How to bring the spirit of giving to work

How to bring the spirit of giving to work

Giving back. Backing a cause. Philanthropy. CSR. These may have been buzzwords once, but no more. For employees worldwide are waking up to Winston Churchill’s maxim: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

The spirit of giving back is growing in India as well. Companies are offering employees an opportunity to contribute to causes they feel for. The efforts include offering time through volunteering, expertise in specialized areas and donating money through payroll initiatives. The list of companies scaling up “giving” initiatives includes Citi India, PwC, SAP, RPG Group and IBM. Smart and self-aware, today’s workforce is also very keen to make a positive impact. In fact, an Employer Branding Trends 2016 Report by People Matters-Monster.com shows 71.5% employees consider organizational support to social causes important while deciding on a job offer.

Interestingly, beneficiaries aren’t the only ones who gain from this culture of giving. According to Deloitte’s 2013 Volunteer Impact Survey, 76% of HR executives feel that the skills and experience acquired through volunteering make a candidate significantly more attractive to employers. Results of the study also indicate that volunteering experience may play a big role in building leadership skills. 

Are you ready to take a step towards doing good? Here’s how to start:

Choose a cause 

Take some time to think about the causes that will be the right fit for you. Children? Education? Health? Sanitation? The environment? Find something that feels personal to you, matches your values and aligns with what you’re passionate about. After all, to work for a cause above and beyond your day job, you should #LoveWhatYouDo.

Aligning with small and medium-sized charitable organizations in your community/city will let you see the impact you can make first-hand. Also, evaluate the charities that your company supports.

Figure out how you can give back 

Giving back is not only about donating money. In fact, charities prefer that you donate in other ways that can impact the community more effectively. These include sharing your talent (an hour or two of your expertise), time (afternoons or days dedicated to volunteering), goods (donating gently used things that could be used again) or working out partnerships (for a cause or charity). Consider donating a day’s salary every month or a few working hours to a nonprofit.


Make the right start 

Planning a charity drive at work for a cause you support is a good way forward, but it’s important to find out the protocols for charitable giving at your company first.

Once you’ve got the go-ahead from your boss/HR manager, send out personalized emails to your seniors and colleagues including details about the project and what action you want them to take. Don’t spam; one email is more than enough to tell them what you’re up to. Those interested canconnect on a Facebook/WhatsApp group and take things forward.

Remember to send a follow-up email thanking those who participated and share the outcome with them. If you want to further promote the impact of your work, send quarterly progress updates to those who participated.

Be mindful of what you ask

If you’re collecting money for a cause, carefully think through whom you’re tapping for contributions and what you are asking of them. For instance, if you know your department is comprised of people who earn X, it may be acceptable to ask for Y. To make the same request of people who earn fat less would be inappropriate. 

The best recourse is to ask people to donate items instead of asking for money. Clothes, books, utensils, homeware or food are some common items many charities accept. Children and families of coworkers can also be urged to participate in this program, to unleash their spirit of giving at a young age. 

Bringing the spirit of giving to work is a noble idea, one that can help you build trust and respect amongst your team members. And don’t forget, by helping others you are also helping your career.

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10 lessons you can learn from our top articles of 2017

top 10 articles of 2017

Here’s an opportunity to not miss the popular articles that made it big in 2017. 

Whether you are a fresh graduate in search of your first job or someone looking to Find Better, at Monster, we believe you deserve better, both in career and life! 

Each article in the list below has an inspiration here or a tip there to help you ace that important interview, to lift your spirits, to nudge you in the right direction, to motivate you, to spur you to find something that you love#LoveWhatYouDo.

Read up, share, forward, save. We wish you a very happy New Year!

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

    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. …more
  2. Ready to #GoOutAndBe? Follow our 7-step guide to success

    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?…more
  3. Think you deserve better at work? 6 strategic moves to help you get ahead

    Do you feel like you’re not getting the opportunities to demonstrate what you’re capable of at work? Or, you don’t have the freedom to pursue the assignments that most fascinate you? …more

  4. 20 questions that can take you from ‘woulda coulda shoulda’ to #GoOutAndBe

    Whether you’re in the early stages of your career or several years in, it’s not uncommon to feel unenthusiastic and unfulfilled about your chosen career path. …more

  5. How to answer 10 most common interview questions

    Here are the 10 most frequently asked common interview questions that job seekers face in an interview. Preparing for these questions can help you get the job you want. …more

  6. Your lucky colour and how it can help you advance your career

    Navy or beige? Red or blue? Black or white? Here’s how you can use your lucky color to convey your professionalism, reliability, honesty, self-confidence and sophistication. …more

  7. Mahabharata episode every entrepreneur should read

    It is a vast treasure of knowledge & wisdom. It provides an insightful strategic management learning for various business situations that an entrepreneur experiences. …more

  8. 10 books every manager should read

    For a leader, the benefits of reading are wide ranging. Research has shown that regular reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight. …more

  9. Top 100 interview questions to help you succeed in a job interview

    With so many interview hurdles to cross, how can you ensure that you don’t stumble along the way? While there is no foolproof method to succeed, what you can do is prepare. …more

  10. How to answer: What is your salary expectation?

    What is the first thing that comes to mind when you are asked: What is your salary expectation? A number or a figure that’s on your mind from the moment you got an interview call. …more

‘You should always do what you’re passionate about’

Rajan Anandan - Google


“If you fail, try again, if you fail again, try again, just keep trying until you land it,” says Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and South East Asia, Google.

Anandan’s view on choosing the right career highlights the significance of#LoveWhatYouDo. “My view is, you should always do what you’re passionate about,” he says.

His own first job was influenced by two key factors—what he liked doing, and what he wanted to do. “What was very important for me was to identify what were the kinds of things I wanted to do, and what were the objectives. So my objective was to stay in the US and work for a firm that was interesting, doing interesting work,” he shares. His answer supports one of the key findings of the Monster My First Job Survey where respondents identified better career prospects as crucial to influencing their decision whether to move on or continue in their first jobs.

Another key insight from the interview is how different companies seek different qualities while hiring young talent. “At Google we look for four or five important things but one of them is problem solving ability…. Being able to solve complex problems quickly, being analytical about it, that’s very, very important.” Another useful tip irrespective of the company you are interviewing for: Listen to the question carefully, and respond briefly and precisely. “You also have to keep in mind, the more senior the person you are interviewing with, the less their attention span is,” says Anandan.

He also reiterates the importance of researching a job role to find out whether your skill sets match the requirements. And finally, if you don’t succeed, learn from your mistakes and try again! Watch the video below:

‘Look for a profession that makes you feel motivated every morning to run harder and faster…’

CP Gurnani


If there’s one piece of advice C. P. Gurnani, Managing Director & CEO of Tech Mahindra, has for first-time jobseekers, it’s the importance of doing their homework.

According to Gurnani, a good candidate is one “who does a decent amount of simulation of what I as an interviewer is seeking. Somebody who has simulated the job that he wants, simulated the job that the company is offering, simulated the people that you are going to interact with, and if you are able to research and piece it together, then you are at the same frequency.”

His views reinforce the findings of Monster’s My First Job Survey where more than a quarter of the respondents (28%) felt their biggest mistake in their first job interview was not knowing enough about the potential employer.

Another tip: Choose your career wisely. “Between ’81 to ’86, I explored five jobs to actually come to a conclusion about what kind of a job actually I want to do. Yes, it takes that much time to know what your strengths are, what makes you happy, what makes you feel that you’ll be motivated every morning and every morning you are running harder and faster than everyone else because that passion is coming from within,” says Gurnani, who helms one of the leading tech companies in the country.

While marks and degrees are important, talent is equally imperative. “At the end of the day, a degree is only a passport. A passport gets you inside a country, it gives you an identity, but your staying power depends on what is your real talent,” says Gurnani.

Watch the video below:

Experts recommend choosing a career that’s in line with your passion and aptitude. If you are confused about which career to choose as a graduate jobseeker, this infographic contains valuable tips. You could also take ourCareer Orientation Test which will analyze your personality to suggest professions which are suitable for you.

‘Join an organisation only if it aligns with what you want to do in life’

Mandeep Baweja - CPA Global


While hiring fresh graduates, employers prefer candidates that have thought through their decision to apply. As Mandeep Singh Baweja, Managing Director, CPA Global – India, opines, “You should join an organisation if you feel that it aligns with what you want to do in life, it aligns with your own career plan, and what your passion is.”

“You need to be honest about what you want to do and where your passion lies. It’s very important to do some research and homework before you apply for a job,” he says.

His advice to someone who is about to embark on their first job hunting experience? “Try and do some research to understand what is the culture of the organization, do they invest in training, do they invest in helping people build their skills and knowledge?”

As far as his company – CPA Global – is concerned, passion, domain knowledge, client centricity and attention to detail are some of the important attributes they seek in a candidate. “When we are hiring young talent, domain knowledge is something which is extremely important for us. But over and above domain knowledge, passion is something we really look for. Client centricity is another thing: your ability to think on behalf of client and customer is again something that we definitely look for. And attention to detail,” he states.

Being in a hurry to discuss salary and designation could go against you during an interview. “I think it’s very important not to focus on compensation and titles, because that is what a lot of people focus on these days,” observes Baweja. His answer reinforces the findings of My First Job Survey where almost a fifth of the respondents—19%—listed excessive focus on salary among their top interview mistakes.

Watch the video here:

No doubt, pay and designation are important but too much focus on compensation may ruin your chances of getting hired. It’s best to wait until the right moment to discuss these things—which is either when the interviewers themselves bring up the subject, or during the HR round.

Looking for more tips on what to do and not do in your job interview? Checkthis infographic.

“If it is to be, it is up to me!”

Have you heard of the rather unique funeral held in an office in New York some years ago? As employees of the firm came in to work one Monday morning, they were greeted by a solemn notice at the entrance: “The person responsible for inhibiting your growth died yesterday. The body has been placed in the cafeteria, till 2 pm today.”

Sad to think a colleague had passed away, and curious who the person might be, the employees trooped into the cafeteria to pay their last respects. A crowd of company staff had gathered inside. ‘Who is this chap who has been hindering our growth?’ each wondered, as they walked up to the coffin to take a dekko. One by one, as each person took a look inside the coffin, there was shocked silence – and a look of disbelief.

Inside the coffin was a mirror. And below it was a placard on which was written: “There’s only one person who can set limits to your growth. And that’s YOU.” Now that’s a message we would all do well to remember.
 When we find ourselves falling short of the success we think we deserve, we often blame our bosses, our employers, the industry, or the current favourite – the recession! Everyone and everything, in fact, except ourselves. For things to change in your life, you don’t need to change your job, or your company or your town. You only need to change yourself. Start now. Adopt a new philosophy for your life. Tell yourself the magic phrase: “If it is to be, it is up to me!” It’s not often that you can get a set of ten two-letter words to form one whole sentence. And no ordinary sentence but one, which has the power to become a life-changing philosophy for you, for me and for all of us: “If it is to be, it is up to me!” Just say it to yourself, believe in it, and see the difference.
 The power to change our lives and chart our future lies within each of us. Resist the temptation to blame others for your plight. When you blame other people, you take away your inherent power to change. You weaken yourself. But by taking responsibility, you empower yourself to change your fortunes. And that one act – taking responsibility for yourself – is really what separates winners from losers.
Have you ever seen sailing boats wander into the sea? They all take off from one place, around the same time, and yet reach different shores. Why is that? The winds are the same. The water currents too are the same for all the boats. Yet, they reach different destinations, because, where the boat will reach is determined not by the direction of the wind, but by the set of the sails.
Our lives are like that too. So stop blaming the winds of your company policy or the currents of the economy. Stop worrying that you did not go to a premier B-School, or that you grew up in a non-English-speaking home. Take charge of your life. Change your mindset and get your thinking right. To reach your goals, it’s important to set your sails properly. For things to get better, you need to get better. Need new skills? Invest in training yourself don’t wait for your employer to do it. I find it puzzling that while young people spend money on trendy new clothes, and on new cellphones and on the monthly visit to the beauty salon, they want the company to spend money on training them, on making them better employees, smarter people. ‘Training myself is not my responsibility’ seems to be the general dictum!
For things to change, we must change our beliefs, and our mindsets. Do yourself a favour. Stick this ten-word aphorism on your bathroom mirror: “If it is to be, it is up to me!” And wake up to a new you.

5 key takeaways from India’s winners at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

India Gold Coast 2018 Common Wealth Winners

There’s been plenty of talk about the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. But apart from the brouhaha, the medals, and the cheers, the Games show us that sports aren’t just entertainment; they are a metaphor for life. 

Our athletes, their performance, and their mettle show us that there are lessons to be learnt everywhere. We list down the 5 key takeaways from India’s Commonwealth winners and how they can help improve your performance at the workplace.

Lesson #1: Keeping your eye on the ball is vital
Sushil Kumar, 34, won a record third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, defeating South Africa’s Botha Johannes by technical superiority in men’s 74kg wrestling. It would have been easy for Sushil to rest on past laurels, but he chose to aim higher and became the most successful wrestler at the Commonwealth Games with three successive gold medals in different editions. 

Tip: To avoid letting the complacency demon in, it’s important to keep pushing yourself and think several steps ahead. Work on improving your skill sets, ask for feedback, and aim to raise the bar higher.

Lesson #2: Performance depends on perseverance
Lifting 317kg in total, Sathish Kumar Sivalingam won against Jack Oliver from England and won India its third gold medal in weightlifting. But a few months earlier the 25-year-old from Vellore, Tamil Nadu, suffered an injury and there were doubts about a possible recurrence. However, Satish persevered with his training all through, and his determination helped him strike gold.

Tip: To keep persevering – especially through tough situations- it’s important not to lose sight of your vision. Embrace setbacks, take breaks, and stay optimistic as you work towards your goal. Over time, the power of perseverance is sure to swing things your way. 

Lesson #3: Teamwork is integral to success
India won a historic gold in the badminton mixed-team event, defeating three-time defending champions Malaysia in the final. India also swept the table tennis team events – the men’s team clinched gold after a forceful 3-0 win over Nigeria, a day after Indian women stunned Singapore 3-1 to claim its first gold. 

Tip: Be it a small two-member team or a larger one, working together is imperative for success in the workplace. Defining project vision and objectives, roles and responsibilities, and taking ownership can help encourage collaboration.

Lesson #4 Mental tenacity matters more than physical force
Indian double-trap shooter Shreyasi Singh clinched India’s 23rd gold – the high-point of her own career— by knocking out Australia’s Emma Cox for the perfect podium finish. Shooting star Heena Sidhu won her first individual Commonwealth gold, and her second medal at the Games, with a record-setting score of 38 in the women’s 25m pistol (Precision/Rapid) finals. They did this only by focusing on the task at hand. Research reveals that mental toughness — or “grit”— has a more important role to play than anything else for achieving your goals. 

Tip: Mental toughness is like a muscle, and must be worked to grow and develop. It is about your habits, not your motivation, so it’s important to take small steps to get to the big destination. Define what you need to do at the workplace, and then set yourself small, achievable goals. Keeping stock – daily and weekly – keeps you on track.

Lesson #5: Believing in yourself will help you succeed
Sanjita Chanu, 24, from Manipur, won the second gold medal for India in the women’s 53kg category of the weightlifting competition. Sanjita, an Indian Railways employee, finished with a total of 192 kg and was placed first amid 14 competitors – her second gold in her Commonwealth Games career. Star weightlifter Mirabai Chanu also secured the first gold after a superlative performance in the woman’s 48kg category. The path to success wasn’t a cakewalk for these sportswomen, but their belief in themselves helped them find the way. 

Tip: Building self-confidence isn’t easy, but it can be done. Push yourself out of your comfort zone by volunteering for a new project or event that will help build new skills. Assess your competencies and seek a mentor or colleague out for help on this front.

Thrust into captaining your team? 6 ways to lead at the last minute

ace a sudden promotion and make it work for you

Kane Williamson and Ajinkya Rahane suddenly find themselves elevated to captaincy in the wake of the ball-tampering controversy. Pic Credit:www.iplt20.com 


The issue of captaincy has been a major talking point going into IPL 2018. Six of the eight teams in the tournament have got themselves new captains, and among them, the ban on Steve Smith and David Warner has suddenly thrust Ajinkya Rahane (Rajasthan Royals) and Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad) into leadership roles in their respective teams. 

How will this sudden elevation play out on the field? With each of these captains under intense scrutiny, how well they are able to absorb pressure and channelize it to inspire the best in their squad will determine the measure of their success in the coming month-and-a-half.

Nonetheless, cricket is hardly the only arena where these sudden transitions occur. They are equally common in the workplace where sudden and unexpected promotions can leave a promotee confused, nervous and anxious. What should you do if, like these IPL captains, you too find yourself in a situation where you are thrust into the limelight?

Use these tips to ace a sudden promotion and make it work for you:

  1. Accept the new situation
    Understand that life will never be the same again. Things will initially be awkward since the same people who were working with you are now expected to report to you, but the sooner you accept the reality and get used to the new power dynamics, the better, since it will allow you to get on with your job.

  2. Understand your role
    You may’ve been churning out great work at an amazing pace as an employee—the reason you were promoted in the first place—but your role as a manager is different. Don’t assume that you know what is expected of you. Speak to your boss to understand what their expectations are so that you are clear about it from the start.

  3. Score some early wins
    Use the 100-day strategy to deliver some quick results. “Your first 100 days in this job are critical,” says Allen Moore, executive consultant in the strategic management group at PDI Ninth House in San Francisco. “You need to score some early ‘wins,’ but without moving too fast.” He suggests identifying areas where you could make an immediate impact and then delivering on those to show some tangible gains upfront.

  4. Ask for training
    Don’t be afraid to speak to your boss or HR about the need for formal training. While management training does not automatically lead to an enhancement of leadership qualities, it could certainly help you grasp the basics of administration and man management that are so necessary in the new role. Alternatively, tap into the wealth of offline and online resources to help you sharpen your skills. Start with this list of recommended books that every manager should read.

  5. Seek inputs from your team
    Some of the best advice to managers comes from those they manage. Involve your team in the management process by seeking out their inputs and suggestions. This practice will also help you break down any communication barriers that may exist. Make it your priority to remove the roadblocks faced by your team. You already have an advantage here since you’ve faced the same problems before.

  6. Build a good rapport with your boss 
    There will be several occasions where you will need advice from your manager to bail you out of difficult situations. Build an easy rapport with the boss so that they become comfortable sharing tips. At the same time, resist the urge to approach your manager with blatant questions about your next course of action; instead, draw up a list of solutions and seek out their advice on the merits.

    Even if you don’t possess many of the skills that go into making successful managers like communication, tact and diplomacy, and motivational skills, these can be learnt provided you are willing to dedicate the time and effort. Most importantly, stay humble and don’t let your success get to your head. Use the advice above to help you settle in and figure things out. Then go ahead and play a worthy captain’s innings!

5 Rabindranath Tagore quotes to keep you motivated

5 Rabindranath Tagore quotes to keep you motivated

There is unlikely to be an Indian who hasn’t heard of Rabindranath Tagore’s name and achievements. Born in 1861, Rabindranath Tagore was a polymath who reshaped Bengali literature, music, and art. The first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, his novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays touched hearts and sparked debates around the world in the past – and continue to do so in the present. Two of Rabindranath Tagore’s compositions went on to be chosen by two countries as their national anthems; these include India’s Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh’s Amar Shonar Bangla.

Words penned by the Bard of Bengal continue to hold inspiration and provide life lessons for every stage. Ahead of his birthday, we list down five Rabindranath Tagore quotes that are sure to provide inspiration for your work.

#1 ‘You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.’
There are deadlines to meet and goals to achieve, but nothing will get done till you do it. Achieving a workplace goal isn’t just about defining it; you will need to deploy the right strategies to achieve it.

Action your goals: Experts now suggest setting SMARTER goals – goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, evaluated, and re-adjusted. Follow up by creating a plan of action, and instilling self-discipline (mitigating distractions works, so ban social media during certain work hours). Leverage the power of daily goal setting; this will ensure that you stay focused and on-track towards long-term workplace goals.

#2 ‘The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.’
There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. Yet the one thing all employees and managers yearn for is more time. That’s not likely, so the next best thing to do is to become an effective manager of your time – instituting an effective system for managing your precious hours is key.

Better manage your time: Workplace performance expert Jason Womack suggests sticking to the “15-minute rule”. He recommends organising your workday into 15-minute chunks, which he says are “long enough to get something done and short enough to find in your day”. Womack, who has authored Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More, says it’s also important to “know when you’re done” as continuing to work on something when it is essentially done is a “significant time-waster that most professionals aren’t even aware of”. He also recommends organising the daily to-do list around action verbs such as call, draft, review, prepare and schedule to ensure they get completed.

#3 ‘If you shut the door to all errors, truth will be shut out.’
It’s human nature to take immense pride in workplace achievements and gloss over mistakes. But, over time, that could be your undoing. Learning from mistakes – quickly – and taking steps to ensure no further repeats can save you future pain.

Learn from your mistakes: UK-based occupational psychologist and management trainer Dr. Peter Honey believes that mistakes are often the “fault of processes rather than people involved.” He suggests a three-point plan to making sure you learn from your mistakes and applying those learnings to your work. Begin with an honest assessment of the whole situation; breaking down the situation may help you figure out the “hows” and “whys”. Step 2: Try and work out how you can improve processes so that this mistake does not get repeated. Last, but not the least, put in place a plan to “implement the lessons learned, so they’re not just left as good intentions.”

#4 ‘Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.’
There comes a time in your working life, when you get comfortable. But this familiarity works as a hidden trap – making you complacent and hindering your progress at work. It’s important to keep trying new things for, according to an article published in Harvard Business Review, “not only is discomfort the new comfort zone, but it’s the key to opportunity and discovery.”

Get out of your comfort zone: The toughest part is taking the first step that gets you out of the boundaries you feel comfortable in. Take small steps – put yourself in a new environment, do something that scares you, consider other points of view, and ensure that you don’t pick the “safe” choice. Lianne Lyne, the founder of PLP Coaching, feels people often think of all the things that could go wrong when asked to step out of their comfort zone. “Instead, close your eyes and clearly visualise what a successful outcome looks like. Where are you? Who is with you? What are you doing? What does success feel like? Create that powerful image each time you feel fear stepping out of your safe zone.”

#5 ‘If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.’ 
If there is one quality that tops the charts when it comes to leadership skills, it is seeing the bigger picture. Dr. Immanuel Joseph, chief compassion officer of Compassionleaders.com, which helps organisations become more mindful, compassionate and successful, big-picture thinking is the ability to “keep the bigger vision of successful leadership without getting caught up in negative dialogues and excuses that rise with challenges at work. It is the skill to see the forest for the trees and the ability to take the 10,000-feet view when challenges arise.”

See the bigger picture: Starting small is imperative to get a really good grasp of the big perspective. Begin by asking simple questions. Has work become simply a means of earning a living? Am I too focused on individual performance or achievements? Take a step back and allocate time to thinking; just ticking things off your to-do list will never give you time to think about things. Pick specific goals with a finite timeline – say a product roadmap – and identify actionable first steps that will get you there. Getting a work buddy on board is an extremely good idea as it gives you a person to think with and bounce ideas back and forth.

5 workplace lessons to learn from Olympic champions

Held every four years, the Olympic games are the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 200 participating nations. But amid the tough competition, one thing stands out: The Olympic ethic and sporting spirit that creates champions. It was on display when two Olympic runners – New Zealander Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino – helped each other cross the finish line after falling together in the middle of their race. They may not have won the race but they won millions of hearts.


Olympic winners showcase teamwork, focus, communication and dedication, all traits that are important to be a great employee. But how does one build the mindset of a champion? Begin by learning these 5 workplace lessons from the champs.

P V Sindhu
Yusra Mardini
Simone Biles
Sakshi Malik
Michael Phelps

#1 Take small steps but remember the big picture

Source: Sportskeeda

Indian badminton player PV Sindhu, the first woman from India to win an Olympic silver medal, knows getting on the path to success begins with small steps. While her coach Pullela Gopichand pushed her to the limit, challenging her to move faster and stretch herself higher, Sindhu kept herself going at the Games by thinking only of the match ahead. Her immediate target was “to win the next match. If you keep on winning you are going to get a medal”. Spot on!

Lesson: All big things have small beginnings. At the workplace, try and break down complex overwhelming jobs into small manageable tasks.

#2 Let your dreams be bigger than your fears

Source: Storypick

Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini won her heat in the 100m butterfly a year ago after she pushed a boat filled with refugees for over 3 hours until it reached Lesbos. A member of the Games’ first ever refugee team, 18-year-old Mardini was keen to spread the message that “it’s hard to arrive at your dreams but it’s not impossible”. “You can do it; everyone can do it…,” she has said.

Lesson: Nothing comes easy, in life and at the workplace. Obstacles may seem invincible but not when you see them as opportunities. Overcome them to become a winner. 

#3 Always be your own person

Source: USA Today

With every other person suffering from the “me too” syndrome, it’s important to maintain your individuality. It’s the only way to stand out amid the sea of faces and people. American artistic gymnast Simone Biles, who left Rio with four gold medals, a bronze and countless fans, made her mark when she said, “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.”
Lesson: Be what you want to be, not what others want to see. It’s critical that you focus on the skills that set you apart from others at the workplace. 

#4 Persistence pays off – and how!

Source: Indian Express/PTI

Perseverance isn’t one of the traits that’s talked about often at the workplace but it’s an extremely important one. The ability to hold on or to get back up after you have been knocked down is what leads you to success. Sakshi Malik, who won a Bronze medal for India in the women’s freestyle 58kg wrestling event, says her mother did not want her to become a wrestler. However, she struggled and persisted for a few years, which brought her family around.

Lesson: Persisting when you are surrounded by naysayers says a lot about your personality- it gives you the courage to hold the course, keep teams and work on track and not let pessimism get to you. 

#5 Keep learning all the time

Source: Telegraph UK

American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, doesn’t take his champion status for granted. The 31-year-old, who took his total tally of medals to 28 after Rio, is known to have studied tapes of his races over and over, looking for mistakes and working towards bettering his technique. Excellent may be good enough for us but not for the super champs! No wonder he signed up his boots with “one last hurrah”.
Lesson: The only constant at workplaces today is change. Focus on adapting and expanding your skills to stay updated, marketable and the best that you can be.

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