5 moments in ‘MS Dhoni -The Untold Story’ that show if you #LoveWhatYouDo, success follows

MS Dhoni Untold Story

MS Dhoni’s arrival on India’s cricketing scene and his consequent rise has been unprecedented. From a ticket collector in Ranchi to becoming India’s most attacking right-handed batsman-cum-keeper to captain of the Indian cricket team, he’s tasted success for just one reason: he loves cricket passionately. 

Follow your dream
Dhoni is a cricketer at heart but winds up being a ticket collector at Kharagpur station. He knows ki “na toh hamara game improve ho raha hai, na aage ka koi opportunity mil raha hai”. Unwilling to choke in the initial overs, he takes a stand and tells his father that he can’t afford to stick around simply for job security. “Kharagpur ke job security me phas gaye toh aage kuch nai kar payenge,” he tells his dad. Exit TC Dhoni, enter Team India player MS Dhoni. 

Clearly, it’s important to take that first leap of faith, that one step that veers you off the course everyone thinks you should follow and on to the path that you know you should take. 

Look at the bigger picture
When faced with the prospect of playing with players who aren’t performing, Dhoni steps back and says that the three players in question no longer fit into the ODI format. “Yeh teeno ab ODI team me fit nahi baith rahe,” he tells the shocked selectors on a con call. The unhappy selectors bemoan that he’s trying to oust the very person who’s promoting him, but Dhoni has a response. “We’re all servants here and we’re all doing national duty,” he says. There’s nothing more important than playing for the team, and as a team. 

Be sure of yourself
If you have the talent, the skill set and you love what you do, there’s no reason to doubt yourself. Walking out onto the pitch ahead of a match before he makes it to Team India, he tells his incredulous partner, “Strike hum lenge. Tum run out mat karva dena bas.” And Mahi goes on to score runs by the dozen. 

You are sure to be taken more seriously at the workplace if your words and actions are backed by conviction. However, it’s imperative that you don’t cross the fine line that demarcates confidence and arrogance. Dhoni does this just right – he’s aggressive without being arrogant, successful without being supercilious.

Focus on what’s important to you
Once you know what you love, it’s important to keep the focus. His father may have been after him to pursue studies, asking “tumhara padhai-likhai kaisa chal raha hai”, but Mahi remains more focused on Office League cricket. When his father persists, asking whether or not he’ll be taking his tests, Mahi promises off-handedly “paas jitna layak ho jayega”. Exam paper done with, he rushes to the venue to play a match and turns it around. 
When you #LoveWhatYouDo, reserve the focus and energy for things that are critical. 

Keep working towards your goal 
His mother knows him well. “Hamara mann kehta hai yeh thode se me khush hone wala nahi hai,” she tells his father. So even amid his many other roles, Mahi finds time to focus on practice and keep fine-tuning his skills. “Duty ke baad roz practice, jitna duty utna practice” is his mantra. He makes it to the Indian cricket team, ends up becoming skipper and steers India to a famous World Cup win.

Find your passion #LoveWhatYouDo, Be a Winner!

If you don’t #LoveWhatYouDo. Find a job that you’ll love here


7 ways to drive powerful change in your organization

lead change

Change, they say, is the heartbeat of growth. Without it, progress is impossible. But change doesn’t come easy. The current demonetization drive being led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a good example of how some people dig in their heels when faced with sudden change.

Change can be overwhelming, but that’s no reason to capitulate to the fear that it brings. Most often than not, the biggest barrier to change is a mental roadblock. How can you work to overcome mental barriers and resistance, and lead powerful change that will take your organization into the future? Change starts at the top, with the leaders and managers. The right people in place can help foster an environment of change.

#1 Make experimentation a habit
Today’s changing times make it essential for big and small companies to be able to adapt and – if necessary – pivot quickly. Any firm that keeps the focus on experimentation welcomes new ideas and works on evolution patterns to see what their product or service could become. But a culture where experimentation thrives often takes a push from management to make it happen.

What you can Do: Find a way that works for your company, but ensure that the experimentation shows results and isn’t done for the sake of experimenting. 

#2 Be flexible to be successful
Organizations keen to drive change tend to be more fluid and collaborative. They’re not bound by rigid rules – instead of asking employees to punch in at 9 am every morning, they may support flexible work schedules and mobile technology to work from anywhere. 

What you can Do: It could be a small move or a complete overhaul, but being adaptable and accommodating helps embrace change. If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, not the goal. 

#3 Open all channels of communication 
Change leads to concerns among employees and team members. Rather than letting a communication breakdown get in the way, leaders should explain why the company has chosen to move in the chosen direction and how the change will benefit the organization and people. Be open and honest about information and facts. 

What you can Do: Be transparent and open about what the change means, in the short and long term. People resist change because they focus on what they have to give up, not what they stand to gain. 

#4 Address personal concerns
Once you inform about the broader picture, people will want to know how the change will play out for them personally. What’s in it for them? How will they need to adapt? What kind of skills would they need? Leaders and managers must remember that a change in the organization may make people think their personal and organizational commitments are being threatened.

What you can Do: Make sure you address personal concerns as they surface. Share concerns openly so that they don’t persist. 

#5 Put processes in place
If you’ve shared information and allayed fears successfully, people in the organization will now be keen to know how the change will be implemented and what they need to do. Make sure that things have been thought through and everyone is on the same page about the nitty-gritties. 

What you can Do: Action your plan and let people know what they need to do first, second, third. Also announce where to go for assistance, when needed. 

#6 Continuously evaluate & refine 
Implementation may not be easy, but once people are on board it gets easier. Make sure you keep answering any and all concerns that crop up. Focus on evaluation so that you – and people around you – can gauge the change’s relevance and payoff. The course of any organizational change leads to numerous learnings. Think how the change can be refined and focus on continuous improvement. 

What you can Do: Keep communicating and share early wins. It is easier to keep the ball rolling if employees see that the change is making a positive difference.

#7 Take time with the next initiative 
You may have plenty of plans to revolutionize the organization but remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Let the change settle in, let employees get used to each and every stage and only then think about other change initiatives. Doing things right will drastically increase your – and the organization’s – chances of success. 

What you can Do: Never rush through the early stages of any plan. Take the time needed but stick to your guns so that you aren’t derailed. Remember that change isn’t an event, it’s a process. 

Dealing with people’s concerns about change may seem like too much of hand-holding, but it’s essential to discuss and debate impact before implementation. The future of work is all about change. The choice is yours: Will you change proactively or will you be forced to change reactively?

The secret to success is good leadership. Get more advice on how to lead here.

7 ways to make your career goals stick in 2017

7 ways to make your career goals stick in 2017

The New Year brings with it a shift of energy and the desire to make a new beginning. Not surprising that so many of us work on new goals and resolutions – be it getting a new job, asking for a raise or losing weight – at this time of the year.

But most of us don’t stick to those resolutions. 

John Norcross, author of Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing your Goals and Resolutions, says 50% people who make resolutions on Jan 1 end up breaking them by the end of the month. His research showed that only 8% ended up sticking to their goals.

So how can you continue with your resolutions for longer and make your odds of realizing them higher?

Know why you’re doing it 
You aren’t going to stick to any resolution if it doesn’t align with your core values and desires. If you don’t feel passionate about the yearly goal you’ve set yourself, chances are that you’ll give up when the going gets tough. Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal believes that “New Year resolutions that connect with the ‘ideal self’ are most effective”.

Action point: Connecting your resolutions to a deep sense of purpose – be it mastering new software or learning to code – will let you stay the course. 

Set specific resolutions
It’s all very well to resolve to “get a raise, ask for a promotion, rise up the career ladder or work on better work-life balance”. But the lack of specificity may set you up for failure. Making your goals measurable lets you track your progress and measure success. 

Action point: Aim to have a one-on-one with your supervisor or leave office early twice a week at least. 

Think short and long term
The top reason why most people don’t keep their resolutions is because they are unrealistic. Joyce Hanna, of Stanford University, says the greatest success comes “when we set short-term, realistic, behavioral goals — based on what we have been doing previously — that will gradually lead to sustainable change”. 

Action point: Set yourself an ambitious long-term goal, but focus on the small steps that will take you there. Will taking a management class or brushing up your people skills help?

Write things down
A study conducted at Dominican University demonstrated that writing one’s goal enhances goal achievement significantly. In the study, people who wrote down their goals and formulated action commitments accomplished significantly more than those who did not. 

Action point: Pen your goals and share with friends and family who are sure to nudge you when you seem to be losing momentum. 
Pick your game-changer

Every month, pick a game changer and focus on it with maniacal dedication. Ask yourself what’s the one thing you could do that month that will lead you to your goal? What’s the one thing you can do in a month that will lead to end-of-the-year success?

Action point: Focus your time, energy and skills on getting this game-changer – it could be nailing PowerPoint – in place. If needed, come clean with your manager and seek help.

Hold yourself accountable
It’s not easy to change behaviour, especially when it’s been a part of your life for some time. As time wears on, it’s easy to return to old habits, making it necessary to light a fire under your goals and make yourself accountable. 

Action point: Consider using negative consequences if you don’t action your steps. Deny yourself something that you truly enjoy – this can be a true test of commitment.

Expect setbacks
Despite all your planning and action, chances are you may not achieve your goal. But remember that your failures will not define your success in the year ahead. You may lose your resolve and face setbacks, but don’t let the stumbling blocks get in the way.

Action point: It may not seem so at the time but setbacks give you the opportunity to bounce back. Reflect, make adjustments and get back to work. 
The initial wave of enthusiasm may be swept away by the time January comes to an end, but you being patient and persevering will help stick to your resolutions. May 2017 be the year of accomplishment!

Find more advice on how to grow your career here

Did you achieve your goals in 2016? If not, here’s how to attain them in 2017

Did you achieve your goals this year? If not, here’s how to succeed in 2017

New Year resolutions don’t last long – sometimes they only last as long as your hangover. It’s time to reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t worked, and to think about what you want to do differently in 2017.

Andy Teach, author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time, believes in the importance of work resolutions. “It’s fairly common for most people to have career-related New Year’s resolutions because work is such an important part of our daily lives,” he writes. “Therefore, it’s in our best interest to try to become better at what we do for a living.”

The main reason that people don’t stick to their resolutions is that they set too many of them or they’re unrealistic to achieve. We list down the top six work resolutions most people made in 2016 and how they can work towards achieving them in 2017: 

Resolution #1: I will get a raise 
If there’s one thing nearly every employee wants in the year ahead, it’s a raise. But it isn’t simple to wangle one, so most of us end the year at almost the same salary we started with. 

How to make it happen next year:
 It’s important to be able to tell your supervisor why you deserve the extra investment. Take stock of your accomplishments and collect solid market value data to make a case to bring to the table before requesting more money. 

Resolution #2: I will get a promotion
Success at the workplace is synonymous with moving up the corporate ladder. But like asking for a raise, you find that getting yourself in line for a promotion isn’t easy. 

How to make it happen next year:
 Wear a go-get-it disposition and review your work ethics and team skills. Volunteering for jobs that are not a part of your KRAs makes sure your boss notices you. Acing these jobs and meeting deadlines is another way to show that you’re ready for more.

Resolution #3: I will develop new skills
Developing skills tops the resolution list, whether it’s a first-timer at the job or someone much more experienced. Taking the time to learn and excel at new skills can increase your sense of worth and put you in line for raises and promotions.

How to make it happen next year: Instead of making grandiose plans, enroll in a course or certification programme. Attending industry workshops and conferences can help you develop practical skills. Reading up on industry trends and related subjects gives you an edge.

Resolution #4: I will grow my professional network
Networking is extremely important, no matter which field you’re in, for it can open a lot of doors. Making connections can help you find mentorship, career advice and may lead to new job opportunities.

How to make it happen next year: The key to maximizing your professional network is to work at it actively and diversify it. Grow your network with people from different industries, backgrounds, age groups and ethnicities. Your network should include various kinds of people – the mentor, coach, insider, connector, trendsetter realist and visionary. Playing the numbers game isn’t a good idea, since quality scores over quantity.

Resolution#5: I will get a new job in my field
You weren’t the only one who decided to leave your current job and move to a new organization. It could be a dead end job or the desire for a change of scenery, but a new job could propel you faster to progress.

How to make it happen next year: Finding a new job isn’t easy, especially when you have one that you are used to. Let people know that you’re looking for a change but share this information wisely. When possible, show prospective employers what you have done and what you are capable of. Update your resume and circulate it, and clean up your act on social media.

Resolution#6: I will go for a career change
Who doesn’t want to do what they love, love what they do? But completely switching your career track can be difficult, especially if you need to begin at the bottom with no formal experience. 

How to make it happen next year: Stop thinking about your true calling, instead think of what you are good at, the skills you have and would like to learn, and the kind of work that will engage you. Highlight transferrable skills – those relevant in any field – when applying to new jobs. Work at gradually changing your career – may be working part time on the new career while retaining the old job.

Set your team up for success with these 7 steps

Set your team up for success with these 7 steps

Henry Ford famously said: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

Every team leader knows that his or her success depends on the team’s success. Team building is an art and a science, and excelling at it is a sure-fire way of achieving success. We list down seven tips that will help you and your team find greater success this year:

Get to know your team better
Young American poet and motivational speaker Mattie Stepanek said: “…where there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” Every team is formed of individuals, and it’s essential for the leader to know them well. Knowing their strengths and capabilities, and understanding and embracing their will help you match competencies to tasks, setting the team up for success. This also ensures there’s good camaraderie between the team.

Make time for personal and professional aims
The workplace and home may be separate but achieving happiness in one sphere is bound to spill over into the other. Economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness makes people more productive at work. Their research shows that happiness can increase productivity by as much as 12%. Ask team members about personal goals and make an effort to figure out how to help them achieve them. Investing more in employee support leads to an increase in employee satisfaction, and may culminate in better teamwork.

Link aims to larger company objectives
No one likes to work in isolation, so try and show your team members how planning and projects pay off for the company. Connecting the dots and showing them the big picture makes team members feel like they’re a part of the organisation’s success. Share the company’s goals, discuss how individual efforts can help get there, and tie back everything to the role your team plays in the company’s overall success. Staff members who know they’re integral are more connected to their work.

Involve your team in the goal-setting process
Success depends on a well-drafted and executed game plan. Involving your team in the goal-setting process can help align their goals and match their strengths and skills with the organisation’s overall objectives. Schedule a meeting with your team to get preliminary ideas and work with them to draw up clear plans, keeping milestones in mind.

Make sure the goals are challenging yet achievable 
Setting goals is well and good, but it’s pointless if they aren’t realistic. Multiple experts advise setting goals that are S.M.A.R.T. Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Based have a far greater chance of being accomplished than general goals. Being overly ambitious with your goals may end up lowering morale, if employees find they can’t meet their goals. The team leader will need to find the fine balance between challenging and achievable. Research shows that writing goals down may help motivate the team to achieve them.

Define roles & responsibilities and streamline processes
Once your team and individual goals are set, move to clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of everyone on the team. This isn’t easy for often people don’t seem to have the skills and competencies that their roles call for; for most, their ideal roles may be outside their job descriptions. Evaluate every team member and their talent and then assign them roles and responsibilities – someone may be the best team player, while another may do his or her job best on their own. Your aim should be to ensure that unique strengths and differences come together and work as a powerful united force.

Be proactive with feedback & celebrate success
Effective and timely feedback is a critical component of a successful employee management program. It helps keeps individuals and teams on track, and lets them know how to improve. However, feedback must be proactive and constant; it should be given before it needs to be given. Apart from providing formal and informal feedback regularly, also plan for team feedback. This will help align your team around company goals. Open and honest professional relationships between everyone in the team will pave the way for success, for the team and the company. Do take the time to acknowledge and reward team members when they deserve it. Celebrating small successes will set your team up for bigger success.

An old African proverb says it all: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” So work on building your team and help them work hard to achieve success this year.

How a personal constitution can help you succeed at work

How a personal constitution can help you succeed at work

The Indian Constitution, the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles of government institutions and fundamental rights and duties of citizens. It aims keeping India a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic, while assuring its people of justice, equality and liberty.

But a constitution doesn’t need to be limited to countries and governments. On Republic Day, we list down how a personal constitution can guide, ensure that we don’t veer off course and help attain success at the workplace. 

What is a personal constitution? 
Logically, a personal constitution should be a list of governing and guiding principles that will take a person’s life forward. In the Ministry of Business, James Ritchie created the theory of the Personal Constitution, writing it is a “single document outlining who you want to be and what you’re going to do to accomplish this objective. The Personal Constitution becomes the guiding document for how you live your daily life, and…will allow you to attain your loftiest goals and desires.” Dr. Stephen Covey’s book, in his best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, also recommends developing a “personal mission statement”.

How do you outline your personal constitution? 
Your aim should be to outline a document that, like the Indian Constitution, holds everything together. It will include thevalues and goals that you hold yourself accountable to and cannot compromise on. When you face a tough spot in your workplace or your career, your Personal Constitution will help guide you towards the right decision.

Set aside an hour or so to put together this important document. Think deeply and write down all that you can about questions that tell you more about you, your attitude, values and goals.

  • What is most important to you?
  • What values would you like to be defined by?
  • How would you like the people you work with to describe you?
  • What are your goals, short term and long term?
  • How important is societal approval to you?
  • What things would you be proud of when you look back at your career. 

Once the brainstorming session is done, organise your thoughts and put together your document. 

It may be easy to begin with a sentence like “This personal constitution will help guide me in difficult decisions and will keep me true and dedicated to what is important to me.” Rank the qualities and values in order of importance to you, as this is what will help you take decisions. Say you want to be wealthy and honest. So what would you do if you were offered a huge bribe? If honesty is more important to you than wealth, the decision is made for you.

Keep your constitution brief, ensuring that you use the word “I” in every rule you are setting for yourself. This, experts believe, has a psychological benefit and may help you stick to the charter when the going gets tough.

When you’re through, your Constitution may well have pointers like these. It could be all of them or a few, but make sure that you stay true to this document:

  1. I will be dedicated, focused and motivated when at work, so that I can always give my best.
  2. I will treat all my colleagues with complete trust, dignity and respect.
  3. I will never assume things and will always try and see the other’s point of view.
  4. I will try to understand the mission and vision of my organisation and evaluate if the work I am doing is on the right track.
  5. I will never be a know-it-all, and will consistently try to upskill and learn new things.
  6. I will try to listen to others objectively without offering my own interpretation.
  7. I will join in debates and disagreements but will do it in a cordial manner, for I know that divergences often help the project’s cause.
  8. I will respect my co-workers and try not to seek advantage over them by participating in scheming of any sort.
  9. I will remember that work styles differ and try and learn how I can use co-workers’ working styles to my advantage.
  10. I will desist from speaking ill of my boss and joining in political manoeuvring of any sort.
  11. I will try and help any co-worker who is being treated disrespectfully by another employee or a member of management.
  12. I will stay updated on company news and information as well as current affairs, trends and other industry result.
  13. I will pursue a career I feel passionately about because I believe in #LoveWhatYouDo.  

A Personal Constitution could be the most important work that you do this year. For, if done right, it will provide the foundation for success in every field of your life. 

You can only be dedicated, focused and motivated at work if you’re in a job you love. Pledge to #FindBetter and start yoursearch here.

10 signs that prove you really LoveWhatYouDo

Loving your job is the true key to career success and a happy and rewarding professional life, but how do you know for sure that you #LoveWhatYouDo?

These 10 tell-tale signs are sure indicators.

  1. You don’t find getting started on a task difficult at all.
  2. You find gossip about other co-workers boring.

  3. You’re not tactful with your opinion but sincerely mean what you say.

  4. And you’re always ready to lend a helping hand.

  5. Job satisfaction is much more important to you than salary and perks.

  6. You’re happiest when you’re at your workstation.

  7. You’re always ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy.

  8. Engrossed in your job, you frequently lose track of time.

  9. You find it difficult to tune off from work completely after office hours.

  10. But you always meet your deadlines in the end and the boss appreciates your hard work and dedication. 

But you always meet your deadlines in the end and the boss appreciates your hard work and dedication.

Does this describe you? If yes, then congratulations—you #LoveWhatYouDo! Remember, however, to tread cautiously and ensure your love for your job doesn’t turn you into a workaholic.

If none of these signs strike a chord, it’s probably time for some serious introspection about your career. Are you really happy with your job? Or is it time to find one you feel passionately about so that you can realise your true potential. Today’s a good day to start your job search journey.#FindBetter here.

Ready to #GoOutAndBe? Follow our 7-step guide to success

Go Out And Be

The journey from college to the real world goes hand in hand with thinking. After all, there’s a lot that you’re going to do over the next couple of decades. You will listen to your spirit. Find your inner voice. Follow your dreams. Change the world. Make your mark. Keep thinking and dreaming.
But while you’re busy thinking, there will be other people who will stop saying “I want to be…” or “I think…” and start doing. Thinkers may think of all the possibilities and ways ahead, but it’s the doers who get there. So how do you get from being a thinker to a doer?

Millionaire mompreneur, author and founder of Boldheart, Fabienne Fredrickson famously said the “difference between a dreamer and a doer is the amount of action that follows their vision”.

In a powerful commencement speech at Dartmouth College recently, Shonda Rhimes, creator of hit shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, said, “Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.”

Most of us tend to lean in one direction, but here’s how you can shift the balance towards being a doer. Here’s the 7-step guide to success.

#1 Write down goals and set deadlines
The importance of setting goals is known to everyone, but writing them down increases the odds of achieving them.Write down the 5 to 20 things you need to do to achieve every goal.

Do Schedule mini deadlines for each goal and take stock every month to see how you are doing.

#2 Learn to think out of the box
Edward de Bono, one of the world’s foremost authorities on creativity, coined the phrase “lateral thinking”. He writes that the brain is “not designed to be creative”. But you can train it!

Do Break out of your comfort zone, try different things, frequently change your environment and take your intuition into account.

#3 Don’t do what doesn’t work
If you’ve been thinking about Plan A for long but have been unable to take it to fruition, it’s time to stop and turn to Plan B. Reassess, try to figure out what’s wrong and try a new approach.

Do Take baby steps to get the ball rolling. Working backwards will often put you on the path to doing.

#4 Learn new skills to reinvent
One of the major things that can hold a thinker back is the lack of knowledge about the new venture s/he is planning. Do all that you can to gain knowledge about relevant subjects.

Do Sign up
 for an online course, attend industry seminars and read all that you can.

#5 Extend time lines and costs
The thinker always tends to look at the brighter side. However, actioning plans tends to take more than the estimated time and money.

Do Increase time and money by 15% to give you a buffer and avoid sudden shocks.

#6 Surround yourself with doers
Hanging out with people who are doers will inspire you to go after your dream. A thinker may feed your thoughts, but it’s the doer who will want to know what your plan is.

Do Work on building a support network that can back you and give you ideas where you’re stuck.

#7 Pick yourself back up
To go from thinker to doer #GoOutAndBe, you need to be tenacious. Giving up is easy but it’s essential to give your new venture the time it needs to settle down. Be patient, but resolute.

Do Embrace a cycle of planning, acting, learning, understanding, adjusting and repeating. As many times as needed.
Being a doer isn’t necessarily better than being a thinker. For you need both qualities to succeed. Thinking is the source of your inspiration and creativity, but it’s the doing that lets you reach for the stars. 

Time to #GoOutAndBe.

Millions of Jobs. Find Yours. Find Better. Start with uploading/updating your resume.

Make it happen! 5 steps to figure out what you want to do and achieve it too

Make it happen! 5 steps to figure out what you want to do and achieve it too

If Monday no longer excites you and you seem to be meandering on your work path, it’s time to do a rethink on your career. Unlike a few decades ago, when careers were seen as straight-up ladders that had to be scaled, they are now comparable to jungle gyms, offering scope for growth and success in almost every direction. But is the direction your jungle gym leading you the one where you want to go?

If the road that you set out on seems to have led you to a roadblock, it’s time to figure out what you want to do. It may not be easy, but asking yourself these five questions will help you #GoOutAndBe: 

What am I good at? 
Honing your inherent assets or core strengths will help you identify distinctive strengths. Playing to these ensures that you excel and make a success of every task assigned to you. According to Marcus Buckingham, author of Now, Discover Your Strengths, “Our strengths…clamor for attention in the most basic way: using them makes you feel strong. Take note of the times when you feel invigorated, inquisitive, and successful. These moments are clues to what your strengths are.” If you don’t have a ruling passion, identify things that you dislike. Activities that you put off – be it paperwork or returning calls – can drain your energy and it makes sense to pursue a career that doesn’t demand focus on those.

The idea is to find that sweet spot between what you currently do and what you love doing.

What do I dislike about my present set-up?
It’s extremely important to think things through before you decide to change status quo. Ask yourself what is it exactly that you don’t like about your current work environment. Do you think the work is “beneath” you? Do you dislike the people you work with? Or is your boss burying you under assignments that give you no scope for creativity? A complete shift seems extremely exciting, but if you can’t put your finger on what is troubling you in the current scenario you may find yourself in the same situation after you make your move. If you decide that your heart lies elsewhere, work out a structured professional development plan to gauge what you need to do at every stage of the career change journey. Figuring out the “why” of “what” you want to do is essential to be able to stick to your decision.

What kind of lifestyle do I want?
The only way to design a lifestyle-friendly career is to identify major lifestyle motivators that work for you. Begin by listing down your primary lifestyle goals and objectives. Would you like to work from home? Are you looking for increased travel? Do you need extra flexibility to care for your children or an ageing parent? Also consider other factors such as where you want to work, when you want to work and what activities you want to make more time for. Figuring out the elements that will make a day ideal for you – be it getting home in time to prep a healthy dinner or read more – will help you get a sense of what you really want to do and should be doing.

What will be the best environment for my personality?
Experts say if you want your career to fulfil you, you need to look for a job that focuses on your interests and your qualifications. About 80% of Fortune 500 and 89% of Fortune 100 companies use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test, which measures preferences like introversion and extroversion, to analyze personalities of employees and get them the right fit when it comes to roles and jobs. This “personality type test“, formulated by Paul Tieger, CEO of SpeedReading People LLC, can help you understand yourself and figure out what kind of job setting will work best for your personality. The right environment can help you grow and progress in your career much faster.

What is the way ahead?
Figuring out what you want to do and doing it is important, but so is a reality check. Ask yourself questions that need to be answered. “What is the scope for what I am planning to do?” ““Do I have the interest, talent and passion this will need?” “Do I need to sharpen my skill set by adding to my qualifications?” If the move you’re planning doesn’t have a good outlook, it doesn’t make sense – especially in the shaky job market scenario. Speak frankly to mentors and seniors for a forthright assessment before you go ahead. Don’t forget to keep adding to your repertoire of skills, and consider how and where you see yourself in the next 5-10 years. Looking at the big picture will help you put smaller pieces in place. 

If you want your work to make you happy, you need to be who you want to be, not what others want to see. 

It’s time to #GoOutAndBe. Millions of Jobs. Find Yours. Find something you’ll love doing.

Eating, sleeping & breathing success is the easiest way to becoming what you want to be #GoOutAndBe

Each morning brings with it a multitude of choices – big ones and small ones. The choices you make add up to who you are today and who you will be #GoOutAndBe.

The best part? You don’t have to be who you have been till now – you can choose to bring about a change and work towards becoming what you want to be. After all, the way you live your life today will determine the quality of your life tomorrow.

Swedish singer Darin in his song, Be What You Wanna Be, says it all: “Doctor, actor, lawyer or a singer; Why not president, be a dreamer; You can be just the one you wanna be…”

So how do you “be what you wanna be” and not what others want to see?

#1 Begin by working backward

Our growing-up years teach us the importance of linear progression. However, inverting the process often offers unexpected results. In an article in Forbes, Christine Weber, a clinical neuropsychologist in Seaford, N.Y., says reversing the order of one’s approach “forces the brain to think in a different way — it’s a rewiring and changes the focus”.

Try: Decide what success means to you and figure how much you really need to be happy – money, work hours, vacation time, relationships etc. – and work towards that.

#2 Don’t go with your gut

The traditional advice you get is to “go with your gut”. But in an article titled Don’t Trust Your Gut in Harvard Business Review,Eric Bonabeau writes that scholars of human cognition “have shown that our thinking is subject to all sorts of biases and flaws, most of which operate at a subconscious level—at the level, in other words, of intuition”. So while your gut works well in certain situations such as when you are in danger, it is poor when it comes to working out things like how you need to pace your career or how fast a business will grow.

Try: Instead of relying on our gut, go investigate the options that seem interesting and the right fit for you. Doing is learning.

#3 Narrow down the options

Exploring is well and good, but it’s not really possible to try every single option. Whittle down your long-term options to a shortlist by working in a systematic manner. Pro-and-con lists may work really well in the movies, but in real life they usually only rationalize what you may have decided on.

Try: Make a list of options and score them on relevant criteria like personal fit, job satisfaction, long-term outlook and other factors that matter to you.

#4 Test your options

For those considering something new, there’s a better way than taking a headlong dive into the pool. Test your new idea without letting it affect your career – spend a day with a friend who’s doing your dream job, meet up with people in the field, take a relevant online course or consider a part-time engagement.

Try: Taking on a freelance project will help you learn more about whether the new field is the right fit before you switch lanes completely.

#5 Play to your strengths

Too many of us spend lives trying to work on our weaknesses when we could be mastering our strengths. Every person is born with a set of inherent skills and passions, and relying on them to get ahead is a better idea than focusing on what you are not so good at. Marcus Buckingham, author of Now, Discover Your Strengths: The One Thing You Need to Know, and Go Put Your Strengths to Work, writes the “earlier in life that you begin playing to your strengths, the more opportunity you’ll have to develop and enjoy your unique abilities”.

Try: Know your strengths, and work on a plan to build on them. Over time, this will add greatly to your core competence.

#6 Build flexible career capital

Across the world, CEOs and CIOs believe that the most successful employees are the ones who are able to adapt to change. Work on your career capital by stepping outside your comfort zone and learning skills such as the ability to multi-task, speak a new language, work with different teams, and be hands-on with most computer applications. Being flexible will ensure that you can work your way through the toughest of times.

Try: Network to increase your career capital – look outside your functional role, the organization and the industry for new connections and links.

#7 Eat, sleep & breathe success

Renowned author and speaker Eric Thomas, in his now viral Secrets to Success speech, told Michigan State University students: “I’m here to tell you, No. 1, that most of you say you want to be successful, but you don’t want it bad, you just kinda want it. You don’t want it badder than you wanna party; you don’t want it as much as you want to be cool. Most of you don’t want success, as much as you want to sleep!”  Eating, sleeping and breathing success is the easiest way to becoming what you want to be.

Try: Success is an internal mindset as much as an outward experience. Work on becoming the best possible version of yourself by setting yourself doable short-term and long-term goals.

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they train themselves to make the best of everything. 

The time to be what you want to be is now!#GoOutAndBe. Millions of Jobs. Find Yours. Upload resume now.