Friday, March 1, 2013

Life after Graduation: Expecting the Unexpected - Part 4

This is the final post in this 4-part series. I suggest that you start from Part 1 and read through Part 2 and Part 3 before reading this post.

Two Dimensions: Platform and Purpose
Many of you are going to graduate in couple of months. Among all youngsters in our country you are privileged. I said this when I visited this city in August 2012 and presented statistics to demonstrate how gifted you are.  This presentation is available at

Your parents have done all they can do to give you this platform. You are at a high platform. From here where do you want to go? What is your purpose?

When you get a job, gain experience, and create wealth, you are going to strengthen or expand this platform. Life is not about building a grand platform alone. You have to have a purpose. Your purpose cannot be about enriching your platform.

Subroto Bagchi says, 

Your platform is truly a critical part of your existence. But there is something beyond it as well.

It is your purpose.

As we start our life and, sometimes, well into it, many of us get so preoccupied with building the platform, that we forget that it is not what makes us complete. A platform, as the meaning of the word suggests, is just a springboard. It is a surface on which you stand to go someplace. Your platform, like a railway platform, is a place from where you need to go someplace. That someplace will be determined by your purpose.

Your platform is not your purpose”.

How do you identify your purpose? Think! What are you passionate about? What do you want to be? How do you want to contribute to your community of professionals? How do you want to positively impact your country or world at large?

It is not enough to identify what you are passionate about. You need to validate. If you are passionate about playing guitar, don’t stop. Try and learn guitar. When you do this, two things can happen. With regular learning and practice, you may start playing on stage in couple of years from now. You may become part of a band that performs for great causes. Or with multiple attempts to play and unbearable pain in your fingertips, you may decide that it is not your cup of tea and move on. Why not?

Hanging onto what you want to do but not doing it does not make sense. When you say, “If I had …. I would have…” after you become 50, won’t you feel unfulfilled?

Are you creative? Are you unique? Think! As I said earlier, being aware of the present is going to provide you enough clarity. With this clarity, you will be able to identify your purpose. It may take several years to reach the destination. Start now. Don’t give up!

How many of you want to become IT managers? Do you think the job of IT managers is fashionable? What do you think are the challenges in the job of IT managers these days? Let us watch this video!

Also, download and read the free PDF that contains Subroto Bagchi's talk on ‘Platform and Purpose’.  It is at

Challenges in our industry
Our industry presents several challenges. All these challenges can be grouped under these five categories.

Technology evolution:  IT professionals need to be lifelong learners in order to live with this challenge.

Global competition: Whether it is outsourcing or product development we live in the world of global competition. We must excel in what we do to lead the pack.

Economic factors: This is a significant area of challenge for us. Both global economies as well as software engineering economics have room for improvement. We have a role to play here.

Social and political factors: The power of social and political situations in our world cannot be undermined. The impact of such situations is felt in every walk of life. Our industry is not exclusion.

Skills and competencies: To be successful in our industry we need to have skills and competencies that can help us deliver meaningful solutions to customers. Identifying, nurturing and retaining skills and competency is a big challenge in our industry.

All such challenges have created immense opportunity for us!

Yes. Challenges present opportunities too! Those who are aware of the present, possess the ability to understand challenges, do their best to manage those challenges, and visualize unforeseen opportunities! Their equanimity helps them consume news updates coming from different sources and directions without any signs of anxiety. They are focused.

Start with a purpose! Aim high! And master the seven essentials!

You will find more information on the seven essentials at

All of you are going to be knowledge workers. Here is a quote I want you to remember.

If you have a job where someone tells you what to do next, you've just given up the chance to create value.
- Seth Godin

My best wishes to all of you!  Thank you!


Vishal Asthana said...

"....Or with multiple attempts to play and unbearable pain in your fingertips, you may decide that it is not your cup of tea and move on." Very well said! Validating one's strength/lack thereof in area(s) one feels passionate about should be an ongoing process throughout the career, not just for fresh graduates. But there's generally a tendency to not move from 'the' fast lane (assuming you've managed to be a part of it) to a less faster one. Isn't it?

Furthermore, isn't passion identification in itself a multi-step process? Something on these lines:
1) Identify a set of interests, find time to work on them (guitar analogy) and short list the ones you seem to be good at.
2) Continue working on these and identify the ones you're really passionate about, discard the others (again guitar analogy).

As a closing note, suggesting another guideline related to passion:
Learn the actual craft whether its technical or techno-management or pure management. Don't just become passionate about chasing titles.


Raja Bavani said...

Vishal, I agree.

Identifying and validating passion is a multi-step process. You have put it right. The earlier we initiate this, it is better. As you said, mastering the craft instead of chasing titles will help us enjoy what we do!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Gurudatta Joglekar said...

Reading part 1 to part 4 was really worthy. I resonate with your views and have something to add.
Part 1,portrays the difference between campus and corporate life. Part 2 is inclined towards the importance of professionalism in corporate life and you end up giving some pointers to make the transition from campus to corporate easy. Part 3, is like an eye opener for those who are not yet aware/serious of their future/career (which is true in case of mass students) and like a guide for those who are already in the thought process. Part 4 talks about the vast and rich experience you have in IT.
In a nutshell, you do believe that there is some 'gap' between campus to corporate. This is precisely where I am trying to work on. With a Bachelor's degree from a reputed college in Shivaji University and after a small stint with an MNC, I am now into a venture which focuses on converting fresh students into 'employable engineers's. I believe that training students in honing their basic skill set like Quantitative Aptitude, Communication Skills, Presentation Skills, etc. is important. But, equally important is giving them technical orientation so that they have their basics clear. This will not only help the engineers, but also the organisations employing such freshers who are productive right from day 1!
At such point in time, this blog is really precious for me!

I would like to add a small practical example with the help of which one can not only solve problems in personal life, but will make corporate life comfortable.

Suppose we want to travel by a car from place A to place B, 300 km far. The complete road is straight, with no street lights all along. If we start expecting our car's headlights to be bright and powerful enough to illuminate the whole 300 km strech, then we will always have a 'problem', and we will never start the journey. But, if we understand the limitations of the headlight that it can guide us the road only to the extent of 0.5km and start the journey,then we do not even come to know when we complete this journey of 300 km by covering 600 numbers of such 0.5km stretch!
According to me, this is how we should live, both personally and professionally, having a fair sight of our road and having the destination in our mind!

Raja Bavani said...


Thanks and best wishes to you on your venture!