07 Jan 2017 16:24 IST

Back to the future

Here’s how you can spend 2017 more productively

Hope you all had a great start to 2017 and made all those lofty resolutions that you make every year — about starting to exercise, working harder, etcetera etcetera. Many of you might even have read up on various zodiac forecasts for the new year and what it holds for you — especially with regard to placements.

“The economic trends seem to be positive and several factors like the ‘Make-In-India initiative, e-commerce boom, and overall stability in the economy, among other factors, are the reasons for this upbeat sentiment. Hiring plans are expected from 40-80 per cent of the companies, depending on which report one reads. Salary hikes are expected to be in the range of 10-15 per cent on an average, and even up to 30 per cent for top performers. However, this might not translate into a higher pay package for fresh hires by default.”

The above forecast was something I had written in January 2016. Yet, several well-known companies delayed the joining dates of fresh recruits; the average placement salary levels have not seen any significant change. Simply put, 2016 has been business as usual.

What you should look at

This just goes to prove what I have always said and also mentioned in the same article last year:

“My personal view is that one should not bother about the forecasts for the coming year and instead work on the set of skills which will always have value. Do a SWOT analysis for yourself and identify your weak areas. Have a plan for 2016 during which these weaknesses can be overcome and either become your strength or can be minimised. Identify the opportunities you can leverage and prepare a plan for 2016 to pursue these opportunities.”

I will repeat and reiterate the same thought this year too, with a small edit of changing 2016 to 2017. Other than that, there is absolutely no change with regard to what you should do this year.

In addition to the above, however, I would urge you to start reading more about the future in the context of technology — especially technology that might affect human jobs. These inputs should help you become aware of your learning application, and give you an idea of what more needs to be done.

Keep in mind

Before I end this article, let me share some perspective about the year ahead. I think we are heading into a volatile year. The Indian economy has been rocked by demonetisation, and the GST roll-out is being planned from April 2017. Seen in isolation, the Indian economy seems to be on a good wicket and growing. This would definitely spur hiring activity.

But when you zoom out and get a global perspective, you see a different picture. The new president of the US might make announcements that will influence various other economies; Brexit has already happened, and the implications will start to unfold.

Regardless of how 2017 pans out, remember that your orientation should be towards building a career, and not just on getting a job. If you look at the larger picture, you will realise that 2017 is just one year in a career span of approximately 20 to 25 years.

Which means this year is just four to five per cent of your entire career span — that too during the starting phase. Don’t lose too much sleep over this, as long as you prepare yourself well for the remaining 95 per cent.

All the very best for 2017.

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