Let me start with a caveat. I am not a HR expert, but I have interacted with many people and asked them…’what really are you looking for a in a job’. I have got interesting answers…So let me enumerate..from my limited experience.

1. When a kid starts out on a job the expect a lot of encouragement: they have no clue what the corporate is expecting them to do. They are just told ‘do this’ or ‘do that’. Some of them can live with this..but many of them like to be told about the big picture, and their role in that.

2. A boss who is participating and encouraging: If I am the Sales Head of a company, I should have the guts and ability to go on a sales call to sell a product which I am confident of selling. I see sales heads who are not capable of closing a single deal – they have no conviction in a product. If I were made the sales head of a ‘ULIP’ team, I would cut a sorry figure. Once I do not have the conviction in a product, I have no moral right to lead a team. My team would hate me. Totally.

3. Some routine yes, but some challenge too: A job which is just routine quickly bores a person. However, there is a huge population which likes routine jobs – like operations, accounting, audit, etc. However a vast majority of the population wants some complexity, challenge, interpretation…in the job that they do. If there is no challenge, they can get bored easily.

4. A boss who will be a task master and a friendly guide: A boss should be capable of helping – or at least directing the team to the right resources for help. A boss who just pokes, makes fun but cannot teach or guide is soon seen as a pain. Kids are not worried about hard work, but lack of guidance scares them. They like to be guided and hand held – at the starting part of their career at least.

5. Some of the kids who think like businessmen maybe an exception, but most of the employees want to be compensated better than market. Some of the potential entrepreneurs like to substitute some learning, but they too need to be compensated as per market at least.

6. Clear lines of growth, clear Key Result Areas. Some kids will look at the larger picture, some kids will happily do what the boss says – if their compensation depends on what the boss says, so be it.

7. At the bottom and at the very top most people are worried about their actions being ethical and morally right. If it makes money for the company at the cost of the client, it disturbs a few…but generally they do not mind selling a Re. 1 product at Rs. 100. Some of them call it brand building. It surely has value.


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  1. Happy that some findings above resonate with me.Point no. 7 is directed at me I believe.
    I am working for a research firm (having a reasonably good reputation) and I know what (crap) we deliver to the client. And I feel very helpless as you have rightly pointed out ‘if it makes money for the company at the cost of the client, it disturbs a few’

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