Monday, January 03, 2011

My interview with a career advice blog - and "Survive a Year"!

Keeping with my goal of keeping a career advice/suggestions approach to my blog, here is a podcast I did with my friend Kevin Gao over at Management Consulted. Do check out his site and see the pearls of wisdom he has accumulated!

On related news, I was reflecting on my old work colleagues in Houston at my prior employer and where they have all ended up and it's quite tremendous to see the breadth. I'll tell you my old tales over a coffee someday if you ask me nicely =)

Dear existent or virtual readers, a very happy new year to you and I leave you with a gorgeous image my friend Vikram sent me -

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Friday, December 31, 2010

Success factors in the Energy Sector -especially for MBA/Engineers

From my two years in the consulting area for energy, I have occasionally tried to apply my limited experiences to advising fellow students/friends who might have questions/thoughts. While I certainly am no expert, this is better than nothing (assuming it's not nonsense).

The success factors in energy especially at bp/shell/something is a appreciation of learning from a system and understanding nuances and relationships, not being too radical unless necessary -especially being very "outwardly looking" slow or dumb. 

Sometimes, to to a layman, work at BP or Exxon as an engineer or business person is slow and all about risk mitigation and safety while doing your work but its bloody amazing when you step back and see the impact.

Some, myself included, do not (or sometimes did not) always have the patience/dedication to succeed in an environment like that - but for those that do, there is no sector that can appreciate this skill-set more.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Evolution and generational changes - the challenge of focus

I face the puzzling dilemma of how to stay motivated to the specific tasks at hand given my vast and broad interests and goals.
(source: aiim knowledge center

I am sure that contrary to popular belief, every generation faces this same challenge of a significantly increased level of information and access vis-a-vis the prior generation. I doubt that it is a function of a particular generation. I do think the scale if tremendously higher in the internet generation, given the many-fold increase in access; but the previous generations had the same impact from the airplanes, from the sea-faring vessels, from colonization, from the printing press and going back, from the invention of transportation mediums. There is a generational "error" or paradox that every single generation feels that they are significantly differentiated from the previous when it really is just the arrow of time.

As I was reading the Time Machine (HG Wells) on my iphone last week, I realized the depth of this realization - every generation perceives their improvements as paramountly different from prior changes. Yes, I am reading the book on my iPhone, but how did the first printing press created book make the process seem timelessly more able than this one?
Some thoughts to ponder on - if anyone has not read it, do browse at Sophie's World  - a brilliant philosophical book that paired with some of the innovative old scribes will make you think deep.

Now on the topic of focus, it's time for me to do just that and say adieu to musings and on to the real stuff

Saturday, November 13, 2010

To know someone

What is knowing someone?

As I consider how effectively I can tweet, Facebook link and read blogs of people, I have a sense of "knowing" that certainly belies the actual act of getting to know someone. Can I go up to someone I just met a week ago and say "we should go for a Coldplay concert when they come in town cos I know you and I love Coldplay"? I say not - it seems like in today's world, this connection has to still follow the decorum of olden days.

In contrast, I argue that seeing that someone I just met and knowing their interests lets me have a more meaningful conversation vis-a-vis a "get to know you" conversation.
What wikihow tells you is not going to be as effective if you already know a lot from the stalker-esque life.

CIO Hits the nail on the head - that stalking is too bloody easy these days and you got to wonder, how do you develop true depth in a relation/friendship and "know" someone.

Anyhow, the crux of the world today is, there is still a tremendous "creepiness" that comes from knowing a lot about someone from Facebook and to some degree, you still have to develop a slow friendship/communication to make the information something you use.

Thus, go speak, and develop stronger relationships beyond the general tidings about weather and sports and start developing an understanding of people, their mindset and how they actually think.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Out of focus - millenial stimuli

Friends and strangers who came across this blog, I am sorry for the lull - been a bit busy with work and the abundance of sensory inputs - this brings me up to my topic of focus today!
I think my generation suffers from a lack of focus or more precisely, a over-abundance of communication devices. 
This has been written about many a time. If you cannot find more...
But where I think the common media might be missing the point is that the reason for distraction / lack of focus is not as much about the "new" phenomena of the mind and rather, us reaching a deeper level of satisfying our minds' wandering focus! 

Allow me to elaborate - the reason we are absorbing and consuming more in way of communication, news and tools; is that we are finally able to offer our mind the breadth is occasionally seeks! There will always be people who are too fickle/jump too often and conversely, people who are too slow to change/adapt and are not exploring and taking the opportunity. 

Those that gamble and test capacity and ability of our brains to process multiple inputs in certain situations can take advantage of our generations' opportunities - for example, a lot of us are listening to music on headphones as we study; others are running with music to their ear; from these simple examples to working on excel with a google talk conversation or two on the side is de-facto normal now! I think this allows you to take a momentary break when you want to and get your brain re-charged. I will say, there is a balance, if your time on the chat window is way longer than excel, you are not able to prioritize (GUILTY AS CHARGED SOMETIMES!)

In summary, realize that plethora of sensory inputs does not necessarily always mean you are losing focus, but you could be improving your processing ability!

In random irrelevant news:
I love washington DC - beautiful town, great young population and a new-york esque walking with purpose in people, but blended with a breadth of options to slow it down and see the world around you!
I am growing to appreciate Atlanta - lots to do here, variety of small neighborhoods with unique cultures and abilities in each! 
Work is providing a great learning opportunity and ATL has been phenomenal as a career opportunity so far - I'm thankful for it.
Finally, tell me what you all are interested or intrigued by so I can perhaps blog on it too!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Career path and confidence

There is little I know about where I want to go in life; but I think not knowing what you want is significantly different from indifference.

Careers are like vines on a wall - each one creeping along and few know where it will end up - what I do know, is that the vine will never stop growing even if I am unsure of the direction.

The biggest life lesson has been, never stop waking up with passion, interest and determination to make a difference. The Dos Equiss ad comes to mind "Stay Thirsty my friends" and I truly believe it.
People laugh at my enthusiasm and my positive almost annoying Cheshire cat-like grin that makes people think I've had it all handed to me - of course not, I worked and fought, failed and succeeded, battled and lost skirmishes, but the impact has got to be positive.

As you embark upon life remember one thing - Are you going to ever lose faith or belief?

Inspirational Truly awesome video

I think this has to be a life lesson more than a career one - but overall, positivity is crucial!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Knowledge desire and passion

There is little I know about where I want to go in life in the long term; but if I do not enjoy what I am doing tomorrow and do not truly feel enriched, I will stop and try something else!
There is much to do, too little time to wallow

(Warning - semi-rant or advice column for people on my outlook in life)
Proactive optimism and a positive attitude can only help you in life. The benefit of proactive optimism so long as you are conscious of reality is boundless. Example - applying for jobs, learning an instrument or trying out a sport - yes the odds are stacked against you having a significant impact in any area, but if you never try, there is absolutely NO hope if you having any meaningful impact - wallowing in self pity and dismay at odds can only make you a good statistician (If you can, do that - start calculations on odds of failure and write yourself a lovely little statistics book!)  - Shreenath

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Networking - not-working?

Sorry for the lull - I intend to publish all my "Draft" posts from the past year!
(JAN 2009)
I have been "fortunate" to focus on a good two - three months of targeted career searching, soul-searching and communcations with smart, talented people. The act of "networking" is little more than creating continuous opportunities for symbiotic relationships to form: Think to yourself,

"If I don't speak to him / her I might miss out on an oportuntiy to help them and offer my knowledge, experiences and perhaps help them achieve their dreams and ambition"; Conversely, the same applies to your own goals and ambitions and aspirations. There is no reason to not talk; what is the worst that can happen? They will say no - not that bad an outcome now is it?

Thus, my best self-learning from the last couple of years of work is here.
More learnings and sound-bites to follow!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Steve Shu on Facilitation

Steve does a tremendous job of explaining facilition techniques for all the laymen here.
I couldnt have said it better myself - a good facilitator, to paraphrase my mentor, makes the client think it was his own idea rather than the "consultant" idea. It is being able to communicate effectively enough to to make the client request permission to call it their own and keep calling you back.
Great article and more to come.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What is a vacation?

This January, I have been out and about the world quite a bit and I wonder if this really is a "vacation" as much as a frenzied travel adventure; nonetheless, I enjoyed it thoroughly and heck, that makes it a vacation!
Destinations :::::: houston, san fran, tokyo, kyoto, tokyo, singapore, bombay, chennai, small-towns across south india, chennai, bombay, delhi, bombay, chennai, bombay, singapore, tokyo, san fran, houston

The better modes of travel were: Shinkasen (train tokyo to Kyoto); singapore airlines (gosh what service and the flight stewardesses are awesome!); Indigo Air (Indian Budget carrier bombay-delhi)
The crappy ones - United flight (San fran-tokyo- San Fran -- old 747-400s with no entertainment); Go Air (Smelly and dirty indian budget carrier)

Highlight of the trip --- Tokyo automatic parking!! video-to follow.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

Life in different cities!

When i consider my choices and places to live in...
I went with the job that I loved the most - I would not say that I like the place too much - to paraphase a comparison from (Bos/SF/Lon/NY) to where I live:
From a historic city with a gorgeous diverse populace in a thriving walking metro and a melting pot of cultures, to a static, money-oil-driven collection of concrete with a lack of a coherent populace and disjoint societies?

Oh well - it is not that bad but it does make you wonder!!!