HR Mirror : Stand on your feet

HR Mirror : Stand on your feet

Anup aspiries to be a student of engineering. In all the recent exams, he scored moderately and is on the border line of getting into decent colleges. ...

Anup aspiries to be a student of engineering. In all the recent exams, he scored moderately and is on the border line of getting into decent colleges. His chances of getting into a college of his choice and an engineering stream of his choice are slim. Anup therefore started putting pressure on his father to tap into his network and influence someone to get his admission. During his conversations with some of his elderly people, Anup was asked, can't you get admission on your own? Why do you need your father to run around people?� dr rasj About the same time, there is Prakash who is an employee of a medium sized organization who is disgruntled. He just received his increment letter and felt dejected. He immediately left for home and made his Dad call the senior member of the management complaining about the low increment. His Dad has a good personal rapport with the senior management of the organization. The truth is that Prakash was given the job at the request of his Dad and not on his own merit. Now, Prakash wants to leverage his Dad's connection once again to get a better increment. The HR head of the organization started wondering as to how long Prakash will survive in his career riding on his father's connections!

As I was wondering about these two cases, I received a request on my Linkedin account � "can you please recommend me?" This was from a person who happened to work with me in an earlier organization. A recommendation from me would help the person to strengthen her candidature for a prospective job. But a quick thought � how is this different from the above two cases of Anup and Prakash?A Let us understand the key words � reference, recommendation and manipulation.

Reference is when someone connects you to someone else. It usually meant to use someone's name as a point of reference. When you say, "Dr Raj asked me to meet you", you are taking the reference. Reference helps you to reach someone that you do not know. It simply gets you an audience. It does not however 'push' your case!

Recommendation, on the other hand ,does not stop with connecting; it includes commending your work and strengthening your case. In this, the credibility of the person who is recommending you adds to your case.

Manipulation stretches to exploit the connections to serve your benefits. Usually, it involves not simply the credibility, but excessive of power of the person who is pushing your case and getting out-of-turn favors for you. Aspiring student like Anup can surely get his Dad's reference or even a strong recommendation to influence his admission process. If he further extends his case through bribery or any other means, it surely will be manipulation. What Anup needs to think is about life after manipulation. His Dad's manipulation may get his admission; but will it help him complete his education? As long as Anup does not resort to manipulation, a reference or recommendation is perfectly fine.

Contrary to this, Prakash case is completely unprofessional. Firstly, he got a job owing to his father's strong recommendation. Now he wants to stretch his recommendation to earn him higher increment. Prakash needs to think is whether this approach is sustainable in the long run or should he learn to stand on his feet?

Here are the FIVE guidelines for young and aspiring professionals to consider. 1. In the present context of social networking, getting a reference is perfectly fine. Look out for those connections which will be useful for your profession (remember, the word useful is not same as manipulation!). 2. Ask for recommendations only from those who know about your education or work more closely. Avoid the mistake of asking for a recommendation from any new connection. 3. Never expect your connections to get you out-of-turn favors. It erodes your professional credibility in their eyes. 4. Use references or recommendations as simple tools to open the doors for you. They are not sustainable. Only your competence is your companion in the long run. 5. Avoid the thought that everything around you can be manipulated. Learn to stand on your feet!

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