The Misfit Job Market

Exactly 15 years ago, I was looking for a job. I had graduated from IIMB four months earlier, taken my first ever full time job 3 months earlier, and was already serving notice. Very quickly on, I had figured that I was not a good fit for the job that I had taken up, and so decided to cut my losses and move on.

The only problem was job hunting was hard. Back then, most people I spoke to seemed suspicious of me because I was getting out of my first job so early. For the longest time (years later), people spoke to me as if there was something wrong with me because I had quit my first job within three months. Finally I ended up taking a 20% pay cut to take another job where I seemed a better fit.

Thinking back, I don’t think I’m alone. The sheer randomness of the campus placement process means that a lot of people end up in jobs that they are ill suited for, purely based on a bit of bad judgment here and a lucky interview there. And most smart people figure out quickly enough that in case they are in jobs they are not a good fit for, it’s better to cut losses and move on. If it is their first ever jobs (applies for undergrad jobs, and for MBAs without prior work experience), the desperation to get out of their misfit jobs will be high.

I think this is a highly underserved market. Companies fall head over heels over themselves to access premium slots in the random process called campus placements, without realising that a significant part of the same pool will (theoretically) be available for a proper interview just a few months hence.

5-6 years back, an old friend of mine had started a company which was essentially a clearinghouse targeted at this precise market – to enable companies hire people in their first years of employment. Unfortunately the company didn’t take off, suggesting that the market design problem is not easy to solve.

Anyway, in case you are a just-graduated student who believes you are a misfit in your first job, and instead want to do analytics, get in touch with me. Having been on the other side, I’m more than happy to fish in this pool, and I know that I’ll get some temporarily undervalued talent here.

Just that I don’t know what sort of market or clearinghouse I need to go to to tap this supply, and so I’m putting out a bid here in the form of this blogpost.

PS: In case you’re a recent reader of my blog, I’ve written a book on market design.