Last Saturday brought a mentee all the way from Mumbai to my side to discuss his current state of frustration with his career and his inability to do anything about it.
We had a long discussion on it besides other earth shaking matters like politics and ideology which too were quite invigorating for me to fence with such an intelligent and young, less-corrupted-by-life mind.
Addressing his specific problem of his frustration, I shared with him experiences of my time as a boss when reports used to come to me with similar problems. I used to advice them to find their market price and would even help them with the resources needed to prepare their resumes (pre computer days when one typed out documents and used copying machines for copies) as well as good references. I did lose some but mostly the good ones found that they were getting their market price and would stay on and flourish. This would of course need additional training and motivation which in those days, I could arrange for in an enlightened company.
My mentee had been applying for other jobs and attending interviews with no success and was increasingly getting frustrated with his current situation. The problem was that he was already getting a price higher than what the market is willing to pay and this is galling for him. I adviced him that the problem was with his attitude towards colleagues and superiors and guided him to accept his reality till his situation with his current employer changed for the better or he found another employer. There were a number of other advices that I could come up with to improve his relationships. I also cautioned him that the market price should be calculated not only in currency terms but in a package which would include non cash elements.
I think that the discussions were fruitful and he went away satisfied and convinced that the trip was worth his while.
As it happens often in my life however, synchronicity struck again and this post was inspired by this cartoon strip that appeared in this morning’s newspaper. I know that my mentee is reading this and hope that he will see the humour in the similar situation.
Please click on the image to get a larger resolution.