Dear Mentor:

The economy is bad, so what should I do?

I am a science graduate, and hold a diploma from NIIT (GNIIT). I am presently working as a faculty in one of the centers of NIIT. I am also pursuing MCA [Master of Computer Applications] from IGNOU. I want to switch my job, but seeing the present scenario, I am very much disturbed. Would you please suggest me what I should do, and how do I get a better future? And, what sort of job should I go for?

Generally Confused, Guwahati, Assam, India

Dear Generally Confused:

Your question is too broad for anyone to address in a meaningful way. It is a microcosm of how to create a better future for the world, for you are asking: How to pursue a better future for yourself?

The current "disturbing" scenario you are referring to, we suppose, is the economic slowdown in general and technology sector slowdown in particular. Since India has been moving away from a closed and controlled economy to a more market economy, the economic cycles of growth and decline are becoming more pronounced. These economic cycles are well understood and routinely experienced in the freer market economies of the developed industrialized nations. The most well known economic slowdown is the "great depression" in the US in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The economic slowdowns occur due a mismatch in the supply and demand in the marketplace, caused by an increasing supply that surpasses the demand. A careful examination of economic cycles demonstrates that the economic slowdowns typically last for a much shorter period than the economic growth period. Thus, you should not make long-term decisions for managing your career or business based on the current economic conditions alone.

While you have no choice but to deal with the current challenging economic environment in India, you should not assess your long-term career prospects and base your long-term plans solely on the current economic conditions. As we said earlier, your questions are too broad, but we can offer you an approach to thinking about your situation. There are two ways to think about your future actions:

  1. Given your current credentials - education, experience, knowledge, skills, and capabilities - what career options and opportunities can you pursue?
  2. Given your goals, what credentials do you need? And then, acquire the credentials you lack.
Regardless of the manner in which you approach your situation, you must account for your goals, ambitions, and interest, and base your assessment on some objective evaluation criteria.

The long and short of your situation is that you can do anything you want to do, given requisite dedication, hard word, resources, and time. You have to narrow the field to match your objectives.

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