This month I had the absolute pleasure of spending some time chatting with Janani D’Silva, Associate Director and Graduate Program Manager at Capgemini. I am a huge fan of the work Janani does and the enthusiasm she brings to the development of her graduates.
There is some great advice here that we should all take to heart!
Here are Janani’s Top 5:
1. Just keep swimming. When you start your career, a new job, join a new industry, or even a new project – there will be a period of time you will feel overwhelmed and really out of your depths. This is normal. Happens to everyone who is doing something new. The best piece of advice I can give is, just keep swimming. Take the enormity of what you are facing and break it down into smaller chunks, if it’s a deadline to meet then write out the steps to take you to your end output and take small steps towards it. It is overwhelming to look at the mammoth challenge in front of you, but believe me, when I say – taking one step at a time, slowing down your mind and rationalising what you need to do, it’ll help. If you are still feeling overwhelmed – reach out to someone you trust – like a non-judgemental calm friend to talk about it, or a trusted colleague or manager. Sometimes just talking about it brings clarity.
2. You’ll never get ‘there’ – there will always be a new ‘there’ so enjoy the journey. Have goals, have big exciting ambitious goals. Plan to buy your house by 25. Plan to make your first million by 30. Plan to be a CEO by 40. Plan to be retired by 50. Plan away. But make sure the delicious plans you make your goals a reality. Enjoy every little step, every little win, every little fail that moulds you, stretches you, challenges you, excites you, defeats you, overwhelms you, trips you, and then makes you. That’s the secret. To enjoy the journey because, in this thing called life, it’s not the race to the end. It’s the joy of the small things.
3. Run your own race. A sure-fire way to be unhappy is to compare yourself to anyone else in this world. Really something you need to actively shake out of your system. We are all born into a system, and then schooled in a system, and then work in a system that compares us relentlessly. From rankings at school to performance reviews at work. Don’t let those numbers be the measure of your self-worth and your success. Your success is in the joy you have in your heart. The happiness you have. The laughs you have and the peace you have. So don’t choose a career that kills you to make money that you think will make you happy. Choose something that aligns with your values and makes you feel like you are doing what you’re meant to. You know what you’re meant to – we all feel joy when we are aligned with what our purpose is. Sit quietly and think about the things you absolutely love doing and then do more of those things. Even if you’re in a job that isn’t 100% aligned to exactly what you’re about – find avenues to bring more of those things that you are into your life.
4. Focus on everything that you are and not on everything you aren’t. Identify your strengths and build them up more and more. I find we spend a lot of time trying to fix everything we aren’t. It’s good to strive to be better at things, but everyone has their kryptonite and everyone has their superpower. Know your superpower and use it, use it all you can. Flex those powers and fuel your life and career with those skills. It’s easy to be in awe of people who exude the qualities you don’t have. That’s great. Be in awe of them, celebrate them, tell them, admire them – never ever fall into the trap of despairing and beating yourself up for not being like them. What you see is someone in their element using their superpower. You have yours. Do your own magic – every single person has that, and enjoy the process of finding yours.
5. Everybody is hustling. You know how everyone seems to have it all together? Everyone seems to know what they want to be, who they are, what they want to do when they grow up? Well really – everyone’s working it out, no matter what age. No one knows exactly what they have to do about every little thing every day. Tackle life as you would a jigsaw puzzle. A challenge that is possible, with patience and a bit of thought. When I meet people who are worried about how they’ll do in a new job, I always liken it to a CEO. When someone becomes a CEO for the first time, they don’t know exactly how to do it. They’ve never that that job before. But they work it out. That’s a highly visible, high-pressure job. They turn up, think, and do their best. Every job is like that. You have to show up, think, use the people around you to help and take those steps.
If you are keen to connect with Janani, you can find her on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/janani-d-silva-67189743/