Get Back to the Classroom!

Choosing the right skills to upgrade is key to beating the recession blues

When the R word started to do the rounds of office corridors and meeting rooms, Shashank Rana would break into a cold sweat. Apart from the uncertainty, he was wary of taking responsibilities of a different kind because of his morbid fear of working with numbers of the currency kind.

Shashank is the IT Manager of CMA Inc, a large publisher of comic and other recreational books for children and young adults. He is a whiz-kid of sorts in the company. He can troubleshoot networks with the same ease as a chef chops onions. He is respected in the organisation for making systems and platforms of all kinds work together like a symphony.

But things started to change for Shashank when cost reduction and cost optimisation became necessary as the fear of a major slowdown turned into a reality. Shashanks task-list had a lot of unchecked items and most of them related to issues that had nothing to do with computers and machines.

His understanding of finance was limited to what he read in the morning dailies. And now as a middle-level manager in CMA he was being confronted with a tsunami of numbers. Something has to be done about this, the techno whiz-kid decided.

As if in a trance, he picked up the phone and dialed Amit Mehtas number. Amit, a friend from school days, was a banker and pursued his interest in technology rather passionately. He was a maven to most of his friends who looked at him for advice and direction. After the greetings, Shashank got straight to the topic.

Amit, I need your help. Teach me how to read these numbers and tutor me about cost-cutting he hurriedly spoke. Cost management, Amit cut him short. Promise me a couple of beers in return, he said to overcome the awkward interruption. So I will see you at six this evening at our watering hole, said Shashank before hanging up with a new sense of relief.

In the evening, Shashank reached their rendezvous early. He occupied a corner spot that was relatively less noisy. Shashank wasted no time when Amit arrived and reiterated his request. Hey, you need more than just a tutoring session. I feel you should join a course. A course that gives you a well rounded perspective of finance, and also prepares you for bigger responsibilities within your organisation, Amit responded professorially.

Specialised courses are available for virtually every subject today. Its time you looked at this as a career-building exercise than just a training to read numbers, he added. This makes sense, replied Shashank.

Making the right choice
It is very important for technical professionals to realise that transformation into techno-commercial professionals is the only way to overcome the growth plateau in any organisation, says Jitender Dhaka, CEO, Jobline Consultants. And this comes with the added advantage of being aligned with strategic issues and also the capacity to multi task.

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