Career Advice to our Younger Selves
Big lessons can be imparted in just a few seconds. In the age of 140-character tweets, that much is clear. What’s more, these pearls of wisdom shine best when shared.
So, we asked four Indian professionals: If there was one key lesson about a successful career you wish you’d known when you were younger, what would it be?
1. Live (and act) in the now
“Do not procrastinate. Because you never know when things start to pile up… and then start to crumble down.
“Kabir, a famous 15th century Indian mystic poet and saint, voices much the same message when quoted in Hindi:
Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub.
“Translation: Tomorrow’s work do today, Today's work now, If the moment is lost, The work be done how.”
— Hassan Jain, Account Supervisor
2. Failure: not to be feared
“A key lesson I wish I’d known is: don’t be afraid to ask questions, as there’s never a wrong one.
“Also, failure is part of your life. And if you don’t attempt something because you’re afraid, then game over, buddy!”
— Siddhartha Bhalla, Business Development Executive
3. Speak your mind (and act like a spy!)
“Speak up! If you don’t use your voice, it becomes rusty. So voice your opinions, and have the confidence to justify them. So don’t just whisper, “I feel we need a company motto.” Say: ‘I feel we need a company motto — because each co-worker I’ve spoken to has a different idea of what we do.’
“Part of that confidence comes from having a mentor. By shadowing and observing the people I respect at work (yes, I like to think of myself as a female James Bond) I internalise their confidence.”
— Farrah Zubeir, Account Manager
4. The quest for question marks
“I wish I’d embraced the ability to be comfortable with unpredictability.
“Once you grasp the idea that you should look for situations outside of your comfort zone, the rest of your life elements fall into place. This prepares us, in my opinion, for a true work-life balance.”
— Sasha Mukerjea, Events Executive