Many of you reading this article will be graduates in the next couple of years. During that time, you'll see people from your batch getting great opportunities at the top companies. However, those positions are limited in number. So, the rest will have to miss out on those jobs.
Let's not be euphemistic about this. There are jobs which are much better than others in terms of career progression, compensation, and overall work environment. Inequality in the job sector is a major problem and the scarcity of good positions is a factor we do have to consider.
That being said, it's perfectly fine to not have an amazing start to your career. It's a marathon, not a sprint. People who get into the lucrative positions might not be able to sustain the momentum, allowing others to catch up and even overtake them. There have been cases where people failed to enter their desired organisation, only to work their way up the ladder in another one, and join the aforementioned organisation with a promotion.
Of course, the people who got into the best companies did so on their own merit. But that does not give anyone the right to look down upon people whose jobs are not on the same level as theirs. Job-shaming is a real problem among our fresh graduates, and it can adversely affect one's self-esteem and confidence.
“Oh, he earns 20,000 less than me. He's probably not a good resource, that's why he had to settle.”
You probably now see where I'm going with this. Stuff like this is not uncommon. I've seen subtle jabs being thrown at friends in jest. But the jokes do affect people and it makes them doubt their own abilities. It's such a shame that we allow jobs to gauge a person's worth without trying to understand why they made the decision. Not everyone can bring their A-game to every assessment. In the high-stakes job market, one bad day can ruin your chances. I know talented people who didn't get the best jobs because of unfortunate circumstances. Most people aren't willing to see that and they would go right into judging them for their supposed “incompetence”.
The people who are suffering because of this, they get it. They didn't get into that fancy corporate job. They hear it from their family members every day. Every day is a struggle for them. But understand this, not everyone is destined for mediocrity and it would be a crying shame if we were responsible for crippling a talented individual before they even got the chance to prove themselves. I know a lot of people who vent to me about these things on a regular basis. It is not a pretty sight.
It's time to realise that, subconsciously, we engage in a lot of acts that slowly alienate these people. That's not to say we should patronise them in any way. That is insulting in and of itself. Limiting this judgemental behaviour should be the way to go.
The next time you meet up for a university reunion, talk about your dog, or how you've gone back to one of your old hobbies. Reminisce days of old instead of talking about work. There are other things in life too.
Shahrukh Ikhtear is a Management Trainee at Grameenphone and former sub-editor of SHOUT magazine. Send him business stuff or good music at fb.com/sr.ikhtear