Career in Communication

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Communication as a Career

Communication, of late, has become an important area of Studies. In the 21st century contemporary society is increasingly getting diverse and communication is getting more complex. It is because the world is in the making of a “Global Village”, predicted years ago. Today, it is not at all surprising to find a French buying Indian saris or German buying books on Indian Philosophy in a local market.

Even Indian students, Scholars, IT Professionals and Business wizards commute all across the world for their respective Personal and Professional needs. This has posed a great challenge for the Researchers and Educators as how to communicate effectively both in India and overseas. These educators and researchers are focusing their work and courses on the challenges of communicating in a diverse and often computer mediated society. Many scholars are also stressing on the role of communication in a Civil and Democratic society.

Communication is a Skill, which involves systematic and continuous process of Speaking, Listening and understanding. Most people are born with the physical ability to talk, but we must learn to speak well and communicate effectively. Speaking, Listening, and our ability to understand verbal and nonverbal cues are the skills we develop in various ways. We learn basic communication skills by observing other people and modeling our behaviors on what we see and perceive. We are also taught some communication skills directly through education. By bringing those skills into practice and getting them evaluated, we can hone them further.

Contemporary students of communication draw on theories and practices common in the fields of Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Linguistics, Semiotics, and Rhetoric. Communication as a discipline now includes Interpersonal Communication, Small – group Communication, Organizational Communication, Intercultural and International Communication, Public, Mass, and Media Communication. The study of communication, therefore, considers how people communicate as individuals, in society and across cultures.

Importance of Communication Skills

Today the success of any venture, whether taken individually or as an organization, hinges on the ability of communicating effectively and clearly. Using the right tools to communicate the right message at the right time can salvage a crisis and motivate people to work towards success.

It is important both to the individual and to modern organizations in the following ways :

Communication Helping Individual

Effective communication skills can make a huge difference between being hired and fired. A well – organized job letter with a perfectly structured résumé followed by a convincing interview can get a good job for the recipient. Additionally, good communication skills advance the person Socially, build Self – confidence and enable him to help and lead others. It, sometimes, helps more than the core competence of a person to get a job.

Communication Helping the Organization

A good leader is the one who knows the art of conveying his message to the people and bringing them at consensus with logical arguments. This trait can only be developed when a leader has good communicative skills. By improving on the communicative skills, a leader can not only help himself but also the entire organization. The ability to Receive, Evaluate, use and pass on information gathered from within and outside the organization affects the effectiveness of an organization.

A manager who relies on such abilities can make necessary and suitable decisions for the growth and development of the organization.

Two Basic forms of Communication :

There are two major forms in which communication is categorized. They are :

Nonverbal Communication Skills

The most basic form of communication is nonverbal communication which includes all the Cues, Gestures, Vocal qualities, Spatial relationships, Attitude towards time and everything else that allow us to communicate without words. The non – verbal cues are used to express Superiority, Dependence, Likes, Dislikes, Happiness, Anger, Frustration, Confidence, respect, Love and a host of other Feelings and Attitude.

Paying proper attention to the following cues can make one an effective communicator :

  • Personal Appearance Nonverbal Communication : It makes the first impact on the audience which includes Dress, Hair style and Light makeup.
  • Nonverbal Communication Posture : It refers to the way one Stands, Sits and Walks. The movement of the body, the position of the hands and legs and other parts of the body reveal an individual’s personality whether he is Vibrant, Jittery, Nervous, Confident or Self – assured. A good speaker stands Tall.
  • Nonverbal Walk Gracefully : Move legs freely from the Hips, lift your feet from the floor and walk in a straight line. Avoid a stride and tiny steps.
  • Nonverbal Gestures Communications : A well – timed gesture drives the point home. All the verbal communication is accompanied by gestures such as shrugging of the Shoulders, Flourishing of the hands, movement of the head etc. These gestures enhance the impact and add greater value to what is being said.
  • Nonverbal Facial Expressions Communications : Of all the parts of the body, face is extremely Expressive. A Smile ( Friendliness ), a Frown ( Discontent ), Raising the eyebrows ( Disbelief ), or Tightening the jaw muscles ( Antagonism ) can add to the meaning conveyed through verbal means.
  • Eye Contact in Nonverbal Communication : Eye contact is a means of gaining Feedback, Enabling the Speaker to alter, adjust and reframe his message. A better eye contact leads to communication that is more effective.
  • Nonverbal Space and Distancing : It differs from Culture to Culture. In formal Gatherings, it may be ranging from 4 – 12 feet.
  • Chronemics Nonverbal Communication : Chronemics is the study of how human beings utilize time while communicating. It is also an important feature of Communication. People judge a person based on how much importance he attaches to time. Time reflects one’s sincerity and punctuality.
  • Silence in Nonverbal Communication : Many scholars treat silence as a part of non – verbal communication. Here the receiver has to decide what the sender wants to convey through silence based on the context and situation. Understanding the sense of silence can help the participant to know the state of mind of a sender. It could be a great help while communicating across cultures.

Verbal Communication Skills

Although we can be expressive through non-verbal cues, yet it has its own limitations. If one has to discuss the past Events, Ideas or Abstractions, one needs symbols that stand for one’s thoughts. Verbal communication consists of words arranged in meaningful patterns. To express thoughts, words are arranged according to the rules of grammar with various parts of speech arranged in different sequence. To be successful, a person requires to have integrated four skills of verbal communication – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. These abilities are, of course, not inborn but can be cultivated by hard work and little focus.

  1. Verbal Reading Skills :
    It requires simple changes in the approach to master talent. To be a better writer and communicator, one needs to spend enough time on reading. It also keeps a person updated with all the current information. To develop the habit of reading, one should start with the books of one’s own interest.
    They can be Comic Books, Storybooks, Novels, Inspirational and Motivational Books, Biographies, Poetry etc. Even reading Newspapers, especially Editorials, can help in improving one’s reading skills.
  2. Verbal Writing Skills :
    It is a major vehicle to convey accurate information while maintaining records. It is considered as the most reliable form of communication.
    To improve on better writing skills, a person should use short and simple sentences. Be clear and precise in information while avoiding wordiness and figurative language. The whole writing should have coherent ideas and should be revised before the final submission.
  3. Verbal Listening Communication Skills :
    Listening is the most frequent, perhaps the most important of all the four skills. It can improve one’s understanding and help to enhance one’s personality. A person can improve on listening by motivating himself to listen for his betterment.
    A person should be objective while listening and should not bring his conflicting thoughts into it. Good use of thinking and listening ratio should be maintained and finally listening should be well practiced. Sometimes listening in second language is difficult for the listener, in that condition a person should try to watch movies, listen to songs and TV channels in the language one wants to improve.
  4. Verbal Communication Speaking Skills :
    Expressing and sharing ideas has become very important in today’s techno – global era. People with poor speaking skills and strong skills of their core competencies do not get good jobs. To develop good speaking skills, one should start with a simple mechanical process of reading loudly a piece of writing which can help the person to create a right tone for the language of learning.
    Then the person can form small group to discuss about their daily chores in the same language. In this way, the group members can help each other and learn together.
    Additionally, they can give small talks and pres entations in the language on learning to show their understanding and creative use of the language. What a person should avoid is the cramming of sentences by heart, as it is not at all helpful in improving on the speaking skills. Moreover, a person should take complete freedom in the beginning and speak without hesitation.

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Presentation on Effective Communication

The need for Communicating and Interacting with people is an imperative component of any job. In our professional lives there come numerous occasions when it becomes essential to address a large congregation and elucidate an important point. Many people are panic stricken in such situations and that creates the need for excellent and influential communication power. Here are the “tips”, which can guide you to master the skill of communication and be an effective communicator.

Effective Communicator Skills :

  • Survey – As a confident speaker, it is a must that a person is clear about the facts and figures. Hence, survey and research are mandatory so that a person can have high confidence to answer the queries raised during the presentation.
  • Specificity of Topic – Being a communicator, one needs to keep in mind that while making the presentation one should speak on the specific issues. The presentation can be made interesting by quoting examples and incidents, which subsequently makes the presentation more authentic and understanding. It is vital to note that if the speaker diverts from the topic, the audience is bound to get confused and lose interest. Hence, it is crucial that the presentation should be logically arranged to communicate the ideas effectively.
  • Adopt a Narrative Style – The audience can easily grab and understand your presentation if it is told in the format of a story. The interest of the audience and their involvement throughout the presentation is also generated by adopting this method.
  • Interesting Introduction and Conclusion – While preparing a presentation one should keep in mind that the introduction must be very interesting. The introduction needs to introduce the topic appropriately thus catching the attention of the audience. The introduction can be opened with a quote, anecdote, statistics and example. The conclusion of the presentation needs to be planned in a way that it sums up the entire presentation. This is beneficial for the audience in case they have missed any point during the presentation.
  • Ensure Audience Participation – Generate the interest of the audience by posing questions.

By executing the above stated points with full confidence and perfection while making a presentation at the work place, a person is sure to an indelible effect on the minds on the audience.

Importance of Communication Skills in Career

Understanding and adapting one’s communication according to the accepted professional style can have a substantial impact on one’s career potential and success. By speaking professionally, a person can more effectively demonstrate his knowledge, skills and ability to contribute successfully to the organization. The interaction and communication with others determine one’s Effectiveness, Reputation, Capability and ultimately one’s success in the professional world.

There are several elements of communication that significantly influence the success in career.

Elements of Communication Process

    1. Organizing ideas and information clearly and completely.
    2. Expressing and presenting ideas and information coherently and persuasively.
    3. Listening to others effectively.
    4. Communicating politely and convincingly with the people from diverse background and experiences.
    5. Providing right and appropriate feedback.
    6. Communicating ethically even when choices are not crystal clear.

Assimilating such skills in one’s personality boost confidence and ensure the clear expression of thought and information flow. These skills are perceived sine qua non of the career avenues like Academics, Journalism, Law, Engineering, Business, Broadcasting, Public relations, Soft – skills Training, Translations etc.

Career Prospects in Communication :

Students who focus on communication can find career opportunities in a variety of fields.

Communication Careers Advertising

The field of advertising requires that individuals have excellent written and oral communication skills. Completing a degree in advertising involves developing communication strategies, executing advertising campaigns and marketing products and services. Most advertising programs are housed under the communication departments at colleges and universities, or may be part of the business program. Career opportunities are available as an advertising specialist, copywriter, account executive, media buyer or creative director.

Communication Journalism Career

The field of journalism involves gathering information and researching facts, in order to communicate stories and ideas to the public through Writing, Visual, Electronic or Speaking mediums. Career opportunities are available as Reporters, Editors, Authors, Publishers, Acquisitions Editors, Researchers, Interviewers or Writers. These individuals need to have a variety of Skills, including the ability to Interview, Speak publicly, Communicate through print, Non – verbal communication, Oral interpretation and research.

Education Jobs in Communication

Communication educators can find employment opportunities at all educational levels, including elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities. The most attractive positions are at the research and graduate level, and they prefer candidates who have a background in organizational communication, interpersonal communication and public speaking. Even management and engineering institutions hire communication instructors to teach professional and business communication to their students where communication studies is a compulsory subject.

Communication Soft – Skills Trainer

Most of the business and technical organizations are providing soft-skills training to their employees to improve on their Interpersonal skills, Conflict resolution skills, Public speaking, adaptability and negotiation skills. Such trainings are not only helpful for the personal development of an Individual but in return, it enhances the productivity of the organization. Completing a course in communication studies can provide many opportunities to work as a soft – skills trainer in any government or private organization with a handsome amount of salary.

Teaching of English as a Foreign Language Instructor

English has played a very important role in India’s growth story as India has become a preferred destination for business process outsourcing. It is because Indians speak better English than their other counterparts. Teaching English as a Second Language is a lucrative career in India as English is in great demand all over the country. Having good communicative skills in English can provide a job of instructor who is recruited by the corporate organization to improve the speaking and writing skills of their employees.

Business Process Outsourcing ( BPO )

BPO jobs have proved irresistible for college graduates. The speed with which one assimilates new information and implements learning in an on-the-job the situation is crucial to one’s career growth. Training programs regarding customer engagement help employees to communicate more effectively with global customers which consequently increases the level of inter-personal skills and builds a high level of cultural sensitivity among them. The degree of good communication skills can fetch a good job in BPO sector.

Broadcasting

Beginning a career in broadcasting requires individuals to develop the ability to communicate effectively with an audience. The field of broadcasting goes through continuous evolution, and it is important for people in this industry to recognize the changing trends in television and radio. For the people with good communications skills, positions are also available in the sales, administrative and executive departments.

Public Relations

Public relations consists of managing and enhancing the public image of individuals or organizations. Individuals working in public relations interpret their clients’ actions and situations to the public. Anyone who enters this field must be aware that writing and communicating effectively is an essential skill.

Institution Providing Courses in Communication

There are number on Institutions and Universities that provide full time and short – term diploma and certificate courses in Communication across the country.  some of few institutions which offers Communication Courses :

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahemdabad
  • English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad
  • English and Foreign Language University Lucknow Campus, Lucknow
  • University of Lucknow, Lucknow

(The List is indicative only)

Remuneration

After completing the course in Communication, one can easily find a job in any private or government organization. A course on Professional and Business Communication is provided in professional institutions. The one who is employed with public sector gets the salary as per the terms and conditions of government whereas the person who is recruited with private engineering or business institute draws a salary between 10,000 – 40,000 per month, which increases over the years. On the other hand, those who prefer to work in the corporate sector as instructors and Soft – Skills trainers, their salaries vary from 10,000 – 70, 000 per month with regular increments.
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