• Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Feeling stuck in your job? Having lack of motivation? It is very frustrating when despite all the hard work, you don’t get the deserved recognition. As a career coach when I say, “Focus on your vision”– it sometimes adds fuel to it. Last year during my seminar a gentleman from the audience challenged me, “None of what you are saying works, I tried everything, it doesn’t work!” Though I was little awkward, I could feel his disappointment, also learned something from it.  It is not easy to project into the future –  our brain finds it hard to visualize something it doesn’t have the experience about. On the other hand, since the present…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness

    Career Satisfaction: What is in your way?

    “Not enough time”, “Not enough support from others”, “Lack of ideas”, topped the list for my survey question: “What is in your way of having more satisfaction from your career”. All these seem correct and expected. It would be wonderful if these external factors of time and support were resolved so you and I could flourish. But alas, the sad truth – “We cannot choose our external circumstances” has already been revealed by Epictetus, a Greek philosopher 2000 years ago. I guess he actually wanted to say that sometimes we can choose but not always. So what is the big deal about it? The deal is, if I desperately want to…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    “What do I Want” is a Hard Question

    Few weeks back I was giving a talk at a big tech company about focusing on the vision. As usual someone asked this basic question- “I don’t know what my vision is”! I am not surprised. This was my question only a few years ago. Over the years, by resolving my own dilemma and by working with my clients, I found a few ways to address this. Why it is hard? While growing up we were given standards to meet, tasks to accomplish. We were rewarded to achieve hard challenges, to score higher than others. Things we did for our own pleasure (if any) was a privilege and was not encouraged…

  • 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…

  • Happiness

    Focus on Your Vision: A Positive Approach to Life’s Challenges

    [Key point: I have described  how vision focus works as a great parenting tool for me. It not only helps to manage the current situation more gracefully, it gives a greater clarity and builds a more sustainable foundation for the future.] I am preparing for the seminar next week on this topic for a tech company. No matter how professionally savvy audience I address, I always get a few parenting questions (specially from the Moms). A typical one: “How can I teach my 8 year old to be responsible enough to keep his room clean”?  I candidly admit that it is a work in progress for me as well. I…

  • Happiness

    Caterpillars to Butterflies : Human Maturity Stages

    [Key point: If you are doing everything right, working hard and still not getting the fulfillment, don’t just label it as the mid-life crisis. You may be ready to transition to the next maturity stage. It’s your choice to pay heed to your heart’s calling or to stay comfortable and forgo any further exploration of this wonderful life you have.] When I ask “what do YOU want” people sometimes get confused.  Common responses are: “Wouldn’t that be selfish”? “I always think about others, I put others needs ahead of me, am I not supposed to do that way”? I realized some awareness around Kegan’s Human Maturity Stages might shed some light…

  • Happiness

    Fulfilling Achievements are Good, Experiences are Even Better

    I ask this question to my clients and class participants: Describe some occasions from the recent past when you felt excited and fulfilled. The common responses I get are, “when I graduated college”, “got my dream job”, “had my last promotion”, “had my baby”…. Interesting to note, the “recent past” part gets ignored easily. Another observation,  all those listed are mostly focused on achievements and not on the activity or the experience of doing something. You can ask me why this is a problem. The problem is when we are only focused on achievements, we need to wait (sometimes long) for those to happen again in order for us to…

  • 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…

  • Happiness

    What life stage are you in – Survival, Success or Significance?

    [Anyone is capable of  making the transition to the next level – it is not tied to a dollar amount or an age limit.] Found this recently: Everyone lives at one of three levels in life: Survival, Success and Significance.  Survival– You are living from week to week, looking forward to the weekends, vacations and finally the retirement. In my words this is a life in “Autopilot mode“. Success – Eating out, Driving a nice car, looking good, feeling good, having goods. At this level when people grow further (in maturity) they start thinking – If I am so successful why I don’t feel satisfied! Significance– You know your life matters. You…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness

    Career Change – 4 Things Helped Me Make the Move

    [If you are reading this only to find another “but” for not making any change, please give yourself permission to use this time for something else :). -Sharmin] 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 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…