HR MATTERS 08-01-2008

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By SANJOY ROYCHOWDHURY Managing director, Grey Matters Consulting
  • Published 8.01.08

Q: I am 26 years old and have a masters degree in history. I am also pursuing a masters in social work (MSW). For the last four years, I have been associated with the corporate sector. I have been working with a famous insurance company for the last two years in operation. What are the courses that I could opt for to improve my job prospects? Should I do an MBA programme by correspondence or can you suggest something else that will help me grow in the operational field in any sector?

Panchali Mitra,Jalpaiguri

A:You are working in the insurance sector, pursuing a social welfare course and considering doing an MBA. You first need to decide the field in which you want to make a career. Only then can you start thinking about the course of action you need to take to improve your prospects.

If you decide to do an MBA, then you will need a specialisation; you should select your specialisation on the basis of the field you want to work in.

Q:I am a 26-year-old MBA with HR as my major specialisation. I passed out from Gauhati University last year and am now working as an HR executive in a reputed hospital in Guwahati. However, I am not very confident about the HR field. Are there any short-term courses that could help me out?

Kumarika Baruah

A:After having done an MBA in HR, the option for you is to hone your skills on-the-job. No amount of short-term courses will help you understand the field better than what experience can teach you. If you are finding it difficult to understand or apply your knowledge, do take the help of your peers and seniors in the organisation. Multiple opinions will help you understand your failings better. Thereafter, you can concentrate on improving those skills and abilities.

Q:I have a bachelors degree in sociology and a postgraduate diploma in advertising and marketing. I also have two years of experience in a media-related field. However, I am keen on becoming a soft skills / behavioural trainer. Could you suggest some courses that would help me?

Madhur Prashant

A: The first thing you need to become a trainer is good communication and presentation skills. You should have the ability to tell a story well and, most important, you should enjoy what you are doing. Considering that you are from the media line, you might possess the above traits. Now, you have to choose the subjects in which you are so confident that you can “train” others. Apart from attending a Train the Trainers programme, which will hone your teaching skills, you need to have knowledge of the areas in which you want to provide training. You can join a training organisation to learn how to conduct training programmes. Practice and experience will take you a long way in the field of training.

Q:I am working with IBM for the last 18 months. I have been in the BPO sector for the last five years. I have a postgraduate degree in English literature and am interested in joining as an HR trainee. Can I do that without an MBA?

Sunita Kukreti

A: If the organisation has such a policy, you can definitely join as an HR trainee. You have close to seven years of experience as I understand and have been dealing with people. That should be the starting point. Thereafter you can acquire skills on-the-job and when you feel the need, you can do short-term courses on various subjects in HR to improve your knowledge.

Q:I am a 33-year-old science graduate working in sales in a private bank. I plan to do my MBA from Symbiosis next year. I want to major in HR because I’ve always wanted to work in that field. Will that be a bad decision?

Deepak Ojha

A: No subject or stream is good or bad. Two forces determine your choice — your career aspirations and market dynamics. After studying these two, if your mind is set on pursuing an HR course, then you should do so. But let me warn you that age is not on your side. You would gain some advantage because of your experience, but would still have to start at the bottom of the ladder. If you are ready for that, you can pursue MBA in HR.

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