f new/recent graduates in my roster of clients. Why? The obvious reasons, I suppose. But I think the problem is bigger than just the experience "deficit." Here's an example:
I had a new college graduate in Chemical Engineering who contacted me for job assistance. He tried everything he could and got no response. He's on linkedin. He applied to jobs. etc. etc. Given the fact that the news says we have a shortage of engineers, why in the world was he having problems? He was an honor grad. (Got an 'A" in Organic Chemistry, for heavens sake!) So, I took him on as a customer.
First off, his resume was poorly written from UCLA's placement office. (You can tell them I said so!) From what I can tell most college placement offices are "recruiting dinosaurs." They have no concept about market targeting. I quickly updated his resume with what I call a knowledge-weighting approach, which I describe in my upcoming book, How To Solve Long-Term Unemployment in An Online World. After that he got a few inquiries. Nothing from linkedin. But I got him an interview at Siemens Energy Services in Houston. He was put in a room with 35 Chem Eng graduates -- some on their 4th interview -- and it was brutal for him. Nothing came of that. He received a few other interviews but nothing came of them. I urged him to call HR and ask why. (It does work. the squeaky wheel (or job seeker) goes get the grease!) The reason why is for Chem Engineering jobs, primarily in risk management, employers need not only the degree but a deep knowledge of OSHA safety regulations. He had a brief course on it but not to the level the employers wanted. Then I bugged him to network. I asked him to find out how his fellow graduates were getting Chem Engineer jobs. Internships, of course. Employers in this sector at least were using these as temp to hire jobs. And these employers would not hire anyone who had not working in a manufacturing environment. He did not. He did his internship in a clean office in the aeronautics industry. Ultimately, he found a job as a formulation chemist and then went back to grad school. He's doing an assistantship at IBM. So, can we say that an internship was the problem. Partly. But, really the problem is employers have changed. When I was in engineering decades ago, employers would have fought over a guy like this. Now? Online recruitment can source a lot of talent (including H1bs) who are ready fits for jobs and essentially squeeze out new engineers who are still learning what it is to be an engineer. I don't think there is any simple list of buzzwords or canned solutions for this problem.
and twenty miles on the ground. He was from a neighboring city of my hometown, on a plane visiting a friend that had moved far away. And I could tell he was smart with a bright future ahead.
No matter how hard I try to live in my own little world or just privately read my favorite magazine while on a flight, it is usually impossible for me. My cat-killing curiosity and the potential intrigue typically help me pass the time and make new friends. But I tried to play this one off, not wanting to be the boring but nosey adult. He wanted to purchase a headset but not holding a credit card precluded him from doing so, I purchased a set for him. The flight attendant, however, seeing my Good Samaritan effort wiped it away stating she had removed the charge. He thanked me and proceeded to cruise through the on-board TV options that were avaialble. I wonder, do I still get points for that one?
He revealed bits and pieces about himself as my recruiter fangs came out and, effortlessly, the unobtrusive questions flowed. He had already published two books with a third on the way. The color green doesn't look good on me, so I broushed it off. Having written 200,000 plus words over the last three years has yet to produce the book or play that very comfortable resides in my brain.. I think I fear that my love of this sport will recede if a hard cover is applied.
He attended a magnet high school reserved for the mathematically or scientifically-gifted student, but he had been offered a scholarship in his specialty English, most often dreaded by high school boys. Not Jordan. Jordan was a human after his own heart I admired his spunk, I relished his teenage zest anfd I yearned to ask more questions but our flight was a short one and too soon, he was off, claiming, "This airport is huge." I wished him well and he was gone..
How often do we see ourselves in others? How often to we have a chance to revel in the unjaded joy of a future ready to burst? Every encounter should change who we are. Each individual that we come in contact with, that shares themselves, that drops the curtain, that takes down a brick in their wall, that shows a vulnerability, that finds space in our heads or in our hearts has the potential to conquer another level in this thing we call life. The change should be good, change by its very nature "alters," if it doesn't, well then, change didn't really happen and mere "advantage" was taken. Taking without absorption may suit some,don't let it suit you. The inner sponge is thirsty, let it soak up what is before you and then squeeze it out - use it to wipe clean the baggage that follows you, that follows me. Baggage is what makes us who we are, claim it.
Indian professional's psyche. We are not developed to be proactive, and establish ground rules wherein the misunderstood and misspoken words are righted from the wrong.
In Indian culture, the ability to asborb a recent mistake and then go on to address it is nearly asbent. Also, in a conversation, generally being an avid and insterested listener who then solves a problem is inherently absent especially in the new India where TV radio and media hype the aggressive and inveterate as more dynamic rather than the attentive and the assertive type. Taking the heat and then getting back is not especially well trained in a culture that is opaque on listening..
The mindset is largely fixed and stereotypes rapidly form which don't dissolve as quickly even when things get better. This is again a byproduct of a largely fatalistic outlook, though there has been more helpful changes recently
So, if a call, for example veers of course as in John's case it is likely that there is a endemic effect on that person atleast for some time . I only hope that this call center rep. did not carry on the negative mental filter to the later calls.
As in China so in India: When foreign clients squeeze every penny out from their vendor, there is a direct quality reduction in goods and services. Though I have had many experiences with Indian call centers, I have also noticed that spotty customer service is sporadic and in recent times there has been too many providers trying to outbeat competition soley on costs and then think they can ramp the service. It doesn't work like that in this thankless industry as employee turnover is ridiculously high even in established firms and the good ones move on quickly. So what we get is what is there ( a minor play on on Rumsfeld's advice with his cold tongue to our troops in Iraq)
Also, the Indian professional class is highly stratified with an overeager tendency to put down lower rung people on the corporate ladder. This in many ways accentuates the problem for the folks who are handling the calls.
In India, there is a constant need to prove ourselves especially in the eyes of our supervisor and among peers for who and what we are and where we are going upwardly mobile, to.
Though many a call center person really are the first time earners of decent salary in their family tree and are helping their respective families to climbup economically, they are also constantly shortchanging themselves trying to prove their social worth by frittering in wantonly avoidable ways. Sometimes 20-30 % of their salaries go on parties and expenses that they know they don't like but end up doing because of peer social pressures.
So, John, in your India trip if it is possible try to connect and spent time over coffeee with a real customer service guy that you can pick to choose and try to understand his or her family background and his or her aspirations directly as there is a helluva lot management prescreening and preselection that is largely unhelpful for the curious and real observer. if you get successful to engage one on one with your pick, then you can in your own ways unravel the cultural and social changes that are useful pointers
All the best