You must have come across many blog posts taking the readers to a trip down memory lane, narrating some kind of a personal experience, a memory, or a feeling related to past endeavor. Well let’s try something new this time. How about a flash to the future, imagining months and years ahead and figuring out what’s going to be in-store

Taking that you got placed in a reputed MnC, with a package you would more than settle for, you complete the rest of your MBA all cock-a-hoop, spending the time in anticipation of the joining day.

Moving forward, It’s the day of joining, you are all dressed up in corporate formals, bursting with nervous energy and excitement you go through the first day of induction.  You swish pass the training, which you are well accustomed to (thanks to the MBA course ) and get allocated to a nice project, having a team of around 25-30 people with a smooth Europe or US client.

Now I know all this sounds very hunky-dory, but here comes the catch. Imagine, along with you 15 of your batch-mates have also landed jobs in the same MnC, have surfed passed the training phase just like you have, and 7 of them got allocated to the same project.  Still quite cool to be among college-time friends, sharing lunch and tea time chats and having fun after hours .. but what happens when all 7 of you realize that there’s an ‘onsite’ opportunity only for three, two of them for a technical requirement and only one for a techno-managerial consultant like you. Or, come appraisal time the HR manager would only be able to accommodate 2 of you in the ‘A’ Grade, and will be considering for promotion.
‘Worrying times’ don’t you think?, Well as they say  “there are only 2 answers to a question, the easy one and the right one” The easy answer would be “that’s something so farfetched, why clutter our minds by thinking so far ahead of ourselves,  why not just be in the present and take life as it comes”,  Or; The right answer, to anticipate and analyze the situation from now onwards, think on the lines of differentiating yourselves from now only, be it among the 200 of your batch-mates for landing the job offer in the first place or among the 6 (presumably) in the same project in the same company.

Now, What’s it going to be that’s going to set you apart from the herd, the CGPA you secured in the MBA?, the past academic grades?, the number of certifications you have? or the number of years of previous work experience? Well, in my opinion, in the competitive scenario of today’s corporate world, none of these things really matter .. What really matters is the knowledge a person possesses and the skills he or she has to apply / showcase that knowledge. The earlier you realize this, the better are your chances at being the chosen one, because sooner you would start working towards developing that elusive ‘Differentiating Factor”

Well, developing and honing the required skills in itself is a vast topic, so let’s keep that for another time and see how knowledge can be built up to be secernating. The key to that is really quite simple; just by having a curious mindset of wanting to know something about everything, Anything and everything you come across in your day-to-day life, you just need to take some extra efforts to know something extra, something lasting, about the subject, Just keeping an open and receptive mind and developing a habit of reading all kinds of stuff with the intention of building up the knowledge database in your mind. And soon you will come across something you would want to know everything about, if not already that’s ‘something’ is going to be your area of expertise.
If you  have a likable personality, decent communication skills and are diligent in the process of acquiring knowledge, then surely there would be people around you noticing your efforts, in your organization by your managers, or in your college by your mentors and recruiters, you will be perceived as someone who knows everything about everything. And that is your ‘Differentiating Factor” right there !!

Anurag Verma

MBA-ITBM SCIT (2011-13)

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