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Boosting your professional worth

by Sck
Views: 3267

If you think the outsourcing revolution means you are destined to pick up phones forever, think again.

The future of outsourcing is already here, and it’s not Business Process Outsourcing, but Knowledge Process Outsourcing.

BPOs and call centres have unlocked new fields of opportunity for the young. But the newer, faster growing job wave comes from Knowledge Process Outsourcing.

KPO is outsourcing work, but the requirements are more specific. The job profiles are less repetitive/ mechanical and demand specific technical knowledge that must be combined with elements such as imagination, creativity, strategy and global corporate etiquette.

These jobs are mentally stimulating and tend to pay than typical BPO work.

KPOs encompass sectors such as medicine, IT, law, biotechnology, education, analytics, design and animation, research and development and intelligence services. A recent example is the fact that entire airplane navigation systems are being designed offshore in India.

This is just the beginning. Research shows the KPO industry is expected to reach US$ 17 billion by 2010. The question that immediately comes to mind is: how much of the pie will India really get?

The global scenario

Currently, our competition includes various nations in Eastern Europe, China and otherGlobal Scenario Asian countries.

According to a recent report by McKinsey & Co, only 25 percent of our engineers are ’suitable’ to work in a multinational corporation. Compare this with the fact that 50 percent of the engineers in Poland and Hungary are ’suitable’ for the same jobs.

Our figures are even more depressing in other categories: for example, ’suitable’ finance/ accounting and life science graduates are a mere 15 percent.

Are you ’suitable’?

What makes a graduate ’suitable’ to work in a world-class company? Where are we fallingSuitable short?

Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with our technical skills or work ethics.

The problem is language proficiency and corporate etiquette — the soft skills required to be an ‘anywhere’ worker in the new global economy. Sadly, our education system fails to equip us as far as this is concerned.

So, if you want to be a player in the new global economy, you must take your future — and your training — in your own hands; opportunities are available only to those willing to groom themselves to join the truly global workforce.

How to embrace global opportunities

Boost your worth in the global job market by paying attention to these 10 areas.

i. English languageEnglish Language

Speaking without grammatical mistakes is imperative. Improving language skills is difficult and time-consuming, but can be accomplished through books, classes and self-help.

Read as much as you can.

ii. Ability to market yourselfMark yourself

This starts with how concise, well-formatted, well-versed and tailored your CVs and cover letters are.

Beyond this, the ability to interview well, cold-call recruiters and follow-up are essential.

iii. Presentation
Knowing how to put together a basic Power Point presentation with relevant and structured content is vital.

Additionally, any business executive should be able to deliver content quickly and powerfully while speaking to a group of his peers and superiors.

iv. Interpersonal skills

Listening (not just hearing), combined with the ability to build interesting conversations, is crucial in the business world.Interpersonal Skills

Client interaction and networking depend heavily on how much other people enjoy speaking with you.

Intonation (how much feeling and rhythm you put into your voice) and pronunciation (how well articulated your sounds are) factor heavily here.

v. Telephone Etiquettes

Yes, as basic as this sounds, the way you answer your phone tells a caller just howPhone etiquette professional you really are.

When at work, calls should be picked up by introducing yourself. When you call someone and reach their voice mail, leave an organized message detailing why you called, your name and your telephone number.

Refrain from calling clients from a mobile phone when in a noisy place.

vi. Diction

DictionWhether the conversation is taking place on the phone, or face-to-face, it is important you use professional language.

Read business newspapers and industry-specific material so you become savvy with the jargon used in your field.

vii. E mail Etiquettes

E-mail etiquette

There is no reason why professional standards should be abandoned just because a message is electronic.

Pay attention to grammar, spell-check your work, don’t skip salutations, introduce attachments and use professional language when sending out work e-mails (even to people you know well).

viii. Dress codes

To be a credible businessperson, you have to look like one.Dress code

Men should wear collared shirts with an undershirt. Button your shirt all the way, wear simple belts, stick to dark-coloured slacks and dark-coloured shoes.

Women who wear Western clothes should opt for skirts that fall below the knee, collared shirts/ blouses and close-toed shoes.

ix. Handshakes

Don’t hesitate to shake hands. Initiating a handshake is an indication of your confidence level. Remember to kHandshakeeep your handshake firm.

If you are a woman and want to be taken seriously, don’t hesitate to shake hands with the same confidence and authority as your male peers.

x. Business card etiquette

Always take your business cards with you when going for a meeting or conference. When presenting your card to someone, keep the prints facing the recipient, so he/she will not have to turn it around to read it.

When you receive a card, take a second to look at it as the card is representative of the person. Don’t pass your card around like it is a flier.

Refrain from forcing someone to take your card, especially a senior executive. It is farBusiness card etiquette better to wait for him/ her to ask for it.

Countries like the United States and some of the European nations that already outsource heavily are shifting towards countries where the labour force is of a ‘higher quality’ (such as Poland, Hungary the Czech Republic and Russia) as opposed to countries with a labor force of a ‘higher quantity’ (such as India and China).

We don’t have time to wait for our educational system to improve or for more corporations to work with universities and create exposure for students through internship programmes.

Those who want to do well professionally must take their careers in their own hands. The global economy is hiring, and the choice is yours as to which side of the statistic you want to be part of. So, are you ’suitable’ or are you ‘unsuitable’?

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