Why?

“I’m so relieved that all the reports are good”, I told my mother in law.

With a stubbornness I never knew I posessed, I took my mother in law for a full body check-up on sunday. With the consultation yesterday, all looked good except known issues.

“I should eat early at night.”, she sighed after hearing my bright remarks about the report.

“Who’s stopping you?”,  I quipped back, fully knowing the answer, armed with an experience of 10 yrs playing the same game.

“I don’t do anything after I finish my dinner. You know that, and I can’t do anything”.

She was busy arranging vessels after the maid left. Cooking oats for my lunch, I answered her back – “With my job, It’s not possible to be home by 7. If you are worried about kids dinner, that is mostly going to be on you – atleast half of it. When it’s a daily routine, why are you not eating your dinner by 7?”

“You know I cannot do that”, she was now getting restless.

“Don’t place your dependency on others and tell me why you can’t do it. If your health is priority, of course you will do it.”.  I rest my case, as my husband who was eating  his upma almost ate me with his eyes.”Don’t do that mistake”, he was silently scolding me.

As with other things at home, I gave her my piece of mind and stormed to cab. With no helmet, I’m still coming by cab instead of my lovely two wheeler. May be tomorrow.

“No resourcing available to do what I want”…

“No clear R & R available for me, nor others available to me..”.

All valid scenarios but that is where the difference between you and other people end, I told myself. If you are also cribbing the same stuff as others – how good are you then?

People who survive regardless of situations are called winners. I want to be one.

A Lot of times..

My Facebook post today morning reads –

No matter where you find yourself in,there is ALWAYS something you can do about it. And sometimes, doing something is actually not doing anything about it. ‪#‎learnings‬ ‪#‎corporatelife‬

I’ve newly joined an MNC in the capacity of a Delivery Manager. I’ve worked in Delivery before, but never in such an ambiguous  situation.  My lack of ability to plan things well has been amplifying the ambiguity even more. Cannot wash dirty linen in public for obvious reasons – but today morning I got up a little early and spent time thinking on how to make things better. And where I am possibly going wrong to end up where I actually ended up.

  1. Set up clear priorities at work and at life. What does that mean? Simply, first decide what are your  R &R . Roles and responsibilities. Make a list and re-visit and agree with your boss at home and at work. Ask if this is what you are expected to do.
  2. Plan atleast a week in advance. Resources – in office, what people and where? At home – what grocery and what to cook? Be ready on sunday.
  3. Communicate. A lot of times, what you assume might be wrong. There is already work being done which can help you. Or you can ask for it. EVerytime, check the assumptions before going ahead with your own master plan.
  4. Take things seriously and yourself easy. You are going to make rookie mistakes, and given the mid management position you are in – damn you do, damn you don’t.
  5. Always always always send the status updates. Never be in a position, where other people are wondering what exactly you do at work. A very bad pace to be in, in front of your peers.
  6. There are always going to be opinions on how to do things, and how to do them better – when you are doing them. Learn to ignore, unless they are really useful.

I can go on and on..but time to start the day!

Have a good day and keep rocking.

 

 

 

 

 

Musings from Corporate Life # 1

I crack down under Stress. The list of  never ending stuff just screws up my brain and it eventually loses its capacity to perform any meaningful function. How to prioritize stuff and people? Everyday, I start with list of activities to perform, but end of the day my to-do list would have gotten only longer and with more stress. I also realized that with no clear idea on the R & R, things can slowly get worse – because you do something as you can see it falling apart. But, at the same time, the stuff you are responsible for – that doesn’t get done. While I spent most of my saturday worrying about stuff that I was accountable for and didn’t get done – I had this strange realization today.

Stuff never gets completely done. And end of the day – when your appraisal comes in – you need to show what you have accomplished, not what you have helped someone else accomplish.

I think I missed out this simple point. Also, I have realized that it’s easy to get bogged down when you are thinking more about the tasks rather than doing them.  Let me for a change be a DOER first and then THINKER Later.

 

Does our Education Teach us to Communicate well?

I was in office after couple of days, and was summoned to my CEO’s room in 5 minutes. Wondering what’s burning, I went in.  Another manager was in and the feedback was on the batch joined couple of months back.  I trained them on the domain skills and knew the batch joiners fairly well. It seems the other manager had assigned them a project last thursday, and I assigned them a domain specific practice project on Friday with deadline today.  All the team promptly( around 15 people) stopped working on the other manager’s work and were only working on mine for the whole week.

“We cannot have people who cannot multi task. Please educate them about our culture”, said my CEO.

I called the entire batch into the room. While I can talk on tech stuff for days together, lecturing a batch of people on culture and responsibility was something new to me as well. But, as you grow in career, you need to learn stuff along the way.  Somehow, I did not believe that the team was irresponsible and want to run off at 6 PM everyday.  It must be a severe miscommunication, I thought to myself.  Spoke to every single one of them, while making them sit in the group.  More than half were waiting for some communication from the other manager regarding some module allocation. NONE of them went ahead and asked him. When I asked them- ” WHY?”, they did not have an answer.  Mind you, these are not freshers but everyone in the room has an average of 2+ years of corporate experience. So, what’s lacking?

The ability to communicate. The ability to ask questions.

Our Excellent Education system turns inquisitive kids into dumb rule obeying adults. All the batch was worried on meeting my deadline of friday – but were comfortable to stop the work and never check with the other manager.  After an hour of trying to get them to communicate,  I think i fairly succeeded a bit. They did get the message, but did not appear like kids scolded by an angry teacher.

The first things people need to be taught once they enter the workforce – Become KIDS again and ask questions to your heart’s content.  People will like you for talking, and being communicative.

Another weird incident happened last week, more on that in the next post.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

 

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas was good. Decorations, food and frolic. Over the masti, few things that struck to me –

1) always have a rockstar team. That will get you to win. We had competition to decorate a room for Christmas,and having a good team and 2 people who could go to any extent just put us miles in front of others. We won :p
2) sometimes, what we think is not what exactly happens. When I got idli sambar as my Christmas gift, I had no words. But, soon i realized that it was a prank and lovely gifts awaited me :)))
3) the dumbest and scariest of games bring out the best in people. When guys wore sarees today, it was more fun than we thought!!

Good memories, day long fun after a very long time.

Merry Christmas everyone. Will upload our Christmas decoration competition as soon as I get one.

A Rant on Indian Interview System

interviewIt’s not that i hate interviews. They are a must part of hiring process. But, I find things glaringly different in the way they are conducted in India and Overseas. With years of experience under my belt and having worked for a couple of companies so far, I had the opportunity to attend Indian and Overseas interviews for jobs. Really, I find the Indian interview system really ridiculous.  I have attended a few interviews for my consulting projects with the current company. Leaving the results of the interviews,  i found the entire interview process really stupid. Here is me, talking to all my interviewers so far:

1. Please read the CV of the person carefully. It will tell you very clearly the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses too. If you think the weakness is too big to ignore, PLEASE DON’T CALL THEM FOR AN INTERVIEW. It is not your job to tell the interviewee where they lack, they already know. May be, chances are they are already working on them.

2. If you think the candidate’s skill set matches with your requirements, highlight the areas you need them to be good at and grill them at it. See if they can satisfy you with the requirements. If the role is functional, please ask functional things. If the role is purely technical – start asking coding and design questions.

3.  PLEASE DON’T ASK QUESTIONS only because you assume they need to always asked as part of the discussion. For a Program Leading role, isn’t it funny to ask the candidate if they know the “CONNECT BY PRIOR” clause in Oracle?  Alright, if you must – ask them.  But, don’t belittle them if they don’t know. Its ok to not know the answers to everything you have worked in your career.

4. With the advent of new age google and old age human brain, people can learn things and gather information on the go. If the candidate cannot answer something in the interview, that just means that he needs 5 minutes of time and an internet connected browser OR a 2 minute phone call to the person who knows the answer. People know what they know, and most of the times they know from whom they can know what they want to know. So, PLEASE GIVE A BREAK and before you put your pen down for the feedback – think if they can achieve what you want by google. If yes, close your eyes, leave a deep breath and just leave the feedback floating in the air.

5. End of the day – CAN WE PLEASE LOOK AT A PERSON AS A WHOLE, other than a body with a coding capabilities? It’s disgusting.  If people must learn coding, they will. If you are interviewing me for a senior management position, and I cannot decide between a fork and a thread process – do I disqualify?

I think the Indian Interview System places too much emphasis on things that are absolutely not required for the job and they think the interviewee must know regardless. CODING!  If you cannot remember all your SQL / PL/SQL commands and start uttering out C++ / Java code – no amount of experience will help you out from the Interviewee’s illogical questions.

My humble request to all the interviewers conducting the interview:

1. Please grill the person on technical aspects only if you really require them for the job. Otherwise, ask them and check if they can. Otherwise, please trust Google to do the job for them as the entire world does.

2. Conduct the interview based on what they are good at. If you are not good at what they are – please prepare yourself.  It is not the interviewee’s problem to be good at what you are working on. If they are kickass perfect in whatever they are working at the moment and they prove themselves in the interview to be a good learner – they can do your job. Afterall, your company is not launching a mission critical satellite into the space, is it?

Have a good day and keep rocking guys!

* Image Credit : www.careerealism.com

Tips to deal with interrupting people

This one is really pending from longtime, in my drafts.

Not long back, I had someone at work, who made sure he interrupted when I was trying to communicate the status of my work.

As per my usual reaction, I first held him wrong in my thoughts. But, then I thought that you cannot have a clap without two. So, even if it’s 1%, there is something I was doing wrong. I discussed with my dear hubby, who is the person with highest EQ I have ever met.

“So, are you loud enough?”

I wasn’t. Not as loud as my colleague.

“Do you think he is doing on purpose??”

Not really. He’s been here for more tins than me, and he is not really insecure of what i am doing.

“Do you think, that is how he is, in normal conversations with you? Does he overtake you ALL the time???”

Bam. NO. He has a tendency to make sure he is in the spotlight, but that’s how he generally is nothing specific to me.

Good. And now, my husband Asks me not to worry. That’s his way of saying that the topic really doesnt deserve any brain cell occupancy at all. Given my famous attitude to mull over things, I hold it back for couple of more days.

Next time-
1. I talk more louder and clearer
2.if he takes over, observe that he is actually covering me up in front of senior execs
3. He had ego, which needs brushing from time to time.

So, not entirely him and not entirely me. Really, we are equal contributors.

Next time someone interrupts your speaking, think twice before you put then in enemy list.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!