Category Archives: Management

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.

Political & Governance Mess – India

There are just thousands of examples of so many things that can be done and that is yet not done for the betterment of this country. We have these experiences on a daily basis. Various bills are passed in the parliament that talk about benefiting the poor. Most of them claiming to be investing crores for the implementation of such schemes, which is actually the tax that we pay.

We’ve seen crores spent in various schemes for the benefit of farmers, their land, agriculture as a whole… How much benefit have we seen though? Farmers suicide cases are yet increasing on a year by year basis. Agriculture as an industry isn’t growing enough. Infact, it’s on a downfall. India, known as an agricultural country is facing all sorts of issues in it. There is absolutely no motivation for people to actually think of making agriculture their career goal. Why? Because, bad governance.
Not sure whether the schemes introduced are with right intentions or not at first. but once it’s introduced no one bothers. Implementation is so poor that people are either not aware of the benefits at all OR the process is so tedious and torturing that the person thinks of rather quitting than giving it a try. And worse, there are so many loop holes in the implementation that there is hardly any benefit for the intended people, but for corrupt officials.
Well, issues are bound to be there… but do our leaders have it in them to improvise and make it work effectively is where they are actually tested. Rather, their intentions are tested.
And this is just one example of bad governance, there are thousands of such examples.

One very recent experience which is a classic example of how it’s all only politics and nothing else. Even on a good deed.
We are all aware of minority quotas for college admissions. Its a good thing as long as it is used well and the minorities are actually benefited. But, what happens? There are so many who make up fake certificates to get admissions and worst of all, the one’s who should get those reserved seats are without a seat. Why are they without a seat? Let me tell you what happens…

Many of the minorities have done their schooling from a small town in vernacular language medium schools. They don’t have good colleges in their small town. Hence, they prefer to come to cities like Mumbai for their further studies, i.e. Junior College.
In Mumbai, junior college admissions happen only online nowadays, which is actually less exhausting and well organised. But, only for those who have the knowledge and resources to work through it. It requires kids to collect their login ID and passwords from their respective schools on a certain date during vacations, fill up their online admission forms before even the original mark sheet is distributed to them.
The problem here is… it requires co-operation from schools, which most normal English medium schools give. But, the one’s who have been studying in smaller schools that don’t have much recognition, they have no idea of what is happening and by the time these kids figure out what’s needed to be done, it’s too late. Their schools have no idea of how to help the student and if they do, they are probably not interested in helping. These kids roam around for information from their school to the intended college they wish to study in for information and more often than not, they get half the information which only builds fear into them. College asked him to get his login ID and password details for online admission, while school said they don’t know anything about online admissions. By the time the kid does multiple visits to these places and collates information from various other sources, its too late. Somehow when he does collate all the information, he/she needs help in the online admission process, as computers and internet is new to many of them, yet. There are no centers to help them fill up these forms. Only online FAQ’s, which are good, but not enough.
In short, so many such minority people are unable to register themselves and take advantage of the seats reserved for them. What’s the point of distributing seats when it doesn’t reach the intended people?

Another short example, of the recent Rajdhani Express train accident. Loss of Life. Loss of infrastructure. Loss due to delays and repairs. Loss due to investigation over the incident. A total loss, that runs in multiple crores due to the accident.
What if even 50L was spent on security and quality? The incident wouldn’t have taken place and all of it could have been saved.

Have been through so many debates about how globalization, inflation, increase in crude oil prices and multiple other factors play a role in us indirectly paying additional taxes. Yes, if a company is in loss, changing tax structure, increasing prices is the easiest way to keep the balance sheet in profit. But, is it enough? More importantly, we need to learn to manage what we have and grow within as a country.

Our government hospitals, if they were good enough, we would ourselves prefer visiting them and saving money than being looted by the private players, which would eventually be another source of earning for government.

Management is the key. Governance is the key. Intention is the key. Will to succeed is the key.

After all this thought, the question that really arises and probably doesn’t even need an answer is… “Do out political leaders really want growth of this country? for the people of India?”

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.

Need For A ‘Life’ Organizer

This is going to be a short post. The reason for this post being, the fact that most of us don’t follow a To-Do list in our day-to-day life. You may argue that we always have it in our mind, but we are bound to forget things. How often does this happen that we regret doing some task, something as small as wishing someone on their anniversary? Or remembering to buy a pen just before heading towards your classes or a meeting at work? How often? If you give it a thought, it happens at-least once a day, that we tend to miss something silly, and at-least once a week that we tend to miss something important.

Now, I won’t say that you will not miss even a single task by using a To-Do list. After all it’s a list that we maintain manually, we are bound to forget to add an entry of the said task to the list. We are bound to not check the to-do list and hence miss the task scheduled for a particular time. But it will surely help you reduce the number of missed tasks. And with time the efficiency is going to get better, as you get used to using it on a daily basis.

With smart-phones, laptops, mobile web, internet access anywhere we go, it’s very easy to Sync your tasks and let them be with you wherever you go.  There are many To-Do List services that offers Sync across all the possible sections. If you a Lazy person and thinking “Who would take the pain to write down the task somewhere and then keep a note of it?” , there are services that don’t let you feel so, especially once you start seeing the fruits of this service.

The real use of a To-Do List is here, when you look at some aspects that To-Do Lists don’t mostly mention in their features List. It’s Self Improvement. It’s Self Motivation.

When you see the list in front of you, check mark all the tasks you do as and when you finish, you do get the feel good factor.  That feel good factor motivates you to complete your next task faster, as soon as possible. Eventually helping you be more focused on organizing, and then completing your tasks. hence, don’t just look at it as a List of all tasks, it’s a List that will help you organize your Life.

I will come up with a small review on the To-Do list that I use. Also if possible a comparison of a few other services too.

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