Abhijit BhaduriBook ReviewGuest Author

Book Review: What The Heck Do I Do With My Life

By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist

Ravi Venkatesan was the Chairman of Microsoft India. His first book was “Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere” was written in 2013. The key idea of his book was that global organisations need to be in India for the long run. Its sheer size makes it too hard to ignore. But the global businesses tend to think of India as one homogenous entity. The English speaking, tech-savvy Indian colleagues makes them feel that the Indian market is largely like the Western world. To be fair the top 1% of most countries is pretty close to their counterparts in other countries. The reality is that India is a country so incredibly diverse that a Chairman of Unilever had once said,”India is a land of mouthwatering opportunities and eye-watering challenges” <Read my review>

“What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?”

Make it stand out

  1. First time job seeker: When we start our career, we wonder if we have got the right skills? Should we join a startup or join a large conglomerate? Should we become a specialist or a generalist? The advice that pours in is contradictory. It makes one think, “What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?”

  2. Mid life crisis: The same question crops up again mid-career when people experience boredom at work. The financial commitments keep them handcuffed while their skills are hitting the rust-belt. The signs are all over. When they are passed over for promotions and ignored at work, they ask themselves, “What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?”

  3. Unemployable and overpriced: The C-Suite and the corner office holders are also wondering, “What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?” They feel embarrassed to join the training programs at work. They worry about asking questions for the fear that it would expose their ignorance. Their salaries are at their peak and many are priced out in the market. Their skills are outdated. The headhunters do not return their calls. They contemplate retirement and wonder whether they should just bide time till they retire or should they look at designing the next chapter?

Three answers to that question

Lesson No 1: Forget about jobs

Ravi speaks about the initiative where 800,000 students in 1000 schools in Delhi are being taught how to build an entrepreneurial mindset. This is taught through cleverly designed games and projects.

When they are challenged to build a paper plane with their non-dominant hand (ie if you are right handed, then your left hand is non-dominant), they learn tenacity. In another class, they learn about collaboration by trying to build the tallest structure with things that are in the classroom. They learn a valuable lesson in collaboration and handling failure when the structures topple even after careful planning.

During the summer vacation, each student is given a loan of Rs 500/- to start a business. At the end of the vacation, they are expected to return the ‘loan’. The children are learning to be optimistic. With an entrepreneurial mindset, they become more tenacious and begin to see opportunities when everyone around is cribbing about problems.

2. Join the Passion Economy

‘The Passion Economy’, which is an economy driven by people who find a way to build small businesses around what they are good at and what they love doing. In a book by the same name, Adam Davidson shows that there are unprecedented new opportunities to make a living while doing what you love.

New digital platforms enable people to earn a livelihood in a way that highlights their individuality. These platforms give providers greater ability to build customer relationships, increased support in growing their businesses, and better tools for differentiating themselves from the competition. In the process, they’re fuelling a new model of internet-powered entrepreneurship. <read more>

3. Build a portfolio career

We will have the opportunity to integrate other activities and interests, including family time, having fun, learning and contributing to society much better. This way of operating is often called a portfolio life. It used to be a way some people arranged their life post-retirement, but with people living and needing to remain active much longer, and traditional employment opportunities dwindling, more and more of us will need to build ourselves a portfolio life even sooner.

Read this: Are you a Career3.0 person stuck in a Career1.0 job

One line summary of the book: Stay current and take charge of your own destiny.

I will be chatting with Ravi Venkatesan on January 27, 2022 at 7pm IST. He will be the first guest of Season 4 of my weekly LinkedIn Live. The theme for season 4 is Technology and Talent. It will be a live chat where you can ask questions too. So join in.

If you think someone you know would make a great guest on my show, drop me a mail at abhijitbhaduri@live.com

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