After your academic excellence, soft skills are the next most important requirement since each day, every moment you are being observed
At this time of the year, students having completed their graduation and post-graduation are getting ready for joining the corporate world or getting any other job of their choice in accordance with their qualifications.
The academic part of their competency is tested through examinations as part of their selection process. Those having crossed the laid-down threshold would be getting ready for the next stage of the selection process—group discussions, interviews, etc.—for placements to grab what best is available. There is still a dearth of jobs in India.
This makes proper self-grooming very important, for youngsters have to face the world. Life is not always a bed of roses; there are ups and downs, but once you are ready to face challenges, you will do far better than others.
After your academic excellence, soft skills are the next most important requirement. You must be able to present yourself at all times, you can’t say that only when I go for an interview that I will shave, wear a tie, or dress up smartly.
You have to remember that each day, every moment you are being observed. It is not that you must have expensive clothes but one must be meticulously dressed up.
Communication skills are the next highest priority; it is the way you communicate with others. One doesn’t necessarily have to have very high-flown English but one must be grammatically correct. Easy-to-pronounce words will do the trick. For this, one has to practice and practice; if needed, stand in front of the mirror and speak to yourself; you will see a marked change in the way you communicate.
One must do a lot of reading, be it newspapers, books or even fiction. It’s the sure way to improve communication skills. Also try to talk to your friends and discuss the current national and international issues, so as to be more comfortable when interacting with others.
Before you go for the most important event called an interview, you must fully prepare yourself to face it. Sometimes there’s only one person who interviews you, or two persons. There can also be a board to consider your candidature. You must do adequate research and read everything about the prospective employer, company or organisation, and also, if possible, about those likely to be there for interviewing you. These days everything is available on Google and you must use it to your advantage.
It goes without saying that you must reach the interview destination well in time so that you can familiarise yourself with the surroundings. Ensure that there are no delays due to a traffic jam.
During the interview, never lie or offer answers you are not sure about. If you don’t know something say so; you are not Google that you ought to know each and everything. You can always try to lead them to your area of interest.
Keep a cool head. Be observant so that you don’t miss any important aspect of the question you have been asked.
Your biodata submitted to the recruiters will be the basis of your interview, so be very careful while filling up you’re the information about you. Know fully well about your home town, district, and state, and also about the places you stayed for long, your hobbies, your favourite sport and author, the last book you read, and so on.
There are some additional soft skills and traits you need to develop. Always treat others with the same respect as you expect from others.
There are many who have been very successful and have all the money, education, and luxuries of life. But there are still many others who may not be so privileged or successful; that, however, doesn’t mean that they need to be treated differently.
Respect the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated. In fact, help all those who are not so lucky and successful; you may be the trigger to be successful.
Be humble as you climb the ladder of success and do not forget those who in one way or the other helped you in your journey upward because you will meet them on your way down.
Learn to coexist: as you move along in life, you will get various opportunities to work with different people; never hesitate to partner with the underprivileged; be a team player; take everyone with you. As the legendary business tycoon Rattan Tata said, if you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together.
Hard work: it is the essence of life to survive and succeed in the corporate world or anywhere else. You must be a willing worker and always ready to take on additional work; only then can you prove that you are better than others.
This will always help you during your annual appraisal as well as prepare you for the next higher post. Further, you must be thorough in your work, no one likes mistakes repeatedly; it does not matter how small these mistakes are or how apologetic you are for making them. Zero error should be the goal.
Humility will always pay you rich dividends, so be humble. Never try to boast that you are better than others, let your boss decide that. Always maintain good interpersonal relations and be amicable. No one can take away your strong points and it will add value if you remain humble and amicable.
Always extend a helping hand to your peers if they are in a difficult situation. Don’t expect rewards every time you have done some good; rewards will find a way to come to you when due.
Time management is another important skill you need to develop. Try to manage your time well; always plan your work and proceed accordingly. There should be some time for unplanned work also, because your boss may ask you for something to be done which you haven’t planned.
There are only 24 hours in a day and it’s the same time available for everyone; it depends how you plan your day and that decides how effective you are.
Emotional stability and resilience should be your traits. In life, there are good days and bad days. Good days everyone likes; it’s the bad days, and how you deal with them, that will decide what kind of stuff you are made of. You have to face such times upfront. Don’t sweep the problems under the carpet, for the dirt will come out, and then it will be too late to get rid of. Such times are part of the learning curve; they will surely add to your experience.
Moreover, this experience will make you more adaptable in the changed environments.
Finally, remember what you want to be and then behave like that always, irrespective of where you are and what you are. Think like that and act like that.
(The author is Rear Admiral (Retd), AVSM, NM, VSM, and Group Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Amity University,