• Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand

    Job Interview : How to Avoid Negativity about Your Employer

    Everyone knows this interview tip: “Don’t bad mouth about your employer”. But interesting enough this happens quite often. I got some clue when I was talking to my client Tom few weeks back. Specifically he wanted to learn how to avoid falling in trap of talking negative about his current employer. Apparently he made this mistake in a recent one. To get his perspective, I asked him about his genuine feeling about the current employer/job. What I heard was that he had been looking for growth in certain areas that was not available in his job. This company’s priority (to fix legacy code issues to quickly unblock the customer) didn’t…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    Know your Strengths, Capitalize on Them

    Too many times companies send employees to trainings to fix the areas of weaknesses, we expect people to be well rounded to be successful. The fact is excellent performers are hardly “well rounded”, they are sharp. The difference between an excellent performer and an average performer is that the former ones are aware of their strengths and are cultivating it through their day to day work whereas the later ones are spending time and energy in places other than their strengths. What I Mean by Strength 1. An activity is your strength when are able to do it consistently, repeatedly, happily and successfully. 2. You don’t have strength in every…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Uncategorized

    Don’t Focus on the Problem – Focus on your Ultimate Vision

    Last year, an engineer, let me call him Tom, came to me. He looked very tired and unhappy. “Sharmin, I am working long days, late nights, still my manager wants me to do more, have more impact, show more leadership…where is the time…why can’t he see my contribution already! With changes going around all the time it is so hard to get anything done on time. I even wanted to change this job, but in this economy it is so hard to get an interview even!” – Tom gave me a quite a vivid picture of his life. I felt compassionate for him. Not too long ago I experienced this…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Why Do You Do It? 3 Steps to Clarify Your Commitments

    Common wisdom goes as, we do paid work for money and volunteer work to fulfill other needs. Whatever we do, paid or volunteer work requires some commitment from our part. Sometimes we get so much fun that it doesn’t feel that way, but there are times we need to renew our vows – why am I doing it again?  It is more productive and rewarding when we have some clarity for it.  Here are three ways to get there. 1.     What does it give me  – Alignment with my longer term goal How this particular involvement aligns with your bigger purpose? For example, your three year goal is to become an event…

  • Career satisfaction

    Find an Enjoyable Career : It is Easier than you Think

    The other day I was talking to an engineer from a big brand name company. I asked her, what is that she likes most in her job. She said when she knows what needs to be done and she can finish it on time. Also she likes the pay and the benefits.  Do you see a problem here? Curious me asked, “What else do you like, what do you like about the work?”. “Nothing much, I do this because I have a college degree for this, I can’t afford to change my career”, she answered candidly with zero enthusiasm in her voice. I am sure she is not alone; there…

  • Career satisfaction

    Managing up/Self-promotion : What To Do About It

    In my recent survey, an amazing 79% people said that Managing-up/Self-promotion is the most challenging aspect of their work. I didn’t expect it at all! I then started thinking about it more and realized it is the tip of the iceberg. Based on my experience the real issue underneath is our reactive mode.  A more effective approach is to be purposeful of our engagement and align it with our bigger vision and core values. Deviations are fine as long as they are exceptions rather than the rule- as it doesn’t sustain for very long. Interpretation of the Data A good majority of people thinks Managing-up/Self Promotion is their biggest challenge As a manager or a leader…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand

    Alignment with Passion-Why it is important

    A client of mine is in the job market for a while.  A bit frustrated by the lack of success, he called me this morning wanting to find more ideas.  To get a grasp of where he is, I asked him a typical interview question, “Why do you want this job”? Quite prepared, he replied in an upbeat manner showing his credentials and skills relevant for the position.  So, what is missing from his response? You may have guessed it right; “passion” was the element I was after. When done with passion it makes a job or a task more exciting and meaningful.  With learned skills most of us can…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness

    Career Change – 4 Things Helped Me Make the Move

    Last week I saw two relevant posts on this topic, one in the Forbes magazine and the other in the TEDx talk. I have been wondering where these article/talks were a few years back when I was in this dilemma! I am sure there were many, only that those somehow didn’t come into my radar. I had to do it the harder way. What helped me to make the decision were these few basic points. 1. When I was convinced, I deserve to have more fulfillment It took me a while to realize, I am not here to “do” a lot of things, and I am not here to be a “superwoman” either.…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    How I Decided On Career Change

    These days whenever I talk to my friends and ex-coworkers, one question comes very often: “How did you decide that you wanted to be a coach?”  Someone even asked, “So how did it happen, one fine morning, you just decided on this?” Some commented, “I wish I knew what my passion is”. My short answer is, it took me a few years of dissatisfaction and trying out different activities, and finally one year of rigorous thinking to find out my passion and the next endeavor. There was a time I truly enjoyed my software work; I was very proud of my contribution, which in turn satisfied my soul. At the…