Listen, I mean seriously LISTEN!

I remember back when I was in school, whenever the professor asked a question, a series of hands went up and everybody was very eager to share their answer or their opinions. While I totally agree that speaking up takes a certain amount of courage and also requires or develops the ability to communicate clearly, what I am not sure about is whether it encourages us to “listen to what others have to say”

One of the very important qualities for any leader is Listening. There are several articles on this topic, so many that, whenever we encounter advice about listening, we take it for granted. We assume that we are good listeners and we already have it nailed. But seriously, are we that good? I find it to be a constant battle for me.

Continue reading…

What is your Greatest Weakness?

A question that we are all asked in an interview is “What is your greatest weakness”. I remember early on in my career somebody advising me that I should use this question as an opportunity to present a strength but wrap it up as a weakness. One of the answers that I bet a lot of us used at one point or the other, I know I have used it, is; “I am a stickler for perfection, I sometimes take additional time to make things perfect. I am working on this aspect though. I am trying to finish my work a few days ahead of my deadline to have some extra time if I need to make things perfect.” Or, some bullshit along those lines. But seriously, how many of us sit down and think what our weaknesses really are?

Continue reading…

5 Important Attributes to Evaluate a Job

Every once in a while we all sit and contemplate whether we should stay at our current job or find something new. The reasons could be several. Next time you’re in this situation, I would recommend making a list of all the attributes that are important to you in any work place. Below are the attributes that are important to me and I believe should be important to all engineers.

Learn – Personally, I think that we should always be looking for opportunities to learn. Learning is one of those intrinsic motivations I look for in any job. If you are just starting a new job then you should learn how to perform your job, learn how things are done in this new environment, learn how to effectively work with new colleagues, etc. Once you’re comfortable with these then your should seek additional challenges that provide you with an opportunity to learn something new – learn to handle new & bigger projects, learn how to collaborate with multiple teams, learn how to manage and mentor new hires, etc.  In fact, everybody should treat their jobs as a sort of higher educational institution because your current job prepares you for your future. One can get a good sense for learning opportunities by asking interviewers about what is it that they have learned during their tenure with the company.

Continue reading…