IBPW held its annual career and mentoring conference on Sunday September 9, 2018. This year’s theme was “Life Hacking: Career, Health, and Spirit-- a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing a day-to-day task or activity.”
Dr. Raji Pillai, President, Medical Affairs Consulting has written a synopsis of the event in detail here.
Watch interview that SitarreTV conducted with the Anu Shukla, Dr. Anjali Gulati, Michele Dauber and Deepka Lalwani here
There was interest from the attendees on how to educate young generation in high-school and students enrolling in college about sexual harassment and how to make these new upcoming generation aware of the issues surrounding this critical subject. The discussion was more on how to get Michele to address the topic in various schools and universities as well as in companies. Michele indicated that she will be willing to attend based on invitations. She also shared with the table attendees the idea that the key is to get involved in various organizations that are starting grass-root efforts on raising awareness in sexual harassment and get actively involved. The key message was to know what is happening in your communities, offices and around you and take action when you see behavior that falls under the category of sexual harassment.
After providing a clear and insightful overview of the risks of heart attacks and strokes for South Asian women, Dr. Anjali Gulati and Dr. Noor Sachdev stayed on to participate in a round table mentoring discussion. They discussed the lifestyle changes that should be made to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, acknowledged the challenges of motivating people to make and more importantly sustain these changes, and offered practical suggestions to help facilitate preventative health measures. They also discussed the importance of their county wide mobile stroke treatment initiative, and the significant benefits it could bring not only to individual patients but also to their care givers.
Hack #1: When you find a mentor make sure that you build trusted relationship and leverage their time and wisdom to further yourself in your career and in your life. Mentors respond positively when you acknowledge how their mentor-ship has helped in improving their situation.
Hack #2: Shift your mindset by changing your language and how you talk to yourself. So, when you encounter a setback or a failure, instead of saying What is wrong with me, say what do I need to change to do better?
Hack#3: If you learn to tell your story to yourself in uplifting language you’ll breakthrough.
Some of the key takeaways captured from Kalpana Shyam's intro and speech were as follows:
1. Beginnings are hard. Stay with the project no matter how difficult, and seek help from within the company. Help is always available
2. Success breeds success - that first projects are probably the hardest, but it gets easier from there on
3. Broaden your expertise- in today's world, a broad expertise in areas beyond just what you are working, is what will help
4. If you have an idea, finesse it, prepare it, present it at the forum, and be sure to take credit for it. No point being naive. Talk about it, get support for it, and claim it :)
5. Focus on team work. Teams are useful, precious, utilize those resources, and make it work.
At the tables, Kalpana got some questions about dealing with challenges where the team has SMEs (subject matter experts) who may be more technical than their supervisor, and her advice was to work on articulating the broader vision, through a well-planned storyboard/ flow chart, where each role is well defined and the end goal is clear. It is all about cohesive team work, again.
Some other discussions were focused on work-life balance, about how the jobs eat into quality time at home and such. Kalpana had good tips on that as well, regards to prepping ahead for those challenging days, such as pre-planning meals, and trusting kids to be more independent.
Why listen to me - 38 years of experience in the software industry continuously progressing technically. Several patents.
Advice for you- 1) Claim your technical spotlight - no hand outs
Lots of jobs require technical innovation.
Look for innovation, execute it and make sure you get credit Sometimes the quieter people get sidelined when it comes to accepting new ideas. Be sure to write down and distribute your ideas first if they are accepted.
- 2) Be the go to person - gain expertise and mastery of different subjects We need broad knowledge of many area AND you need Deep knowledge in a few. Subject Matter Expert. So your name is the first one that comes to mind in certain areas.
- 3) Do the detail work - there are no short cuts. Your technical work needs to be pretty near flawless and all the pitfalls addressed. While you may spend much of the day time interacting with people, do block quiet time to work out the details, review and re-test your code. As you progress, you may be delegate some of the work, but until then there is no substitute.
- Bonus - you can never do large projects alone - so do pick up leadership skills so that you can mobilize a large team after you show them your vision and keep the momentum going while being involved in the technical details of the project. Ultimately, you are responsible.
1) Mentor/Mentee is a 2-way street. Both have something to gain. There must be trust between the two.
2) Besides giving me good advice, my favorite mentors have provided me with opportunities. Plum projects. Ideas. Resources. Where to do further reading. Introductions to technical gurus. They have gone to bat for me.
3) My most successful mentees have been those who have interacted with me regularly. As a mentee, one must follow up on previous meetings and must keep the conversation going. The ball must be in play for a relationship to be enduring