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


Frenemy – Oh Lord! Save Me From This Species!

You know who is your best friend. You also know who your enemy is (most of the time).  But to identify your frenemy is not that easy. They are there in your difficult times; right besides you (even though they are responsible for this difficult situation in first place.)

They support you to do the most daring thing in life (as they know that this can ruin your image). They are there everywhere and at every stage of your life. If one goes, it is replaced by the other. You can not escape them. You just can’t.

So, what can you do?

Pray to Lord. (As I just did.)

Be Vigilant. (Play with their games and you will learn what to be careful of.)

Just learn to IGNORE. (Hmmm, this can be difficult. But with time you will. Listen…smile…but do what you feel is right.)

My first encounter with a frenemy was during my junior college days. (I got lucky not to have them in my school days or even if I had then I never realised.) She was or rather is suppose to be one of my close friends. I let her think that because I know I am not in anyway harming her. But I know she is harmful so I take precautions. There was always problem with her when I scored more in tests. I could come to know from the expressions and body language.

Problem Was: Jealousy – Yes, that’s why I struck her off my best friend list.

Lesson Learnt: Your friend would be happy on your success. And if it is the other way round, it means that person is not your friend.

Now next,

In medical college, extremely competitive students. So you are bound to get in touch with this species. They circulate wrong questions paper one day before the exam saying, “They are important; just study these and you will pass.” Not for once in five years any of their questions were asked, not even in Viva forget written exam.

Problem Was: Competition

Lesson Learnt: Note down the questions, continue with what you are studying and skim through the said questions and answers just an hour before the exam. That’s it!

Third destination: Post Grad College.

Ok competition is higher now, not just for scores but also for jobs. Very difficult environment. When it comes to getting job, even your closest and dear classmate leaves your side. In the group work you work hard, very hard. Your group projects and presentations are always best because not all your team members but you work hard. Scores are awesome. But when in the entire batch you, despite being best with A+++ grades, are the one jobless in the end of campus placement, your dear group members who are now employees in some big organizations tell, “Here’s my email id. Please forward your CV. There is a vacancy. We will try for sure.” You sincerely forward your resume but nothing happens as your profile is just sitting or rather sleeping in their emails.

Problem Was: Competition, Jealousy and Insecurity

Lesson Learnt: Work hard. Revise your basics. Keep giving interviews. Never lose hope. Don’t just rely on campus placement. Job portals/consultancies can be a big help. And in the end when you get job and are successful, think twice before you accept their friend request.

Ok, now, at Workplace….

This is the worst one. Usually if you are an efficient in your work, then work is not difficult but dealing with people around you is a challenge. You come across people from varied backgrounds, different qualifications, age…therefore, the scenario is difficult to adapt at first. If you don’t handle these frenemies with care, things can get messy because you have to come next day to work and face the same people. If intolerable, then you may change a job, but everywhere you will find them. So no point running away. Face them.

Some frenemy behaviours at work place…

Your colleague, one designation higher, a good friend and you eat lunch together. So she says with a broad smile, “Please place the order.” You do that. Then continues, “Could you please pay the bill as I don’t have change. I will give you later.” You do as there is no other way. This becomes a routine. Food is relished but the money is forgotten.  This behaviour is not just restricted to lunches but even when you shop together. The SLY CAT attitude.

My Reaction: Have good breakfast. Skip lunch. And no more shopping. 😛

Your best friend had some problems, is in need of a job. You recommend her to your boss. Gets selected and then the torment begins. The person is no more your friend but BEST ENEMY – backbites, tries to ruin your image, resorts to groupism, steals your other office friends, tries every minute to be the centre of attention and attraction.

My Reaction: Go to hell. Do the assigned work well because good work speaks volumes. :O

Your reporting team lead is good. Excellent at work. But comes with many behavioural issues – talks a lot, eats a lot and is extremely NOSY. Now, this person wants you be her pet alone. So warns you (beware, its manipulation) about every other person in office including your own team members.

My Reaction: Listen to her. But be good with everyone as in an organization it is always ‘WE’ that works never an ‘I’. 🙂

Another colleague, BABY DOLL…no that’s not her name, I call her so. When I first saw her, she was huge and tomboyish. Now looking at me 🙂 she has taken several fashion tips and turned into a baby doll whose ultimate aim is to get male attention. A good looking male employee around you is highly disliked by Baby Doll. She will go on diet, but encourage you to eat so that you look fat and not-so-happening. Oh those flirty eyes, that baby smile, those fringes changing direction every two minutes, that seductive voice, the sheer tops, the visible lingerie, those love bites on display, those well exposed tanned legs pictures flashed across….and the list just goes on. Baby Doll tries to overshadow you everywhere and all the time.

My Reaction: The competition is in Baby Doll’s Delusional Little Head and not mine. So chillax, and let her gain whatever attraction she thinks she can. 😉

Another colleague, JENNY…again that’s not the name but on Wikipedia I read that female donkeys are also known as jenny. Therefore the name. Jenny knows well that she does not know anything so very politely gets work done by other members of the team.

My Reaction: Some people are dumb. You can’t do much especially when they accept it. They can be very entertaining though. So help them whenever possible and at other times laugh out loud at their dumb remarks. 😀

LIAR LIAR…they are annoying…always lying about anything, everything and nothing. Now, this Liar Liar comes late then lies, leaves early then lies, bunks due to bad hangover but lies, on chat with friends but says office work, chats with boyfriend/girlfriend says it is sister/friend. Too many lies that loses track of the original lie, and therefore, lies again.

My Reaction: Your life is none of my business. So do whatever you feel right. And I know you are Liar Liar, so it’s ok as I don’t believe you anyways. ;P

PEEPING TOM…their entire focus is on your screen (monitor, mobile, tablet – just name it) to keep a track of what you are doing, are you on chat with anyone, whom did you send an email to, etc. Now, they may act like Peeping Toms because they are so by default or may be because someone has asked them to behave that way…whatever the reason it just disgusts you.

My Reaction: Ignore and be cautious. Peeping Toms do go do washrooms and for lunches – the time when you can do something that is important. 🙂

Ok now, you also get a lot, who are interested in all your conversations – with a colleague next to you, on phone – professional or personal.  These EAVESDROPPERS will stop all their work just to listen what you are talking and with whom. It’s gross.

My Reaction: Be vigilant. Any important conversation can wait till they are not around, or can be done in some other place or via messaging app. 🙂

YOUR PLACE, MY PLACE…ok this personality is always on phone talking with his girlfriend (actually, it is plural, but he pretends as if he is a dedicated sincere boyfriend) constantly busy discussing whose place is it going to be tonight. It is fine dating, but besides deciding places, you should even work. But no, they don’t move their a**** and damn they expect you to complete all their work.

My Reaction: Gave sufficient time to improve. When no improvement noticed, spoke to boss, and from there on the boss took care of things.

And many more such characters you will come across. I remember the prominent ones and I hope to add to the list soon.

You can not change a person unless the person wants to change himself or herself. But you can keep your karmas right. I believe in karmas—good or bad—it will come back to you. And if you don’t believe in karmas then just memorize the proverb we all were taught in our schools:

As you sow so shall you reap. (And why shouldn’t you? :))

…Ashu Bolar