Category Archives: Work

The burden of career decisions at 18

How did you get into the profession you are in today? What made you choose this as your lifetime profession? How do you feel about what you do for a living?
Sometimes people ask you such questions and sometimes you wonder… 

I’ve always lived my Life more on instincts than anything else. When I was out of my 12th grade, I chose Engineering inspite of all odds, which includes not having sufficient marks and my family’s opinion being against it. And this, not because I knew where Engineering would lead me to, but because of my fascination towards technology alone. But, it was a mistake and a proof that instincts aren’t always right.

Next major decision taking time came when I somehow managed to become an Engineer. Thankfully, because of my poor grades, I was not even considered for college placements. Thankfully… because hence the decision was all mine. What next? This is when I did it right.

The blend of instincts and facts worked well for me.

Here’s what I did:
1. Took some time off. (A month or so)
2. In the process, figured out where my interest actually lies. What do I actually like doing when I am idle.
3. Figured out the respective career options to my interests.
4. Figured out what’s needed to do next to get to those career options.
5. Cannot afford to reschedule my Life, hence came up with practical list of career options I can select, the options that are yet possible to achieve.
6. Set small time goals and proceed.
7. Rely on instincts and facts to know if you are heading in the right direction or do you need to reconsider the path chosen.

P.S.: I would’ve chosen BSc. Computer Science over Engineering if I did follow the same steps as mentioned above earlier. I know for sure that it would have been a better option then, but at the same time it’s never too late to make up for the past mistakes. There is always a way out. Hence, let there not be too much nervousness and take your decisions with confidence and optimism.

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Random Office Conversation: Just for Laughs!

Office conversations can sometimes be too boring, and sometimes hilarious, out of nowhere. One of those epic hilarious conversations is what I thought of sharing for a laugh, maybe:

Part One:
*A technical developer having a voice call conference with the business development manager*
BDM: An XYZ functionality is not working as expected. It looks a bit weird.
Developer: (In an attempt to give a temporary solution) Please press F12.
BDM: Well, nothing happened. I did press F12.
Developer: Umm… Well, the developer mode should open up in the bottom of your browser IE.
BDM: Oh! Wait… Did you mean Function 12?
Developer: (Furious from within) YES!

Part Two:
*The technical developer comes back from the voice call conference to his team*
Developer: You won’t believe what just happened?
Team: What?
Developer: People are so stupid. The so called MBA degree holder Business Development Manager, I asked her to press F12, she is actually typing F 1 2… And later realizes that I asked her to press F12 key.
Team: (laughs out loud)
Developer: MBA Degree hai and dekho kahan pohoch gayi with this stupidity.
One of the members in team: Woh toh MBA karke kahan se kahan pohoch gayi. Aap yahin bhajiya tal rahe ho.
Developer: (Straight Face)
Team: (Laughs out even louder)

It’s amazing how, when sarcasm and humour are mixed together, they speak so much using just a few words.

Life Balances

When you read the title “Life Balances”, the first thing that strikes us, or rather working professionals mind is Work – Life balance, on which numerous articles have been written. Most of us today want a Work – Life balance. No one likes too much work and very little time for Life, family, friends, neither do we like too many useless holidays with nothing to do. Not much discussion required here, Flexi-time is one of the best ways to achieve work-life balance today. Now, that is professional Life, on which you don’t have too much control over.

When we say “Life Balances”, there’s actually more to it than just talking of Work-Life balance. The personal time in our personal space, on which we do have control.
Aren’t you many a times caught up in a situation, where it’s really difficult to decide where to spend the little personal time you have? With friends, lover, family, thoughts, movies, music, sleep, books, hobbies, exercise, skills improvement. There is so much to do. Even if you are sitting idle, it is always because you chose to sit idle at that moment. Or, is it because you are not prepared, you haven’t decided on what to do in that unexpected idle time.
So, the problem is clear. There is a lot to do in the ‘little’ personal time that we get and we have to learn to manage time effectively to make the most of it.

Let me just list down some methods that really help in managing personal space:

  • Define and list down all that you would want to do in the personal time. Everything. Even the ones’ that may not be possible ever.
  • Prioritise your to-do list, depending on what you would want to do. What’s needed.
  • Identify and list down when do you have free time. How much free time. Which time can be used to do which task.
  • Take a note of everything above and plan accordingly.
  • Stick to the plan, when the time comes and defy laziness. (This is tough)
  • If it doesn’t work out for a while, still stick to it. Keep yourself motivated. Make some changes, if needed.

Follow the above for a month and you will realize that you have managed to complete a lot of tasks you would otherwise have missed out on doing, mainly due to poor planning and laziness.
Remember, it’s okay, if it doesn’t go as per plan, because it is not meant to. The motive here is just to be ready for free time, instead of planning free time. Most often, we are not ready for it, as free time usually doesn’t tell you when you are going to be free, unless it’s weekend. And even during weekends we end up saying, “Let’s just see, how things go. Will decide accordingly.”. Instead of pre-planning of what is needed to be done.

Cheers to free, personal space!

Creativity!

“You can’t be creative unless you come up with something that hasn’t been done before” ~ Dr. Dean Keith Simonton

Does this mean bring creative is equal to being innovative? Is that necessary?

Well, you don’t really need to be different to be called creative. That is, being different is not necessary, but most often you’ll end up being different if you’re creative.

At the end of the day, what matters is did you give your best shot at the job you’re doing? If yes, you were creative enough to be happy with yourself. And you’ll do your best only if you have the freedom, have the correct attitude, have the interest in completing your job. Hence, to be creative what is really required is dedication, motivation and the interest in the job at it’s highest level. None of us will perform our best if we’re given a task that we don’t want to do, or if we’re given a task that doesn’t have enough freedom of time or resources to use.

This post is more or less a way to share this amazing Video I came across that explains Creativity really well. Have a look at it without fail.

 

Flexible Work Hours : A Need Today…

Most companies yet follow the age old working style of fixed hours or more commonly known as a typical 9-5 job. Wherein an employee has to reach the office at 9AM in the morning and leave by 5PM, no matter if he is required to be there at that time or not. Well, this system worked well in the earlier days when globalization was not so much integrated into your work. When your work was not dependent on what someone in some other part of the world is doing. When work load was much less, when there was much little traffic on roads and hence traveling wasn’t a great deal. Basically, the work, work environment, also the style of working was different earlier.

Today, on the other hand, the environment is very different. Most would agree to the unsaid fact that a typical 9-5 job is no more a 9-5 job. It usually extends to 6-7 and sometimes more than that too. And in-spite of the increase in work hours in the latter half of the day by a couple of hours, next day you are expected to report at the same time 9 AM. Now, since everyone working does that, you can’t shy away from following the same path, else it would affect your growth. Outsourcing is one of the best things that has happened to India as far as the country’s growth is concerned. And outsourcing would mean, communicating with someone in the other part of the world, considering their timings too, which is pretty obvious. Hence the need to adjust your timings accordingly, which is the reason why most tend to spend the extra few hours at work.

Life - Wok - HomeLifestyle of a youth back in 70’s or 80’s is very different than the lifestyle of a youth today. Easy accessibility to various sorts of entertainment, accessibility to social networking via the web which in turn helps in maintaining relationships. Accessibility to various technology related things, a ‘want’ to learn many other things, pursue your other hobbies, be it learning to play guitar, singing, dancing, writing, sports, or for that matter exploring technology. There is so much going around that you find it difficult to find the time to do each one of those, in some cases even one of those. The increasing traffic and growth of a city makes traveling all the more time consuming and stressful for anyone. Especially since every working person more or less travels at the same time (peak hours), the rush hour makes traveling all the more stressful.

All these things together, make the quality of life of a human very tiring, which leads to stress, depression and various health issues too at an early age. When you reach back home only so late, not even spend quality time with your family just because you are super tired to do that, how can someone expect a person to come back to work next day early morning in a good mood to work. And if that’s not there, how can you expect full productivity from a person?

Writing about the issues can go on and on… point is, this system is not working, atleast not for those companies that rely a lot on outsourced work. The concept of Flexible Work Hours comes into the picture here. Flexible work hours, what it means? It is these two things.

  1. Let the employee decide at what time he wants to work. What time he wants to be present in office.
  2. Let the employee decide where he wants to work. There is a lot of work that can easily be done from home. Why would someone waste his time in traveling when he can do that same work from home too?
Many would argue, saying this would lead to an employee getting careless about his work, and hence not working at all. Point is, even if this happens(which is very likely to happen with some), it’s good for the company. They will know who is the person with a true attitude to work. Who loves his work, who wants to work. Let the employee be judged by his work quality and not by the amount of time he spends in office. There are certain advantages to the company too on following this culture.
  1. This leads to a much more productive work from an employee, which leads to better output for a company.
  2. If the hours are flexible, an employee will not be wasting his time in the office and hence not using the resources provided by the company, leading to cost savings.
  3. The true potential of an employee can be judged much more easily.
To conclude, the present lifestyle of a normal youth, the work culture companies need… All of it demands the inclusion of Flexible Work Hours for an employee.
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