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Work Culture

When my boss told me not to prepare for CAT

"Don’t prepare for CAT if you want to succeed here."

Those were the words of the manager of my first project.

I was a fresher B. Tech graduate in my first job and had joined my first project along with a few others. Our manager called us into his cabin for a casual introduction session.

His first words were, "Do not prepare for CAT or any government job exam if you want to succeed here. Stay here for a long time, and only then you will grow in your career." He also individually asked everyone if we were preparing for some exam and made sure we all said no.

That was his way of imposing employee retention by forcing people not to pursue better career opportunities. It was clear that if I shared my MBA plans with him, I was not getting any promotion no matter how well I did my job.

But did it stop me from pursuing my dream of getting into an IIM? No. But it did stop me from sharing about my CAT preparation with him.

I was committed to my work and did the best I could. At the same time, I spent my weekends preparing for CAT. It was very hectic, but somehow I managed.

After a year and a half, I got a promotion in my job and, at the same time, secured admission offers from multiple IIMs and other top MBA colleges in India.

I did not want to hide my preparation, but If I had told him, I could not get that promotion, even though I deserved that. That promotion was crucial for my career, in case, I could not pursue MBA.

You cannot retain employees by forcing them. Why not give them such a great environment that leaving becomes impossible.

And even if they leave, they would be willing to come back whenever possible. Wouldn’t it be great!

#work #career #mba #iim