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Hello Respected Folks,
Firstly, I have uttermost respect and regards to all the HR folks who work in an organization, since I had umpteen interactions with them in the past and they were always pleasant.
I am in a state of tension and need your judicious advice with regards to my current situation. I apologize for the long-winded post (inclusive of queries) that's about to follow.
I am a Computer Science engineer having around five years of work experience in the software industry with a good firm. (In fact two firms- the first one was one in which I had worked as a consultant). I had later resigned.
During my college days I had won a prize in a Business plan competition and got some initial capital funding from a school of national importance. However, since I wanted to gain some real-world experience and knowledge, I had decided to opt for a career in the software industry.
Back then, under the reeling effects of recession, I was still a fresher and I had to work real hard to get a job and later another job and managed to fruitfully sustain for about five years.
My Current Position:
I had quit my job some 3,5 years back to focus on my venture since I had wanted to be an entrepreneur and also the idea was good enough.
So, coupled with the earlier funds (prize money), my own funds and some "invites" and pitch presentations at excellent business conferences, I was under the notion I would be able to secure the initial capital. But, due to want of resources and certain factors, I was unable to get the required funding thereby abandoning the plan altogether.
The last three and half years had taught me many aspects of Entrepreneurship and its underpinning concepts; I also became more confident and suave. But, now when I look back on it I feel I had "failed" in my venture and now back to square one.
I am giving interviews (though calls have dried up a bit due to my gap, though I had written my current position held as Entrepreneur) and some technical interviews I am able to clear but the uniform HR question that was being asked was: "What were you doing in the gap?" and the like. I was only looking for permanent jobs with a normal shift.
Of course, I had never put up any fake credentials and they are authentic. But, my interview doesn't progress to the culmination of an offer being made. (which I feel is due to the gap issue)
(Q1) I was thinking of asking for a role in my previous company but I feel it might take further time and might not work out, and also they might pay me far less for my skills than an equivalent person of my age.
My family was telling me that I should join any job that comes up (otherwise the gap will increase) but my main worry is if I take a pay-cut and join some XYZ company then it will surely reflect negatively on my resume and credentials and skills. Later, when I am trying for another job, after leaving XYZ, the hike I might receive will be dependent on the last drawn salary at XYZ-- this new salary will be equivalent to my current Last Drawn Salary (in '15).
People in a firm generally look for career and salary progression at this initial stages of one's career. Is my interpretation right?
So, in practicality the salary drawn 5 years down the lane would be equal to my salary drawn some 3 three years back- I personally feel this is a bit degrading of my profile and credentials. I do have skills that are in medium demand in the market, but, owing to the gap and other things I am being screened out initially and in interviews too.
Some people might say that I can work at a lower salary, but doesn't taking a pay-cut when one is relatively young show signs of no "career progression or salary progression"-- two vital factors seen that are used during salary negotiations.
I can take a pay-cut and work with a firm and simultaneously work on up-skilling, but for up-skilling certain relevant projects need to be done and shown to command a hike.
Can any one in this esteemed forum advise me on this situation and the queries posted in (Q1)??
(Q2) I had also applied to a Central Government Job and if it doesn't work out I am planning to an MBA. Does doing MBA help in getting a relatively better job later (two years) since I have an additional skill-set (on the business side) which when coupled with my previous experience, entrepreneurial experience result in some career advancement and salary advancement?
Is this a viable and good thing to do?
(Q3) Else, finally, do a course on the latest happening things in IT, upgrade and then apply for positions? (again I will be unemployed but I will have certificate attesting to the educational or upgrading myself at least (certification)) I can at least say I was working on improving my skills in tune with the market demands.
After this, apply for an MBA?
Else, leave this, join as a faculty in a coaching institute (MBA, GMAT, GRE etc) and then crack MBA and join a good school?
I am still relatively young, so age is not a strong barrier to me. I don't have any commitments too.
Can you folks please address these questions and advise me, so that I would be a bit pragmatic in my future approach and also be a bit calm. I am getting tensed every single day. I apologize for the long-winded post.
Thanks and Regards,

From India, Hyderabad

First of all,understand that India has a problem of jobs and unless highly qualified,one may find it difficult to get jobs quickly due to severe competition.
However never loose heart over problems.Your problems will get sorted out by positive efforts.
""My family was telling me that I should join any job that comes up (otherwise the gap will increase) but my main worry is if I take a pay-cut and join some XYZ company then it will surely reflect negatively on my resume and credentials and skills.""
There positives to what family is telling you.
It is better to have a job than remain jobless.
Use your waiting period to add qualifications in your area of strength.
From which university or institute are you planning to do MBA?
There are far too many MBA institutes.
What is your basic qualification?
In your place I would make getting a job the priority even if it does not suit me as flow of income will give confidence, contacts and exposure.
Your strengths must be developed and everyone cannot be an entrepreneur.
Your entrepreneurial ability is a plus point and if projected well can impress potential employers.
To sum up my post
Be bold and confident.
Try to add a topical qualification while job hunting, in line with sunshine industries and your educational background.

From India, Pune
Thanks Nathrao.
Yes, what you had said is true. When I was working, I was much confident and self-assured, but, with the passage of time during my entrepreneurial quest I had lost some of the sheen associated with being a confident person.
I have plans to do well on entrance examinations and put in my best efforts to convert interview calls from good to very good MBA institutes. (Not the best, because I know they might filter me due to the excess work experience, and the gap)
My basic qualification is a Computer Science engineering degree from a very good private college.
I had attended multiple business renowned business plan conferences and pitched in with my business idea/concept-- this gave me a lot of confidence and exposure. Of course, I did put this up in the interview and put a positive spin to it too.
But, the overwhelming fact that rankles me is the notion among the people interviewing me or who had interviewed me that this "chap maybe a flight risk again to entrepreneurship". I had steadfastly decided not to pursue entrepreneurship again because it involves the crucial functions of time and money.
I had identified a sunshine industry already and working on it. I am planning to take up a planned 12 month course interspersed with practical projects that are sided towards implementation of the same.
I am also thinking of teaching part-time in an institute so as to gradually institute the work-ethic again.
Yes, I do understood getting a job is of prime importance. But, my only gripe is that I don't want to take a pay-cut (drastic) and join a firm because it will (I am sure) expose me to further reduction in pay from an absolute stand-point. (For my future age, degree and skills)
Also, I do know that prospective employers (have some HR friend(s)) view a potential candidate from the skills he is bringing and also if the person's income is within his level of experience.
Actually, the "perceived" gap amongst people who had interviewed me was not really a gap-- I had worked on my start-up conception and tried to implement it. Not all ideas succeed and in the process I was unable to substantially scaled it up. It can be construed to be a gap upto a certain extent.
If I take up a course of study in a sunshine industry and work on some projects, do some part-time work (for income purpose) and later opt for an MBA, does it help in the future?
Any further advice or suggestion?
Thanks and Regards.

From India, Hyderabad

AI is a rising field.
Data analytics is another field with immense potential.
Your focus should be preferably on Computer science fields.
Why are you focussing on MBA?
Far too many MBA institutes churning out graduates.

From India, Pune
Yes I agree with you.
That's why I am seeking a quality MBA degree. I see or observed many people in upper management or middle level management have a Master's degree from a good university, so I feel a quality MBA does indeed foster career growth and the consequent growth in pay too.
I am focusing on MBA because my earlier role had a heavy emphasis on client interaction, and was akin to a business analyst role. So, in comparison with my technical knowledge, my business knowledge and understanding of various business functions within an enterprise are far better. Thus, an MBA degree will complement this knowledge and expertise (of mine) and I can exploit it to a better degree.
I am okay with technical things but lost some touch in the last few years but still I can explain things and know programming, and testing concepts. (Agile, Scrum etc etc)
I am thinking of an MBA with business or data analytics specialization-- you feel that's perfectly apt? I did research on the net and it was indeed good.
My ultimate aims are: Knowledge, Money and Growth in Career.
I do know a Masters in CS also helps or a Masters in Data Analytics too, but due to my previous experience I am under the impression an MBA with Business Analytics might be the perfect combination.
Thanks and Regards

From India, Hyderabad
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