Question: I am working as an assistant manager of marketing at a building-materials firm. I am dissatisfied with my job description and salary package, so I have started working part-time toward my M.B.A. I have earned several interviews, but haven't received any offers. What am I doing wrong? Will personality classes or completion of my M.B.A. help?
-- Anupam, New Delhi, India
Anupam : The fact that you are securing interviews suggests that your experience and background are of interest to potential hiring managers. While the M.B.A. may give you additional leverage in negotiating salary over the long run, the lack of the degree doesn't appear to be a barrier for consideration for the positions you are seeking.
If you have ruled out external obstacles, such as discrimination or a flat salary schedule, then it is time to look inside. Personality skills (commonly referred to as interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence or soft skills) are increasingly recognized as important contributing factors to career success. Unjustly, the most qualified person for a position or a promotion is sometimes passed over for a less qualified but more convincing candidate. If you have concerns that you aren't presenting yourself effectively or that you aren't connecting with hiring managers, a course in interpersonal skills, effective presentations, relationship building or negotiations may be worth the time and investment.
To decide where to focus your energy, determine the underlying issues by asking for feedback. A reality check from key people in your work environment, combined with your own analysis, will likely reveal the areas that are most deserving of attention.
Article from CareerJournal. December 2004
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