Now that I am about to turn a ripe old age of 28 and, as much as I’m not thrilled to be inching toward thirty, I’m pretty excited to look back on the past years and reflect on what I have learnt in these years of service with IBM and life, in general. The good and the bad, the struggles and the achievements, the lessons and the learnings form a perfect base for this piece of advice I’d give my younger self.
Patience & Perseverance
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait –it’s how we behave while we are waiting.” – Joyce Meyer
Whatever you choose to do with your life, don’t expect instant success. The years of struggle, commitment and learning in excelling at whatever endeavor or trade you choose, is no easy task. It takes a lot of courage, character, discipline and perseverance to achieve your dreams. Nearly all successful people have doubted themselves at some point and wanted to give up. Yet they carried on.
Say yes to more things
Find a way to say yes to new things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new.
Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse. Be open and say ‘Yes’.
Never eat lunch alone
The strongest relationships are formed in person. We should learn to keep good company. Lunchtime at work is a get out from behind your screen at lunchtime because lunch is the prime networking opportunity. So get out of your screen, go out there, and eat with your companions.
Making lunch plans with someone will give you a different perspective of your own job. Go equipped with what you want to talk about and what you want to share. Building a network and trust relationships is important to a successful career.
Find a mentor
At large, there are two ways to learn at work : through experience and through advice. A mentor can help you even before your career starts. Finding the right mentor early on and building strong formal relationships with them goes a long way in helping us navigate through our careers. Locate a mentor who exhibits the values you cherish and aspire to emulate, who you can support and who has time to support you. Appreciate and respect their time. A mentor can evaluate your performance from a detached perspective and provide a constructive feedback on common mistakes and pitfalls, taking your abilities to the next level.
Value education and learning
Our industry is undergoing enormous transformation at this time and it is an exciting era of change. Learning has no age. Be open to read, and remain open to new concept and ideas. Embrace change and update your skills and don’t miss any opportunity to learn.
Health is important – VERY important
Don’t take your health or personal life for granted, EVER! To keep the body in good health is an individual’s prime responsibility. Learn the habits of good work life balance and make time for yourself. Ten years down the line, you’ll look back on the price you paid to walk up the ladder and health shouldn’t be one of them.
Attempting to isolate these life lessons I could pass back to my younger self I used to be was truly an illuminating exercise. We always have two versions of our past stories: one that is public, filled with accolades and accomplishments, another a private and hidden one, where we store the bumps and bruises.
It’s a long climb up the corporate ladder, I hope this helps some of us in navigating through our careers at Big Blue & beyond 🙂
Preeti Chinda is an IT Specialist with IBM India.