• Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    Why Self-Promotion is Hard, And What To Do About It?

    Recently, a friend and I talked about something she was anxious about. In the end, she felt much more relaxed and confident and said, “Thank you, Sharmin, you are so good.” I replied, “Yes, I am; I love helping people be their best, and thank you for noticing it.” If it were ten years ago, I would have said, “I didn’t do anything,” or some other self-diminishing version of it. It took me a lot of self-work to discover my strengths and own them unapologetically.  That’s why I get passionate when clients come to me with the challenge, “I am not good at self-promotion; it is against my upbringing, but…

  • Let's Get Real Podcast cover
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    My Podcast Interview: Resilience Inside and Out

    Earlier this month, a fellow leadership coach, Nina Simonds invited me to her podcast, Let’s Get Real. Nina started this series in 2020 because, as she wrote, “I love having REAL conversations with people who inspire me. In my 20+ years as a leadership and relationship coach, I experience the most flow when I am learning in a community with others. Let’s Get Real is a place where my guests and I explore personal experiences that have been catalysts for our own growth. We also explore and share some of the tools that help us see others more fully and give us the confidence to lead and love well.” In…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand,  Stress Management

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Are you feeling stuck in your job? Are you having a lack of motivation? Are you feeling like quiet quitting? It must be hard to carry on like that. On top of it, when someone asks you about your career vision – it could be even more frustrating. It happened during a seminar when I asked the audience to do a visioning exercise. A gentleman got frustrated and challenged me, saying, “none of these works; I tried everything, and it doesn’t work!” Though I felt a little awkward, I could sense his disappointment. But I also learned something from it. It is difficult to project into a future vision –…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Self-Promotion Doesn’t Have to Be Selfish

    A couple of years ago, I ran a survey among tech professionals, and it came out that “Managing up/Self-promotion” was the top concern. I was not too surprised. Talking about ourselves seems opposite to humility – it contradicts our values, yet managing up is essential for reward and recognition. Over the years, I learned that it might feel more altruistic if we see it as helping our managers and others do their job better. When I became a manager for the first time at a large corporation, I got a new team from another division. Since it was close to the annual review time, their previous manager prepared their performance data for me to submit…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness

    Finding A More Enjoyable Career: It Could Be Easier Than You Think

    The other day I talked to an engineer from a big brand-name company. I asked her what is that she liked most about her job. She said when she knows what needs to be done, she can finish it on time. Also, she wanted the money and the benefits. Do you see a problem here? Curious, I 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. I am sure she is not alone; there are many others whose favorite part…

  • Two men are talking in a business setting
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Communication,  Executive Presence

    A Tale Of A Coaching Session

    In corporate, coaching means helping someone do their job by giving them advice. Some examples are “have you considered XYZ?” and “If I were you, I would do it this way.” But professional coaching is about helping someone maximize their potential by creating awareness and developing an implementation plan according to their choice. I will describe one coaching session here to shed light on it. I got this new coaching project; I met the client for our first session last week. A woman in her mid-30s, a manager at a Biotech company, showed up on my Zoom screen. Let me call her Kate. We spent 10-ish minutes getting to know…

  • A Busy Woman:
    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Leadership,  Self-leadership

    Are You A Go-to Fixer For Your Team? You Are Not Helping.

    Elizabeth was a long-tenured senior officer at a commercial bank. She had a high sense of responsibility. Most of her time was spent fixing problems created by others both at work and in her family, leaving no time for herself. Friends stopped inviting her to get-togethers as she said “no” many times. The irony is that despite helping others, her relationships with her family (her adult siblings) and colleagues were also pretty strained. Ben, a high-achieving retired physician in his early seventies, volunteered for a cause close to his heart. After a while, he realized that instead of fulfillment, he felt guilty and overwhelmed most of the time. The sense…

  • Career satisfaction,  Success Strategy

    How To Think Of Your Career Growth, Agile or Waterfall?

    Anyone familiar with software development knows agile is the way to go when developing new software or a product. But when it comes to a career, what does it mean? I didn’t think about it until that moment when I was in the middle of a coaching session with a senior technology leader of a Fortune 500 company. Let’s call him Peter. Peter was planning a transition, leaving his corporate VP job and starting doing something on his own in about a two-year timeframe. But he was getting frustrated that he didn’t know what it would be, and he couldn’t make any progress because he didn’t know “it.” It sounded…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy

    Organization Politics – How We See It Can Change the Meaning

    “I like doing my job, but I hate politics. Almost everyone says that they hate politics. If no one likes it, then who creates it in the first place”? My friend Barb sighed as she and I were catching up over coffee on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. We commonly use the term “politics” to describe people’s actions to advance their self-interest at the cost of their coworkers’ interests. It is a win-lose game driven by the intention of gaining something for a selfish purpose. As someone who spent 20+ years inside organizations and then coaching organization leaders, I get curious about this. Barb’s comment made me ponder even more.…

  • A Cat Image by Heinz Hummel from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy,  Time Management,  WorkLife balance

    Are You Sabotaged By Your Inner Hyper-Achiever?

    A high-tech leader, let’s call him Jason, said, “I can’t relax; I always have to do something useful. Nobody makes me do so; it’s me. This is how I am”. Jason is not alone. Many of us have such hyper achievers in us, pushing us to do more. This trait may have helped us be where we are, yet its overuse can cause more harm than good. Growing up, we all developed different traits that kept us safe, got us what we needed, and helped us achieve success. Other than the hyper-achiever, there are several other traits; pleaser, perfectionist, victim, are to name a few. My top two are hyper-achiever…