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Monday, 21 July 2014

Curiosity Got the Cat a Job

Children are curious by nature. Our society has jokes about children pestering their mothers asking “but why?” When do we stop being curious? The mother’s annoyance at her child demonstrates how as we grow older, we lose our curiosity. Too many questions are a frustration – an annoying habit rather than a personality trait to be rewarded - but curiosity is essential, especially professionally.
As a librarian by education, and a researcher by trade, I make a living by being curious. I enjoy learning and sharing new knowledge with others, and I don’t mind having to dig to find that information. For me, the journey is as valuable as finding the destination; a challenging search uncovers new sources and strategies.  So when I came across an interview with Tiger Tyagarajan in which he explains the value of curiosity in a professional context, I had to share his insights.
Tyagarajan is the CEO of Genpact, a business process and technology management company. As CEO, Tiger has had the opportunity to meet and interview many people, and for Tyagarajan, curiosity is key: “the single biggest quality I look for is the ability and desire to learn. Are you a really curious person.” He believes that curiosity is a dynamic trait, often leading to people who are more inclusive, determined, demonstrate superior communication skills and passion for their work.
How can you apply curiosity to your job/candidate search? Tyagarajan suggests that careers revolve around three main dimensions – subject expertise, industry, and culture – and that you should only ever change one dimension at a time. It is through these dimensions that you can challenge yourself/team and engage your curiosity. Don’t be afraid to make changes – new subject areas, industries, and cultures are avenues to explore and develop. The financial industry is a new subject area for me – I am constantly learning and making mistakes – but I am curious and eager to learn. Because if it was easy, it wouldn’t be rewarding, and ultimately I think that’s what we all look for in a job.

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