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Kautilya's Advice on Changing Jobs

This article explores the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World.

Let’s face it: There comes a point in each and every person’s career when he feels like running away from his current routine, almost mundane work. He feels like taking up a higher responsibility and earning more money than what he is currently getting.

For such people Kautilya advices,

“One, conversant with the ways of the world, should seek service with a king, endowed with personal excellences and the excellences of material constituents, through such as dear and beneficial (to the king)” (5.4.1)

Such experienced people, who are equipped with the know-how of their work, should definitely seek higher responsibility. If this is not done, he will feel depressed, stressed and under-utilised.

He should approach the king (leaders of organisations) and, showing him his experience and results achieved in the past, should ask for a better job. Now, changing jobs does not mean changing organisaitons. You can change jobs even within one organisation itself.

However, while doing so, one should keep in mind the benefits that he can bring to the owner not just to himself. It is very important to remember that, while one is being interviewed for higher positions / responsibilities, the interviewer will always consider the benefits the recruiting firm can get. Hence, keep that foremost in mind.

Steps that will help you take up higher responsibility:


Experience counts a lot in going up in life. Learn from everyone and everything possible. Update your knowledge and gather some good skills. The more experienced you are the better your chances of going up in life.


While approaching the people who could promote you or give you new responsibilities, always carry documents which show success in your past endeavors. CVs, portfolios, certificates, press cuttings, reports of the projects you have handled: All these could be helpful.


During the interview, it is very important to discuss about the benefits that you can give to the organisation you are going to work for. Talk in terms of definite numbers. Do a little bit of research and study as you prepare for the interview.

Not to forget that whatever new assignment you are going to take up – you have to leave your mark.

Bob Dole, a former American leader and who ran for US Presidency too, once said, “When it's all over, it's not who you were. It's whether you made a difference”

Contributed by  - Radhakrishnan Pillai

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