We have a reader question by Ram
I am a 23 year old guy. I got a job after my B.Tech, did that for 1 year, and left it due to family conditions. I am at home for last 1 year. I want to do another job again and trying for it.
Please throw some light on how do I start earning by myself and how to manage that, how do I focus on my professional growth, if possible please sight some good resources to start with, Thank you.
You should first define the term – professional growth.
What is professional growth? Is it
- Working on a job for years because it pays money.
- Working on a job because you love doing it.
- Working on something because you want to do it.
- Working on something because everyone else around you is doing something or the other and you think you also need to do something (without knowing why you should do it)
Many people actually don’t know what “professional growth” looks like. Which is why we see so many people complaining about their jobs, their career, life and are dissatisfied with whatever they are doing. This dissatisfaction or confusion is born when the subject is unaware, is mostly looking for clues and wants to know what is the right path.
You are 23. It is a tender age. The world is your oyster.
Here are a few things you should know
— Not everyone around you is happy and successful, even though it may look like they are happy and successful in life. You can think that your other friend is living a great life, has a job and is “successful” but it is possible that he is living inside a temporary illusion. That illusion will soon be over and he will come to his reality in some time. It is possible that your friend whom you consider successful does not consider himself or his job worthy enough and is desperately looking for an exit.
— The definition of professional growth will change as you walk the path. The same man who was excited on having his first job and first salary will not be excited in his 5th job anymore.
Different people have different ways of defining what is professional growth. It is perfectly all right to define something in your terms. Some define growth with a paycheque, others define with “Likability” and some define with “Freedom”. It is a personal call.
Your personal definition of Growth
Some seek stability, certainty and predictability – Status Quo. To them, this is the measuring scale. With the preservation of Status quo, comes monotony and stagnation. Others seek change, revolution, transformation and disruption. To them, this is the measuring scale. With disruption, comes stress and excitement.
If you belong to the latter group, a promotion or increment may not Growth but adaptability. You are accepting the promotion and merely adapting to a context. A rise in salary is not growth but simply adjusting your lifestyle to the growing cost of livelihood and inflation. You might very well live in the illusion that you are growing but in reality, you are simply adapting to a change.
So you must know who you are, only then you can define what professional growth looks like to you. If you don’t know who you are, you will never find “professional growth”.
Hinduism has a “Varna” system which beautifully illustrates the segregation of individuals in society and organization, as per their thought process (which is indirectly an individual growth metric)
1. Shudra: First is the Shudra varna which signifies people who are unconditional followers. They form the basement of the pyramid and will do whatever is told. These are the hands and legs of an organization which provide necessary labor to the Vaishya and Khastriya varnas. (Freshmans, Analysts)
2. Vaishya: Second is the Vaishya varna who are conditional followers. They are in the interlude of decision making and service providers. This is the stomach of an organization which digests the food given and converts it into energy. (senior employees, skilled labor. the “Task Force” managers bank on)
3. Kshatriya: Third is the Kshatriya varna who are conditional leaders. They form the management, the one’s who lead, plan, improvise and ensure that the whole organizational goal is met. This is the heart of an organization which pumps blood to all corners of the body and circulate the energy produced by the vaishya varna. (Managers, Leadership, Presidents and Department Heads)
4. Brahmin – Fourth is the Brahmin varna who are unconditional leaders. This is the brain of an organization – the people who think, create, innovate and disrupt existing markets to create new ones.
(Entrepreneurs, Investors, shareholders, Board members, Founders and Troublemakers)
Each “Varna” has a different definition of Growth.
- The “Shudra” varna measures growth through increments, promotions and annual bonus – unconditional followers
- The “Vaishya” varna measures growth through intellectual development and nature/quality of work – conditional followers
- The Khastriya varna measures growth through its leadership and managerial lens – conditional leaders
- The Brahmin varna measures growth in its ability to disrupt an idea, create new ones, influence the market and change the world – unconditional leaders.
Please note that “Varna” is not related to what position you work for in an organization.
- You might be a senior manager in leadership but if your mindset is about simply following whatever is told, you are a “Shudra” by mindset.
- If you an Entrepreneur who is trying to create a business but all you care about is making money (and not the cause), you are a “Vaishya” by mindset.
- If you are a senior employee who trains a team and ensures everything is sorted, you are a “Kshatriya” by mindset.
- You might be a freshman who just entered his first job but so long your think about creation and disruption, you are a “Brahmin” by mindset.
What is your mindset (Varna)?
Regardless of what position you are, it is the mindset (Varna) that determines your personal definition of growth. This will directly impact your happiness and long term success.
So when you ask this question – how do I build my career or how do I grow in my profession, first identify your Varna. What is your Varna?
- Do you like working on the command of other people? If Yes, you are a Shudra, so it will be best if you take up a job and provide service to an organisation.
- Do you like working on a specific thing and want to develop that skillset further? If Yes, you are a Vaishya, so it will be best if you take up a job in a specific role and provide service to specific organizations in a specific context.
- Do you like managing people and want to become a leader or administrator? If Yes, you are a Khastriya, so it will be best if you can take responsibility of a team or division and lead it.
- Do you like creating and disrupting existing things? If Yes, you are a Brahmin, so it will be best if you become an Entrepreneur, observe fundamental problems and solve it for others.
Unless you are aware of your Varna, you will never understand what professional growth looks like. You will take up a job, do it for some time and eventually you will not like it. You will Quit, take up something else and this will continue so long you don’t know who you are and what your Varna is. You will keep hopping from one thing to another to another and will wonder why you aren’t growing.
It is very important to identify your Varna (mindset) first, only then you will know what is your right path. Once you have identified the right path, keep going that way.
You will eventually learn it as you walk the walk. Don’t be afraid to take the first step, the first step is usually the hardest. Identify the right path and put the first step in faith. Good luck!