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Three ways to advance your career

  Here are three obvious but sometimes overlooked ways to advance your career. This is a short reminder post to help you land your next role. 1. Target a well-defined role. Understand the process Speak to people who have gone through the process Understand the expectations of the new role from the decision-makers. Find a mentor to keep you guided.  Ensure visibility to the decision-makers. 2. Be prepared for chance opportunities. Look out for roles where your current skill set is transferable. for internal roles, you can look out for temporary positions especially if you are working for large organisations. Most organisations have an internal and external job board. Keep an eye out for new opportunities.  3. Create your own role Be observant to the problems around you. In some cases, you might find that there is a large gap in responsibilities that are not covered by any role. Carve out time in your schedule to take up one of these problems created by the responsibility gap and solve i
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Your me, my me and the other me. A guide to be at peace with personal growth

This article is not a direct address to a problem statement, but a journey with me to certain philosophies that I have entertained in my quest for personal growth. There is a short and effective way to look at personal growth which I will come to in this article, one that I believe will help you to be more closer to peace with the practice of personal development.  I am thankful to many people in my life, for instilling in me a desire for personal growth in my life.  Both my parents have always been open to learning and cared to share some of their struggles with difficult choices and dilemmas associated with scenarios. A few school teachers stood out in vocalising their own personal learnings and set an example by embracing the incompleteness in spite of not being required to do so. I was fortunate to have attended a school that celebrated learning and instilled pride, largely thanks to the unconventional principal that held office there. The themes you can notice in these experiences

Think like a leader : 5 steps to making decisions

A big part of any leadership role, be it team management or managing a large portfolio, leaders are expected to provide decisions on various matters. Leaders would want their teams to be empowered in decision making, and making good decisions comes from preparation and practice.   So, How do we make good decisions?   Here is a cheat card of 5 steps to enable you to make good decisions. Let us take a hypothetical example.  e.g. You would like to organise training for a few members of your team. Convert the activity to a business case and find the concepts  This is the most difficult step. More often than not, as employees in an organisation, we expect us to be guided through a problem at hand. This is where thinking like a leader makes a person stand out. Instead of someone and receiving a decision we can look at the factors and concepts that will affect the scenario. Let us analyse our curre

Random things about workshops

I like doing workshops more than presentations. The main reason is that you get more engagement and if you can convey a concept by activity, it stays with you longer. A common trait I have noticed is that some people like to have clarity on how the workshop is going to play out, and some don't mind the suspense. Expectation management is important when starting the session. Feedback on activity-based workshops tends to be positive and sometimes, the participants request a follow up one. Almost all participants enjoyed the forced interactions and group activities. Showcasing or talking about team or individual outputs of activities creates a sense of accomplishment and ownership of the concepts/ideas. Some of the workshops I have done so far include: Design Thinking Empathy Mapping Project Handover Time Management

The Zone of Things

People in creative jobs often speak about being in the zone. Being aware of being in the right zone can boost your confidence to face your challenges better. Returning to work after a 5-week break, I really wanted to be in zone for work right from the start. My trigger came from a TED talk video by Ray Dalio on - How to build a company where the best ideas win. Certain references in that video jolted my memory and gave me the needed jump start to be in the zone. Search for your inspiration and you will find it. Here is the link to the video that gave me mine for the day. https://www.ted.com/talks/ray_dalio_how_to_build_a_company_where_the_best_ideas_win  

Mentoring at MyRoad - A program for career guidance for young girls

In this post, I talk about my experience and learnings from volunteering at the MyRoad program run by Beacon foundation . The program aims at providing career guidance opportunities for high school students in remote schools all around Australia with a focus on female students in particular. The aim of the program as I understand it is to provide exposure to the world of regular jobs; what can be expected in a working environment and to encourage students to continue further education. I was introduced to the program via my current employer, Readify. There are a few highlights that I found from my participation. 1. Structured mentor preparation The mentor training materials itself makes this volunteering program worth attending. The materials provided include very good guidance on working with young children, being mindful of cultural differences, etc. 2. Structured delivery for consistency The mentors are given a script that they can follow. This is carefully crafted t

7 Practical Tips for Customer Engagement

7 Practical Tips for Customer Engagement Here are a few practical and high impact tips that I have learnt and used multiple times to enrich customer relations. 1. Stating the obvious Most people who make decisions are under some sort of pressure to come to a conclusion. Some like to think through and come to a conclusion, but more often than not decisions come out as a response to something as opposed to a planned outcome. It always helps to call out the obvious impacts of a decision even if you think the customer is experienced. Here are two examples: Delay of work due to reprioritization: This is a frequent one in projects. Change of mind on priorities can have a flow-on effect for current work underway. Paraphrasing as "So, just confirming, you want us to stop working on X and start working on Y" has several times had the customer come back with "Oops, no no, I thought we can get both done on time. Thanks for calling out." Addition of cost due