While setting in my MS class, our professor asked a question to the class, what do think, you are going to be in the market? And there was a shout of different views coming all over from the class; banker, trainer, manager, consultant, auditor and so on, but I observed a question mark on the face of the professor, and after a while when class became bit quiet, he disappointedly answered himself, “a product”. I could see many of the students wondering how they can be a product.
Now, after a couple of years in professional life, I hundred percent agree with my professor’s view. I believe that every potential employee is a marketable commodity, and the total compensation he receives for his services, is in fact his value in the market. Enhance presentation, perception, performance and skill package, to increase the value in the market.
First, let me elaborate the answer, “a product” by a marketing concept regarding product by Philip Kotler et al. they distributed product into three levels; core product, actual product and augmented product.
- Core product is not tangible, you can’t touch it, actually its perceived benefits, that a product can offer, which decides its value in the market.
- Then, the Actual Product is the real physical product you buy from the market for taking benefits of core product.
- Third, the Augmented Product is the added benefits and values for which you may or may not pay extra amount to avail those extra benefits by the purchase. And organizations mostly provide the bundle of augmented benefits to attract more consumers and to differentiate the product from the competitors.
Now, for us, we are also comprised of these three levels; core, actual and augmented. Core professional, is what potential users (Employers) perceives about us. For example, an employer perceives that HR Professional will benefit him by developing policies and procedures to provide him with competitive pool of professionals, who will lead the organization to its utmost goals. This is what a core professional is in the eyes of a potential user or employer.
For a professional, “Core Professional” is what employer perceives about. And if I am not wrong the perception is built upon the idea taken from the resume, therefore, I can say that our resume decides our core value. I suggest that allocate time to organize the resume keeping in mind that your market value is depending on the time you spend to make your resume look rich.
Secondly the “Actual Professional” is, what the professional is capable of doing and what he does for the employer. Our career relies upon the “Actual Professional”, this depends on the person how he performs the tasks he is responsible for. His performance describes the gap between “Core and Actual Professional”, if the core professional is better than the actual the employer must not be satisfied with his decision, and process of hiring, because the decisions are mostly made on the basis of comparison between core and perceived actual product. A valuable actual professional is built upon the roots of his education and practical approach towards his profession. We observe that there is a gap between the education and industrial needs and mostly fresh graduates are not equipped with the right skills and competencies that are required to perform even the basic functions of the organization. This gap between education and skills required at practical life reduces the actual value of the professional. This gap can be minimized by joint efforts from all the stake holders.
In the end, it comes with “Augmented Professional”, although the professional is ready to serve the market if he qualifies the first two professional levels. For professional success, growth and opportunities in best organizations of the market, it is need to augment yourself. Add value to yourself by taking every possible opportunity to learn the new ideas, behaviors, competencies, skills and then present yourself as an augmented professional. And by adding the augmented segment to your professional life you may have competitive edge on others in the market.
Nonetheless, I think our value is dependent on each and every step of our life, from childhood to schooling and from career selection to goal accomplishment, we need to manage, develop, and present ourselves in a way that make employers feel that we can be a valuable addition to their group.
A young scholar and researcher, Ahsan Ali is a committed HR professional and trainer at Cogilent Solutions (Pvt.)