"Identify your passions."
"Learn new skills."
Virender Kapoor is the former director of Pune's Symbiosis Institute of Management and the founder of Management Institute for Leadership and Excellence and the author of Passion Quotient and A Wonderful Boss.
Speaking to Rediff.com, Kapoor lists out ten things that should be on the agenda of every young Indian this year!
1. The Make in India campaign
The e-commerce boom is all very well, but ignore the Make in India programme at your own peril!
Narendra Modi's programme aiming at attracting businesses from around the world to invest and manufacture in India will be thing to look forward to.
While the objective is to focus on heavy industries, the programme will also generate employment in secondary and tertiary sector.
So expect new jobs in various industries -- from biotech and mining to tourism and also media and entertainment
It is general knowledge that opportunities arise in industries where the government invests.
So keep an eye on various government schemes and participate in them for your good.
2. Identify your passions!
The great part about living in the age of opportunities is that you can actually do something you love.
We are living at a time when you can follow your heart and earn a living too.
So identify your passions and follow your heart.
Take up a vocation that you are passionate about!
3. Sharpen your axe
If you're a student, go beyond the curriculum; take up new courses; learn something new.
Do something that will add value to what the education system is offering you.
If you're a professional, let this be the year you specialise in your chosen area.
If you aren't ready to specialise, opt for job rotation so you learn more things.
Let this be the year you move out of your comfort zone.
Develop a hobby or a game; something that adds to your personality.
4. Use peer pressure to your advantage
Don't let peer pressure make you buy things you cannot afford.
Instead, let it inspire you to be competitive.
Rather than buying that car your colleague bought, choose instead to outperform her/him.
Where you eat, where you stay, what you wear doesn't matter!
What you do does!
5. Be a good Indian citizen
We keep cribbing about everything -- from the garbage to the corruption to hunger and illiteracy.
This year, look beyond yourself.
To your usual list of 'I will lose weight' resolutions, add something that will make a difference to the society at large.
For example resolve to not bribe or waste food or encourage others to follow traffic rules.
6. Ask for work instead of salary
I can see you make a face there! :-)
But hear me out.
When you ask for larger roles and bigger targets, promotion or money will always follow.
Here's a story of a former student who was put in charge of sales for Pune territory.
He did well for himself but six months later, instead of demanding for a raise, he requested for additional responsibility.
The Nashik territory was handed to him as an additional responsibility.
He did well in that territory too.
A year later, he was promoted.
If you're still sceptical of this story, think of how Bollywood works.
A struggling actor will typically ask for a role and not how much he's getting paid.
It is only after he proves himself that he can demand the money he wants.
If that can work in Bollywood, why should it not work in the corporate sector either?
7. Resolve to work hard to build a reputation
Be more sincere; help colleagues because all of it will come back to you in some form.
Take initiative; outperform and don't shy away from taking on greater tasks.
Be aware of what image you are projecting. And let that image be an honest reflection of who you are.
Don't work like a bull or an ass; be more efficient.
8. Get organised
This might sound trivial but know that half the battle is won when you're organised.
So be it the files and folders in your computer or the clothes in your wardrobe, ensure everything has a place and it is kept there.
Learn to be punctual.
Respond to your emails within 24 hours.
People respect you those who are responsive.
9. Use social media properly and prudently
Social media presence is important so I would not go to the extreme of suggesting going off it entirely.
So resolve to dedicate a certain amount of time in the day to your social media activity but no more.
Resolve also to not post anything personal because we all know how damaging it can be.
Be cautious of what you write and what you post on social media.
10. Don't default on any payment
Got that overdue credit card payment?
Pay it immediately.
Issued a cheque to someone without checking if you have enough money in your account? Another red flag there!
Welcome to the grown-up world.
All these seemingly little things add up and come to bite you when you're least expecting it.
So get your finances in order this year, file your returns, don't leave credit card payment for the next month.
Sooner or later, you will need a loan -- to buy a house or a car or just to get married.
Your financial behaviour decides your CIBIL rating. And if you've been irresponsible, good luck trying to get a loan.
So above anything and everything, learn to be prudent with your expenses.
Virender Kapoor's Passion Quotient and A Wonderful Boss are available on Rediff Books.
Lead image used for representational purposes only.
Photograph: Still from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani