News! News!

Hello everyone – Just to keep you posted. The reason why I am staying away from writing more blogs is that I am exhausted with all the writing I am doing now.

The news is that I have finally started penning down my story and completed 30% in the last few weeks.

For now, I have been dumping all my thoughts on a piece of paper but can’t wait to see how that would turn out in the next couple of months.

I am targeting to finish the book by mid-next year and it should be ready to release by end of Next Year.

I would be sharing more insights on the topic of the book and my experiences while writing it.

Please do share your experiences | thoughts | ideas on book writing and reading.

Stay Tuned!

NOTE: Please follow this blog to learn more on these topics.

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Does Networking work?

Last week, I attended a big Marketing event. Big shots from the industry were present at the event. Every second person was a known face. Being living in one place for that long has its own effects. I ended up meeting ex-clients and ex-colleagues. I wanted to meet new people because this is one of the big highlights of the event. But I noticed that people were all gathered in clusters and talking to their own colleagues/ friends. Majority of them were hardly interested in knowing anyone new. Not sure if they were in similar as me where they knew the majority in the crowd.

I am high on networking. At the start of my career, I heard in one of the seminars that networking helps in career growth. Since then I have always looked for an opportunity to network and connect. I look back at my career, I didn’t figure if networking has really benefitted me. It may or may not but I like to be connected anyways.

If I have to answer whether Networking works or not, I would say 10% and that too meaningful networking. It’s doesn’t work when you randomly bump into each other, strike a conversation and get connected on LinkedIn. That is not a meaningful networking.

Meaning networking would be meeting people who could be potentially aligned with your future objectives and in return, you have something to offer to them. Networking is about mutual benefit.

It is also important and in the first five minutes of the meeting, you can let the party know what you are looking for in the meeting. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Professional meets are always about mutual growth.

If you have left a valuable information in those five mins. There is a high chance that he/she will call back or tried to stay in touch.

More than meeting 100 people and handing over the business card, one should focus on having a meaning conversation with a few people.

So, when you are engaged and network, rest assured that it will benefit 10% or less. In case you are not networking at all, it may have some impact or your career because, at the time of hiring, your skills and experience would matter but people like to hear familiar names of friends, acquaintances, ex-colleagues. It has a lot of impacts because they can get first-hand feedback from them. That’s when probably that one long conversation you had with someone may also help.

If you actively network, you may not achieve a lot, but if you don’t, you may miss a fantastic opportunity to learn from other people experiences.

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What kind of support system have we created for women to grow?

Support system

We are talking about women progression in every sphere. Should we take a step back and see what kind of support system have we provided?

This is not about women who are already in senior positions and earning well enough to hire help. But young mothers, middle-aged women or for those matter women who are early in their careers. If we want to have a career, why shall we compromise it with personal life? Men don’t have to do that. Now, since more women are choosing career over family life, we see more imbalance in society.

Women are expected to take care of the house and office. To that, I have these questions :

1) Why do we expect her to be a superwoman?
2) When will she learn to say ‘No’?
2) And till things improve, how can we support her?

To get ahead, and being seen as a serious contributor to the society, we need to build a strong support system.

The empowerment has to come at the grassroots. Like how it is said, “you educate a man, you educate an individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a family”. For a society to develop, the condition of women, be it education, career, family, safety etc. has to improve.

Yes, all that talk is fine. But, how can we really support the housewives, educated women who are compelled to stay at home (due to lack of jobs or other reasons), talented women who don’t have the zeal to fulfil their dreams because we didn’t provide them with the right conditions, never encouraged them to go beyond?

One of the biggest barriers is their mindset. If they think they can’t do it they would never will. Someone has to step up and ask for that support. Everyone has to fight their own battle.

So what are the solutions now :

  • Working mothers understand the pain of being dependent on outside help. It can turn into a nightmare. We don’t have affordable helper services everywhere. Manpower can be expensive.
  • Childcare is not affordable for the middle class. Corporates have invested in childcare in the office building or bring your kids to work etc. But why shall we encourage that? If companies have to do that, that means women employees become a liability. Companies are meant to make money and in a workplace, all are equal or at least should be treated equally. Both men and women have limitations.
  • No one wants to live with extended family. Our generation has all grown up in the nuclear family. Old parents want their freedom. No one likes to be taken for granted.
  • Men have started contributing but the %age is very low. Still, a long way to go.

These solutions are clearly not enough and the growth of women in the workforce is still low.

I don’t have a solution to this problem. I don’t know what would it take for a woman to come out, work and find their own identity.

But we can only ask that they should change their mindset and support each other in order to truly bring empowerment.
Uplifting women 2

When people let you down ….

Let you down
It feels terrible when someone tries to stop you from moving ahead. Or if they think you are not good enough. They are not necessarily stopping you but protecting their own interests. There are two reasons why people may attempt to push you downwards – 1) Insecurity – They know in their heart that you are good and better than him and his only wish is to shoo you away from his goals. 2) Not capable – H/she genuinely thinks that you are not capable of that position.

You can’t do much to get rid of someone’s insecurity but you cannot let someone define your capability. In either case, one should continue to try. Life is and has always been like that.

5 Things one should do when they let you down :

1) Whoever said World is fair, it’s not entirely true. The world is fair in the long run. In the short run, one may feel that things are not in her favour. And when that feeling happens, just suck it up because any action in haste may turn out against you. So Step 1 – suck it up!

2) That doesn’t mean anyone stops you from moving forward. This is only a setback but then one should continue with what h/she is doing, be better at what they have been doing ( though it may seem boring for the time being) and wait for the next opportunity to come. Step 2 – Wait for the next door to open.

3) Step 3 would be don’t just wait but also look for the other open doors. When one door is closed, there are many other doors opens. And that is the universal truth. You may not get to see immediately but it has already opened just for you. One should continue to work towards her goal for the door to get visible.

4) Step 4 – Never get disheartened and frightened with any setbacks, be it a person or a situation. There are always things around that will intimidate you, will give you a feeling that things can’t move forward and the world is crashing, you are no longer wanted, you are not good enough…all these feelings must go away. One can’t afford to have self-doubt. Remember laws of attraction?!

5) Step 5 – Don’t keep any ill feeling against the person who you think did wrong. Yes, I understand it the hardest thing to do but please understand h/she didn’t do anything to hurt you or harm you directly. He did what he did to protect his own interests. In the corporate world or otherwise, everyone has the right to protect his own interest. Some people are more humane than others…that is the only difference…

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An ‘unusual’ meeting with an old Friend that left me astounded….

I cannot describe how I felt today. I met with an old colleague cum friend after almost 8 years. When I looked at him, he was limping. I felt a tightness in my heart thinking he may have met with an accident. He was weird. I never understood him, his discussion topics and his jokes. So, when he started talking, he stammered and his usual ways were odd but I thought that’s him.

We stood in front of the coffee corner and started ordering. He stood there and kept asking what is good here? He couldn’t decide for a good amount of time on what he wants. On top of that, he got into a fruitless argument with the lady at the counter. It was little embarrassing and for the first time, I sense this is odd.
Wondered what happened in last few years? He was a jackass /a prick couple of years ago. At least that’s the impression I had of him. He kept on asking the lady like a broken record. Something was messed up with him. I carried the drinks and walked towards the table. At the back of my mind, I was thinking if I did a mistake by agreeing to this meeting. I was looking around to see if there were any familiar faces etc. I didn’t want to be seen with that man.

Finally, I found the empty place but he shrugged his shoulder and walked past me, mumbling something like ‘na na’ (that’s no in Indian language). He apparently couldn’t sit without AC or fan. It messes up with his system. By now I had many signs that showed something was not right. I wanted to leave but for old time sake, I decided to sit down and talk for a bit and leave as soon as possible. I was really not sure what to expect next. So I started with what exactly happened?

In the first 3-5mins of conversation, he asked about the lady I mentioned during the conversation if she was single and ready to mingle. That was another of the many signs. I finally ended up asking what happened to his wife? And since then the horror unfolded. I froze for the time he was narrating the story. Midway I was lost in my thoughts. Nothing can be bigger than ‘time’. He was the same guy who used to throw attitude. He did his MBA from one of the top colleges. He was amazingly talented and used to carry that attitude. We were colleagues for good one year but then we moved on into different lives. After few years, I saw him in office lobby where I used to work. He saw me and responded with same idiotic nose high attitude. Probably, he didn’t know the word ‘humble’. I prayed never to see his face again. He didn’t get the job in my company. Not sure if my company could see that he was too smart and overqualified for the job. Ordinary people like me worked there. After that, I never ever saw him or tried to contact him.

Coming back to his story. He said he went through the divorce in the first half of 2017. Without getting into the details, he said there were compatibility issues. He had huge financial problems that he finally got rid of. Till now it is still not bad. Then I asked him why was he limping? He started telling me stories about his random travel and how he went to Mumbai, got drunk and fell on a rock. His head was hurt and then while speaking he realised, he may be indicating that there is something wrong with his brain. So he paused for a while and finally told the truth. He was diagnosed with some brain disease. It was related to brain sending signals to the rest of the body. The disease was much more complicated but in gist, something with body balance. And that’s why he couldn’t walk properly. Usually, people like him end up in the wheelchair but it is his courage that he is holding up till now. He has been suffering from the disease for last 6 years. By the time he finished, I was speechless. My mind started connecting dots about his marriage, health issues and job.

I always wondered where was he? What was he doing? I never ever thought I would see him in this condition. Even in this condition, he was belittling other old colleagues.

Divorce is common in any big and developed city. The system that allows girls to be independent also creates some sort of social problems (that many would disagree). People stop believing in an institution like ‘Marriage’ because they don’t really need that. Why bear so much pain and suffering when you are not happy together? For Indians, marriage is very sacred. One is expected to be with husband and wife in any condition.
Not sure what happened to him. He wanted to touch base regarding job opportunities or projects. I had offered a job in my old company and he declined saying that the pay doesn’t match his last drawn. Now he was ready to work for free.

For me, this meeting felt like a closure. It was divine like. It was a message from god that things are not same always.

While walking back from that meeting, there are few questions that are hovering on my mind –

1) How thankful should we be to god for giving us perfectly functional body and how important it is to take care of it?

2) How crucial is it be humble if you have everything in the world? No one can be stronger than ‘time’

3) Can you really blame anyone for your condition, good or bad? People see you how you behave during good times and then treat you accordingly during bad times.

4) We always complain to god. Can we just stop complaining and thank HIM for everything.

5) We should really not judge people all the time. One doesn’t know what kind of personal battle he/she may be facing.

I am little disturbed right now. Not sure how many more days I would just think about this incident.