Sunday, May 08, 2005

Bulla! Kii jaana main kaun hoon ?

Last week was hectic for me and hence I missed out on writing. During the two weeks got to listen to the latest Rabbi song "Bulla! Kii jaana main kaun hoon". This got me thinking a bit and I started thinking more around what do I do as an HR consultant ? Let me trace back a few years for a context.

Having brought up in a Marwari family in Calcutta, the only higher education we knew about was Chartered Accountancy. Most people in my immediate family would drop off after college and join their family business or pursue CA and start their own practice. When I got a call from a management college (XLRI, Jamshedpur)there were a lot of questions about why I was not pursuing CA. The only solace was that one could get away by saying MBA is better than CA.

During one of the breaks on my trip back home, one relative asked me what was it that I was learning and I confidently said Human Resources, then was asked what would I do when I qualify in HR, I was dumbfounded. Based on what I was learning in OB and PM I tried imagining what I would be doing when I join an organisation but completely failed to find an appropriate response. My safeguard was to tell everyone I am doing an MBA and will become a manager, this helped me sail through embarassing questions about what my education would lead me to.

Then landed up in my first job where I was Manpower Development Executive. Most of my cousins and friends from college easily got away by saying I have my own business, I am an accountant, I am a forex trader, I am a soap seller etc etc. I had to get into major explanation about how company had to assess manpower needs and then identify possible availability options and build a pipeline of talent and so on and so forth. Imagin saying all this in Hindi or Bangla. I am sure my parent hoped I was working in an oil company and helping setup an oil pipeline for them, they had never heard of a talent pipeline.

Social outings became very taxing when I took up HR consulting as my chosen career. Imagin being asked "Kahan kaam karte ho (where do you work)?" Hewitt. "Company kya banati hai (What does the company make)?" Kuch banati nahi hai hum HR Consultant hai(We don't make anything we are HR consultants). This is a time when HR consulting was synonymous with recruiting. The reaction immediately would be "Achcha aadmi supply karte ho (You supply men)?". Thank God, in India we are not very sensitive about gender equalities, else this could be a very embarassing moment.

No No I am not a recruiters I do HR consulting. "Achcha to kaam kya karte ho (So what do you do)?".

In these moments how I wish I had become a chartered accountant and not have to explain what I do. Of late I have started giving simple explanation that Main logon ki seva karta hoon (I am a social worker) and pray that people will not ask me Kaise (HOW)?.

Which leaves me wondering most of the time "Bulla ! Kii jaana main kya karta hoon". Any thoughts anyone.....?

10 comments:

split_infinitive said...

my chotu cousin in mumbai asked me this the other day... "to aap karte kya ho"... (am too an HR consoolt)... and so i got into a long-winded description... and could see, with increasing disappointment, that he was not getting it... so i told him.. "main logon ko gyaan deta hoon".... and he says.... "acchhi naukri hai bhai.. sirf bolne ke liye paise milte hain...."... next time i'll tell him about steven covey... :-)

Gautam Ghosh said...

That's a tricky one. How about this response?

"Main logon ki madad karta hoon"

Nerio said...

How about calling yourself a "Dispenser".......of knowledge and enthusiasm!

Pushp Deep Gupta said...

Hmmm...even my parents still havent got what I do even though I have told them a million times that I recruit, help train, help compensate etc employees of a consulting firm. A few furrowed brows, and questioning noises later, they retreat into a silence difficult to fathom :-) And my father is an MSc who has been working for the UN for 20 years ! I have stopped explaining to lesser mortals ! Pushp Gupta - Internal HR in an HR Consulting firm

Siddharth Nagpal said...

Well this was an intresting read....as I am going to join PMIR (2007) in XL..I was never aware of this occupational hazard :):).....

Sanjay Lakhotia said...

Hi Sidharth, Welcome to the world. These are things they won't teach you at XL or any management college. Right now you need not worry you can get away with main MBA kar raha hoon :). All the best and enjoy till you join the corpo-jungle.

Anonymous said...

Even my parents/relatives still havent got what I do even though I have told them a hazaar times that i work for Hewitt and we are into HR outsourcing that helps the companies to focus on their core business.

Aditi Kejriwal said...

This sounds just soooo familiar :-) and so much like my story also, and am sure, the story of lots of others!!! And there is an additional hazard of explaining the company name :-) Have-itt Associates, Hewlett Packard etc. etc.

So now, I have given up!! I just stop at saying, I am a people consultant and help design systems like performance management for large organizations like HLL, Tatas etc. :-) Very simplistioc, but works - We again ride on our clients' backs to define our identities :-)

satyam arora said...

Hey!
Starting my post MBA(SCMHRD) career career with IR made me get away with stuff like " Handling unions, strikes, welfare, etc".

Now with past two years in Performance Management its difficult making people understand what i do...sometimes at the end of the day even i wonder what i am actually doin!!!!:-))

Medha said...

Hey Sanjay,

This was too cute....it sounded so so very familiar....i did that a lot of times...when i worked for Have-itt :-)...I just stumbled upon your blog by chance ...and have been reading for the last couple of hours!