, it’s not what you studied for the span of 4.5 years. You could have attained it even without your degree. You are getting that employment not because of your ‘skills’ but because of your ‘looks’ which that particular role needed. But it is like being a flower-pot on a reception table. Rather than growing in the role, you would be merely replaced by another one.
On the contrary, option A is like a firm catch. They might not be offering a job but providing you an opportunity to learn and grow in your area, holding the roots yet to progression. It’s more like a money-plant in the office. It takes time to grow; however, slowly but steadily you glow and become indispensable.
I have seen many young women falling into the trap of to ‘my beauty is my biggest skill set’. I have seen it happening in the campus placements, job interviews and many more. I have not only seen candidates, but also seasoned recruiters falling to this kind of trap and choosing candidates, knowing their skill sets are merely average.
So the next time when you face this dilemma, just ask yourself, is ‘What do you want to be?
“The flower pot or a Money plant”