Don’t get stuck in your career May 8th, 2012

Vinod Kumar

This topic has been on my mind for quite sometime and I wanted to pen it down today. I do know it is not a conventional easy topic too. With the March/April fever of performance reviews there is sense of accomplishment fore few and for some a sense of disappointment. This blog is not to outline how to outperform your reviews but it is to seed a thought to your short term excitements with the long term visions. I am a strong believer that everyone needs to have an answer to – “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”.

Often when I meet the new generation of kids with 2-4 years experience they come and tell me – “I am not going anywhere in my career”. Kids, don’t get me wrong here – “You are yet to have a career”.

It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.

There are some things that will ensure you go no where in your career, and this is not possible without your consent. Let me call out some of the traits that will need to be changed if you want your career to go somewhere:

  1. Passing the buck: Please don’t stuck to this thought and don’t get rigid in your communication. I understand it is not your job, but are your trying to be helpful and making an attempt? It is this positive attitude in life that will help. Don’t avoid work (any work) and your chances to take responsibilities.
  2. We are not genius: I understand we don’t know everything that is put in front of us. It is fine to say – “I don’t know”. But that is not what you should be doing. If you make genuine efforts and add saying “yet let me find out for you”. Same as point 1, be helpful and get / give / find answers – not blank faces.
  3. Blame game: Stop doing a blame game. You need to stand up and stand tall if you want to in front of your colleagues. You don’t impress anyone by putting down someone else in front of all. If you are a manager, well accept in public but blame in private 1:1 – be a leader not a mere manager.
  4. Make time: If someone has come for help to you, acknowledge their existence and lend an helping hand. Don’t try to focus on the gossips but move on to help with the burning fire in front of someone. In a team everyone wins – not just the individual. Learning and sharing is a journey and make it memorable with people around you.
  5. Come in early, don’t call in sick: Exceptions are there to this rule. But if you made a commitment – make it happen no matter what. I am off the school of thought that if committed it is done with no compromises. If you constantly try to evade off then don’t think no one is noticing. In an organization you don’t (mostly) get a choice to pick the tasks which you like to do, if you don’t do it – someone will step up or will eventually do it.
  6. Improvise and innovate: I cant iterate on this very point. You don’t want to get step by step instruction on how to get things done. Innovate and don’t get stuck to the process boundaries that exist. It is always easier to think and do it our way rather than getting bogged down by our micro-manager to how it has to be done.
  7. Communicate clearly: Clarity of thoughts and clarity in communication will lead you a long way and I love to iterate it here.

If you know where you are going, then you don’t need a GPS or compass. You will make your own new way.

If you want to make merry of where you will be in your career, well know where you want to go. Make positive strides and keep working on the learning hunger of your’s. I have advised many with a simple question – “Where do you want to go?”. So this blog is to again  make that statement even more bold :). Do pass me your comments and what you think about it.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 11:23 and is filed under Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

69 Responses to “Don’t get stuck in your career”

  1. Great post… Today i got a chance to learn about this.

    It made me to think: ““Where do i see myself in 5 years time?”.

    And remind me… I am still a kid, trying to learn.

  2. Paras Doshi says:

    Thanks for a post that inspires positive action!


  3. Brij Mohan says:

    Really Motivational Post …couldn’t stop to tweet this
    Thanks for sharing it :)

  4. Pranav says:

    Thought provoking one.. Thanks for a really wonderful post :)

  5. Gr8 Post Vinod :-)

    Ya i still remember you asked me the same question when i met you first time :-)

    And ya i use to tell my friends n colleague the same thing wht u told me “Keep on Learning and Share ur knowledge” :-)

  6. Great points. Nice post, Vinod.

    It is very nice to see how your engaging with you readers replying to all the comments. Thanks.

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      Hahaha Chaitanya. It is always a pleasure to answer to everyone because you have invested in time in reading and most importantly you have taken pains in leaving a comment. Thanks again for your note :)

  7. Virendra Gangotri says:

    Great inspirational post.. thanks Vinod!

  8. Very nice post. Pls keep writing such posts, it helps us lot.

  9. Ashish Jain says:

    Very Inspirational Post Sir.

  10. Ramdas says:

    Very nicely narrated article with the key thoughts defined well. One thing I would like to add here vinod is that: when one is on a job they need to spend the time to groom themselves for the next step. For example when one is developer and wants to become a lead, one should set aside a set % of time to learn and groom the qualities of a lead. This could be done by mentoring/networking and observation of best practices and how they are implemented. Just my 2 cents…
    Great job vinod.

  11. Pranab says:

    Truly inspirational one Sir, Great Stuff!!!

  12. soumya says:

    More helpfull blog . thanks a lot sir.

  13. Prasad says:

    Hello Vinod,

    Excellent article.. really inspirational however very few people have this kind of skill set… to motivate others.. !!!

    I really appreciate your effort and keep blogging like these type of inspirational articles..

    Cheers !!
    Prasad Yangamuni

  14. Krishna Prabhu says:

    Very inspirational artical sir.I have learnt a lot of things from your all posts.Thanks for sharing sir :)

  15. Very inspirational! As always, a gem of an article. I cannot thank-you enough for some of the productivity and time management tips that I have learnt from this site. They have worked like a charm for me always! Thank-you!

  16. Great Post Vinod!! Not only that you have great thoughts, but also you have a very unique and simplified style of writing :-)
    In addition to what you mentioned and with reference to 3rd point made by Ravi, it is very important to always remain self motivated especially in situations when we end up working on things which we may not enjoy much.

    @Ravi – Very valid points!!

  17. Awesome blog post. Thanks for sharing.


  18. Gopalakrishnan Arthanarisamy says:

    Well Said Vinod. Nowadays I can see lot of tips from you for career advancements. Keep Sharing & Happy Learning.

  19. SIJIN KUMAR says:

    Dear Vinod Sir,
    Great post again…
    Thanks to share your thoughts and expecting the same in future also.

  20. I learned a lot from the post as well from comments. Thanks to all. What I feel, we cannot predict very far in future…so “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?” is a great point. What you guys feel? tips?

  21. Ritesh Shah says:

    very well said!!!

    There is no alternative of hard work, in right direction, to get success. I generally used to read technical articles only but the subject of this article you have chosen, tempted me to read till end and I must say that I am not at all regret reading it. 1000% WORTH reading this.

  22. Phani says:

    5th point is the one which I felt is the most apt one. We need to be on tows and grab opportunities and never think that I am the only person who can do it.

    Thanks for the post Vinod. This is very nice series that you are sharing. Please continue this non technical showering.

  23. Anuraj says:

    Nice blog post Vinod. Recently I found one more thing, if you don’t know and you can’t do it, tell that to your manager ASAP :)

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      Thanks Anuraj for the comments.
      Yes, telling the manager is important – from the context of the blog he will find someone. But if you tell him you didn’t know and wanted to learn it – he will find someone who will guide you in finishing that task. That is the whole crux !!!

  24. Pankaj Nikam says:

    I am really thankful to you for giving such wonderful tips. As a fresher (will just complete my one year this 11th) these tips will certainly help me to become a better person. Thanks a lot Sir.

  25. Nasim says:

    Very nice points, if we follow these as Vinod Said “You will make your own new way.”

    great Post!.

  26. Great post with some great comments. The “feeling of being stuck” often comes when we compare ourselves with others. We want to acheive what others have acheived and want to feel great about it. Instead, we need to work on our own path, our own journey. In a nutshell, no shortcuts to success it is sheer hardwork and well thought through (sometimes accidental) choices. Give your best everyday. Don’t look at the end, live the journey. A lot of things in this discussion sounds easier said than done when you are in the beginning of your career but over the years life has taught me that it is the only way to go.
    We really need to stop running after a mystery called “SUCCESS”, it’s about making each day a successful day.

    Thanks once again for this post.

  27. Sandip Pani says:

    I remembered when you asked me “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”, At first instance I thought this is a easy question for me but I
    realized the question is easy but difficult to answer if we don’t have clear vision for our career.

    Nice post Vinod Sir.

  28. siva kumar says:

    Great Post to get inspired by this.

  29. Nilesh says:

    Another great blog post!

    I do agree to your point that everyone should have an answer to question : “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”

    Of course, it is helpful to know your probable team mates while interviewing, but it also keep the fire burning of learning new things and move further in your career and to your desired goal.

    Thanks for another inspirational blog post!

    On a side note, text of your blog posts are overlapping with right bar, you might want to do something about it(It seems it’s a opera specific issue).

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      Yup, you got the gist. Everyone sees success and wants it – but fail to see the steps to achieve the same. Likewise it is important to keep afloat on what you are doing and where you want to be. Thanks again for dropping a line Nilesh.

      PS: Let me take a look into that. It is the default theme that I use and never tested on Opera. Let me check and see if time permits.

  30. Nilesh says:

    As always an inspirational blog Vinod. Reminds me of the many things you mentioned during your uncut and unedited episode with Lohith. Keep up the good work and keep inspiring us :)

  31. Sahal says:

    Hello Sir,
    Nicely said!

    on point 2) i some times say “i dont know”, because if i say i will try and find out then it will mostly become stressing point to my other priorities (where i am already tight), i dont know if this is something right or are there a better way to tackle it.

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      There is nothing like right or wrong Sahal. It is only about thinking right :) … Nothing wrong in saying so, but genuinely are you making attempts to change it or atleast learn things to change that? That is important. That is what Point 2 says. I know you are doing the right things buddy !!! keep doing it …

  32. Ravi says:

    Great thoughts, Vinod.
    My 2 cents:
    1. Don’t get into the comfort zone
    The moment you get into the comfort zone, you will stop learning. One needs to challenge him/herself continuously and learn. This is true both in management and tech ladders. This leads to the next point.
    2. Question the status quo
    People generally say that don’t touch anything that is working fine today. This is absolutely wrong. We need to question or challenge the status quo. There is always a scope for improvement and you can learn a lot.
    3. Love whatever you are doing
    This is somewhat debatable. In the corporate world, it is not possible to always do what you love. Sometimes, we need to compromise between business objectives and personal objectives. This is when we should out our 100% and deliver what we are expected to even though we don’t really love doing that. This way you always enjoy what you are doing.

  33. Shashikant Shakya says:

    Thanks Vinod..

    Really good points..

    First time i’ve seen ur non-tchnical posts.

    really nice..

  34. Amal says:

    Great thoughts…..

  35. Pinal Dave says:

    Another inspirational blog post!

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