X=X/2 or X=2X? What is your Equation of Success?

This post is a continuation of my previous post “With love- to all my Grade 12 parents”

I have already shared with you the story of the boy who was forced to choose science by his parents even though his interest lay in another field which definitely was not science but he was not able to point out what he actually wanted to do in life.

I gave him and his parents the following simple equation for choosing careers;

X= X/2

X= 2X

Where X is the amount of efforts you put in a subject.

I asked the boy to apply this equation to some of the subjects he is studying in his class as of now and analyze the results. This is what he came up with;

Subject Effort Return
English X 2X
Maths 2X X/2 or even X/4
Science 2X X
History X 2X

You do not need to be a Rocket Scientist to analyze the above the data- do you? 

When I discussed the above table with the boy the following highlights came up;

  1. The boy loved studying English & History and he said the results he got in English and History were always double of the efforts he put in
  2. The boy was okay in Maths & Science and was even putting extra efforts in the same subjects but the results he was getting were either half or less than half of the efforts that he was putting in

Then, I came up to the next important question for him & his parents when you could clearly see the equation of success pointing towards his aptitude being for either English or History- why were they not pursuing it?

And, I got an answer that left me a little disappointed but not shocked. What was it?

To be followed!


With Love- To all my Grade 12 Parents!




Tomorrow, is Grade 12 results for CBSE students in India. Tomorrow, is a day when many of the students I have met the year long will be finally getting their results of all the hard work that they have put in the year. I must also mention here the parents who are eagerly looking forward to tomorrow and in some cases their level of stress and anxiety is more than that of the kids themselves-Big day right?

Tomorrow, is also, the day when new achievers will be named and celebrated- District Toppers, School Toppers, State Toppers and National Toppers. These top 1% students will be covered in Media, Feted by their respective Schools, Teachers and even Government. Kudos to you and must say well deserved. I am sure your parents/families will be really proud of you.

If you do the maths close to 1 Million students have written the CBSE exam this year out of which only Top 1% will be celebrated which means some where around 10,000 of them. These Top 1% would have their life/career paths set and future already secured in some of the countries best colleges but my concern lies with what happens with the balance 9,90,000 students who may be branded as failures by not only the people around them but sadly in many cases by themselves because the moment the students do not get the correct percentile right to the correct decimal places- the student start questioning themselves- Am I good enough? Am I made for the field I really think I am good in?

I had this student with me last year who had given his grade 12 exam in Sciences and wanted to be an Engineer. Full of life and energy- Really creative and a good writer. Give him a 1000 word essay to write and he would come up with one of the best ones in the class and although, I could clearly see that,  his strengths lay in a creative field but he still wanted to be an engineer- not because he wanted to be one but because his “Parents” wanted it for him. Sounds familiar? Result- Disappointment. His science result was average and not the one, that could get him a seat in one of the good engineering colleges. So he opted for the second option- doing a science degree from one of the regional colleges. Result- again disappointment & heart burn. 

The family reached out to me and requested me for a counseling of the student- what I told them left them a little shocked- I said, leave the student- I want to counsel you first!

-to be followed.


Questions you must ask a University Representative!

Me with the lovely smiles of Indian School, Ibri(Muscat, Oman)

I have been working in Higher Education space for close to 5 years now. Have traveled to more than 25+ countries to counsel parents & students on various higher education courses on offer. It is really interesting how the conversation goes when a prospective applicant comes to me for an inquiry. Most of the time it goes like this;

Q. Do you have blah blah engineering/medicine course?

Q. What is your entry requirement?

Q. What is your Fee?

Q. What is the “Average Salary” offered to your Graduates?

Full Stop Coma. No further questions asked.

So, in order to help my prospective students in being better questioners, I have put a list of question below which I think you must ask any University representative while looking to make your important career decisions;

Q1.) What are the undergraduate programs that you offer?

Q2.) What is the key difference between your University programs and others?

Q3.) Who are the key stake holders in your University? (Founders/ Faculty)

Q4.) How do you prepare your students for Life?

Q5.) Who will be the peers my child will be studying with?

Q6.) How is the life on campus for students?

Q7.) What are the scholarship opportunities available?

Hope this helps!



Can Linked In job seeker account land you in your dream job?


Does this marketing pitch really work for a job seeker like you and me? This is the question that I would try to answer in todays post.

You have 3 subscription options with Linked in job seeker account which are as follows;


In all probability if you are a individual subscriber like me, you would land up with a subscription of job seeker, which amounts to Rs 1400/- per month and which includes all the features that a Linked In job seeker account can give.

My feedback on the features offered with a job seeker account:

1. See who’s interested in you

Remember, who visited my profile from Orkut days? this is the same feature as that, Linked In will tell you, who has visited your profile during the past days, so that, you can have an idea on the kind of professionals you are driving to your profile and reach out to them directly, with the knowledge that they have shown first level of interest in your profile. You get this feature also with the free linked in account but supposedly only a sneak peak not the full list but unfortunately, even after subscribing to Linked in, what I got was again not the full list apparently there are members who have chosen to shown anonymous and Linked In wont show me their details even if I have a paid subscription.


What if the member that was not shown to me was the key decision maker that I would like to reach out to? 

2. Contact Decision Makers via In Mail

One of the big feature that Linked In pitches to us as a job seeker is the In Mail feature. Where in we can directly write to decision makers about out candidature for a profile and drive them to our profile.

Linked In ‘guarantees’ the response, now before you start all jumping up and think of writing to Jack Welch expecting a guaranteed response as promised by Linked in. Let me play the spoil sport. Guaranteed response means that if you do not get a response from the In Mail recipient within 7 days you will get the In Mail credit back. Simple, it does not mean that the decision maker is forced by Linked in to reply to your In Mail. 

And, judging by the time constraints that all the big decision makers live by, the probability of your In Mail getting a response solely depends on the quality of your message and the interest that you can arouse in your credentials. My personal score was 1 response in 5 In Mails that I sent.

3. Move to the top of the list

Now, this is a feature that can really help, while applying for jobs via Linked In. supposedly there are 100 applicants to a particular job, my profile will be featured in the top ranking of that list, solely because I am a paid subscriber sounds good right? but, what Linked In does not tell me what happens if 50 of those applicants are again paid subscribers? Does it make a difference then? What position will my application be featured? Again leaves more questions in my mind than answers.

And another issue for me is the number of jobs that are up for grabs on Linked In-Minuscle is the word for them. Why can’t Linked In have priority jobs? which are opened only for paid members and not for all on Linked In.

4. The open link and premium membership badge

They look good on the profile add to bit of a show off I can say but do they really leave an impression on the recruiters mind?, I have my doubt’s on that. Also, you joining a open link network allows you to reach out directly to decision makers who are also on open link without needing In Mail credits.

5. Organise your search

Good enough feature if you are into heavy usage and research on Linked In not for job seekers like me, who are not searching exhaustively on Linked In for each and every decision maker on the planet but only a niche few who they plan to work with.To be true, I did not use this feature extensively. Did not feel the need for it.

My Verdict:

There is not too much that you can do with a paid linked in account which cannot be done with a free one. All of the features that you enable after paid membership are the one’s that will only help you in reaching out to your prospective recruiters more easily ( Does not mean you cannot do the same with a free account!)  but what will matter at the end of the day is your Linked In profile and the content it has.  So, work on your Linked In profile and rest will follow.

Linked In is really a wonderful networking medium, one which is really close to my heart just for the change it has brought in the way we professionals can network but I think Linked In needs to work more on the reasons for someone to remain a paid member rather than a free one. Personally, I have unsubscribed from the membership after one month. Did not find the features of a job seeker account really that ‘differentiating’ for me.

Happy Networking!

Have you also tried the job seeker membership for Linked In? What has been your experience? Share with me. I would like to know more.



How dating a girl and maintaing healthy professional relationships are similar!


Do you find it tough to cultivate and maintain healthy professional relationships? Are you also facing the dilemma of how do you behave in a professional relationship? Well, then this write up may just be the right starting point for you. I have also faced the same questions in my professional life and with my experiences, I can now, confidently say that there are many similarities between dating a girl and maintaining healthy professional relationships.

Seven principles for maintaining healthy professional relationships 

1. Cultivate transactional Relationships for the long term

Did you go for a date with a girl ever with the sole objective of a one night stand? If yes, I am assuming your success rate would not have been really high or was it?

I have seen most of the people fail in maintaining professional relationships because they are in it for the short term.the next job change, the next sale or that amazing company that your contact can refer you to and when it does not happen instantly- Kaboom, you loose interest and are left with a heart burn. I am not saying that it is wrong in assuming that your professional relationships will help you in moving up in your professional life. What is wrong is in you assuming that they would do it your way and at your allotted time. cultivating professional relationships is not like making instant Maggi noodles but more like baking a cake, you got to give them time and space.

2.Do not EXPECT

If a girl went out for a date with you for the first time, you did not start acting like her husband from second date onwards or did you?

Yes, the famed E word is here, like in personal relationships, healthy professional relationships are based on the foundations of zero expectations. the moment you start expecting something from someone, you will be in for some heart burn and bad taste.

3. Always be around them but do not STALK

Now, I am positively assuming, most of us know the drawbacks of stalking a girl. Don’t we?

Lot like personal relationships, it is always good to be around your professional relationships too but things start going wrong when you are around so much that you are just one step below stalking them. Which I am afraid is a big turn off for anyone in any kind of relationship.

4. Meet them in person

You remember, the feeling you had, when she agreed to go out on a date with you for the first time. Don’t you?

Always be readily available to meet them personally over a cup of coffee or a glass of beer. Taking time out for your contact means that you truly value the relationship and adds to it the much needed personal touch.

5. Request for their guidance

All of us know, girls love it, when we ask for their opinion on how to ‘better’ live our life’s. Don’t we?

More often than not, your professional relationships are people who are really senior to you, who have been in your shoes long time back and have achieved success. You can always learn from there experiences and make use of their learnings to avoid mistakes that they made during their own careers. Also, sharing your professional updates and anxieties, shows them the importance/respect that you have for their feedback/opinion.

6. Always be ready to help

I still remember, I was ready to do absolutely anything for a girl to say yes to go out with me.

Goes without saying it, always be ready to help your professional relationships, be it a small gesture or a big effort. Always be ready to walk the extra mile for them.

7. Be sincere. Do not FAKE

I don’t think my readers need an explanation for this one. Do you?

Self explanatory for any aspect of your life, the moment you start acting someone you are not. you can say good bye to your relationships.

In the end, I would like to sum it up by saying that in todays competitive and connected world, the importance of having a professional circle around you is of utmost importance and we all have such people around us with whom we can strike that special bond, what differentiates a good networking professional from others is that he understands the value of these relationships and is ready to invest time and energy in building a web of healthy professionals around of him.

Hope this write up helps!

Happy dating or I should say, happy networking!:-)



Know what you want


I try to learn as much as I can from any person that I come across, older or younger, I truly believe in the saying that we all have so much to learn from each other. So, where ever I am, I always keep trying to learn something new. No one is old enough to have seen it all and no one is young enough to have learnt nothing.

I was lucky enough in recent days to have met Mr. Sudhir Rehgarh (Business Head at Marico Middle East) and to discuss with him, his experiences and know more about his secret talisman for both professional and personal success in his own life. Sudhir is an alumnus of IIFT Delhi and has got rich experience of working with some of the top corporate organisations in leadership positions. The first two things that will strike when you meet Sudhir,will be his modesty and clarity of thoughts.He is a type of guy, who can make an impact on your life just by spending some time with you over coffee.I would recommend his company to any aspiring new leader, who wants to make it big.

His mantra for success in Life is simple- “Know what you want!”. These are just four words but if you know this, trust me nothing in this world can stop you from succeeding. Have an honest answer for this statement and work for it with full sincerity and passion. Your success is rest assured.

Think about it yourself, how many times have you taken a pause and thought about what you really want. What is that one thing that you are really passionate about.Not what your parents want or your relatives want or even for that matter your better half’s want. Pick any successful person around you and you would have one thing common in all of them. They all knew what they wanted and they worked towards it with passion and sincerity. Never giving up on their dreams. These are what success stories are made of. It all starts with Knowing what you want!

Thank you Sudhir, for introducing me to the thought.



When I do not leave for Job in the morning!


We all have a nosy Mrs. Jalota as a neighbour don’t we? No? Ohh come on, I am sure, you have one too may be just the name will be different, we have them all across India, they are easily available across our neighbourhoods, be it Bandra or NFC. you may not for once find a milk booth in a locality but you are sure to find a true copy of Mrs. Jalota.

She is the one that brings spice to our life, motivates us daily by taunting us of our inability to compete with the elusive Sharma Ji’s son, you may hate her,you may love her, but you just cannot ignore her. She is the wikipedia of any society or neighbourhood, tracking each and every move of any living thing in her vicinity and spreading the news far and wide. Birthdays,anniversaries, new purchases, couple fights,none can evade the omnipresent eyes of Mrs. Jalota.

And, like any top investigative agency, she is ruthless in her pursuit of signs and sudden changes in patterns( Dan Brown?). So, it was not surprising, long before, Mrs. Jalota came calling on my doors. This is how my conversation went with her;

My Encounter:

Me giving water to plants in my garden on a Monday Morning, seeing Mrs. Jalota coming down the road, wants to run inside the house to evade her but too late for that now.

Me: Hello Aunty!( Gayee bhains panee mai!)

Mrs. Jalota: Ohh, hello hello beta, how are you? long time no see? where have you been? heard you came back from Dubai? Why? What are you doing now? I heard you were in Gurgaon? Is it true? Why are you at home on a Monday in the morning?

Me: Flabbergasted and thinking which question to pick up first? ( The lady already knows everything about me!)Yes, aunty, have come back and am looking for a right opportunity.

Mrs. Jalota: ‘looking for an opportunity??’, arey beta, why did you leave Dubai in the first place? Mr. Sharma’s son is already in US for last 3 years, has bought his own flat in Gurgaon, he took his wife also along, Mr. Sharma is going for holidays to US soon, you should not have left Satyam in the first place, Engineering to MBA, why? and so on…..for next 15 minutes, before I manage to chip in…

Me: Aunty,sorry but I have to go to meet a friend( Please God!)

Mrs. Jalota: Friend? which friend will meet you now on a Monday morning beta?

Me: He works from home aunty, IT Engineer.

Mrs. Jalota: Wow, earning money, sitting at home, see, I told you IT rocks! (Now this is called rubbing it in!)

Me: For sure aunty! Thank you for advice! (Runs for life!)

And, post this discussion, Mrs. Jalota declared me as a slightly, dis-oriented person, who does not follow the rules laid down by her, wants to do something, for which he is passionate about, even if that means, waiting for the right opportunity for a bit.

I love you Mrs. Jalota but that is until you train your guns at me!

An appeal to my readers, 

Guys you can help too!

If, you would like to save me the nightmare of facing up to Mrs. Jalota without a job next time around, kindly click on the picture above, I have linked it to my Linked in page, where in you can find my detailed profile.I am digital marketing professional currently looking for an opportunity in the same.I would be interested in anything to do with social media marketing, orm, content generation, social media strategy, seo, powerpoint and business development.I know you love me, the time has come for some of you to show it to me:P

Any, help/reference would be highly appreciated and remembered!:-)

Thank you for your time, I know, you will help in putting up a better face in front of Mrs. Jalota next time around.