The other day I was interviewing a candidate for the post of Manager in our company. The role called for a knowledge of Finance processes and knowledge of IT.
The candidate was referred to me through a placement agency.
After working for almost 25 years in a previous company he was wanting to move out. He had a basic graduation and had joined the company as a low ranking employee and had grown through the ranks to his current position as Manager-Finance in his current company. After almost 25 years, now he wanted to move out and explore the options.
He had some sort of relevant experience that I was looking for. The interview was held telephonically as the candidate was located in a different city.
The interview went reasonably well. The candidate had enough practical experience to answer some of my questions, but was a little lost when I probed a bit deeper. Still, he demonstrated enough knowledge to sate my interest.
At the end of the interview I asked him the standard relocation question.
"Currently you are in Ahmedabad. Do you have any problem with relocating to Mumbai?" I queried
"No sir, my son is in Mumbai. He works for TCS", this gentleman replied.
I was shocked. Here was a person who had spent all his life in the same company, with a son old enough to be working, now wanting to change. If I make a safe assumption that his son is about 24 and he got married at the age of 24, he should be around 50 years by now. At a time when people of his age are planning to settle down, he is sharing his CV with the placement agents. He does not mind relocating to a different city. More importantly, this placement consultant thinks that it is ok to send this CV to his customers.
How far we have come....
I remembered the time, about 10 - 12 years ago, I had started applying for jobs in IT companies. Countless placement consultants send me back my CV saying that 'your profile do not meet out requirements', which is a Placement Consultantese for 'You are too old for this job. Don't waste my time with your CV'. I had to put in a lot of effort to land my first job in the IT companies.
Mark you, with BTech, MBA and about 10 years of domain experience, I was well qualified for the kind of jobs that I had applied for.
I still remember, I had applied for TCS in 2003 and they told me that 'my profile do not meet requirements (you are too old!!)'. By 2004, I had become one year younger and TCS recruited me.
As I mentioned in MY ANOTHER POST ON ATTRIBUTION EFFECT, the people of my father's generation spent their whole life working for one company. They did not have opportunity to change, even when they wanted to.
And the current generation, like the 50'ish person whom I interviewed above, has lots of opportunities available if they have the right credentials. This is all due to the impact of IT revolution. This has made it possible for people, irrespective of their ages, to seriously consider job changes and have a reasonable assurance that they may land a new job.
Every time we talk of IT revolution, we glamorise it by talking about the modern young generation. To me, it is these 50 year old people, with basic educational qualifications and dreams in their eyes, who feel confident enough to apply for jobs in the area of Information Technology (and are taken seriously by employers), who are the symbols of miraculous success of the IT revolution in India.
Let us salute them...