Lahore School of Economics

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Career Management

Ms Sadia Irfan, Director Human Resource of Fatima Group of Companies, visited the Lahore School on 13 April 2022 and delivered a stellar session on Career Management to the MBA cohort of 2022 in the Organizational Behavior course. Almost the entire session was interactive and Ms Sadia answered a large number of questions.

She emphasized that everyone present had some talent within him or her: what was now needed was that that person should have a vision, should have the courage to implement that vision, and should have the right communication to reach the audience. The environment around us was volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) but we still needed to plan better.

How can one plan one’s career? Ms Sadia gave an example of how she forged her own career, starting with door to door selling on behalf of Electrolux, from where she learnt the importance of building trust and establishing need. Then she worked in pharma, at Nestle and at Pepsi, learning new skills in the process. At Fatima she was able to put her knowledge to practice by initiating change management. Her advice to the young MBAs was to focus first on their attitude.

Once they join an organization, they have to develop their personal brands. Also refrain from indulging in negativity: focus on creating value. A better approach would be to understand one’s boss: What does he want? How can one help one’s boss in making his work easier? How can one add value? “Do not be aggressive. Be assertive. Do not react. Respond after having thought through.”

If an MBA graduate, while working, felt that he or she lacked in some skill – numbers, Excel, software etc. – all he or she had to do was get some help, even tuition, and remove his or her weaknesses before these turn into failures.

In response to a question on job switching, she noted that when one switched jobs, one should ask oneself about the new company “Is the new company complex enough to teach me something new and of value?” While switching, one need not “unlearn” one’s core values; but one should be ready to adapt to the new “workstyles”.

Regarding HR, Ms Sadia’s view was that over the last few decades, HR has experienced a tremendous change in its ethos and function as it has moved far away from helping the line managers to hire employees to sitting at the strategy table.

The MBA candidates from all the sections asked a large number of probing questions which Ms Sadia responded to with precision, candidness and experience.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4/15/2022 02:55:00 PM,

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