For most of us, our work defines our name, fame and reputation in the society our industry. Designations and associations hold a major part in others recognizing us. That’s where we earn our respect in today’s society – bitter truth.
We all want to create some identity for ourselves. For some, it’s a quick project or work done that will get us in the limelight or be known in our respective industry or field of work and for others it’s a long term game where they build something and want to be known for leaving a legacy behind. At times it becomes like a goal that we plan and work towards achieving it. It may change as we progress through our lives, careers and the networks we establish and the exposure we get.
When I founded Eeztail, a Digital Marketing Agency in 2015, I was working towards making it the best industry in the state of Goa, India where we operate from and I wanted to be center of it; may it be servicing the best of clients, having creative campaigns, get nominated for awards, building the best team there is etc. I wanted to be known as the best marketeer or an Ad Man.
Being a business owner also exposes you to a different network altogether where you meet others like you from different walks of life and business. Some become friends; you’re in their inner circles or you hangout more often where you exchange ideas, business plans, expansion and living life at a whole different level. At times your client becomes your biggest inspiration too.
So, this had me reflecting over last couple of months before COVID-19 situation that I no longer want to be known as the best in my industry. I wanted to separate my name and attachment from my Agency. Don’t get me wrong here; I still want my Agency to be one of the best in the industry. It’s just that I want a different recognition and identity for myself moving from a Founder and Managing Partner’s mentality of my Agency to a “Businessman” mentality since my long term goal has changed to building more number of businesses other than only growing the existing one and I’m glad that I’ve realized it at any early age. I’ve already started working on the second venture as I’m waiting for the economy to be back on track. It’s a work a progress and I still need to get a lot of things streamlined in my first venture to get it on autopilot mode given the challenges the pandemic has brought upon us. This changes the entire outlook of how I’ll be perceived or known.
For each one it’s different. It’s more important to know what you want in life. You'll either be the best in your trade and be known for it or you build multiple ventures. Both are equally challenging and require dedicated focus and a lot of sacrifices.
In almost all the scenarios we need a team or people we trust and are loyal to us in order to reach to our goals and loyalty is a two way street. Together you can achieve much more and go further but both sides need each other. While we work on building our identity and reputation, one should also watch our own character.
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden
So whom you would rather like to meet? Simon Fernandes – Founder and Managing Partner of Eeztail or Simon Fernandes _______________________ ☺
Simon Fernandes is Founder and Managing Partner of Eeztail - and clearly at least one other venture!
If you were to google “Why Volunteer” “Benefits of Volunteering” you would be presented with numerous reasons from “social” to “personal” to “volunteering and happiness.”
According to Wikipedia “Volunteering is generally considered as altruistic activity where an individual or group freely gives time “to benefit another person, group or organisation” without being forced or being paid to do so. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development and is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life."
I believe volunteering can also be an element of a “portfolio career” or a “side hustle” to a regular full-time role or a number of part time roles! In the realms of having and enjoying a portfolio career for many that often means diversifying risk around having a number of part time positions to match shifting priorities and risk tolerance by generating multiple income streams aligned to work life integration.
There is no such thing as a perfect job and that is okay and whilst you may well be reading this and thinking “I chose a job I love and I don’t ever feel like I have worked a day in my life” for many it is unlikely that we will spend our entire careers in one role or industry, let alone one company! Volunteering can provide opportunities for growth, creativity, mentorship, a new social and or professional network and a sense of joy from knowing that by giving time, skills, expertise to benefit another person, group or organisation for the volunteer there is a sense of fulfilment that they may not feel within their “day job”. Every volunteer will have their own reasons for wanting to help others!
During my 15+ years of volunteering I have held collection tins, learnt the art of event management to organise fund-raisers, written various strategy papers on fund-raising, recruiting and leading volunteers across various initiatives. I have chaired volunteering committees been a global ambassador of an international charity to holding various UK and International Charity board or advisory positions. Within my “Day Job” whilst I have remained in one industry my roles have been across sales, marketing, operations and technology. I have utilised my “charity career experience” to lead companywide charity initiatives which has also enabled me to build my professional profile and network within the organisation I work for.
Whilst volunteering has given me a wide variety of skills that I would not have learnt in my “day job” I gain a huge amount of joy from helping others, it is humbling and inspiring to learn from others and their life stories. There is also a huge sense of achievement gained from selling all the tickets for a fund-raiser to organising auction prizes, seeing the bids and then being able to spend the funds raised to make a difference to the lives of others.
I could share so many stories that have touched my heart, I am also very blessed to have made life long friends through volunteering, back to the day job my colleagues aware of the joy I gain from volunteering organised an event whereby we entertained, played and provided food for a group of street kids – whilst these children lived on the streets with their families and had nothing but the clothes they stood up in they had the biggest smiles and a warmth of spirit that was incredible given their circumstance and just beyond humbling. Their smiles were contagious that day and so I would encourage anyone to get volunteering. Whilst you can share your skills and experience to make a difference, I would imagine volunteering will also make a positive difference to you too in more ways than you can imagine!
Rachelle Gaskell works full time with a side hustle of volunteering for fun!
A man schedules a meeting, the meeting schedules a meeting, the meeting schedules the man.
Did you know there’s a virus going around? I don’t mean the one that’s so bad it makes me look back on Brexit news with nostalgia.
I’m taking about Meetingytis, a dangerous condition that if left untreated can turn you into a full blown Meetingaholic.
This may not sound like a big deal. Most of us work in environments where meetings are an accepted form of life. What else are managers going to do all day? But while your boss does it because he loves the sound of his own voice, Meetingaholics do it out of a pathological fear of having a meeting-less agenda.
‘It took over my life’ confesses Sean Down, an addict who wants to remain anonymous (but I forgot). ‘I ended up neglecting my family, friends and my personal hygiene. At work I’d go to any meeting that would take me. I even participated in the ‘Accountant’s Lunch Catch Up’, which was not only useless (I work in IT) but drop dead dull.’
Sean admits gate-crashing meetings to feed his addiction. ‘Sales meeting were the easiest to infiltrate. They were all drunk or hungover’.
He recalls his shameful past, ‘I reached rock bottom when I caught myself going to ‘HUMAN RESOURCES: WE’RE HERE TO HELP’ (voluntary attendance). It was just me. That’s when I decided to ask for help’.
Help is not easy to come by. Traditional programs based on AA’s ‘My name is Sean and I am a Meetingaholic’ do not work as they involve yet another meeting, feeding the addiction even further.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Meetingytis strain has mutated and we face an even more devastating virus: ZOOM-MONELLA. Born out of the need to stay connected during lockdown, people suffering from ZOOM-MONELLA feel compelled to attend meetings ‘virtually’ 24 hours a day!
The latest casualty (an engineer from Surrey), was forcefully removed from his shed which had more screens, graphs and satellites than NASA’s control room. His loving wife tearfully admits, ‘Intervention was a necessary evil. He had turned into a ZOOM-BIE’.
Think this has nothing to do with you? Think again. How many times have you ZOOMED into a meeting and thought, ‘When is this going to end?’. Or worse, had the temptation to MUTE everything, pretend to listen while secretly watching DAS BOOT series 2? Or was that just me?
‘ANTI-MEETING’ lobbies around the world are calling for new laws to tackle the problem. Not by punishing the addicts, but by penalizing the ‘MEETING DEALERS’. Charming and persuasive, these criminals lure innocent victims into attendance with promises of coffee, Krispy Cremes and ‘It’s only 5 minutes.’ Without realizing it, the victim is subjected to ‘The Gateway Meeting’ (meeting to program future meetings) and addiction is inevitable.
Spokesperson for ‘Just Say NO to Meetings’, Rupa Datta comments, ‘There are different approaches to dealing with meeting addiction around the world. Some countries place a greater emphasis on law enforcement - while others do not’.
In the UK steps are being taken to create legislation to classify them into three groups – A, B and C.
Class A are the most harmful and include PowerPoint Presentations, (PPP is now an identified form of torture).
Class B includes meetings where someone with an ego the size of the UK debt hogs up all the stage time.
Class C includes people saying ‘I’ll be brief’.
Rupa continues, ‘Progress is slow due to lawmakers’ endless meetings. In the meantime, we should all be doing our part to stop this terrible disease’.
In order to do that, ‘Just Say NO to Meetings’ has published the following guideline that will help stop addiction before it even starts:
Sonia Aste is a comedian and a writer who avoids meetings like the plague. Find her on Twitter @SoniaAste
I don't know about you, but one of lockdown little blessings has seen a return to family card games. It took us a while to get there. Maybe 2 months in, with the odd game of rummikub for 2 (not my forte) slowly evolving into 'Declare' as a family for a couple of rounds most evenings.
I've often said that you need to treat your career as a game, not planning one step ahead but at least 2. That isn't to say don't also go with the flow and see what opportunities open up organically, but, if you don't know where you're going how are you going to get there? Sheryl Sandberg talks about careers these days being like Jungle-Gyms. We've heard the term squiggly career (coined by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis). There are a number of other possible game analogies for careers these days.
What struck me about declare recently was just how much the start was about strategising for yourself rather than competing against other people. Sure, there's an element of that but to begin with, all you have to go on is the hand you're dealt. Who goes to the table first is almost irrelevant. And at the front end of the job/role dance, you can only benchmark yourself against you - and maybe the job description.
Let's be candid. I found my flow with this game. I do well at it but for me it wasn't about the winning - it was reclaiming that time with family that gets lost in the daily grind. With the pace slowing down, I really didn't care who won however like with any hobby or habit, you can only get better than you were the day before and my learning of the development of my own strategy is another reason to keep playing.
Rupa Datta is a career gamer, happy to show you how to play it
'There was a running theme that recurred through last week. I count 5 conversations for sure. Whether it be the person I met (virtually) for the first time asking about my background and what I did, bringing my mates up to speed on my next move or catching up with people I've not spoken to for ages about recent and forward plans.
Those that have known me in a recruitment/career development capacity know I have a slightly blinkered view of the value of a CV. If you think that sending one across is a magic pill for your next move, you're wrong. BUT I am a strong advocate of having something that serves as a constant working document and anchor always at hand. You never know where that next job/role/assignment will come from and when.
Some may say this isn't necessary for business owners or those that are freelance. We're all be portfolio at some point in life - some for longer than others. And some by choice, others not. Let's also not confuse this with Linkedin - that's a professional profile. We may also be asked to submit videos these days. Having your base information to hand helps keep your content fresh in your head.
I've been decluttering loads over the past few weeks and serendipitously found a paper copy of the last resume I put together. It's 3 years old. Updating won't take me long and a process that I'm quite looking forward to. Time to put the kettle on and get to it.
Rupa Datta is your quintessential portfolio person. Happy to help with your career transition and eagerly getting ready for whatever is next
Have you ever thought that you looked good in your favourite outfits, and then realised you were so wrong? If I had to sum up my year being President of my local Toastmasters club that would be the analogy for a year of growth and reinvention.
Once again, it was a fairly organic move. Yes, there was an election but its fair to say that my moving into the role was relatively unchallenged. Having served as Vice President Membership in the run up and due to external circumstances, somewhat being the face of the club in the months prior, some might say it was a given.
As my volunteer experiences to date go, I can say that this one year was probably lent itself more to growth and learning than contribution.
It was certainly a year I look back on in the last decade where I recognise the noticable growth - me within myself, within the Toastmasters environment and through comments from those around me i.e. friends and family.
I still cringe when I look back on videos of that year and even more so earlier on in my public speaking journey - but as they say, that's growth. Holding a mirror up to ourselves and others every now and again is also pretty powerful. Over this period, the power of the camera proved to instrumental in documenting this transformation journey every fortnight, highlighting that a picture does indeed tell a thousand words.
Find out more about Trojan Speakers - https://www.facebook.com/TrojanSpeakers/
Toastmasters International - https://www.toastmasters.org/
Rupa Datta was President of Trojan Speakers 2017-2018. At the time of writing she is the club's Immediate Past President