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Transcending the Doldrums

I WROTE an article recently about the attrition in the BPO industry and my mailbox was snowed in by a storm of added woes and miseries. Not one of the mails said they were happy, only that they were being exploited shamefully.

Those I replied to asking about their salaries wrote back saying that work is not about salary, it was about satisfaction. The Slavonic career sleuth Giwdul von Tforcym decided to see what made people tick and what made them work. His recently released survey revealed that while modern careers scored right up there on financial rewards, it scored abysmally low when it came to their social and emotional aspirations. It also negatively influenced their creative capability and desires.

The only recourse they had, they felt, was to look for, rather than at greener pastures. And anywhere was preferable to where they were.Von Tforcym opines that the majority of those working at the lower levels of entry in companies - old or new economy - have the desire to move whenever ennui strikes them. While deploring the trend among the present generation of employees, he sees a rationale behind the tendency; it being `if I can't get it here, let me look for it elsewhere'.

He says he has a novel suggestion based on the very thing that makes them leave - the desire for the search (for their career Valhalla). He says people should look within themselves, and having done so, find a realisation of what they truly want and recognise that they are the way they are because that's the way they were conditioned. Sometimes, the educational path chosen for us by our parents or peers conditions us.

At other times we might be influenced by media inputs and what our mentors tell us. Yet again, role models influence many people. Often, totally unsuitable role models. Not that the objects of our aspiration are somehow wanting in some respect, but because their life is not our life and what is suitable for them is not suitable for us. Often we see our own parents draw an inspiring picture in their careers and in emulating that dream discover that for us their dream is a nightmare.

There are ways, he says, to zero in on what we can do so as not to trip ourselves up on the hurdles of our own creation.

Strike Out:It is important to make the first dynamic move of getting ourselves out of the rut we have fallen into. To be successful, we have to take that first step out of the box we have liven in for a while and think of other options with an open mind.

Getting from one job to another one doing the same thing is the easy option, but you'll like it just as little as you did at your last place. To have an interest in what you do, think of something else that you can do. To Thyself Be TruePolonius had it right when he told his son to be true to himself. Everybody will work best when they do things that they want to rather than force-fit themselves into a hole of another's making.

You have expertise, you have skill, and you have likes and dislikes. Try making use of those areas of expertise and skills that you like, and see how well you prosper. Go with what you would like to do rather than what someone else wants you to do. Many of us take a job because it covers half of what we need: financial security. The other half is satisfaction. Unfortunately, in the final instance our satisfaction is what keeps us doing what we do, not mere money. Eventually the strain of making compromises will tell on you if you put your own desires onto the back burner.

Auto-portraitureHaving discovered what you like doing best, you need to be able to market yourself effectively.

You should be able to project yourself as a person who has just the right qualifications for a company that does what you would love to be doing for the rest of your working life. You need to `tailor-make' yourself for everything you apply for, and if that is a place where you will like to be, the chances are that your enthusiasm will carry the day - for you - and for them.

Love YourselfMost unhappy people are so because they have very low self-esteem. Despite the title of this paragraph, the person you are must satisfy you. If you are not happy with yourself how on earth can you con a prospective employer into thinking that you are fantastic? By thinking that you aren't good enough, you end up not being good enough.

If you aren't good enough, where is the confidence you'll project? You won't. If you have the requisite expertise, if you have the necessary skills, step up to the line and get going, don't hang back and wait for the whole troop go by before you start. No one will give you a special handicap to begin the race without them, so please put yourself forward and give yourself a fair chance.

Foresight is FarsightedYou must have a clear goal that you want to achieve. You should want to get where you're going to, not get where you are because it's on the way! There should be a clear way to achieve what you have set out to achieve, and you can only achieve if you set it out first. Work backwards from your objective and beat a path back from it.

If you can map out a track from where you are to cloud nine, trust me, you'll get there in the end. If there is no map, you'll only get lost. Nothing Ventured Nothing GainedWhat is life without hurdles? A boring sequence of plain sailing that one can get tired of very quickly. One only appreciates something because it has been hardly won.

Getting things too easily makes one feel that it wasn't worth it. With strife comes satisfaction, with challenge comes achievement, far beyond what one thinks is possible. Success and satisfaction could mean sacrifice too so a little bit of that - without it amounting to a compromise will do the trick. Have an Action Plan To get somewhere you have to take an active step towards it. Just thinking how wonderful it will be will never get you on the fast track or on any track at all; it just keeps you where you are, dreaming away but not getting anywhere. If you want something - do something about it. After all not too many fruit fall from a tree when you want them, they only fall when they are overripe - and you don't want them any more.

Von Tforcym has the right idea, and from all reports there are people who have found success this way - who knows, if you adopt his strategy you'll end up doing what you know and loving every moment of it - always.

ABHIMANYU ACHARYA

abhi.hyd@cnkonline.com

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