Saturday, March 11, 2017

Learn to Earn -Wealth Talk

"Discipline decides Destiny". Unquote.
Last evening, I was fortunate to attend an Investment Education Seminar. About 200 of us in the room, were enthralled by some invaluable insights on Wealth Creation. The three speakers sensitised us to several home truths, any demystified myths that have been handed over through generations, that need review in the present context.
Some of the takeaways I had-
-Investments ought to be measured not merely by the 'interest' rate but by keeping an eye on the returns (that beats inflation and taxation).
-Wealth creation is distinct from financial planning, cash management and (goal based) investments, as often one is prone to be confused.
-And yes, it is best left to professionals who are in the best position to advise you based on the specific individual needs/ability, be it risk, returns on a short term or for a long term. Every year, there are several new products being launched that cater to different asset classes.
Several examples were shared. It didn't matter how little you earned -but it did matter how early one started. And how beneficial some instruments are, comparatively to others, helpful to stretch the 'delta' earning. There is indeed an opportunity cost-that is underlying in any investment decision, which often as individuals we get numbed to.
But what dawned on me- was that how most do not consider Careers as an essential option for wealth creation! It is just as much as a financial asset for most professionals, and while there are "wealth managers" or "private bankers" to help manage one's portfolio of investments, we do not come across as many "Career managers"!
More so, in the VUCA times that we are, where business models get obsolete overnight, large business groups become extinct, and yes, a large number of Fortune 100 companies are 'new age' businesses-less than 15yrs of existence, that perhaps are part of an ecosystem, where valuation and M&As drive business decisions.
The younger generation is more sensitive to 'work-life' balance, participate in more 'marathons' than perhaps the Baby Boomer generation. And I am sure as lifetime employment is passe, the onus of managing one's career is now very much in each individuals responsibility. There is room for more innovation in planning & managing one's career.
Job tenures are shorter. Skills in demand change fast. Salaries are no longer linear with the number of years of experience. Layoffs are increasingly common as one is likely to have over a dozen jobs in a lifetime.
Yes, we are in more control of our career, compared to most other financial assets we invest in. Seriously. Are we? Whose life is it anyway?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Candidate shortage to continue

#NPAWorldwide Global Placement update : Candidate shortage to continue!
Early signs are that hiring will remain solid in 2017. With the candidate shortage expected to continue for a number of years, recruiters can expect that salaries will grow. Candidates will entertain multiple offers. Recruiters will become more valuable as employers cannot find the right talent for their most critical roles.
  • Salaries below US $40,000 annually dropped by more than 60%. This mirrors what we are seeing and hearing from others as the talent pool continues to shrink.
  • At the same time, we experienced 125% growth in salaries between US $60,000 – $70,000 per year.
  • There was modest growth for salaries at the next two segments, $70K – $80K and $80K-$90K, and then another huge shift (125% increase) in salaries between $90K – $100K per year.
Any bells ringing? Wish to know more about global opportunities? Feel free to reach out on [email protected], or schedule a personal call with me. There is a possibility that a client overseas is looking for someone like YOU!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Learning how to pay it forward

I am inspired by a post I read that teaches people a great lesson about reaching out and making someone else’s day.
And when I was invited to share my experiences, courtesy Jobsforher mission, to reverse India's female brain drain and bring women BACK TO WORK, I was tempted to check with those in my network to chip in with some opinions related to
- the challenges that are most likely to come up, when a woman wishes to return to a career, after a break?
-and what needs to be done, to make the transition smooth?
Over the past couple of decades, I have been fortunate to have a ringside view of the 'changing expectations' from both sides..the hiring manager and the job aspirants- and must confess I am yet to figure out who is more anxious!
Amongst the crowdsourced thoughts I could collate, three were outstanding.
Radhika had a candid observation:"bias is a habit... it is an underlying belief. the only thing that stands between women successfully returning to a career is Bias! (The way forward)  has to be a top-down approach from the board. Senior women ( in age and position) bring to table a wealth of experience and wisdom, they are great team players and committed - and need a dedicated resource to run this initiative as a project."
Dr Susanta Misra shared his insights with a dedicated blog post, that the 'in-between career status' highlighted some of the advantages, and a checklist of 10 points..on what to do, and a handful of 'don'ts'. A #mustread for all of us whose career is a permanent beta.
Geetha, a voluntary Jobsforher ambassador, had a bunch of pointed questions that are often on the top of the mind for most aspirants, that she often is subject to.
1. How do I land a job - with such a long/short career gap?
2. Do I need to get trained in something? If yes, what and from where?
3. My gap seems to be projected more than my experience! How do I convince?
4. They say I am over experienced for a lower profile and prefer the ones without gaps for the one's I am perfectly eligible otherwise! How do I tackle this?
5. Does a change in CV land me the job I am looking for?
6. Are there options for volunteering? Do they pay? Should I take it up while I search for the right job?
7. Do internships (Paid / Unpaid) help? If they do, how?
8. Can I get an option to work from home? It gets tricky when they add, in the same field I have been working! 
9. Should I accept an offer where I have to join as a junior / get a lesser pay?
10. I have good experience in one field which does not offer the flexibility or want me to travel extensively for example. Can I look for a change of career instead of compromising on my priorities? 
11. Flexibility is a must. But does it come without compromising on the pay or role?
12. Should I take up freelancing? But will it help me in a career that I ultimately want to land?
It helps to understand that these aren't entirely gender-related too. More things have changed in the last 10 yrs..and faster than any 10yr period. Careers ladders are passe'. It resembles a Lattice now-with distributed work locations, virtual colleagues and different time zones.
Well, Seth Godin says "We're not pawns if we choose not to be."
I know I do not have the right answers. Do you
PS. Please share your thoughts, experiences and ideas on how we can make a better tomorrow!

Saturday, January 14, 2017


We are almost into the second fortnight of the year 2017. It is that time of the year where all across, one reads about different lists, and then, makes resolutions very diligently. Only to forget them -as the weeks turn into months!?

Thanks to the resolution of last year, I have been listening to podcasts, to trigger & maintain my morning walks, and help me get clued into the best thought leaders. Audible has been a godsend, as WhatsApp and Facebook had in the recent past cannibalised my reading habit.
I have just finished 2 hours of listening to Thomas Friedman's latest book -Thank you for Being Late, but it has forced me to pause and reflect. The book essentially reminds us that we are are living through one of the greatest inflexion points in history (perhaps after the printing press days!). And how the planet’s three largest forces - the advance of technology, globalisation and climate change are each driving the other – and how these accelerations are fundamentally reshaping the world.
The first chapter alludes to a chance interaction of the Author with an Ethiopian blogger, who works part-time as a parking attendant in NY..and it is simply mindboggling to realise that we are indeed in a time when 'more people could make history, record history, publicize history, and amplify history all at the same time.' Also how 2007 was an awesome year..that has turned the world upside down..changed the way we have been living since. ( Hint. Can you believe it..that the period saw the birth of iphone, Facebook and Twitter going global, Android and Kindle being release, Google bought Youtube, Airbnb and Skype emerged. IBMs Watson too! Uncanny, And to think we all lived through it and weren't conscious.)
My take away- is that trying to keep pace with the rate of acceleration, is simply futile & overwhelming. I ought to be getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. And focus instead, on my strengths, and my ability to forge deep relationships—to love, to care, to hope, to trust, and to build voluntary communities based on shared values!
As a strong believer of collaboration, I think this is my cue to chipping away a lot of things that I no longer add value to ( or which is being done by several others more efficiently and cheaper). 2017 will be a year where I will invest in working more closely with some of the 500+ partners of NPA, the global recruiting network, and orchestrate a network of recruiters across 40 countries.
I intend to coax my partners to share insights about the changing expectations of Employers and Employees in their country/domain of expertise, and help more professionals find global opportunities.
Here's wishing each one of you a more fulfilling year!

Monday, December 12, 2016

#futureofwork : Global mobility of talent

It is that part of the year, when most are taking stock of the larger picture, and strategising about the plans for 2017. As a member of an international recruiting network, with over 500 partners across 40 countries, I have been fortunate to be on multiple conference calls over the past week, across industries and continents & comparing notes.
The calls this week -to me- seem a vindication of a report by PwC, Talent Mobility: 2020 and beyond, forecasts that the number of people on global assignments will increase by 50 per cent by 2020.
The direction of mobility is changing, with emerging markets becoming important. There are generational differences when it comes to mobility,
- 71% of millennials wanting and expecting an overseas posting during their career.
-short-term assignments, often lasting a year or less, have become more popular; 20 % of assignments now last less than 12 months, compared with 10 % in 2002.
It is interesting to see the patterns changing. If the expat assignments of 2-5yrs stints were the norm in 1970-90, the period 1990-2010 saw the growth of offshoring & growing emerging markets perpetuating a lot of talent flow from the West to East.
Future View -2020?
Global mobility continues to grow in volume. Within the context of closely aligned international regulatory frameworks, the growth of cross-border acquisitions by sovereign wealth funds, lingering public investments in private business concerns, greater security cooperation between nations, and information technology that canidentify and connect talent in an instant, global mobility becomes part of the new normal.
Some of the scenarios that are increasingly emerging :
-Mobility of talent is fluid. For example, a Chinese company may engage a European team to manage an investment in Africa. Another US Major is setting up a theme park in China in 2019, and is looking for professionals who can join in Florida, & willing to beget deputed to Beijing for about 18 months!
-Western employers are losing their appeal. More skilled workers from emerging economies will return home to exploit their new-found skills in the lucrative domestic markets. Local workers with international experience are often far more attractive to domestic employers than foreign workers in the same market.
-Pressure of pay. Economies, living standards and compensation levels are beginning to harmonise across the globe. Some organisations have already adopted ‘destination pay’ and ‘local plus’ remuneration methodologies across many of their locations, allowing employees to be more quickly and easily deployed in a cost-effective way.
All these trends emphasise - a borderless workforce. If companies are to become nimble enough to respond to unexpected changes, they should see their workforce as essentially borderless. That could mean developing talent where the jobs are, relocating talent to the jobs, or moving jobs closer to sources of talent, within the constantly shifting constraints of international immigration law.
What does it mean for a hiring professional like me? I am privy to several exciting roles being shared by specialist partners -from different continents & it is becoming clearer the world would be a better place only if one were to collaborate. The jobs are becoming increasingly complex as the businesses evolve.
As an employee, it is time to change one's mindset. Constantly reinvent oneself to remain relevant in the changing times. Or even pick up cues from a millenial who is quick to share “I expect to travel and my career will be more about enjoying the experience than earning money.” 

The Future is not what it used be, right?

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Mentoring Women on a Career break

I was lucky to be drafted at the eleventh hour to be a Mentor -at an event, that was the Hyderabad leg in the launch of a pan-India Group Mentoring program for women who are looking to restart their careers after taking breaks for marriage/motherhood/elderly-career, etc.
I have known Neha Bagaria, the Founder of Jobsforher & been following their interesting initiatives over the past year and a half, and am glad the movement has been beginning to get lapped up by the industry. Some of their success stories are chronicled here!
Yesterday, they had some stalwarts of the corporate world -who were willing to share their experience and wisdom. Meenakshi DhingraSmita Nair JainSharada Rao and Tanay Kediyal, who was the only other male member in the venue.
There were about 15+ ladies who had made it convenient to participate, and I am sure they would have benefitted from the opportunity to get a 1-on-1 with the senior professionals and get some insights on the opportunities in the specific domain/company and some tips to find themselves closer to their dream job
Here are my thoughts:
-I loved the energies. All the mentees had the luxury of picking the Mentor they wanted, And in turn, as a Mentor shared " had a great time today as well and definitely want to help".
-It was ironical that almost all the ladies seemed low on confidence, almost at the end of their wits. And that despite being well qualified, had stints in the industry, in India and some even abroad, and post a sabbatical! It was admirable that they had shed their inhibition and made it to the event, keen to explore how they could catch the attention of those who mattered. The senior professionals from companies like Cognizant, Google, Sears, & Wells Fargo!
As a recruiter -I let each aspirant know, that just as anxious as they were, in finding a good break, a lot of hiring managers spend sleepless nights hoping to find a talented colleague too. And rather than being defensive about the tenure/break, they ought to be focussed on being able to connect to the right decision makers, showcase their strengths, and validate their interests with testimonials of being abreast with the latest.
I parrotted that
- it wasn't always the best who got the best jobs, but often the right person at the right time- emphasising the need to be found by those looking to fill in positions.
-By being visible on social media (completed Linkedin profiles, participating in online meet-ups / groups of interest), they would do well increasing their credibility with physical networking with industry.
-Perhaps they needed to get back into the groove, by taking on projects/roles, rather than waiting for the dream job on a platter the first time. Instead consider SMEs and Startups who value their impact, and not merely apply for large MNCs-that may have a lot of systems already in place..& may tend to be bureaucratic in appreciating the value one brings.
-And yes, by tailor making a resume/CV for the specific opportunity by highlighting their accomplishments for the role in question.
Takeaways for Corporate recruiters?
-Access to experienced & committed talent pool, hungry to make a difference
-Reflect on the quality of the candidature, and the 'years on the job'.
-Time to consider flexible options -interns, part time or virtual jobs for mature professionals than eager freshers who are'nt yet sure of what they wish to do.
-And yes, those who can join at short notice, with negligible notice period.
Shout to all those reading this, there are events -happening at the major cities in India, with some topnotch women professionals from leading corporates,(Whos Who?) willing to be at Gurgaon (Dec 1st).Mumbai (Dec 2nd), Pune (Dec3rd) and Bangalore (Dec 6th)
And for the rest, bookmark the events page- that have webinars, and offline meetings offering career counselling, resume writing, and among other things -entrepreneurship!
PS. I would not be doing justice if I didn't mention the hospitality of Fusion9 ( awesome snacks!) -being just round the corner, that perhaps was the trigger to make it at gunpoint notice. Do pick up the e-book " The Way Back to the Way forward- Restarter journeys"