Viciously honest. Sincerely veracious. And a bit acidic that may hurt your skin. Ready for the merciless avatar of Just Blogging guys? If not, don’t waste your time, as I always warn you in such cases. Go ahead, read something else to feel better.
Last week I ran into an unending argument with my uncle and my cousin over why ‘the early 20 somethings’ are an Absolute NO-NO for my brother’s post production company. My cousin is 23 and an exception. She is smart. Better read than our entire family of readers put together. Sometimes she makes me feel as if she has knowledge of almost everything and anything under the sun. All self-taught through her books and acquired through her voracious reading. But what makes me wonder is her keen sense of responsibility in little details that she says, communicates to others and does. This may sound a little too far-fetched but well, it’s got a point. Says she, “All my friends have smart phones yet they don’t have even the most subtle sense of timely communication. There is one friend of mine who would reply to my really urgent SMS in like 6 hours or so without any sense of explanation. So if I need help, and run out of balance and wish to communicate through SMS, she is the last person I want to message. On the other hand, another friend of mine judiciously uses message vouchers to communicate without taking much time. Her reply comes in less than a minute. If she is late in replying, she explains how she could not reply. She is a rare bread ofcourse. But my point is, if you are open to ‘SMS communication’, you gotta learn the etiquettes of it too.”
That gave me a good point against the ‘early 20-somethings’. However, mine was a more serious one. I argued that most people in this age live in a world of sheer recklessness. They don’t realize authority, hence fail to respect it. I usually look for signs when I approach a 21-year old without much experience to consider him/her for a job with our firm. My brother and I, in fact, have some classical ways and questions whose answers say it all. You wanna know that?
To begin with, we give a person a little assignment. For example, if he wants to work with us in script writing, I would typically give him a little writing or editing assignment. After that, all I do is observe things like:
Did he acknowledge my e-mail replying to me that he received the mail?
Did he ask questions about the assignment?
Did he ask too many questions about deadline?
Did he try to stretch the given deadline?
Did he meet the deadline?
Did he do a decent job with it?
Did he try the easy ‘copy-paste’ option instead of writing originally?
Did he do the necessary research?
Most people fail miserably in the first three questions only. So, I can’t be so wrong in concluding that this breed of people have no attention to details while making the first impression, let alone having a sense of responsibility. Worse, this is not the only issue with them. They also have a larger-than-life view of themselves.
I remember recommending a fresher for a certain job. This female acquaintance hadn’t done any job after she passed out of college. She had issues about work timings. So before I put in a good word about her, I wanted to really know how serious she was about working. Pat came a query right after my first question: “How much will they pay?”And so despite my recommendation that I did out of goodwill for her family, she couldn’t convince her employers over her sincerity. I wasn’t too surprised ofcourse.
I think I heard in one of our institute’s sessions that, “You are your walking CV”. That makes sense in more than one ways. First, it means you have the ability to prove what you wrote in your CV. Second, you can implement your claims made in the interview. What disappoints me, however, is that despite such practical suggestions, many students, just a day before their final interview, would invariably ask me: So what should I say in the interview to get the job?
It’s almost helplessly funny the way boys would typically react when I try to confront them with the ‘intentions’ of going ahead in their lives. I get extremely ‘filmy’ one-liners like ‘You know I never tell lies’; ‘Oh I am a very ethical person’; ‘I am sorry this happened but believe me I am not that kind of a person’. The trouble with all these claims is (especially when hurled at me), they are downright clichéd and nobody really believes them. I mean seriously, what were you thinking?
And if this hasn’t hurt your (both boys and girls) ego yet, this MUST. Who do you think you are? Yes you have the talent and the genius, but can you work in a team? Great that you have got skills, are they worth testing in a practical situation? Kudos to your communication skill, can you manage a crisis purely on that? Are you a responsible person on who an organization can bank on? Can you do a tiny insignificant job as honestly as a big task?
Little things matter. Attention to details is precious. Being on time is golden. Do you get it? Acknowledging a mail is a sign of responsibility. Admitting your fault shows accountability. Showing enthusiasm and asking questions displays sincerity. Try failing these and see what first impression you are making. I have an opinion about all you ‘Early 20-somethings’. Dare change it?