So far in my life I have been learning, and very recently in a discussion with a very senior person in the industry, I realized unlearning is equally essential.

The discussion was over a job profile in an institute which is used to and has to work as per rules and guidelines. Till date my work experience is Healthcare focused, Finance segment was new to me. During our 20-minute discussion, after looking at my profile which has umpteen academic qualifications, something which I have stopped counting now, he said, “So Asma, basically you are jack of all trades?” To which my quick reply was, “Even Master of a few.” And he gave me a mile and thumbs up.

But it was what he said after this that made me think – think hard.

I consider every interview as a learning experience. Whether you accept the job or not, that is different, as your decision could be based on various reasons, but the learning you get from every interview, I feel is immense. With a smile on his face, he said, “Even I come from varied academic and career background, with about 27 years of experience. But Asma, I am yet learning, so maybe I cannot call myself a Master yet. And sometimes unlearning, so that I do justice to the profile I am appointed for.”

Yes, unlearning is essential—essential to adjust to your surroundings, essential to get along with your new colleagues, essential to become a part of the new system. Technical learning is essential, but non-technical learning can lead to prejudice. Unlearning helps us get rid of the invisible bias baggage which we carry where ever we go, without even realizing that the bag is so heavy and we are hunched under its weight.

I believe, one can be master at a young age or may be after years, depending on your focus and how fast a learner you are. But to ‘Master All’ is not easy. After the conversation, I realized that I have mastered a few sections of academics and life, and currently, in the process of mastering more subjects, however, there are still many areas of my life that need a focused attention.

In today’s corporate circus, it is not enough to be a juggler, if that is your specialty; you also need to be an acrobat, a musician, a cyclist, a gymnast, an animal trainer, a magician, and sometimes, even a clown to ensure smooth flow of the show everyday. You may not Master all of it, but you still will be Jack of All Trades – the so called multitasker – and a Master of more than one because ‘none’ today ‘is not an option’. So yes, you learn and keep learning, but what is redundant and a heavy burden to carry along, you unlearn those, unpack those, so that you move fast, light and quick.

I am still thinking it over. If you have some thoughts, please feel free to share.


…Ashu Bolar

A Good Job Fit or A Good Organization Fit?

What will be your choice?

Hmmm…interesting question…was one of the questions in Organizational Behaviour (OB-I Paper), IIMI first semester exam.

There is no book or any article which answers this question. I doubt if any professor can.

The answer keeps changing from person to person, and from time to time.

When it is your first job, well – you need a job, in short you are desperate, so only job matters, fit is never a concern. But post five-year work experience, you may not think the same. You would then desire a good job and a good organization. Now this is again a hypothetical situation, which can only be assumed.

An organization may be small, but a good leader makes a lot of difference. With a clear vision and mission, and employee friendly policies, what a leader thinks is percolated throughout the hierarchy. There will always be a weakling in a team, an overtly ambitious worker, an extremely competitive employee, a gossip monger, a procrastinator – but to ensure all work together and share equal responsibilities, is a leader’s job. Being leader is not enough, one has to be a mentor and a learner. There are times when you as a team lead may be wrong, and that’s when you should have the patience to listen what your team has to say. Their opinions may turn you into a better employee, a better person.

In my opinion a ship sails safely only when it has a good captain, an orchestra is melodious when they have an expert music director, a surgery is a success when the lead surgeon guides the entire team in saving a life.

What is the point of working in a reputed so called largest firm, which makes you wake up with foul mood and end your day cursing your boss?

Any corporate success is indeed a team effort. But the Manager/Boss/Team Lead plays a crucial role. He/she can break it or make it. The attitude, the knowledge, the experience…all counts in making you, modifying you into a good ‘MANager.’

Work, to those who are skilled, is never a difficulty. But people are and can be very difficult, and you cannot work alone in a team. A team lead is that glue which binds each team member and guides them as a whole towards the vision. And this attitude is what can make a job good fit, and such team leads and cooperating team members make an organization, an excellent fit.

I do not know if you have come across a leader and a mentor, but I was lucky that I did meet some seniors, who taught me, and when required, guided me to ensure that I traverse the rough sails smoothly.

Yes, I did have my share of ‘Monstenagers’ as well. But that too was a learning experience. Nature introduces such characters in your life so that you master the art of patience and letting go what is of least significance. Remember, for a monstenager, the current job is his/her world. But for a talented person, there is a world full of opportunities. And, I love exploring! 🙂

Learn till you can, tolerate till you can, do not compromise on your self-worth, self-respect and dignity. Be prepared to move on; there is always something big and something better waiting! When you can fly, then why walk?

So yes, A Good Job Fit or A Good Organization Fit?

What is your choice?

Be wise, make an efficient choice; you know what suits you the best.

Be prepared to fly, as high as possible; just try to be in flock as far as possible.


…Ashu Bolar


What The Crab!!!

Yes crab.

Today, I just happened to watch ‘Kahani Sanjay Sinha Ke Saath’ on Tez Channel and he narrated a beautiful story…

A crab is another crab’s enemy. Any fisherman after catching crabs need not worry to cover the basket – just place one crab over the other. That’s it. That’s the solution. Each crab will try to get off the basket, but as one reaches the top, the crab below pulls it down again and the cycle continues.

Sounds familiar?

Very true in the corporate world. Instead of leveraging a person, people pull you down, and further down.

A few learnings from Sinha’s narration today:

A. In distress a fish will try best to free itself from the traps of the fishing net, and may make it back to the sea, but a crab won’t.
B. Staying for long amidst crabs, you too can acquire that behaviour.
C. One can give only what one has. If you have good qualities, then you spread goodness. If you have bad qualities, then ugliness surrounds.
D. If someone you know has wings, help him/her fly.

Ladder of success is never crowded at the top. So reads my book cover. But will you reach that high?

I believe what goes around, comes around. Let someone fly and enjoy the view – some day you too will enjoy the flight against gravity…karma for sure has domino effect!


…Ashu Bolar

Post Appraisal Dysfunctionality

New organisation…new work…new hopes….all are amazing until the time of performance appraisal. 😦

Yes, one year of hard work, more & more assignments, numerous late nights, and of course, working on weekends goes with out saying. (Weekend in most of the organisations in India starts with Sunday and ends on the very same Sunday.)

You don’t get paid for working extra hours and on weekends, however there is a hope that things will be better next year with some appreciation, some recognition, and of course, some increment.

But in the new financial year, you realise that a pat on your shoulder is a dream come true. And all you land up with is a kick in your backside.

Yes, that happens in the form of your appraisal. There is this huge form that your expected to fill, which you sincerely complete with great enthusiasm that dies the very minute you get the new letter with revised insulting salary structure in your hand.

Along with enthusiasm, dies your motivation, dies your self confidence, dies the belief in your seniors with fixed plastic smiles, who are sweet talkers, excel in using and misusing you to pump up their images at the cost of your efforts and energy. Unfortunately this realisation comes a little late. 😥

In such a decaying state, either you continue to die everyday or choose to survive either by raising voice or by selecting yet another new place. In the corporate world, to expect a change equals expecting a revolution. With fewer friends and more frenemies, such a revolution is plainly hypothetical. However, a change in yourself or your surroundings is for sure a possibility. After all life, be it world or corporate world, is nothing but survival of the fittest.

I am struggling to overcome this dysfunctionality as I choose to survive. Now how, is something that we will discuss later! 🙂

…Ashu Bolar