WE HEAR of the new-age mantra of competency mapping by virtually every major company and how they use these `maps' to develop their people into high-revenue generators. Wow! Great. So, how does one become competent? How does one become invaluable to one's organisation? What can students do to become employable and what can they do to become more employable? Well, since loads of people take the trouble to ask me every week, they could try doing the following so that they can be right up there in the front line of the job stakes.
Try for an internship programme in your vicinity that has something to do with the area where you would like to be employed. The closer it is to your field of study, the likelier your competency will be honed
Always take advantage of the long vacations to work. Do not be beguiled by newspapers that encourage you to `chill out'. Remember that the summer is the time most companies are shorthanded and need willing workers who are there for the experience, and if you do not cost them anything, they'll give you the experience that will indicate your competence
Make sure you choose subjects that add to your skills and lead to your career objectives
Be ready to do the most thankless jobs in a good organisation because it is easy to get since no regular employee would like to do it even if it has to be done
Find out about the way offices work and what people with designations are supposed to be doing, When you finally get a regular job you'll know what to expect
If your college or school offers an exchange programme for a semester or even a few weeks, take it, because it will indicate your ability to adapt and be flexible Never avoid taking on a student leader opportunity. Even handling a college event is viewed very favourably by companies that hire
Never avoid opportunities to speak in public or in front of a selected audience because it teaches you how to project yourself optimally, something that is invaluable to hiring companies
Help fellow students in subjects where they are weak - this gives people the idea that you are the kind that likes developing and helping team mates
Join professional societies that add to your skills and abilities in your subject of specialisation. It will help you network effectively
Find yourself an industry mentor to go to for advice in your chosen field. He will make an excellent reference
It's all about showing your interviewer and your future boss how competent you are and how effective you will be as a fresh recruit.
If you learn the ropes within a week after joining, whom do you think the credit goes to? Your boss. And he'll love it. And you.
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