Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MBA or UPSC - what to choose

The dilemma of selection
indore-youth sandeep manudhane mba sandeep ias manudhane upsc
Ummm... which looks better?

A lot of bright young people find it rather trying to decide which option they will pursue from many good ones available. If you are facing the same, you are not alone. Since both require a lot of hard work, it is best if you spend some quality time differentiating.

Let us understand the difference in the type of work that these two careers entail. I'll put it simply, without too much of jargon.

Being an MBA - This is what most entrepreneur dreamers, high-personal-achievers, corporate-types, brand-builders, leaders, communicators would choose to do. They have a dream of either working for a large brand globally, or wish to start an enterprise of their own. They may even belong to a family that's running a large business. These are people who may wish to work across disciplines (HR / Finance / Marketing / Product design / IT). These surely are people who wish to be financially very very successful, live in big cities, own big fancy apartments, drive cool cars!

Being a Civil Servant - These are people who wish to spend their lives for the benefit of the nation, the people and the social system. They get immense happiness when they see a smile on others' faces as they solve some intractable problem. They get a huge kick by ensuring that projects are conceptualised and executed well, say for Garbage Disposal, or Solar Lighting, or Employment Camps in Remote Areas, or Primary Health Centres or ...  Of course, there are fancy options as well depending on the Service you choose. But largely, these are people who dirty their hands while working at the grass-roots level in teams that are extremely varied in social composition.

These two are entirely different mindsets. 

  1. The first is centred on one's own self, and the second on others.
  2. The first assumes tremendous personal energy for self-growth. The other requires energy for growth of others.
  3. The first is likely to be full of nervous energy raring to prove itself. The second requires a patience that only deep, cool, thinkers may have.
  4. The first is likely to seek permissions from the second for the projects they launch!

There are some similarities too.
  1. With every passing year, the government of India desires more and more of an entrepreneurial mindset even in the Civil Servants, simply because the nature of evolving problems demands so.
  2. Both may require many years of patient self-development to be successful.
  3. Both require a lot of personal commitment to the causes undertaken.
In the end, it is ultimately a deep introspection which will tell you what's best for your unique case. Also, if you choose to become a civil servant now, you can always switch over to the private sector later on in your life, or become a politician too. For an MBA, it may be impossible to become a civil servant beyond the stipulated age-limit for the exam. Hence, whatever it is you want to do in life, think and decide for sure now.

A sure technique to know what is best for you - imagine yourself doing a certain job (work) for next 15 years. Would you still spring out of bed early morning with joy, looking forward to the day's work? If yes, you are on the right track. If no, maybe you chose the wrong career to begin with. This is a simple way to constantly judge your compatibility with what you are doing, or planning to do. The legendary Jack Welch called it - 4 Es wrapped in a P (Edge, Energy, Energise, Execution wrapped in Passion). More on it somewhere else.

If you need any personal counselling on this, get in touch. Happy to help!



Anonymous said...

Effective people management, salesmanship, understanding the markets, basically anything that you aren't good at right now but are sure will not be problem after your MBA is over.

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Utkarsh Singh said...

Thanks you for this post and for sharing the "sure shot technique" to find out what is best for us.

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