This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, Co-Founder & CEO at iPleaders.

One of my professors from NUJS used to say “I don’t want to take any classes for 5th years. They are demigods.”

Then I heard a recruiter tell me that. Fresh graduates? Never. 6 months work experience is fine. 6 months means he got fired or left in disgust. He knows that a job is not a bed of roses. I can work with someone like that.

That’s what happens when people go through 5 years of law school. Or 4 years of engineering school. Only doctors despite many years of education remain sort of humble about their abilities. Somehow MBAs also think that after a year or two of management education, they are now stalwarts of industry, ready to become CEOs. We have arrived, people about to graduate think. I thought so too when I was graduating. It’s the audacity of youth, but very very naive.

We are now armed with our degree ready to change the world. By attending a great law school (or whatever school) and shelling out lakhs and bagging top ranks in class we have got the world at our feet, right? Wrong.

You are just at entry level. India’s terrible education system didn’t prepare you for the work you need to do ahead. Most of you are probably unemployable. The promises made by the admission counselors of the colleges you went to are probably false. Also, most of you have learned to game the system and have scant regards for rules. You have not developed the required work ethics. You are in trouble.

It’s really bad to hear, but it resonates with recruiter after recruiter if you bother to ask them. Most people just don’t hire freshers, not because freshers don’t have experience, but because they don’t have perspective of what they are capable of and how much training they need before they can churn out meaningful work. They overestimate how much salary they should get. They are mainly ignored by majority of recruiters because it is too difficult to train fresh graduates unless you are very big and have in house training facilities.

Yes, we recruiters have to train you because your education system for which you shelled out a bomb doesn’t work.

The expectations of freshers are sky high and seldom match reality. They are seldom able to appreciate an opportunity for what it is. Let the big companies hire them with stellar packages. Most of them will come out of that system soon and will look for opportunities with tempered expectations, and better work habits.

Sad. But that’s how it has been for a while. Nobody says it because it is so difficult and bitter to say it.

If you are a fresher, this is good news for you. It’s very easy to stand out. Your peers are not upto the mark. Just build tremendous work ethics. Do some real work. Spend months at offices learning the ropes, and don’t bother about 15 days and 1 month Internships. Get as much practical experience you can before you graduate. Real work, not just more CV points. And just be aware that you are beginning your career. Find out some extra courses or coaching that can give you a headstart towards practical knowledge. There is a long way to go.

Yes your parents said that life will be easy after board exams. That didn’t happen, did it? They said life will be easy when you get campus placement, or a job. It won’t be. Life is just about to get really tough. No more extension for project deadlines and one night preparation for surviving exams. Now every day will be like the day before exam for a while.

Always keep growing. For those interested in growth, we have an online course co-created by some of the luminaries of the legal industry where you can make growth your priority and many freshers get jobs after doing this course and taking their competence to a very high level. See the success stories.

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  1. It’s not only about corporate jobs, kindly add litigation also in your list. Junior advocates are paid only 4000/- per month in the beginning. Even after 5 years their pay averages only 10000/- per month. It’s very difficult to see 20000/- a month as a junior advocate. People might never see this and after 7 or 8 years they just open an office and wait for clients to come, many times there are no clients at all. There are advocates who never pay fixed monthly payment for juniors in the beginning. Junior advocates have to struggle for close to ten years before they average 15000/- per month. Why is this happening to juniors in litigation?