By Gazy Hussain
Sometimes, you will have to open the door so that you can seek the opportunity and not just wait for it to knock on your door!
In 2012, immediately after my Exams, I applied to be a part of a leading Corporate giant in Sri Lanka. The online advertisement for the job had seduced me in many ways as it promised that the job role will also be closely positioned with Sri Lanka Cricket. Do I need to say, like any other young adult in this country, I thrusted aside everything else happening in my life and geared up to somehow play my best shots to secure the job.
After a tedious process of recruitment procedures (interviews, report writing and assignments), the HR Team from the company called me and congratulated for having had secured the job. (Eureka!)
Sounds crazy and cool, doesn’t it? But the question that haunted me for so many years from there, even while I was working with the cricket teams and meeting up with the cricketers and making sharp and strict decisions against a pressing timeline was “why me, why did the company select me for the job ? And why not one of the other candidates who were seated in rows?”
Hold on! This is not a self-appraisal or a bragging session that I’m trying to make cuts off, but the truth is, my own anecdote has a deeper reflection on the society of Sri Lanka. When I received the call of invitation for the job, I was just twenty years old. I had not started my higher education, neither did I have any prior working experiences or other on the job trainings. All I had was a very good school education and a very strongly anchored determination with an ambition to win in life.
But, what made me score so many sixes and boundaries at the interview rooms so that the big cooperate was pleased to offer me the job? How did I unknowingly “duck-wicket” all the other candidates who were seated right next to me with many years of experience and so many other professional qualifications? Did the HR miss recognize the candidate profiles? Did I have strong connections within the Cooperate? Or like many would say was it sheer luck?
Dear Reader, what’s the use of having a bicycle if it has punctured tires mopping the floor? What’s the use of having several many qualifications and certificates of written proof if you actually cannot market yourself with your “tongue, hands and your unique gestures?” We are unique in our own ways, You, Me and everyone else on this forum and elsewhere! But the unfortunate truth is also that most of us fail to recognize the magic wand that sleeps within ourselves. In 2012, when I applied for the job, the only thing that I carried with me to the interview room was myself (and a black colored file just to camouflage with the setup). I used my intelligence, I decorated my thoughts and brushed my hair so that my potentials were projected at the interviews. Word by word I endured and amplified the passion that I had towards the job. Gesture by gesture I pronounced my ardent aspirations and my potentials. Moment by moment I comprehended that I was reaching towards my dream!
In Sri Lanka, many scholars agree with the fact that most of the 4.4 million youth population of the country (about 22% of the net population)1 lacks soft skills which could actually enable them to get up through the ladder in finding a job which suites their potentials and their “dreams”. According to a research carried by the University of Harvard in USA, companies and cooperates look for candidates with “people and social skills” over technical skills. And this plays true when the Management takes decisions with respect to promotions on the job.
Therefore, it is crucial and pivotal that young Sri Lankans ensure that they invest and improve on their soft skills rather than just trying to flow with the crowd running behind paper qualifications and certificates. It is imperative that you build and grow on your soft skills if you aspire to reach up to many corners and many heights in life! “Bat the ball in your style!”
Gazy aspires to shape the future of his country through the most sustainble solutions which could benifit people of all walks in their lives irresepective of their gender, religion, or race.