Manoj and his best quirk

As the tea boy left a cup by the table, Manoj made it a point to make eye contact and say, ‘Thank you’. Manoj was also the person who found a way to compliment something everyone hated, like seeing a silver lining in a dark cloud.

During our professional journey, we cross paths with many a Manoj, people who recognize and appreciate the little things. These are the ones, whom people vie to work for. You may have even been lucky to have worked for a Manoj. For, more than salary, designation, status, when you are recognized and appreciated for your contribution, your career is punctuated with immense joy.

Whether it is an act of kindness, or a positive outlook to life, striving to be a Manoj may even allow you to be more in your own life. How? Notice how every Manoj, who finds a way to look at the positive, is always cheerful and optimistic. Being polite, courteous, kind, having manners, goes on to define our character. It could be a ‘Great job!’ for something done in time, or a ‘Thank you’ to someone who helped you, or even something as easy as a ‘Good morning’ to the watchman who watches over the office premises. You’ll notice that this small change has a positive ripple effect on their attitude, as well as your own.

In our busy lives, we have forgotten these lessons taught to us at school – three magical words (please, thank you and sorry), being polite, having manners, or even giving credit where it’s deserving. Sit up and take notice of the little things. These little things are what lead to big transformations. Do remember, that if you are feeling undervalued and unappreciated, ask yourself, when did you last value or appreciate something someone has done? For recognition and appreciation is a two-way street. 

In our own professional journeys, we often complain about leaders and managers not taking notice of our efforts. Perhaps, they didn’t learn to be a Manoj. I’ll tell you one thing, becoming Manoj takes time. You’ve got to start today to be that leader who’s noticing the little things and acknowledging them.

For starters, I urge you to ensure you try and be a Manoj at least once a day. Once you begin to enjoy it, be more and do more.

In closing, I leave you with this quote to think about,

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows” -Ralph Marston

When an international opportunity comes calling!!

This is the story of Mr. N. One and a half years ago, he reached out to me to evaluate a domestic offer and the kind of questions to expect in an interview. He got that job and has been doing well at work. A few days back, he called again to evaluate a job opportunity in South East Asia for a company with global presence. He was offered a job that had global operations responsibility. He had completed the first round of interview and was asked to quote an expected salary. Being his first international opportunity, he decided to check with me about the number he should be asking for.

After understanding what was expected of him, I suggested that he consider the following aspects:

1.    The offer will be based on the salary levels of the region in consideration.

2.    An International Salary range should not and cannot be compared to the Indian Salary, either in the present or the future.

3.    Understand the learning and career development opportunities of this international role versus a current/ domestic opportunity.

4.    The opportunity cost involved in taking up the offer abroad versus remaining in the current role.

5.    The taxation norms of the country in consideration. It is ideal for it to be tax free but pay extra attention and care if there is double taxation.

6.    Important for the saving capacity to be reasonably higher than being in India.

7.    To do a research on the salary levels of this Senior Role (not Designation) in the country in consideration.

8.    The potential career growth while being employed in the company in consideration.

9.    Perquisites such as Accommodation, Transport, Food etcetera

N is married too, so these are the additional points that I advised him to consider:

1.    Visa for the family

2.    Children education costs (if applicable)

3.    Type of accommodation provided for family or cost of decent accommodation

4.    Round trip airfare for family

5.    Annual Leave

He was happy with the clarity provided and was clear about the next conversation to be had with the Human Resource team to proceed forward.

If you, like N, are considering an international opportunity, don’t be taken by the job title or the description, do consider all these aspects, do your homework, have these conversations before you proceed.

We wish you luck choosing your next option!

Varghese George

Career Coach and Employability Trainer

Celebrating 18 years of Meaningful Entrepreneurship

We completed 18 Years of Trinity Associates and it is an amazing journey of learning, earning, and finding the true purpose of our work. We thank Almighty God, without Him, we would not be able to transcend our own limitations. We are also thankful to our Team, Clients, Associates, Partners & Candidates. We forge forward with our focus on Career Coaching , Employability Training and HR Consulting. #TrinityAssociates #Careercoaching, #Training #Employability #Coach #Chennaicareercoach #coaching

Part II : How to receive feedback

Feedback usually comes to us through observations of family, friends or colleagues. Sometimes, they come as performance appraisal comments from the boss. The feedback could be solicited or unsolicited, more, it could leave you feeling positive or negative. But, it is important to think about the feedback (wherever it comes from) before you let it affect you.

The first question: Who gave it to you?

Who gives you the feedback has an effect on how the feedback may affect you. You need to evaluate how much the person knows you to accept the feedback. If it is a stranger, you instinctually process the feedback as an observation.

 The second question: Why is the feedback being given?

It would be wise to understand the context of the feedback. Sometimes, the feedback may be an outcome of the giver’s own issues. The feedback may be given harshly, but if processed slowly and constructively, it can have great positive outcomes.

 The third question: How was the feedback was given?

In a perfect world, the feedback will be delivered in a way that helps you. In the real world, the giver of the feedback suffers and is capable of delivering it unsuccessfully – rough words, sarcasm or poorly delivered. The feedback may have an immediate effect on you, either elation or disappointment. Once the initial emotions fade, it is in your best interest to evaluate the feedback after subtracting the giver’s style, motive and emotions. Purely evaluate if the feedback is of any value to you.

 The fourth question: What can you do with the feedback?

Like anything else, we have a choice on what to do with what we receive. We may choose to discard, store or act on it. If you think the feedback you’ve received is worth acting on, it would be wise to head back to the person who gave you feedback and ask more questions (in a non-defensive manner) about the context of the feedback. These questions will give you a chance to process where the feedback came from and how you can act on it successfully.

 As you read this article, remember that you have responsibility with feedback, whether it is given or taken. Many a time, your random observations and conversations will have a great impact on a person’s life and decisions. Being mindful and careful is absolutely important!

 What strategy do you use to give feedback?

Part 1: How to give feedback effectively

As a professional, we give and receive feedback. This feedback has the power to motivate us or sadly, demotivate us. Knowing the power of feedback, let’s evaluate how we do it for a meaningful outcome.

Genuine intention

The most important thing about feedback is the intention. If you go in with a good intention to help bring awareness to something you noticed, that will show that you have paid attention, and noticed something to be improved.

Before you give feedback, ask yourself why you are choosing to. Almost everyone is sensitive to feedback. Be watchful!

Be specific

While the receiver may have many things to improve on, choose one thing and give feedback about that thing alone. Restrain yourself from the temptation of giving it all at once. That will only dilute the effectiveness of your feedback.

With evidence

When you’ve picked that one thing, back it up with instances that made you arrive at that conclusion. Evidence is important while giving feedback as it helps the receiver understand the specific instances when he/she displayed behaviours that were not helpful.

Positive language

Language plays an important role while giving feedback. Using the right words can trigger an actionable response for the receiver. Do remember, words that you say will be repeated in the receivers head many times over. It is thus important to be consciously using positive language.

Know when to stop

After you’ve given your feedback, and said what you wanted to say, know when to step off the feedback ladder. There will be several reactions to your feedback. Someone will genuinely want to know more about what you said, in which case clarify a few questions they may have and then exit saying think about it and we can continue this discussion. Some others may get angry and start arguing about how your feedback is wrong. In which case, back off. Say thank you for hearing me out and I wouldn’t like to continue this discussion any further. Some others may just walk away. That too works. Most important, remember when to stop and exit.

Feedback is powerful. Use it with discretion, while giving and receiving. I’ll be writing about receiving feedback next time. In the meanwhile, I hope you think of these points when you give feedback the next time.

Do comment about how using these points helped you while giving feedback. 

Let’s Have a Conversation!

The 1st step to Career Coaching is to discover how career coach benefit you on the long term. It is also an opportunity to understand the expectations of Coaching , both ways!. You will also have more information on the Career Coach and vice versa. This is Bridge to cross as the initial step to undergo Career Coaching. #careercoach #Coaching #Career #Careers #Soundingboard #Careeroptions #CareerChallenges #Resume #Coveringletter #Interview

The New PPF in Our Careers!

Patience , Perseverance and Focus in Career Choices

There are many occasions in our life , where things don’t go the way we plan or the way we want it. This situation is especially seen in our Career and the choices we make in our career plans.  Any decision taken in haste , will lead to chaos on the long run. It will not provide success leading to happiness in the work we do.

In today’s world, where there is unplanned rush in all aspects of our life, we do the same mistakes by rushing into decisions or looking for alternatives if one option does not work in the short term. Though we plan , if the plan goes awry if and when we face delay, or long  waiting period for situations to turn around positive, many of us lose patience if results are not immediate.

We want higher salaries , designations, promotions, in short spans of time. We lose out on career reality when we are in a hurry.  Many working professionals and aspiring professionals stumble into unrealistic expectations of themselves and their employers or prospective employers.  Frustration lead to desperation and this state of mind leads to many other failures.

Let us take a couple of steps back and rethink on our situation.  Let us start developing patience with ourselves, this will lead to calmness of mind, calmness of mind leads to clarity of thought ; clarity of thought leads to proper discernment of situation at hand. Finally all this leads to taking that informed decision for moving forward. This is definitely not going to be easy, it will involve a stream of struggles to overcome the stalemate in our career to take the well discerned decision.

We have seen many candidates who lose patience and lack the right temperament for discerning well.  This is cutting across all ages, gender and different functional experiences.  These moments of stalemate are an excellent time to step back and observe and discern where we stand objectively. This requires immense doses of patience , perseverance and focus.  These times are also times to relearn things about ourselves and where we are , where we want to go and how we plan to achieve our long term goals.

We wish and hope that you become strong in the virtues of Patience, Perseverance , Focus, thereby leading to greater Discernment. All the Best!


Success & Failure on the Same Page!

As an Entrepreneur , one gets to experience success and failure almost equally. How do we treat success ? How do we treat Failure ?

We are happy that we succeeded in our efforts, time invested, and to see our strategy worked.. In the case of failure, how do we react ? Disappointment ?, Helplessness ?, Discouragement ? When we succeed , we normally do not think back on how we succeeded , we tend to enjoy the moment . In failure, we tend to think, what/how/Who went wrong?

From the history of those who succeeded, we see they went through more failures than successes? The biggest advantage , we have when we fail, is that we have time and space to rethink on how we are going forward. What worked…What was the weak link in the chain of events ? Lets never waste this time and space, this will be like the 2nd foundation for us to leap out of our situation.

I Believe, whatever happens …happens for the good (long term basis). We would not be able to see it immediately. My professional experience has shown that what we thought was loss of opportunity of financial gain, turned out to be a big blessing! This has happened number of times. People, Places teach us , fine tune us. It is a big challenge to overcome this momentary failure…lets always look ahead..on why we started out to do what we do? This will encourage us and rekindle our will to move on.

My sincere conclusion is, lets not make a big thing about failures..whether it is our failures, the failure of our team, failure of our Co. … there is larger success awaiting us. Let’s place our strengths, will power to surge ahead to attain the goal. Life is a journey… success and failure and even sometimes waiting for opportunities is part of this journey . Hope & Pray that we all achieve the purpose of our lives!

My First Job Interview & Job Offer – IT Trainer @ Officers Training Academy , Chennai

This happened during the mid 90’s, when I was on the verge of completing my 1+ years IT Course. The job opportunity came through my Faculty and it was as at OTA, Chennai as trainer for teaching IT fundamentals to the Officer Cadets.

On the day of the interview, I arrived there to see almost 50 other candidates for the same role. I had brought my tie, but had not tied it in the proper manner. A classmate of mine, who was one of the Officer Cadets, saw me and pointed out that the tie was not properly worn, he came forward and helped me wear it well.  The interview process long as it included Group Discussions, Technical Interview and HR Interview. Finally by afternoon or so, the results were announced. Two candidates were selected. One was a girl and the other me. The salary and perks were all good. One will treated as an Officer etc . The time came to take a decision. Both of us, who got selected , were discussing the offer and both of us declined the offer.

My reason to decline the offer was that somehow during the whole process, I could not see myself as a IT Trainer, though the work place was very impressive , salary and perks good.  I questioned myself, whether I will be happy doing this job for a couple of years as it was a contract for 1-2 years. After analyzing what was expected in the role and what would be my contribution. I decided to turned down the offer. I always cherish this job opportunity and it gives a great sense of achievement, that my 1st interview was also my 1st job offer.

My Key Take Aways :

  1. Analyze well on what the role entails, before you decide.
  2. Check, if you are will be satisfied / happy at the beginning and end of the work.
  3. Salary and Perks will never compensate Happiness and Peace of mind.
  4. It is ok to say ‘No’ after proper job-interview analysis is done.
  5. Each Interview Opportunity is a learning experience.

Steady Job Hunting!

My Experiences as a Candidate with Placement Companies!

The thought of sharing my experiences while meeting/interacting with various placement companies as a candidate in my earlier days was going on. This is to benefit those who are seeking job opportunities and Consultants alike. Needless to say, these experiences taught me specifically, “how not to treat candidates” in my current role of being a Principal Consultant and Founder of Trinity Associates, a boutique HR Consulting Firm set up in June 2002.

This happened in the year 1999 (over 17 years ago), when I had completed my MBA and was looking out for suitable jobs. I visited quite a few placement consultants, some of them of repute also. I give briefly the experience I had with a few of them, I am able to recall.

  • I walked in to meet a consultant and was told that I need to pay Rs. 35/- for accepting my resume and that they will call for interviews soon. I paid Rs. 35/- with a lot of earnest and waited for calls.   Followed up, they said they will get back. None came.
  • A Consultant company emailed me from Delhi, stating that there are suitable opportunities and will need to pay Rs. 350 as ‘registration fee’. Sent a cheque for the same and waited. A year goes by (by then I am in a job), the very same mail is sent to me informing me of suitable opportunities and to pay the ‘registration fee’. I sent them the soft copy of the details paid earlier. No response came, neither did they attempt contacting me after that.
  • I visited a Consultant in Nungambakkam, (still remember the office was quite empty, disorganized) and the consultant told me hand over the resume, and he put it in box filled with other resumes, without even asking me any questions. I was told, they will get back. The box looked more like a waste paper basket than a storage place for resumes.
  • I received a call from a Consultant for job which had no relevance to my qualification or experience. I asked the Consultant, whether they had gone through  my resume. The answer was yes, I think so.

The learning outcomes :

  1. Never to give false commitments to candidates or clients
  2. Read the profile of the candidate before talking to candidate and see the viability of fitment to the role.
  3. No financial dealings with candidates, as this is a form of service commitment to candidate revert with a tangible service.
  4. Treat a candidate professionally
  5. Each Candidate has the potential to build your brand positively.

Times have changed, issues faced by Consultants and Candidates are also changing dynamically. But one thing is sure, These learnings among the many still hold good even today.