A word of advice to the youth of today
Never before in the history of this country has a generation that has been in a state of flux, anticipation and at times in a feeling of dread as to what might transpire in their tomorrows.
When they will step outside of the confines of their homes, the advice — be that advises of their parents, teachers and loved ones—when food isn't about a plate appearing in front of thorn at the dining tables at regular meal intervals cooked by a loving mother or a relative. When the money they need to comfortably live in a particular standard of living isn't going to be available automatically at the beginning of every month. Whether they will graduate with jobs when all around is a world of depression, unemployment, stress and a whole host of other issues.
Finally, the discussion boils down to settling down in life with a good life partner. Good life partners it seems today are meant to be with those who have a great job, career prospects and such like.
Life is suddenly frightening and sometimes It is even unthinkable. While we can take comfort in taking sides in an ongoing debate - of whether the government is doing enough to generate jobs or whether the local politicians are doing enough to attract business into their constituencies or whether the root cause problem of all is that colleges and universities are not evolving their syllabus to create suitable jobs for the current Industry requirement —the fact of the matter is that as a country we have moved from an unemployment scenario to an unemployable scenario.
In the earlier days, we used to have large data maintained by the Government of the number of people who are registered with them as 'Unemployed'. That data also coincided with another fact -that most of the registered unemployed were not -suitably educated'. So you had high school dropouts. college dropouts and those that were not even at these levels registering themselves with the government agencies hoping to find employment.
Today the scenario is different. Today there are huge numbers of educated unemployed. Graduates with IT Degrees. Engineering degrees and even Polytechnic Certificate Graduates are with no lobs. The bulk of them are termed unemployable. They are people with no matching skillsets for the current requirements in the offing. A graduate engineer from a reputed college in Chennai couldn't find a job in the automotive industry in Chennai although there are more than a dozen automotive companies and scores of supplementary companies associated with these automotive companies. There are IT Companies by the score in this country and they are challenged to find fresh graduates whom they deem employable.
What is happening?
From the typical Human Resources, I can point it down to a supply-demand aberration. For example -The supply of Engineers is coming from a college of a particular 1 university whose syllabus hasn't seen any changes in the past five years. The quality of pedagogy was also not the best. Therefore the product that was graduated is actually five years or more behind what the industry requirement is in terms of fitment, packaging and indeed overall knowledge When I say packaging I meant the requisite communication skills that are needed is lacking, the ability to express ideas and solutions is nonexistent and overall the candidate lacks the maturity of thought that is expected from the organization.
Whereas the reality is that the shop floor trainee employee (a fresher) is required to know a lot more about the cutting edge technology that is being used by that company. On the shop floor, there are no longer IT educated diploma holders who managed to complete a program with great difficulty. On the modern shop floor are Engineering Graduates from good schools and whose programs included industry orientation and exchange of industry thought with the academy. So there were mentors from industry, there were visits arranged to the factories to these organizations that not only hire but where one would like to build a career from the ground up.
Things are not likely to change very soon. I am not being pessimistic. I am seeing things at the ground level and part of the solution will be how much the youngsters of today will adapt to change. Ise that the pace at which change is needed is not happening.
Instead of going on about what is not changing let me state here as to what might be of help. There must be a clear cut focus to develop wholesome individuals right at the high school level and that mentoring must be scaled up in the college levels. If you are a youngster in high school and you are reading this then let me tell you - Get Serious about yourself. Unless you make the decision no one is going to help you touch your dream. So take yourself very seriously. Take your time seriously.
Set Goals. Learn new skills. If you are in college on a mechanical engineering program teach yourself some CNC skills, It will come in handy. Go to tech exhibitions - there are many happening. Go visit each and every stall and find out what they are selling, what kind of industry are they into - for example - today there are a lot of great things happening in the water conservation, recycling and treatment space. What do you know about the machinery used there? What do you know about the companies in that space? Be curious to learn. Attend lectures. Meet people. Connect with potential mentors, teachers and future bosses.
Be disciplined. The best athlete in the world isn't a product of some great father who built a stadium for his son to practice. In fact, the best athletes are those who set themselves tough goals to touch. They were disciplined. Did you hear about the fact that R V. Sindhu was denied access to social media by her coach before her world cup match? That's what it takes to touch Your goal.
Don't hang out with people who do not value you. Your mind. Your decision to fly high and touch tall targets. Nang out with people who respect you. Who add value to YOU and will do whatever it takes to make you believe in more of yourself. So be careful about who is your friend. A negative un-focused friend can take away a lot of your carefully built energy and you will never notice it.
Understand that what you think of yourself and how you behave has a lot on where you will go. So don't go stingy on yourself. If you are training to be an engineer then learn to talk like one. Walk like one. I am not talking about put on arrogance and style and panache. All those masks will be seen through in the presence of a great interviewer. Learn to spend time with your inner man or woman. If you are asked this simple question at an interview, tell me about yourself — don't give them your name and that you are the son of so and so and that you are a product of so and so. Talk about your passion —maybe photography, maybe singing, maybe martial arts —talk about your passion to work in rural places where kids don't get decent teachers. Talk from within and if you want to talk about yourself from within you must know a lot of yourself. So learn to listen to that quiet inner voice which speaks to you from time to time. Get into a yoga class which will also teach you some breathing techniques. Go for long walks. Don't become a slave to Social media and other toys. There are beautiful people out there. There are places to see. Don't think you have to have a great budget to travel. In most states, the State Transport takes you to such tiny villages that you have no clue existed. Take a bus ride. The idea is to get to know yourself better than anyone else does.
Then in that state of supreme confidence, armed with this degree or even skill that you have learned (Like welding or carpentry or whatever it is that you are passionate about — modeling, acting, dancing there are tons of things to choose from today) walk in confidence into any interview of your choice. They will feel your confidence. They will hear you talk from a place that only the confident can speak from. Then you will begin your journey on a beautiful path that you never knew you could get onto.
Discover Yourself. The most valuable thing about you is buried right within you. No matter who you are you have something given to you at your birth. Your entire purpose of existence is to find that one thing and then spend a lifetime bringing the best of that out. Look around you you'll see the truth of that statement in a Mohanlal or a Mamooty, look at the fabulous talent of A. R. Rahman, look at the magic of Chitra, look at Lata Mangeshkar or even the genius of Sachin Tendulkar. These people all had challenges yet they never lost focus on the gift that they were blessed with and the more they went into it, the more they got from it.
Mohanlal recently said in an interview that the biggest meditation exercise that he's ever been on is in front of a camera. He said that everything — the focus, the lines, the act, the set, and the props — they all came together in one moment in a pure form of meditation. Highest consciousness.I then leave you with one thought.
How much time do you spend in mindlessness? How much time do you spend in meditation?
Love yourself so much that there is no room for failure. Your Dreams will become The Reality.