Letter to graduates

Bhutanese Blogger

“Bhutanese Blogger” left a comment on “Leadership of the Self”, a post targeted at this year’s graduates.  In his comment (don’t ask how I know his gender) – which happens to be a letter he’d posted on his blog last year – he talks about career choices, the need to develop a strong resume, the importance of cultivating useful networks, entrepreneurship and further studies.

These are, indeed, some important issues that our graduates should ponder. So I’m reproducing his comment here to allow graduates to access it easily.

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This was written in 2009. Some figures have changed since then.

Dear Graduates

An unemployment level of 4%, prospects of a smaller civil service and the layoffs in the private sector aren’t good news for you all. Our job market has become more challenging in recent times.

All of you sound incredibly talented and well grounded, and I am sure that your expectations are realistic. You don’t normally graduate again. So take some time to assess where you want to go on from here but be ready to be disappointed in your search.

For many reasons, everybody aspires to work in the civil service. Yes – it provides wide ranging opportunities – from attending to the public to working on a national policy – but you can also become a clone (a typical civil servant who is satisfied with life). So be sure that you have good networking skills – they are useful at all stages and places. You should also have a huge supply of tolerance and patience to see you through long meetings, demanding bosses and people who complain how inefficient civil servants are. If you have good ideas – better. If you don’t have any – be open and willing to explore. Work hard, voice your thoughts and take initiatives (although these may not be demanded of you). Avoid the temptation of being a ‘YES’ man and develop a reputation for delivering results.

But if you are entrepreneurial and enjoy working really hard, consider working for a private company or starting something new. All you need is a good idea and a lot of passion. You will develop commercial skills that will place you well to take advantage of our economy which is being liberalised. And Bhutan needs more entrepreneurs. With our Government committed to developing the sector, the opportunities will only increase.

Another option is to go for higher studies but personally, I think, a few years of working experience makes pursuing a post-graduate degree more enriching. And you could still be looking for work after three years.

But if you aren’t interested in any of these, there is yet another career path you could choose –

You have a degree and qualify to to represent your people in the national assembly. Network and develop your political capital. Go home and establish your credentials. I hear that being an MP isn’t a difficult job. My convictions come from desiring to see or hear of something substantial done by the MPs. I could be wrong. But you have a good opportunity to prove that MPs need more talents than just the ability to be either garrulous in their arguments or subservient in their conduct.

Finally as you start looking for jobs, enhance your CV either by volunteering your time or learning something new. Now is the time to meet people, question and learn as much as you can. As you mature – you are expected to know something and lose that liberty to ask questions.

And maintain lots of positivity and modest levels of overconfidence (overconfidence does help).

All the best.

 

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  1. Your excellency,
    I am really motivated by our kind advise and thoughts.i always feel that you are my mentor and i will always look forward to see for advices you provide because i am also interested in political movements.
    The interest in me to become a politician one fine day has given birth since 2006 and i am fully confident that one fine day, i will be getting ticket from my constituency.

    YOUR EXCELLENCY, YOU ARE ALWAYS MY MENTOR

    ZHABDU

  2. Dear OL,

    It is a well written letter which I hope would have impressed and motivated those graduates who have read it..I mean graduates who is totally oblivious of the worldly realties and practical hardships. However, your letter did not go well with my impression because you have such a low opinion of our civil servants and our law makers (MPs).

    You advice the graduates not to become a ‘clone’ civil servants and to refrain from being the “YES Man” of the bosses. I wonder what type of civil servants you yourself were just 3 years back. If what people talk about you is true, I am given to believe that you had a meteoric rise in your career in the civil service just by being the “YES Man” of LSN. People also say that you owe your current position (OL) to LSN (former PDP president) though other candidates clearly prefered Dasho Daamhoe Dorji as the OL. Therefore, for someone who knows your true colour, your letter doesn’t make any sense at all.

    You also have a demeaning opinion of our MPs whom you say don’t possess talent other than being garrulous and subservient. Going by the past sessions of National Assembly, I was wondering if you are shedding lights on your own Character and then attributing it to other MPs, because you have been more than garrulous in quoting Constitution every time you stood to speak in the Hall.

  3. Jambay Dorji says:

    Your Excellency,

    I really like your article titled “Letter to graduates”. I read it again and again simply because we need to someone to remind someone in this competitive ages. I am working as Higher Secondary Teacher. I always admire your magnetic personality ever since my high school days.
    Keep writing more article Lyonpo la

    Jambay Dorji
    Mongar HSS

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