Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Output Preparation is most ignored aspect of career building

I met Dan, a hardware engineer. He learnt to work with PC's and became master in repairing them. A hardware engineer also has to learn the 'operating system' of a computer to become a good hardware engineer. He therefore got to learn about Microsoft Windows. He had an innate talent to learn these things.

However, when i met him after three years, he was still working as a PC hardware engineer. I was surprised. A good hardware engineer quickly migrates from maintaining PC, to maintaining a network, and then to maintain a mail server, or to maintain a server which has large application software like SAP or Oracle on it. The climb requires a hardware engineer to get 'certified' in these different courses so that he can get the platform to display his skills. However, all this training and certification, requires lot of spare time.

Spare time is at premium for a good hardware engineer, who typically works for 10/12 hours a day. And because hardware engineers can work as freelancers in their spare time, they continue to work even on weekends, to earn some money. As their salaries are low, this income is good for them. But if they work on weekends, they do not have any time to learn new things. If they think of 'today', they get caught in the vicious cycle, and unknowingly jeopardise their 'tomorrow'.

Dan, after three years, was still working as a PC hardware engineer because he could never extricate himself out of the vicious cycle of 'today'. Output preparation was never taken seriously.

Like Dan, i have observed many individuals who hardly spend time on output preparation.

When they get married they do not spend time on learning how to adjust in a new relationship. When they change jobs they do not spend time on learning how to be 'part' of a new company. When they relocate, they do not know the difficulties of adjusting with new place. When they change jobs, they do not spend adequate time in knowing the metasystems and therefore waste lot of time in comparing 'new company' with 'old company'.

They grossly underestimate the benefits of output preparation. They fail to understand that, if they spend time on output preparation, they can save huge time, cost and pain of transition. Instead, because of inadequate output preparation, they get themselves in wrong and tough situations and therefore spend lot of time in resolving the 'painful' situation. Or they just waste time like Dan and hope that situations will improve by themselves.

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