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Taking micro steps to add value to your market value


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  1. Background

A fresh graduate, say a B Com or a B Sc. who has no experience, when he goes for a job interview has only a one line resume which is his basic graduation degree- nothing else. That is his life line for his interview. He needs his first break to get his first job.

After asking a few questions on his basic academic curriculum, the interviewing panel finds it difficult to strike a decent conversation except to ask vague questions like, tell us about your family and your ambitions etc.

‘Not being successful is a lifestyle disorder’

  • The interviewer’s perspective

I have interacted with more than 8,000 graduates applying for my institute for an MBA program as the Director at Symbiosis University over a period of ten years and also at another newly established College. I groomed close to 2000 young managers.  During selection process we also faced a similar challenge. We were also looking for that ‘extra mile’, a spark or a small hint of initiative in each candidate. We used to look at something in the extracurricular activities and had a sigh of relief if we could find anything good in that. Most Candidates in hobbies write listening to music, or even hanging out with friends for them qualifies as a hobby!

Any books you read? And 95% said no. A guy who read some books even if it was fiction gave us some hope. If a candidate could talk about the book in detail we would be happy to give him some substantial grace. In fact many good institutes and matured interviewers give substantial weight-age to those who read for obvious reasons. And my experience tells me that a person who reads more than others has a better grip on expression with better communication skills and more confidence. Very similar situation is while recruiting fresher’s from college for a job.

When you apply for a job you need to put some weight on the CV. What if with CV you carry the book you read? Voila, interview panel has something to see and feel that book right in your hands and since you actually read the book, you can take on any questions around it. This gives you a talking point. Remember, your degree and school certificate was also based on exams conducted from knowledge imparted through text and reference books.

All things equal, out of 10 candidates a candidate with three short books has a better chance to converse well with the panel and make an intellectual connect.

‘Books make ordinary humans into good affective people you can trust’

  • Micro reading is the answer for you

You are out of the college and cannot turn the clock back to go and participate in college events, take a role in student’s committee – time has gone! Yet, you can push the fast forward button and look for very short relevant books.

The busiest and most successful people read, read and read.

Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day. Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. Elon Musk taught himself to build rockets by reading. He didn’t stop until he learned what he wanted to learn.

Successful people read educational books over entertaining literature. Today our biggest problem is time and distractions. If Warren Buffet and Bill gates can find time, so can you. The other problem is that books are big, heavy and costly too.

What if you get a perfect, relevant, very short book of around 80 pages for Rs 99/- which you can finish in a day or two? You will surely attempt to read it.

I am creating ‘Progressive Youth Series’ of several short books for the youth in this range. Six are already on Amazon, 6 more coming soon. Translation in Hindi has already started.

Right Topics matter the most for intellectual development

You find thick, boring books on ‘run of the mill’ topics like Time management, change management, how to be successful and rich in seven steps, working smart not hard, motivation, entrepreneurs  etc.

Some of the topics I am covering in 80 pages, are novel –these are topical and to the point. Some topics are

  1. Will power and self-control
  2. Patience the greatest virtue
  3. Initiative and how to do value addition
  4. Self-discipline
  5. Adaptability
  6. Personal Integrity

The interviewer will also find these ‘out of the box’ topics intriguing and interesting for discussion. We are separating wheat from chaff. These ideas will help you in your career too.

Remember you have to be different.

  • Organic learning

Reading books is learning the natural way whereas e-learning is synthetic learning. Reading writing are the basic cognitive skills and human brain has a way of absorbing and retaining information, data and knowledge.

Reading and writing is an Organic learning methodology.

         Some compelling reasons why books are better than a video, e learning.

Books are meant to be read in short spurts, you can put it down while you get a snack and think about what you just read, picked up again, re-read and so on. That is why you have book marks and no ‘video marks’ per say. You have to think about, and interact and imagine with the material. Video is just a one way street where you are rushing in a high speed car that is meant to be digested and swallowed quickly without much time to think critically, reflect on, or process.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”

                                                                                                                                     Richard Steele

Sometimes during exams or interview, we know the answer but are unable to put it across appropriately, we cannot get the right word. Everything is in our head, yet can’t get the perfect expression to explain our point. Mark Twain said “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. It is the difference between the lightening bug and the lightening

  • View of Recruiters

This concept has been ratified by some very seasoned recruiters and hence are relevant for building your content for interviews.

God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them for you – Franz Kafka

Virender Kapoor
Virender Kapoor
Virender is an Indian who wears many hats. An educationist of repute, Masters in Computer Science from IIT Bombay, he also holds an MA in International relations. He was the Director of a prestigious management Institute under the Symbiosis umbrella. He has emerged as a leading think tank in human behavior, motivation and success. As a celebrity author, his name appears with the likes of Thomas Friedman and Dale Carnegie. His books are now available in eight regional and foreign languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati ,Telegu , Malayalam , Tamil, Punjabi and Vietnamese He has authored more than 36 books as of now which are on Amazon worldwide and several of his books are in the pipeline.


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