Selling yourself for job and consulting

So for the first time in over eight years, I’m looking for a job. This was primarily prompted by my move to London earlier this year – a consulting business where you rely on networks rather than a global brand to get new business cannot be easily transplanted. Moreover, as I’d written a year back, a lot of the objectives of the “portfolio life” have been achieved, so I’m willing to let go of the optionality.

While writing a “Cover Letter” for a job application yesterday I realised what makes selling yourself for a job so much harder than selling yourself for a consulting assignment – in the former case, you need to also communicate a “larger purpose”.

For the last 5-6 years I’ve been mostly selling myself for consulting assignments, and while it hasn’t been easy, all I’ve needed to do to sell has been to convince the potential client that I’ll do a good job solving whatever problem they have, and that my fees is a worthy investment for them. And to some extent I’ve become better over the years making such arguments.

When you’re applying for a job, you not only have to convince the counterparty that you’ll be good at whatever you need to do, and that you are worth the salary that you are asking for, but also need to argue how the job will “improve your life”. You need to explain to them why the job fits in to the list of stuff you’ve already done in your life. You need to talk about where you see yourself 5/10/50 years from now. You need to actually express interest in the job, and irrespective of how mundane the job description, you need to act like it’s the most exciting job ever.

And this is a part I haven’t been good at, basically since I haven’t done any of it for a long time now. And in any case, this is a part of the cover letter that people routinely bluff about, so I don’t know if recruiters even take this part seriously. In any case, I’ve been filling most of my cover letters so far with explanations of how I’ll do an awesome job of the job, and keeping only a cursory line or two about “how the job will improve my life”!

Visas to India

Between January 2012 and October 2013, India issued over 34000 employment visas. Where did these 34000 foreign workers come from?



Notice that the number of people with employment visas from Japan and Germany outstrip all other countries, by a long way! The United States is not even in the top 12! The other notable exception? Bangladesh!

What about tourists? Where do India’s tourists come from? Between January 2012 and October 2013, India issued about 4.5 million tourist visas. And where did these tourists come from? This graph here shows the percentages:



And which country contributes the maximum number of tourists to India? Bangladesh! 800,000 or almost 18% of India’s tourists in these 22 months came from Bangladesh! And they didn’t come here for medical treatment – that has been taken care of in another category of visas!

Go figure.

Workforce Participation of Women

Krish Ashok and Puram Politics have been collecting data from various government sources and converting them to excel. This data contains a wealth of information on social indicators in India. You can expect the next few issues of RQ to be based on this dataset. Data is drawn from various government sources including the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MOSPI).

Today we will look at the workforce participation of women across the states of India. First, let us look at rural women. Notice that the all India average participation is close to 60%. Himachal Pradesh ranks the highest with over 83% while (perhaps surprisingly, developed states such as ) Delhi, Kerala and Punjab bring up the rear.



Next we will look at the workforce participation of urban women. Note now that the all India average drops to an abysmal 20%! While migration to urban areas is generally associated with increased standard of living, it is interesting to note that more and more women don’t work in urban areas. It is perhaps a reflection of the kind of jobs that are available in urban India.



Notice that once again, Himachal Pradesh is top and Punjab and Delhi bring up the rear. Actually there seems to be a correlation between workforce participation of rural and urban women across states. Let us explore that with a scatter plot.



Notice that there is a strong positive correlation. Interestingly, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (states associated with excellent education levels) display superior participation of urban women in the workforce relative to the participation of their rural women. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are also found to be above the regression line. Interestingly, it is hard to draw a pattern from this data in terms of which state is more developed.