‘Get a good degree, get a job in a government organisation, the government itself or in a psu bank.’

Universally brilliant advise to all girls from mothers.

Alas, no longer accurate or correct.

Thanks to my friends, colleagues, family…I do not know too many people in the government, psus, etc. I know only 4-5 with whom I can talk and get a feedback.

The learning is quite stunning.

State bank of India sells life insurance or mutual funds as aggressively as any private sector bank. This may or may not be true for other banks, but I guess it must be true for the others.

IDBI bank branches – I know personally about Nariman Point branch – you can see employees till 9 p.m. Not sure if non commercial (i mean residential) branches work so late, but I guess they do.

In the Central Government service there is a embargo on recruitment and they do lose a lot of people to normal retirement. The smarter men and women have been promoted as officers – and have tremendous work load. The practical women who had to balance a home and work choose to remain as clerks – you get a lot of leave and there is less pressure (that is what they thought like all of us).

However since these women are smart (well if your kid is in Carnegie Mellon, IIT, IIM, Maryland University these women CANNOT by definition be dumb) (one of these women I know is a state ranker in her state board exams)…ALL THE WORK COMES TO THEM. They sometimes get bosses who know 1/100th of what these women know…so all the burden is on these smart women!

Not surprisingly all the people I know are women – and NONE of them need the job financially speaking. However it has become a part of their lives, they like the people around them, they like meeting people (what else can explain the logic for a woman to work in a bank – SHE knows her husband’s net-worth is in excess of Rs. 12 crores, son has finished IIM, daughter is married, and husband is a director in a very big company). She tells me ‘I love meeting 40-50 people daily..I will die if I do not go to the branch’.

So if you are taking a job in a government organisation because you think life will be simple, YOU AND YOUR PARENTS ARE WRONG, COMPLETELY WRONG.

30 years from now when you are peaking in your career:

– so many psu banks may not exist (merging banks will not be an issue after 5 years – SBI has already started the process have they not?)

– many psu organisations will just be allowed to decay and die – Scooters India, National Textiles Corporation, etc. could be the earliest.

– if you work for 10 years in a psu organisation, you may not be ‘hot’ for a private sector company to touch you – making you untouchable. At 32 what will you do for a career?

So largely my advise to kids and their parents is:

– None of us know how the future is going to look like. So advising is not just risky, but utterly foolish.

– kids have to study well and do well in academics (hope you have seen ‘3 idiots’) but like what you are doing

– kids have to be able to handle multiple jobs – public speaking, dramatics, debates are MORE USEFUL than a degree with zero capacity to communicate 🙂

– by the time a person is 40 – on an average he/she would have seen 4-5 jobs if not 2-3 industries.

– the connection between the education you get and the  job that you do will be NIL, but we will connect the dots AFTER the event is over and BELIEVE there is a fantastic connection. Like my CA friends who are in systems, taxation, audit, accounting, operations, portfolio management, operations, selling real estate, banking, teaching, investment banking, merchant banking, fund management – and all of us believe our basic education helped us.

Hmmm LOL.

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  1. ‘Be Hungry, Be Foolish’- as well as ‘Connecting the Dots’ are names of books by Rashmi Bansal…and she has said that she has taken these phrases from Steve Jobs’s speech…and i have used it in the same context in which SJ used it !

  2. Subra,

    I too know such a lady. IIT Khargpur, Smart and overloaded with work in a PSU!Since she is smart,sincere and meets her deadlines, all the work comes to her!!!!!

  3. Isn’t a contradiction there? Women who choose to be clerk for less work-pressure are said to be having high work-load. Then why didn’t they decide to go up the corporate ladder? because, anyway they are the only ones who have to do all the work.

    mentioning the paragraph which states the contradiction :
    The practical women who had to balance a home and work choose to remain as clerks – you get a lot of leave and there is less pressure (that is what they thought like all of us).
    However since these women are smart (well if your kid is in Carnegie Mellon, IIT, IIM, Maryland University these women CANNOT by definition be dumb) (one of these women I know is a state ranker in her state board exams)…ALL THE WORK COMES TO THEM. They sometimes get bosses who know 1/100th of what these women know…so all the burden is on these smart women!

  4. some counter intuitive thoughts …
    if you want to learn in the early stages and not be fired for your mistakes a good bet could be PSUs…the original big bull?
    any good education .. good being defined by the quality of the guru along with the course itself.
    good academics is a percentage shot- it aids anti-selection. how ever dont lose common sense in the process!
    finally more than ownership, the market savvy of the organisation is what needs to be checked SBi and NTC are two ends of the spectrum.How about Reliance and Orkay? or NOCIL

  5. I know of two kids (one IIT Madras and another NIIT Trichy ) who wanted to join PSU’s (BHEL,NTPC) earn fat slaries spend two years,use the time to prepare for IMM’s (The fat slary for the fees) and move on.PSU’s pay a lot these days and the workload for freshers is less.Kids are a lot smarter these days

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