LEARNING THE ART OF WORKING THINGS THEY DON’T TEACH YOU IN COLLEGE

They teach you many things in college —basics, theories, the competitive spirit, the ability to concise thoughts into beautiful flows called presentations, getting along with fellow students/recruiters for networking, tweaking variables and assumptions to fit into those models etc.

However, what one completely misses is learning the art of working. A lot of these basic concepts are not considered to be important to be taught in schools —knowing your core construct, developing expertise or flexing willpower. Rest are the skills that you can internalize only after experiencing relevant situations and being aware of what is happening while you go through the roller-coaster ride.

BRING BACK YOUR MIND TO THE PRESENT

Just for 1 hr everyday, stay in the moment. Listen. Really Listen. You will learn a lot. Don’t evaluate everything. Don’t keep on planning your next move. Don’t make those negative scenarios which have no probability of occurring. Clear your mind of judgments and notions. And then, when you are in the flow, you will feel the power to do anything and be limitless. Maybe extend it by an hour every upcoming week.You will know what it feels to be aware, involved and really efficient.

CAREER IS WORK-IN-PROGRESS

Career is tricky. Very few people have it all sorted out. So take one step at a time. Try and enjoy what you are working on and do everything possible for it with dispassionate passion. Easier said than done. But as I said, one step at at a time, one project at a time.Then, something will come out of it. It always does. Give some freedom to your undecided mind, let the ideas come, let them get stronger and then when it feels right, take the leap of faith.

STRENGTH OF YOUR MIND LIES IN ITS ABILITY TO HOLD DUAL THOUGHTS

It’s not easy to work in a team. People will have their opinions and ideas which might not agree with you. Try and find a balance there. How? Duality of thoughts could be your answer here. You don’t need to like a person to be able to work with them. Get over your bias and focus on the larger goal, career, that we talked about above. This is critical aspect for any team to work in harmony.”

JEALOUSY IS A REAL BITCH. EGO IS ITS WHIP.

It’s inevitable. You’ll always have colleagues who are better at something and that would invoke your envy. Take a moment and listen (hint: step 1), that voice inside your head is your fragile ego talking to you. Learn to realize it and it becomes easier to let go of it. Accept your limitations, appreciate the person for what he represents and the efforts he must have put to be better at that thing and then move on to build your own skill-set. That’s the first step.

Second, you gain nothing by picking upon someone else’s insecure ego by calling out yourself as an alpha in the room. If you truly wish to work with people, do not create an appearance of threat and invoke the worst out of them. This goes a long way to ensure that you have overall more positive cards in your network.

WILLPOWER GIVES COMPOUNDED RESULTS OVER TIME

One of the most malleable things in life is our own determination. Start with small task and goals. Build upon them and then take up bigger tasks. You will be surprised by the way your brain rewires itself. It analyzes the recent memory and reinforces the ability to accomplish the task at hand. So, try flexing your willpower.

EXPERTISE IS LEARN-ABLE

The learning curve applies to everyone and hence when put in an unknown situation, we all have the capability to learn and become expert with some grit, self-confidence and patience. Persevere long enough and you will get the insights visible to the industry veterans or you will be the best fit left to take up the role. Expertise is highly underrated but essential. Being the jack of all trades and master of none doesn’t take you far to you.

THERE AIN’T NO SHORTCUTS WHEN YOU RUN A MARATHON

There are no shortcuts in life. Pain is inevitable in the course of learning/failing/getting back. How you deal with it, while its happening to you and how strong is your belief to come out of it is the only factor that makes difference. Building anything — product, relationships, habit — takes time. There are no shortcuts and don’t try to look for one. If you see someone getting it too easy, you are only looking at a point on the track. The road is long and only those who have trained themselves will manage over the last lap.

RISK IS A MUSCLE THAT NEEDS WORKOUT

Build your stamina for taking risks. The wonders it can do to grow you as a person are amazing. If you don’t like your work, leave it. Plan for the search, try out plausible options, try them and then scratch them out and have a plan C. Create space for something by removing the thing that you don’t like. All of this requires you to be without a definite plan, manage finances and have a support network before taking that leap. Then, develop the muscle to to hold the weight of your risk.

IF YOU CAN’T AVOID LIES, DON’T SPEAK. PERIOD.

PROTECT AND NOURISH YOUR CORE OR YOU WILL BECOME WHAT YOU DESPISE

Once you join any organization, you will get a deep-dive into the culture that builds the workplace. You will get exposed to the unsaid norms around what happens in the meetings, senior — junior relationships or the water-cooler talks. Slowly and steadily, as you embrace the peer behavior to be a part of the cohort, you do end up changing your own values, sometimes in ways which do not align with your core.

Hence, listen to everything, but when it comes to internalizing any aspect of your workplace, critically evaluate if it nourishes your core and only then accept it. It doesn’t take much time to get carried away and become re-enforcer of the culture that you despised in the first place.

All of these are big goals and they take time to implement. So start small and pick up one element at a time. Slow and steady is the way.