By Abhijit Bhaduri
When we were looking for campus placements as graduating student of a B-School, it was the employers’ market. The employers were few and far between. We would all line up and listen to them tell us that they were looking for people who would stay with them for a lifetime. The pre-placement talks were a great opportunity to get noticed by the employer by asking sharp insightful questions. During one such talk, one of my classmates did the unthinkable. He asked the potential employer why the salary offered was so low. That executive adjusted his tie and threw a condescending look at us and said, “We offer careers and not jobs.” That was then.
How that even qualified as an answer to my friend’s question still beats me. But that line hit home. That phrase seems to have been tattooed in the hearts of several people of my vintage. Many of them have now become employers.
The age of perfect information (for students)
When some pesky student asks an uncomfortable question, the employers still try to drop the famous line, “We offer careers and not jobs.” That line fails to turn the student teary eyed like it did to me. Today the students live in an age of perfect information. The students already have access to employees’ comments, CEO approval ratings, salary and benefits information and even possible interview questions the company is known to have asked in the past. The students live in an age of perfect information. If anything at all, the employers are the ones who may not know enough about the students they are going to meet.