Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Could Have and Should Have

When you were young, you might have wished that you should become a painter, a poet, a sculptor, a journalist, or an architect. Or, you might have had a passion and wanted to pursue it. But due to various reasons, you might not have pursued your desire. You may now be working for a company but may perhaps not be satisfied with the 9 to 5 grind because you are asked to do the same work day in and day out. Therefore, you may very frequently think that you could have and should have gone after your desire so you are not in a situation in which you are spending days and nights of regrets.

Studies reveal that there are more number of people who nurture such regrets than one can imagine. Most notably, it is the fear of risk that generally prevents people from taking a plunge in the field in which they have interest. If you are one among such a group of people, you are also risk-averse like them. Experts advise that everyone should analyze risks before deciding not to pursue the desires they have been nurturing. Let us find out more on this.

Unreal risks

Most of the risks people are afraid of are simple narratives that get created in their heads. This means that these risks are not real at all. 

Real risks

Of course, there may be a few tangible risks as well and so, they are real. Therefore, it becomes imperative that you need to analyze them thoroughly before deciding whether to take a  plunge or not. 

The fact is that regardless of whether the risks are unreal or real, they might have stopped you on your track and hence, you might not have pursued your passion. But experts emphatically assert - "no risks, no rewards." They suggest a simple and workable exercise as well so that you improve the chances of gaining the required momentum and pursuing what is burning inside you.     

What is the simple exercise?

This involves 2 steps.

1. Write a few lines describing the details of your desire and passion and send it over to three of your close friends or relatives. Write a date also before which you will begin pursuing the desire or passion. Request these people to be in touch with you regularly for checking the progress you are making on that front. The purpose of this step is to have an "accountability web" around you. Remember that when you become accountable, you will start taking the required action that leads you towards success in pursuing your interest.

2. Make two columns on a sheet of paper. On the left side, write down the risks you may encounter if you pursue the passion. On the right side, write down the risks that you may have to face if you do not pursue it. In other words, you are asked to get into the "action habit" without getting crippled by the thoughts related to the risks. 

The main purpose is that you will have more clarity if you take this step. If the risks pertaining to not pursuing your passion are more than or stronger than those that you may face by pursuing it, it means that you have to go ahead. Otherwise, you can leave your passion as another unfulfilled wish.

Remember that regretting that you could have or should have pursued your desire may be a heavy punishment. Therefore, do not subject yourself to it. Instead, follow this simple advice and stay true to yourself. You are certain to benefit immensely. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

A Tip from My Experience for Succeeding in Your Career or Profession

If you are employed or pursuing a profession, there is one particular aspect you cannot overlook, especially if you want to grow in your career or want to sustain and succeed in your profession. An incident that happened in my life will show how important this aspect is. 

I was studying in the 9th grade. Though I was an average student in other subjects, I had always been winning appreciation from my class teacher, English teacher, and others for my English language skills. Thanks to these skills, I used to score high marks in English.

At the fag end of that academic year, the school announced that there would be an essay competition. A number of students including me gave our names for participating in the competition. The topic of the essay was "the cow and how the animal could be of use to humans." Since I had always been good at writing English contents, I was confident that I would win the first prize in the competition. 

On the day of the competition, I was confidence-personified and went to the school with my head and spirits high. All my co-students also believed that I would be the winner and they did not hesitate to share their belief with others also. 

All of us went into the hall where the competition was being held and were asked to be seated. We were handed over white sheets and pens for writing the essay. Everyone started writing. I also began writing. I wrote a few sentences about the animal and suddenly, I found that I did not have any points to write. I was trying to think but could not get any new ideas or points about the topic. What all I knew I had already written. In other words, I ran out of ideas.

I observed that all the other students were busy writing and I was the only one in the hall who remained idle because I did not have anything to write about. After the stipulated time of one hour, we were asked to hand over the papers to the supervisor. I was feeling ashamed within myself because while the papers of other students were filled up, the paper I submitted had only a few sentences on it. 

As expected, I did not win any prize, not even a consolation certificate. In fact, my teachers were shell-shocked and puzzled as to what happened to me. But I realized that my sense of arrogance had blinded me to realities. I accepted the result as a fait accompli and of course, with a dose of shame. At the same time, this incident opened my eyes. 

I knew that there was no need for me to invent a solution for my problem because the moral of the whole episode itself provided me with a solution. Amazingly, the moral of the story is as relevant today as it was when I was doing my schooling. What is it? 

Moral of the story

The moral is: However creative you are, and however good your language and communication skills are, you need to do your research and have a lot of information, and more particularly, those relevant to your job or profession with you. Otherwise, you will not be able to produce or come out with ideas.

This rule is applicable to all those who want to grow in their career and all the professionals who aim to sustain in their profession. In short, be ready to put in efforts for doing a good research and gathering all possible details about the topics relevant to your career or profession. Otherwise, you cannot impress your employers or your clients and sustain for a long time in your profession. 

The inference is that you have to read every good content you come across or lay hands on. Reading and reading alone will enrich your knowledge. This will help you use them liberally when you are trying to create ideas.

What else did I learn from this episode?

My failure to win a prize in the competition did a lot of good to me. Had I won the prize, it would have fed my narcissistic appetites. Thanks to my fall from grace, I realized that I should never allow myself to be affected by what is known as the Narcissistic and Arrogant disease or NA disease. Precisely put, I had become richer on the "wisdom" front. The lesson learned is true today also. The lesson is that if you are arrogant, you can never learn. 

Once I learned this lesson, I decided to develop my knowledge in a sustainable fashion. I also understood that in life, I would encounter bigger battles, and that I should be ready for them. This means that I should equip myself suitably for facing those battles squarely and surmounting them.

"How you dress for work is far less important than how you dress your thoughts. Wise men have always known this." - These are the wise words of a successful professional and nothing can be more useful to ambitious folks than this advice.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Why You Need a Good Resume for Landing a Job

One of the most important and commonest questions job aspirants ask is, "Should I waste my time in creating a good and impressive resume?" Experts who have always been involved with giving career advice and guidance opine that having a good resume is very, very important. According to them, their opinion is not just about the resume alone. If you delve deep, you will find their advice more fascinating than what meets the eye.

You may have acquired various types of qualifications. Similarly, you may have worked in various capacities and gained experience. You may have developed a passion for a hobby or may have interest in an activity. Your life may consist of a few note-worthy accomplishments as well.

But when you decide to seriously begin your career journey, you cannot go about it in a haphazard manner. Despite your qualifications, experience, knowledge, expertise, and your passion towards your hobby or activities, no one in the world is aware of them. At the same time, you may think that by sending as many job applications as possible, you will be increasing your chances of landing a job. But remember that your so-so resume will not impress any of the employers to whom you send your applications.

There is also another group of job aspirants to which you may belong as well. This group may chicken out and hesitate to load their resume with details of all their qualifications, expertise, knowledge, achievements, and accomplishments because according to them, this may be akin to blowing one's own trumpet. But unless they put all this information in their resume, employers may not come to know of them. This means that if you do not pull your courage together and if you keep hesitating to tell the world about your details, you may never be able to land a job of your choice.  

Remember that time is one of the major constraints faced by employers. Though they require the most suitable employees for their organizations, it may not be possible for them to look for or search for the right employees. Your resume is a very useful tool that will help them in deciding that you are the right person for the job.    

Don't be unduly worked up as to how to prepare your resume. You have several technologies that can unburden your mind of the terrifying thoughts as to how to go about it. Of course, you have experts who can help you in this task as well.

To sum up, your Facebook or Twitter accounts are not yours. They belong to Facebook and Twitter. But your resume is yours and you have complete control over it. In fact, your resume is not just a document but it is an "impression creator." How prospective employers will perceive you depends on your resume, and the words and the message on it. In short, your resume should make the employers understand your value. It should help you in selling you and the services you are offering. So, spend time and prepare a good resume. You will soon land a job you have been aspiring for.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Washing Machine and Your Choice of Career

You may certainly have a washing machine in your home. But have you ever paused for a moment and recalled how you bought the appliance? You might have done your research online, made inquiries with your friends, or might have visited the showroom personally so you can get guidance from the "omniscient" sales people there. Conversely put, the washing machine makers or those who deal with the item may have made enormous promotional efforts so it reaches consumers like you.

Let us look at how a washing machine is promoted:

1. There may be graphics or description texts on the box in which the appliance is packed.
2. Makers or dealers of the washing machine may have described the product on their websites or they may have done some other form of advertising.
3. They may have advertised the item during commercial breaks on the television.

But is that all? There may be hundreds of other steps, more particularly, related to marketing, involved in bringing the washing machine to you. Let us take for example the box in which the appliance is packed. The manufacturer may have got the box custom-made and so, the services of a packaging company may have been sought. In turn, the packaging company might have promoted their services through sales letters, ads, emails, press releases, and of course, their websites.

Like packaging, there are a number of other steps such as procuring the electronic gizmo that is used within the washing machine, etc. involved in bringing the appliance to consumers. Of course, steps like conducting demos, posting letters, sending emails, posting ads, responding through auto-responders, and training the sales force are important as well and hence, are carried out before the appliance reaches consumers like you.  

What is the connection between all these and your choice of career? Just the manufacture of a washing machine and bringing it to the consumer itself offers several opportunities. This means that if you take into account all the products or services that are now available to consumers, you will have millions of job opportunities. The only point is that you have to zero in on the job in which you have interest, and focus on it. Even if you make a wrong choice, you need not worry. You can make a switch to a more suitable one any time you want. But at the same time, avoid making several or frequent switches. Remember the age-old adage - "Rolling stones gather no moss."

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Steps That Will Help in Choosing a Career

Want to choose a career, land in a good job but are not able to choose your career? Don't worry because you are not alone. Not only that, no one including your parents can blame you because your bewilderment at the fierce competition you see in every field is justifiable. The following points may help.

Be determined and have focus

If you want to increase the chances of success in your life, you need to put in hard work and of course, you should be determined as well. But your hard work should be targeted towards a specific field. In other words, you should have laser-like focus towards the field you choose. 

Remember that employers expect value from you

Never forget the fact that companies want employees who can provide them with value. This means that they expect that you should have good knowledge and expertise in the fields they operate. This should not surprise you because even if you head a company, you will prefer employees who have knowledge in your field.

In this context, how can you choose a career? You have hundreds or even thousands of fields. Consider these suggestions. 

1. What is your background? Build on it.

You may be qualified in a particular field. Or you may have acquired certain degree of specialized knowledge in a specific subject. Since you have career aspirations, you must try to leverage your knowledge in that field so you can get a break. 

Let us assume that you have acquired a reasonable level of knowledge in a particular field. This knowledge is likely to open several doors for you provided you build on it. You may even get a career opening in a field that is not directly related to the field in which you possess knowledge.

2. Market yourself effectively

You cannot assume that you will get calls from potential employers just because you have some knowledge or skill in a particular field. You have to market yourself effectively. So, wherever you go or whoever you meet, do not hesitate to share the details of your knowledge in the field. Remember the fact that if you do effective marketing of yourself, you need not look for jobs. Employers will rather come looking for you. Experts advise that you should jump at whatever opportunities that come your way. Even if they are not related to your field, you should grab them. Such opportunities may end up as a gold mine and you may be able to earn well.

But while trying to market yourself, never speak lies nor exaggerate your level of knowledge. Such blunders will doom your career aspirations very soon. 

3. Better to choose an industry you are passionate about

Experts strongly advise that you must choose a field over which you have developed affinity. Thanks to your fascination for the field, you will willingly put forth efforts to acquire more and more knowledge in it. Once you gain confidence, you will not hesitate to reach out. This will ultimately get you success.

The above suggestions are not exhaustive. If you are determined and if you act with self-belief, you will be able to identify more appropriate steps that may fast-track your success.

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Head-Start You Do Not Know You Possess for Your Career Growth

Imagine a scenario. You and another colleague of yours are holding important positions in your company and the rank of both the positions is the same. Suddenly, there is a chance for a promotion for both of you because the person holding that position has resigned. The management has to make a choice now between you and your colleague. How will they decide? Let us find out.


You have all the qualifications required for the position. You have experience as well. You have been winning accolades for the good work you have been able to do. 

Your colleague:

Your colleague is more qualified than you are. He has as much experience in the field as you have. Thanks to the inputs he has been giving the company, the management has been lavish in extending additional perks to him.

The question now is: Who will get the coveted promotion? Before answering this question, let us find out what Phyllis Schneider has to say. In an article entitled "Career Charisma," that he wrote in a magazine called "Working Woman," he said, "The real winners in business and in life, the women and men who are tapped for golden career opportunities, have something extra.

The people with charmed careers have a way of looking at the world that takes top management feel they can do almost any job superbly, that imbues everybody with whom they work with a kind of enthusiastic, winning spirit. Their success is as much a matter of attitude as of hard work and talent. They are optimists. That optimism is astonishingly powerful, and it can be cultivated.

...................The optimist almost invariably has an edge over less enthusiastic colleagues."

In short, if you have an optimistic mindset, you can certainly be confident that the management will choose you for the promotion. So, pause for a moment, and check if you are an optimist or not. If you are not, don't lose heart. You can cultivate this attitude, and once you master it, you can be confident of your career growth.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Have You Prepared Yourself for the Cloud Working Regime?

If it is said that cloud has completely brought about a phenomenal transformation in our lives, it is certainly not an exaggerated statement. Even on personal levels, a number of people are already placing their orders including those for foods and transportation, streaming media, and are keeping in touch with their family members and friends using devices that work on the cloud technology. Enterprises such as Adobe, Cisco, VMware, and Citrix have positioned themselves appropriately for redefining how people are getting their jobs done. Of course, this includes accessing of apps and data wherever and whenever required. In other words, the present age is an era of cloud working.

Not only the general public, even employees want to access data, services, and information without the hassles or the barriers that were posed by archaic and legacy tools. Admins and managers do not want to squander their time over administrative tasks such as managing and monitoring devices constantly. Instead, they want to create real value for their organizations.

Findings of a study carried out by Forrester reveal that 25% of today's employees have already started using cloud. These cloud workers, on an average, spend about 4.6 hours daily to access business apps using multiple devices that work on cloud. These employees gleefully admit that they enjoy more freedom, thanks to the cloud technology, because they are able to access whatever information and company data they need from anywhere and at any time. This change in the scenario helps them maintain better work/life balance. In fact, employees are looking for more number of cloud-based apps so they can do their tasks more efficiently. According to an estimate, the percentage of apps in the cloud in 2018 is around 53. This percentage is likely to go up to 80 by 2020.

There is no wonder a number of businesses have started rethinking their technologies and tools because they want to use their workforce more effectively. This means that very soon, office workers need not keep sitting behind their desks. Field teams, even if they are in remote places, will also have more efficient, real-time connectivity. They can interact with their customers instantly and hence, their customer service efforts will be more fulfilling and purposeful. Employees can be more mobile as well. In fact, about 77% of employees admit that they like such freedom because they can choose to work whenever they want and also regardless of where they are.

IT organizations that are now doing the job of managing devices, apps, and browsers have started reassessing as to how they can more effectively serve the requirements of cloud-centric workforce. These organizations are trying to bring out secure and more reliable tools so they can provide their users with the flexibility they desire to have. These organizations are also aware that users will want simple-to-maintain-and-manage tools.

Google is also offering cloud-native devices such as Chromebooks. These devices have brought about marked improvement in productivity and employee collaboration. Not only that, they have also decreased IT-support hours, due to which operational overheads have come down drastically. To quote an example,  at Google, when the question of device provisioning and deployment arises, an inventory tech takes only about 33 minutes for preparing a Chrome OS device for getting deployed for an end-user. On the other hand, Windows devices and macOS take nearly 2 1/2 hours for making their respective devices. It is not surprising to note that these Windows and macOS devices that are done with Chrome OS seek increased support services from Google. Thanks to clouds-first tools such as Chromebooks, in due course of time, this dependence for support services will come down substantially, which will ultimately pave way for significant savings.

Cloud-connected workplaces continue to be evolving and hence, more number of employees are transitioning from being knowledge-alone workers to being cloud-also workers. So, organizations have to choose and put in place the right tools for improving working experience of their employees and for achieving better results for themselves. In other words, organizations have to prepare themselves for the cloud-working era by identifying the right resources. They have to train their employees as well. Organizations must not hesitate to seek the help of specialists, explore the efficacy of the latest tools and devices, and have an in-depth look at the demos of these tools and devices. Only then, they can have the most appropriate devices that suit their businesses. These organizations should remember that their employees will start loving them more if they help them maintain more effective work-life balance, thanks to the flexibility cloud working offers to them.