The MBA is sometimes described as the single most impactful agent of career transformation in the lifetime of a professional. For those who have gone through the grind, the years spent at B-School are looked back upon as the proverbial “summer(s) of ‘69”, for hundreds of thousands of undergraduates it is an aspirational golden ticket to the next orbit in their careers.
The reason for such reverence lies in the fact that an MBA opens up more career opportunities than any other professional qualification for graduating candidates.
But, too much of a good thing is no good thing, right?
MBA candidates have been known to face a serious dilemma over their post-MBA career choices. It is not uncommon for MBA grads, even those with the most popular jobs on campus, shifting jobs within a few months of graduating. Here’s an attempt to decode why.
B-Schools work exceptionally hard to facilitate the generation of several hundred job offers for graduating students in a matter of a few days. In the melee of on-campus placements, students seldom objectively evaluate the “why” behind the jobs they seek. Career choices are mostly made basis heuristic principles passed down from their seniors, folklore around the “prestige” of certain roles/firms, and information provided by recruiters during campus outreach programs.
As a result, a large number of graduating students end up aspiring for a few “dream” jobs in the domains of Consulting/ Investment Banking/FMCG etc. Securing such a job is often viewed as the hallmark of success among peers and celebrated as the beginning of all good things in life. Disturbingly, for those who wish to yet fail to secure these “dream” jobs, such rejection can cause deep mental trauma and a sense of absolute dejection.
What students need to ask themselves is, whose “dream” is it anyway?
As someone who’s been through that rite of passage, here’s my best advice – don’t go by the popular perception of a job’s desirability to you. Invest time in identifying what gives you the reality kicks in life. Identify your best skills and what you want to achieve as a professional. That should be the only reason “why” you want a certain job.
Does this work? Here’s one name that’ll dispel any doubts on the practicality of such an approach – Cheteshwar Pujara.
Pujara was REJECTED by every IPL team & went unsold at the IPL 2019 auctions held on December 18, 2018. In short, he was found UNFIT to play the most “popular” cricketing format on the planet! How did he react to this seemingly disastrous outcome?
Eight days later in Australia, playing in the Test series against the home team, he came out all guns blazing in the 3rd Test Match and scored a match-winning century for India. He didn’t stop there, he also scored a masterful 193 runs in the 4th Test to become only the 3rd Indian ever to score 3+ Test centuries on an Australian tour.
Resultantly, he won the “Man of the Series” award. Basically, declared the architect for India’s first ever Test series victory in Australia!
Cheteshwar Pujara created history BECAUSE he had clearly identified his own niche (Test cricket) and gave his 100% to succeed at it!
If you are an MBA candidate and nodding along, you can do it too! Find your niche and become the best at it. If at the end of this analysis, that “dream” turns out to be yours, GO GET IT!
Your career is yours. Build it wisely and systematically!
Best of Luck,
Tamojit Tarit Roy (LinkedIn Profile)
The writer of the blog is an experienced (9+ years) sales, commercial and sustainability strategy expert. He has worked across multiple industry sectors including Healthcare, Real Estate, Management Consulting, Metals. He is an MBA from IIM Banglore, 2014.