• Interview with the International Voice
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    My Interview with The International Voice

    A few weeks back, Japnit Sethi from The International Voice, reached out to me to be a guest in his new show on YouTube. Japnit, a Computer Science graduate student at Virginia Tech (my alma mater), founded this with a mission to inspire the next generation of international leaders from all over the world who aspire to make their mark within the North American Tech Industry. We talked about a wide range of topics, starting with how I got into tech, my early days in the US, Job interviews, learning from my career at Microsoft, and finally, my work as an executive coach with leaders in technology. Japnit did an…

  • Work from Home
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  productivity

    Working From Home — The Employees Are Leading The Change (Guest Post)

    Tara (not her real name) from our finance recently rang me on a late evening for online approval of a bank transaction. It was unusual because we encourage people to complete their works during regular hours. I overheard her only daughter, 4, saying something to the dad in the background. The mom was enjoying her family life, and her daughter was having fun with her dad. I felt happy for her. But she was breaching the Working from Home (WFH) policy; it doesn’t permit other members of the family in the same room. Something is amiss in the policy, then. As the world is going through the COVID-19 turmoil, the corporates everywhere…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    “Never Looked Back” – Is a Myth

    Recently I was sharing the story of my career change and someone commented, “…and you never looked back”! I was caught by surprise. The fact is, I did look back, many times. The past 10 years of my new career was anything but easy and many times I doubted and regretted my original decision. That comment invoked a deeper insight in me though. “I never looked back”, gives us the impression that the person found their ultimate path and everything became better afterward. It is like those “lived happily ever after” fairy tales. This is far from reality and I am yet to meet someone with significant successes, who never…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Feeling stuck in your job? Having a lack of motivation? It is very frustrating when despite all the hard work, you don’t get the deserved recognition. On top when I say, “Focus on your vision”– it could add more 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 felt a little awkward, I could sense his disappointment. I 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…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Personal Brand

    “Tell Me About Yourself” – Why It Is Hard and What To Do About It

    Those frequent flyers in the job market already know how this apparently easy question could become quite daunting at times. During an interview coaching, I ask the clients to answer it first. Interesting enough even the expert interviewers have a hard time talking about themselves. Some of the common patterns are: Pattern 1 – They walk through the resume chronologically. Example: “ I received my BS degree from University if Kentucky, then I joined x company, worked there for until 2002 as a junior software engineer then I moved to y company and worked there until 2007, got promoted to a supervisor position. After that …” (At this point my brain starts…

  • Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    How Coaching Can Increase Employee Engagement

    I have worked within the high tech industry for over a decade and I have always wondered why a large number of the great hires end up disengaged, identified as below average performers so soon after hire! First as a manager and now as a coach, my observation is the raw potential the employees bring often gets underutilized because of the chaos in the workplace. Despite the relative maturity in the high tech industry we still depend on Darwin’s “Survival of the fittest” theory. I believe a coach can be a catalyst to increase the odds for each employee to be of the “fittest” species in the corporate jungle. Below are the stories of two…

  • 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 you are developing new software or a product. But when it comes to career what does it really mean? Well, I didn’t think about it until that moment 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 start 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 the little time he had he couldn’t make any progress…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Everyone And Their Mother Is Talking About “Coaching” – What Is It Really?

    It will be rare to find someone who never heard “coaching” and yet it is one of the most overloaded terms today. Starting from sports coaching, tutoring or mentoring a junior professional, coaching bears a very diverse context. One common denominator though is about helping another person getting better at some skill. In the professional world, coaching is becoming more common in recent years. And that is where it could use little more clarity. According to the International Coach Federation(ICF), coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The basic premise is, the person being coached is whole,…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Women In Tech – Let’s Tap Into Our Own Greatness

    [Look for a special discount code inside -Sharmin] Background Story – Last year I attended a global conference in Warsaw with a few hundred International Coach Federation (ICF) leaders from across the world(140 countries to be specific). The trip was very significant for me on many levels including the opportunity to meet some very talented and passionate leaders in the coaching industry. Kelley Russell-Duvarney was one of them. Although our personal backgrounds had very little in common, we found ourselves in an extremely engaging conversation as we sat in the last row of a tour van for several hours during our group trip. We quickly appreciated the similarities in our thinking as we…