A tale of two training events in the last seven days!!
On Monday I had the opportunity to address about 40 odd young Chartered Accountants
(some still awaiting their results after their exacting examinations)..and set their expectations about Career Planning. It was a wonderful mix- about a third being ladies, sprinkled with some who have had a rural upbringing..and some from the traditional trading community.
As a professional who has had an extensive ringside view of the way businesses have evolved in India in the past three decades, the changing demands of skills-thanks to globalisation, technology and yes, increasing aspirations, I was cautioned by many to set the right expectations.
Armed with a bunch of slides, I landed up there -hoping to share with the youngsters-a template-with a possible range of options..across Finance/Accounts/Audit/Taxation/Risk/...that could be on stake with different kinds of employers..( MNC, Indian Business houses, Global firms..)-and most importantly-the kind of skill sets required for each of those combinations, technical & soft-essentially trying to focus on how a day's life would be for a Chartered Accountant- in the short, medium and long term.
But what unfolded -was a revelation! Here are some of the takeaways for me :
- More than half were keen on pursuing a career in practice. And what struck me was the keenness of the first generation aspirants ( you know..those who weren't lucky to have their family members as practising Chartered Accountants and hence had a legacy of customers to inherit )-to know about the ways to leverage on networking-to get those first clients!!
- While the popular domain seemed to be variants of taxation and then audit, it was enlightening to me to hear a couple mention Private Equity and managing a fund. Some shared their vision of giving back to society-and perhaps creating an ecosystem for improving the agricultural community.One was sure he would be a teacher and create a much greater impact on the generations to come.
- Not one actually asked me about the lure of 'campus placements'. ( Yes, it was eye-opening as most MBA freshers I have been meeting in the past few years..were planning their career 'outside in.." meaning ended up doing their specialisations based on the possible popular employers visiting their institute!!)
To me..this in itself was the single most important learning...the belief of a professional. At times I wonder..the best in the established professions -say medicine, law,..never seem to hanker after a 'corporate job' at the end of the course..instead backing their own instincts and creating equity for themselves!!
Turbo Charge Your Career workshop: (see Part Two).