10 Occasions When You should Quit


Having said earlier why you should not quit, there are certain times when you need to change your job.

They are as follows:

  1. You cannot adjust with your boss and vice versa. Both of you have tried and failed
  2. You are suffering from stress – headaches, sleeplessness, anger, anxiety and depression. You have undergone counselling and realised that this problem is not about you
  3. The culture is chaotic, verbally abusive, hostile, disrespectful and demeaning and you cannot handle it
  4. Your work is constantly criticised or ignored and no one is willing to give feedback or mentor you
  5. You have been layered – some one else has been brought in between you and your boss
  6. You have been overlooked for important meetings, task forces and initiatives
  7. Your company is about to be acquired or merged or your company is in trouble
  8. Your boss has been fired and you are known to be closed associated with your boss
  9. A new CEO has been hired and he has started bringing his own team and the effect is percolating downwards
  10. You do not feel like coming to office on Monday AND you look forward to the weekend

It is very important that you seek counselling before you act precipitately. Sometimes, the problem is you, but your defence mechanisms do not allow you to accept it. If the problem is you, then you will face the same problems elsewhere. If you have been changing jobs too often, you may want to examine your own beliefs and whether you blame others – boss, family, organisation, society, even God for your problems.

Remember that your CV does not invoke trust if you have not stayed in any organisation for more than 3 years.

The Future of Careers


In our parents’ time, joining the public sector ensured job security and perpetual employment (till retirement). Most of our parent’s generation stuck to one company throughout their working life. The economy was stable and upheavals were rare and contained.

During my time, multinational firms were the rage and we would stick with a company for a minimum of 3 years, and changed jobs maybe 6-10 times in a career spanning 40 years.  During the mid life crisis, we would contemplate an alternate career maybe in the social sector or the entrepreneur bug would bite us. The economic upheavals were more frequent, and the impact could create job deficits and layoffs. However, most organisations still believed in 3-5 year plans. We could also sense the trends and change our profile accordingly to remain employed

In the next generation of employees, the economic upheavals will be more frequent and the impact on the jobs would be more severe.

  1. Organisations cannot come up with a strategy beyond a year, as the trend cannot be predicted, due to disruptions of technology and the economy as well as ‘black swans’
  2. Companies will therefore start projects in marketing, sales and production and then shut them down if the expected results do not come through or if there is a cash crunch
  3. Companies will outsource most of the humdrum activities like payroll, administration, even some aspects of sales and production, if these activities do not have any competitive advantage or are commoditised with no value-add
  4. There will be more inorganic growth by mergers and acquisitions
  5. Companies need to have flexibility in size and operations. This means that the workforce will always have a mix of permanent employees and consultants

We will therefore sometimes be unemployed and sometimes work as a consultant. Reality is that no company can guarantee permanent employment nor are they compelled to. If the market is down and the supply of MBAs is large, we have to accept what is given, else our pride will keep us unemployed.

This creates psychological issues, as our beliefs are governed by our parents’ beliefs – that permanent employment is good. There is a stigma attached to temporary jobs or being a consultant.

We have to accept that we may not get permanent employment. Acceptance is important and allows us to move on.

We should therefore:

  • Invest in government backed investments like Public Provident Fund for long term capital creation
  • Create and keep a stash equal to one year’s salary as an emergency fund
  •  In our CV, focus on what we know, learnt and achieved, not what designations we held
  • Be ready to change jobs and locations, leaving the family behind
  • Invest in skills that can provide additional employment including transferable skills
  • Create and use skills that can keep you self-employed (be it music, teaching or something…) and keep the home fires burning, children’s education taken care of
  • Be mentally prepared to move sideways, not necessarily upwards
  • Build and maintain your network

20 questions to ask a recruiter (or friends in the target company)


Pay and reward

  1. How will my performance be measured?
  2. How will my targets be set? And how much say will I have in setting them?
  3. Who are the key decision-makers that I will need to get along with? And how would you describe each of them?
  4. How regularly will my pay be reviewed? And when will be my first review?
  5. How much of my bonus is guaranteed? And how much of it is dependent on performance?

Doing the job

  1. Be honest with me, what do you really think of the members of the team that I would be running or working with?
  2. What do you see as the immediate challenges for me if I were to be given the job?
  3. When was the last company restructuring? And how did it affect this department?
  4. How is the organization performing? What do staff and shareholders think of the company’s performance?
  5. Are there any big changes or restructuring planned for the near future?
  6. So what exactly happened to the previous job holder?


  1. How would you describe the culture of the organization?
  2. What is the best thing about working for this organization?
  3. I promise that I won’t mention it to anyone, but just between you and me, what frustrates you most about working here?
  4. Would you describe this as a political organization? And if so, why?
  5. How much inter-departmental rivalry is there in the company?
  6. How much do people socialize together outside of work? What was the last social event that you went to?

The future

  1. What training and development is given to employees?
  2. What opportunities are there for promotion?
  3. Could you tell me about the sorts of people who have failed here? What was it they did or didn’t do that made them unsuccessful?
The above has been extracted from “The Ultimate Career Success Workbook” by Rob Yeung

Can you sell yourself to a recruiter?


The interview is the place where your buyer and you, the seller, meet. A bad salesperson is one who harps about the features of the product, a mediocre salesperson will talk about the advantages of the product and a good salesperson will talk about the benefits of the product to the customer.

What is the process of coming up with the best sales pitch?

This document has a list of questions, which if answered, will help you create the sales pitch about yourself. Remember, however, that the pitch changes with each customer, and trying to use the same pitch on all customers is counterproductive. Do not try to sell yourself in the same way to all companies.

The downturn in the economy


http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/84/mba.html suggests what to do if you do not get a job.


How do I get a job in these troubled times?


These are bad times. Demand for MBAs is less than supply so salaries are going south. All MBAs are not created equal, some are more equal than others – some MBAs will get better jobs by virtue of their work experience, their college reputation and the location of the college.

Job portals are out. Every one has his resume out there and are competing for the same jobs. I need to do something different.
I have a target list of companies that I want to join based on my chosen career path. What should I do? I need to categorise these companies as A, B and C based on an arbitrary ranking of desirability. A-type companies have a brand and most MBAs will flock there. These companies will be choosy and I do not have a chance. B-category companies are the ones I need to target and I will use the C category companies to hone my skills.
I need to do my research on these B-category companies. Basic stuff like company financials, market share, positioning strategy, pricing, competition and organisation culture.
In these times, the order of the day is to increase sales and decrease costs. How do I use this to get a job? Simple: offer them customers / sales and offer them a variable component of salary based on performance indicators.
For example, I want to be a financial analyst. Given the markets right now, the glamorous and cushy jobs are not there any more. So what can I do? I can go to a company that wants to expand its customer base rapidly (say Reliance Money) and make a proposition to them – I will get them 5 new customers a month or increase their Assets Under Management by 1 lakh each month and I will take 75% of my salary as fixed and 25% as variable based on pre-defined targets.
Where do I get the customers? In these times, everyone wants someone to trust with their money. Would my relatives trust me with Rs. 10,000 a month? After all I am a relative – hence a known person, specialising in financial management and Rs 10,000 will not kill them. 5 relatives a month can get me half way to my target and the next month I would achieve my target! I would be doing the same stuff as a Financial Analyst, giving reports to my clients, gaining experience, creating a loyal client base and when I get a job in an A category company, I move with my clients. If I am doing a good job, the word-of-mouth will get me more clients. One existing client can refer at least one more person and I could have a multplier in operation. If I am not doing a good job, then I know this is not my career.
I know that it feels queasy to talk about sales when I am specialising in finance. But reality is that we are selling/promoting ourselves each day of our life. We just did not stake our careers on selling.