Yin yang

It is so cold that I am wearing socks! Me! I hate socks. 😦 I hate winter and I hate smog. I also hate not being able to go out for my walk because of the air quality. I also hate that Tara cannot play outside because of it. That’s a lot of hate in one paragraph. Let’s switch topics.

Last night S messaged me minutes after I posted my daily mumbo jumbo and told me how much she likes the song I had linked to in the post. And then she sent me the sad version of the song. Here. And now I am stuck with this version. It is more melodious. Less rushed. And of course melodramatic. All the perfect ingredients of a soul touching Bollywood song.

I’ve been in a few interesting career conversations lately. I enjoy talking to people about their goals and what they want to do next, and why? Also navigating your career can be hard sometimes. You can get stuck into the framework and easily make some bad choices. It is unfortunate. But it happens. I like to think through people’s choices and preferences with them. It is easy for me to do it since I have less on stake.

I usually don’t have answers for them, just a few probing questions and some generic guidance. Here’s a new one that I came up which was applicable in the two conversations I have had with people in the last two days.

– Be easy on yourself. Don’t over complicate the decision framework. Try to make incremental progress towards a decision, instead of boiling the ocean all together. As an example, if you are debating between locations and teams, first decide which is more important to you – location or team? Slowly untangle the web of choices. We are all spoilt with the endless choices we are offered. But prioritizing your preferences is the first step.

The other recommendation I often make is to come up with an arbit milestone for your decision making process and meet it. Some people enjoy the process of deliberation more than the joy of reaching a decision. For those people, coming up with random milestones and meeting them is helpful. As an example, think in terms of quarters – I will take the interviews this quarter and have a decision made by next quarter.

Time box your thinking and make decisions based on the data you have, instead of wondering if you can collect more data to make a better decision. In some cases, the repercussions of inaction are worse than the implications of a bad decision.

I am a quick decision maker. I like to iterate on my decisions, instead of getting it 100% right at first attempt. It usually helps me make decisions faster and I learn more in the process.

I don’t know what attracts me to these conversations. But I enjoy them. I’ve spoken to four different people about their career choices in the last few days and each of them is so unique in what they want from their career. People are amazing. And so unique. It is so important to acknowledge their uniqueness and respect it.

We started with all the things I hate about this weather, and we are ending with all the things I love about people. Life balances things out – yin yang 🙂

These conversations are my way of paying forward. Much like the saying S used often – to those whom much is given, much is expected 🙂

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