Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Turning your failure into your success. Getting a job after you are fired.

Title: Getting a job after you are fired.

Published in The HINDU Opportunities on February 29, 2012

Link to the published article

With the global economic crisis and uncertainty in our workplaces, getting fired or being laid-off is a bitter incident that could have already occurred in your life or one that you are likely to face in the future. “Getting fired is a lot like getting divorced,” says Steve Johnson, Vice President of Information Systems for R.L. Stevens and Associates Inc. a leading international career marketing firm. All you hear is ‘I don't want you anymore' and the feeling of being rejected.

Here are some thoughts on how you can overcome this setback and move forward positively and confidently towards achieving success.

Looking into yourself

Whether you were fired for poor performance or were let go because of company downsizing, now is a good time to do some self-examination. Own your success and your failures. Gather the inner strength to get up and move on instead of mulling over past mistakes. Learn from what went wrong in your last job and be aware of your own errors and focus on how you can look forward to making new opportunities click. The best way to do this is to understand what strengths you have and how you possess the wisdom to know the difference between opportunity lost and possibility found.

Know yourself, have a plan, make an impression. After you are fired, the power needed to transform a job loss into a catalyst that gains job offers is simple and straightforward-

Identify yourself. Untangle your sense of job from your sense of self

Chart a five-year plan for career and know what steps you need to take to get you there

Stay in focus and be persistent in your efforts even when you face obstacles and rejection

Pampering yourself

When was the last time you took a vacation or a break without having to worry about asking for time off at work or having to carry your laptop with you to stay in touch with your colleagues? Take a vacation now to clear your head and get a fresh perspective. It is a good idea to not lose focus of your job search, but try to make use of the extra time that you have available. Starting an exercise regimen and working out on a daily basis will help keep your body and mind recharged. Pursuing a new hobby or renewing a lost interest in an area that you enjoy will keep you happy.

Finally, use the time to gauge how much time you are spending with your family now and if your next career decision needs to take that into account, as well.

Exploring options and getting back on track

Instead of moaning about the loss of employment for more than one working day, welcome your firing as an unexpected career advancement to move up to the next level. Update your resume, polish your interviewing skills and equip yourself by knowing the latest happenings in your field. Start talking to ex-colleagues and network with friends who may act as potential leads for the next opportunity. Explore options on transforming your work experience into being a consultant. Using multiple career marketing strategies simultaneously will ensure that failure is never an option.

Don't limit your choices to only what you truly want, but, be willing to make compromises and stay flexible to land yourself the next position.

It is easy to look at successful people and envy their situation. What you often don't see is the story behind what they went through to get there. Many successful CEOs and top people are ones who have been fired from positions in their professional careers and been through painful experiences. What set them apart are the lessons that they took away from such challenging experiences and not repeating those mistakes. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid: Don't take your job for granted. Take the time to clarify expectations early on in the job with your boss to avoid unpleasant situations and lastly, don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Remember to constantly look out for yourself and don't assume that today's promotion or raise will make you an irreplaceable employee. You have to keep raising the bar.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Writing- A New Beginning

Title: Growth spurt in the online retail sector

Published in The HINDU Opportunities section on February 22, 2012

Link to the published article

Against the backdrop of an accelerating modern retail market, India offers to be an attractive hub for domestic and international retailers seeking emerging markets. The online shopping market is a rapidly growing sector.

In contrast to the environment of an aging world population, India's advantage of having a large young population contributes to the increasing growth and popularity of this sector.

In a country that has a large proportion of its working-age population contributing to its lucrative consumer base and where people rely on metro cities for finding commodities with good quality and wide selection, online shopping offers a more varied, hassle-free and interesting shopping experience.

There are several perks to an online shopping experience such as 24 hour shopping, having rich product availability and taking the time to do comparisons, including having the ability to conduct online research on the products that one might like to buy. Unlike conventional shopping, the net savvy customer can get a detailed account of the specifications on a product through their website. Further, the hassle of packaging and posting a purchased gift can also be avoided. Added to this, several online shopping websites offer discounts, free shipping and price comparison checks on certain items to lure online shoppers. There are many career opportunities opening up in this sector, here is a look at the employment aspects in this sector.

Skill sets

Although workers can gain informal on-the-job training, a degree in business management is a basic prerequisite. Diploma and certificate courses in retail management, ecommerce, retail selling, retail marketing management or logistics & supply chain management are helpful to gain entry into the retail industry. Pursuing a MBA in Retail Management makes a candidate more employable.

This field requires people who have good analytical and reasoning skills besides being strong communicators (oral and verbal skills). It is beneficial to be aware of current market trends and understand the general business and have an entrepreneurial spirit.

As the online retailing involves creating fancy websites, candidates need to be familiar with e-commerce principles. Start-ups and online retail sites look for candidates who have core skills like product sourcing, warehousing and logistics background. Due to the increase in number of online retail businesses, it is necessary for aspirants to also improve their sales skills, customer dealing abilities and familiarise themselves on how to research market demands.

There are several educational institutions throughout the country that offer courses at the graduation and post-graduation level to equip students with the requisite skills. Some institutes that offer courses in Retail Management are: ACCMAN Institute of Management, Noida, Indian Institute of Retail Training, New Delhi, National Institute of Retail Management, Bangalore, Madras Institute of Retail Management, Chennai and Birla Institute of Management Technology, New Delhi.


A wide range of jobs are available in this profession that range from an online associate to a top level executive. Typical and unique roles in the online retail sector include customer support, internet marketing executives, retail merchandise managers, relationship managers, brand awareness executives, web programmers, graphic designers, IT project managers, supply chain professionals, category managers and zonal and area sales executives. The role of a Category Manager requires people with knowledge of the entire product category starting from launch to finish. Going up the ladder, candidates applying for the role of Retail Services Lead should possess strong online retail management experience and the ability to work with different segments such as marketing, sales, merchandising, project management and technology. Customer service roles are also available that involve handling customer inquiries by phone, replying to customer emails and communicating with clients for pre and post sales.

Employment potential

According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the online retail industry is expected to be worth Rs.7,000 crore by 2015 due to easy availability of broadband services and increasing internet penetration. “A booming economy and rising disposable incomes have contributed to the evolution of online shopping,” says ASSOCHAM secretary general, D. S. Rawat. The buying-selling trends from leading online shopping portals indicated that online retail market currently stands at Rs. 2,000 crore and is growing at a steady annual rate of 35 per cent.

With India poised to become the third largest nation of internet users in the next year along with a substantial chunk of youngsters eager to embrace new technologies with rapidly changing lifestyles, online retailing is certainly on the growth trajectory. This forecast suggests that the sector may produce 20, 00,000 jobs by 2013 directly through retail operations.

Key players

EBay and Amazon are the market leaders in online shopping in the world. However, local players are gaining popularity in India. Flipkart is among the country's largest online retailer and continues to diversify from an online bookstore into media, consumer electronics, computers, healthcare and home appliances for its users. It offers path-breaking services like Cash on Delivery, a 30 day replacement policy, EMI options, free shipping and electronic wallet., a coupon and deals website offers consumers discounts on dining, health, beauty services, branded products, travel and more.,,,, and are other popular websites that offer online shopping in India. So, if you have a keen interest in online retail, and would like to enter the realm of online shopping, the future is promising and offers lot of potential to build a career.