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Posts Tagged ‘Career Advice’

Sir Wilhelm Rontgen, I have just started my career in a large company. I am clueless how to understand the real motives of Scientist Roentgenpeople around me. There is no correlation between what they say and what they actually do.

Try to tune your mind to frequencies ranging from 30 peta-hertz to 30 exa-hertz and just X-ray their minds. You will then be able to understand people better. Putting yourself in their shoes (or sandals, if you prefer), finding about their family backgrounds and upbringing, discovering the underground cable connections they have within the company you have just joined, et al, are all inputs which would help you to understand them at a deeper level.

Use your common sense and intuitive insight to peep into people’s minds, much like the way my X-rays do for the physical body. If you take people around you at face value, you will always feel betrayed and cheated. This, in turn, could lead to a lower morale, thereby stunting your career growth.

As a brilliant student, your IQ supported you well. Once you start working, your EQ levels would help you better. Once you rise to higher levels in the hierarchy, your SQ would come in handy.

Madam Marie Curie, my boss is very aggressive. He keeps announcing new meetings which do not take place after the first Scientist Marie_Curiefew sessions. When I propose an idea, he shoots it down. Six months later, same idea becomes his idea, when it gets implemented.  

Handling an aggressive boss is just like handling radioactive isotopes. You are right that their ideas have a half life of their own. Once the initial enthusiasm has died down, the ideas just fizzle out. The good news is that they keep introducing newer ideas and isotopes in the system, so the excitement never ceases.

By closely watching his behavior over a long period of time, you can surely surmise the general decay time of his proposals. This would help you to learn to tackle him effectively. Once in a while, when you are sure of your stand with which he disagrees, look him in the eye and tell him so. Like a goblet of mercury, he may roll off in a different direction and eventually get persuaded to change the direction of his thought processes.

Once in a while, recharge yourself by looking out from your office window and simply admiring nature. All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child…it was like a new world opened to me,…which I was at last permitted to know in all liberty.

Respected Mr. Albert Einstein, is your Theory of Relativity applicable in an office setting? I am about to take up a new job and need your advice. Please elaborate without equations, because I am not a mathematics wizard like you.

Yes, several facets of my theory are highly relevant in the work place. Here are some examples:

  • Let me tell you something that your management text books do not speak of. There is an upper limit to your career progression in a company. Scientist Albert_EinsteinJust like light cannot travel beyond a certain speed, you can expect to get promotions only till the time you reach your level of incompetence. Thereafter, you can either decide to relax and just take it easy, or switch to another frame of reference (read organization). If I had continued my stint at the Swiss Patent Office, you would have never heard of me, right?
  • Every organization is uniquely configured. It follows that their frames of reference are never the same. What works well in one need not work well in another. When you take up a new assignment, spend your honeymoon period understanding their value system and their frame of reference. No one would mind answering any of your questions then. To borrow a term from modern management language, a change of job is like a ‘paradigm shift’!
  • Once the honeymoon period is over, the focus would shift to your performance. Here, my equation between Energy, Mass and the Speed of Light could come in handy. Always remember that your ‘E’ (Energy and  Enthusiasm) to perform a task is equal to the product of ‘m’ (mental peace) and ‘c’ squared, where ‘c’ stands for mental and physical capacity. When you achieve a better work-life balance, you improve your inner peace, as well as your capacity to do things.
  • Above all, remember that Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere. Best of luck!

Sir Isaac Newton, my weakness lies in not being able to handle people. They do not always agree to what I say. Can your Laws of Motion help in any way?   

For your benefit, let me reinterpret my own laws in this way:

  • The Law of Inertia: If you have a category X employee, he/she will act only when told to do so by you. If he/she has Scientist IsaacNewton-1689been told to perform a task, it will continue to get done ad nauseum until instructed to stop. The law applies to zombies who roam about the work place like headless chickens. Get rid of your team members who fall in this category. Try to become a Y type employee yourself and lead your team out of inertia.
  • Force equals Mass multiplied by Acceleration. For people, Mass denotes their ego level and seniority in the company. The higher the ego/level, the more the force required to get a person to do the work speedily. You may not be able to directly ask your boss to move faster on a project. Probably, you have to get his boss to drop enough hints so your boss catches up speed. Sure enough, you are clever enough to get your boss’ boss in the loop without getting caught doing so, right?!
  • You are already aware that any action results into an equal and opposite reaction. If you praise someone in public and rebuke him in private, he would pay you back in the same coin. When your pet employee – so lovingly groomed by you over the years – decides to leave the company, you have the option of treating him well. This way, he becomes your company’s employment ambassador outside and may even rejoin you after some time!
  • Don’t forget to ask your immediate boss what he thinks of this. If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Here is wishing you the very best in all spheres of your life!

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